Over Easter, I will be answering a number of the reader questions that were submitted via this article. If you didn’t take part this time, don’t worry as I will be re-running this feature in the Summer. Feel free to expand on or critique my answer using the Comments section below!
Today’s question is from Jim who asked:
“Hi, I’d like to know if it’s possible to use Avios to fly from regional airports where BA has no presence. For example, being based in East Anglia my closest option is Norwich and the next best is Stansted. Getting to LHR or LGW is essentially a three-hour plus trip plus all the hassle of traveling so I`d much prefer to stay local.”
Jim touches on an important issue for Avios collectors outside the M25. British Airways does not run any regional flights to any destination except London, and there is a lot of wasted time flying Manchester – London – Berlin if you can get an easyJet flight direct instead.
Luckily, there are some options available.
Vueling offers flights from Cardiff and Edinburgh which can be booked via Iberia Plus, if you transfer your Avios points across using ‘Combine My Avios’.
Sun-Air runs a couple of services to Scandinavia from Manchester. (The photo above is a Sun-Air flight, operated as a BA franchise in BA colours.) Finnair also runs a Manchester-Helsinki service. These can be booked via ba.com.
Since airberlin joined oneworld, you can also use Avios on their services. I have mainly focussed on airberlin’s long-haul services on Head for Points, but they also fly from Manchester (EDIT: now cancelled, see Comments).
Aer Lingus flights from Ireland to the UK can also be booked – but only by telephone – as an Avios redemption, although once you’ve factored in the telephone booking fee and the full taxes it is unlikely to offer good value.
There are also some options for redeeming with avios.com airline partners. These are Air Malta, Aurigny (the Channel Islands airline), Monarch and Flybe. To redeem on any of these airlines, you need to move your Avios from ba.com to avios.com via ‘Combine My Avios’. The only way to see what routes are available is to look on the relevant airlines website and then try to plug those routes into avios.com and see if any seats come up.
Air Malta flies from Manchester as well as London, click for details.
Be wary of redeeming for non-BA European flights, though. They are not eligible for Reward Flight Saver (except Sun-Air) and so you need to pay full taxes and charges. This may mean that you are getting poor value for your Avios.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 2023)
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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
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 10,500 Avios.
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.
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.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.