Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Why I love Reward Flight Saver

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When British Airways relaunched Air Miles and the Executive Club last November, the one change that came totally out of the blue – and in a very positive way – was the introduction of Reward Flight Saver.  This allows anyone who has earned 1 mile in the last year to book a short-haul reward flight for just £27 in taxes and charges, or £34 for Club Europe.

Historically, short haul redemptions were a waste of time unless you needed the flexibility or were travelling at short notice.  Miles & More is the perfect example of this – it is very easy to find M&M European awards where the taxes actually come to MORE than the price of buying a cash ticket, because LH artificially pushes down the taxes on cash tickets if a competitor on a route is charging less. 

Whilst BA never got this bad, you were still looking at c £100 of taxes for a short-haul flight to Europe which, when added to the 9,000+ miles required, made the redemption very, very bad value.

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Now everything has changed.  At 9,000 miles plus £27, a Reward Flight Saver redemption is probably the most valuable redemption you can get!  A flight to Germany in economy will be around £150 these days, so you would be getting almost 1.5p per Avios of value.  If I can get 0.75p on a long-haul J or F redemption then I consider it OK. 

Club Europe is also good value, especially if you have no status – upgrading just the outbound of a trip to Germany would be an extra 4,500 miles (one way) and £3.50.  That’s a bargain for access to the Heathrow lounges and the Club Europe service, such as it is.

Other things you may not know:

  • Reward Flight Saver flights are also available on Iberia and, in South Africa, on Comair, albeit Comair charges a slightly higher taxes number
  • You can add extra domestic legs in the UK or Spain onto a Reward Flight Saver for free.  This is a good deal if you live in the UK regions, and also a good deal for getting to parts of Spain (via a change in Madrid) that are not served directly from the UK.

The one downside of Reward Flight Saver is that it has made it pointless for me to chase a renewal of my BA Gold card.  A lot of the tier points came from self-funded CE returns at c £250 each, but when I can get the same seats for 18,000 Avios and £34, I can’t justify paying cash.

How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER), £200 travel credit and unbeatable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

50,000 points bonus until 2nd October – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

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