Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Big news – ‘small print’ of the Avios sale bargains revealed, including the £1 RFS destinations

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The avios.com and ba.com January sales are continuing.  Hopefully the upcoming offers will be more exciting than the half-price World Traveller redemptions to the US and Canada we had on Monday.

(This offer is still valid until noon today – 50% off the Avios needed for economy flights to Boston, Chicago, Dubai, Denver, Shanghai, New York, Toronto and Washington.  Full details here.)

I now know the ‘small print’ of four of the remaining five offers.

25% off car hire

Noon Wednesday 8 January to noon Friday 10 January

This deal will go live today at noon at avios.com and ba.com.  You must book with Avis – paying with Avios points – for any destination.  It is valid for bookings up to 30th September.  I discuss this further below.

50% off hotel bookings

Noon Friday 10 January to noon Monday 13 January

This offer is actually slightly better than I expected.  It is valid for hotels in Vienna, Dubrovnik, Prague, Copenhagen, Berlin, Budapest, Istanbul and Algarve, for bookings up to 30th September. There is a special booking website you need to use, but the selection of properties seems decent.

Here is the key thing.  You normally get 0.57p per Avios when using your points for a hotel redemption as I showed here.  Via this deal, you will getting 1.14p per Avios.  That is a very decent offer.

Reward Flight Saver tickets reduced to £1

Noon Monday 13 January to noon Wednesday 15 January

This deal is not the ‘free for all’ we were hoping to see.  It is restricted to the following routes only: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Dublin, Jersey, Lisbon, Madrid, Rome, Nice.

That said, being able to book a flight to these places for just £1 instead of the usual £35 is certainly a good saving.

You will need to fly between 31 January and 31 May.  Economy only.

50% off hotel bookings

Noon Wednesday 15 January to noon Friday 17 January

The same offer as before, but with a different set of cities – London, Venice, Edinburgh, Guernsey, Florence and Milan. There are 103 hotels available across the 6 cities, to give you an idea of the scale.

Again, you can book a stay at any hotel on the special website for stays up to 30th September.

40% off Eurostar

Noon Friday 17 January to noon Monday 20 January

This offer will only run on avios.com.  I do not have the ‘small print’ for this one!  As ba.com does not offer Eurostar redemptions, their sale will simply finish three days earlier.

Today’s new offer

The offer to be launched today offers 25% off the cost of an Avis car rental when you pay with Avios.  This will be live from noon.

You can book for any destination, with the only proviso being that you pick up the car before 30th September 2014.

This may be an OK deal.  As car hire prices vary so wildly, it is difficult to make a broad judgement.  With just a 25% discount, I doubt that you will be able to get more than 1p per Avios of value compared to a pre-paid cash booking however.

If you are interested, you should price up the car on BOTH ba.com and avios.com.  For odd reasons, it has been shown in the past that the sites often throw up different prices for the same set of dates.

The ba.com link to book an Avis car is here.


HFP-Barclaycard-Avios-Card

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel 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 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – 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 £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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.

Comments (100)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • JPR says:

    Thinking of taking a punt for an RFS in May but cannot confirm an actual date yet. If I cancelled it, would I get the Avios back and simply lose the £1? Perhaps I could book a couple of dates? Would that work? Thanks.

    • Rob says:

      Yes, that is how it works. This is already how it works if, for eg, you book a Boston to New York redemption for 4,500 Avios + £1.60. You lose the £1.60 but BA doesn’t ask you for the additional £23.40 (to make up the £25 cancellation charge) and you get the Avios back.

      • Nick says:

        Do you really get the avios back if a flight date is changed?

        I booked lhr-dme last year for 20000 avios and the reward flight saver fee. Return flight had to be changed. I was told the 10000 avios was forfeited and I had to shell out another 10000 avios for a new flight back to london

        • Rob says:

          Was this AFTER you had flown the outbound? Until last year, you couldn’t change the return once you’d flown the outbound. However, that rules has now been scrapped and you can change the return for the £25 fee even after you’ve flown the outbound.

          If you hadn’t flown the outbound then you were wrongly informed and were ripped off of 10,000 Avios!

          • xcalx says:

            This was what I was talking about yesterday I had to pay £10 on top of the RSF fee of £15 to get 7500 Avios back for a LIS-LHR-LBA OW I cancelled. I am glad to hear things have changed as I will now book a couple of MIA-CUN flights X2 then cancel the one I dont need for £1.50 pp

          • Rob says:

            Really? They made you pay the extra?

            How did you cancel? Online or by phone? I have cancelled a few RFS tickets (and AA redemptions last year) and was never asked for further cash, although I always cancel online.

          • xcalx says:

            Cancelled by phone. I didn’t think to question the agent as I had read about a £25 cancellation fee. Thinking back I cant remember if it was BAEC or Avios I booked with.

  • Stuart McIntyre says:

    Re: Avis car hire costs. It’s often worth checking the Avis car hire costs via the ba.com site as well – I normally see significant savings there compared to booking direct with Avis or via corporate account with Hertz.

  • Macca says:

    How do you go about working out the value you are getting when booking a hotel. Do you take the price on the hotels official web site or do you use the lowest price you can find on sites such as LastMinute/Hotels.com/Booking.com?

    If the latter, is there a preference on site for finding consistenly low prices? I don’t want to spend hours trawling the internet for the cheapest price just to get a 100% accurate representation of my ‘pence per avios’! I’d just like to know if I’m getting sub-1p or not 🙂

    • Macca says:

      Thanks JF. I have just re-read the HFP Uni post on Avios hotel redemptions which answers a lot of my questions, although it is good to hear your experience with hotels.com.

    • AndyGWP says:

      I tend to use Trivago now, as they screenscrape other sites for me (including the hotels own site, which helps decide whether its worth paying the extra)

      HotelsCombined is similar, but I’ve yet to use it.

      Expedia also do the ‘pricematch’ (against their own website) that someone mentioned earlier too, quite simply by filling in a small form on their website 🙂

      • luckyjim says:

        If you really want to know the value you are getting for your avios check Trivago for hotels and Kayak for car hire.

        If you’d rather kid yourself into believing you are staying in a $300 per night hotel ‘for free’ go with the Expedia rate.

    • Lady London says:

      Just saw a laterooms.com sale on bespokeoffers.co.uk and have had the odd good bargain with them in the past.

  • Tim says:

    I’ve always been put off RFS because of the amount of Avios required plus the requirement to connect in London; the £35 fee is neither here nor there.

    This offer would have been more appealing had it included destinations which are not so easy to get to using low cost airlines, as I can fly to most of these destinations for around £70-£80 return directly from Glasgow or Edinburgh. Jersey is the obvious exception.

    That said, it’s still a nice offer if you were looking for a weekend break and the £68 you’d save (for a couple) could go towards a nice hotel.

    • squills says:

      I’d echo that – in part 😉

      If you can’t really change flight times much, for us because of 3 kids in tow, then RFS/ Avios can really help. OK you can get lucky or plan well & pick up the Ryanair/ Easyjet flights at Xmas/ Easter for less than the true cost of Avios + RFS from LHR (Summer never seems to present quite the same problem). But often the no-frills boys fill up pretty fast at key travelling times so go expensive, whereas Avios flights can be available for a few days longer, at least that’s what I found.

      Another point: yes @ 1p per Avios, the no-frills airlines are invariably cheaper normally. But some of us manage to pay an awful lot less than 1p per Avios to acquire them 😉

      Not to mention luggage, particularly at Xmas when we are loaded to the gills with pressies and BA makes a lot of sense.

    • Rob says:

      That’s a good point. A few more obscure destinations would have been useful. A lot of people will have already ‘done’ that list as well.

    • AndyGWP says:

      RFS works for me at ‘peak’ (expensive) times such as bank holidays etc. where it is worth the hassle (and cost-saving) of connecting through LHR (from MAN)

      You’re right though, a lot of the times it is just cheaper to use the budget carriers. Especially for a weekend break where I don’t really need to use my status for extra bags (etc).

      To maximise time, I’ve also found I now have to add on the cost of a hotel @ LHR the night before so I do the connection down to London, then stop over so I can take an early flight the next day and arrive at my destination with still some daylight left!

  • ankomonkey says:

    What a shame the RFS cities are not the same as the 50%-off-hotel cities…

  • Idrive says:

    the problem with this car rental is that you can only book in some locations (presumably where BA fly) not on all AVIS locations!!

    by the way, i am not jumping on any of this “offers”…
    People do not forget that the smart redeemers are just a niche of the market. there are LOTS of people who occasionally or regularly earn and that are not avios conscious and for them anyoffer could look good.

    the USA sales are no good for me, I prefere paying a cash economy tickets
    RFS: the places i want to go are not on the RFS 1£ except Dublin for a combination with a potential Airlingus-Boston redemption (but I do not know the dates so I prefere paying whenever it will be)
    car hire…i need it now but the location i need is not on the list…so what’s the point…

    i am glad i kept my Tesco CC safe and MR too! and looking forward for a bigger bonus or till I have gathered enough for a nice First intercontinental flight!

  • CV says:

    Nice to tie in the RFS £1 with IHG Reward Nights. Some good value redemptions to be had in Madrid, Lisbon and Rome, so could have a look weekend away for £1 per person and a load of avios/IHG points used up.

    • Rob says:

      Madrid hotel prices are low these days anyway.

      If you’re doing the IHG Big Win this may be a cheap way of picking up overseas nights.

  • pazza2000 says:

    I suspected a very limited list of ‘near by’ destinations, sad to be proved correct. Will check out the Hotel Sale, could be interesting…

    • Rob says:

      Hey, could be worse!

      You may even be able to do connecting RFS flights for £1. So, for eg, London to AMS one way for 4,500 + 50p. Then AMS-LON-Jersey (with a long stopover in London) for 4,500 plus 50p. Then Jersey to London back for 4,500 + 50p.

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