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New low-tax Avios redemptions to the Caribbean with airberlin

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airberlin – the best place to turn for low tax Avios redemptions – has added some new Caribbean options for Winter 2014.

As per my Avios Redemption University article on airberlin, you should be able to book a business class flight on these routes for around £75 of taxes, compared to £500 with British Airways.

Last Monday, I posted about the new British Airways direct service to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.  airberlin is also ramping up its service to the country for 2014.

From November 2014, there will be two stop flights per week from both Dusseldorf and Munich to Varadero in Cuba and Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic.  That will mean a total of eight flights per week from Germany to each destination.

airberlin will continue its existing services to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, Cancún in Mexico and Curaçao.  It also flies to Phuket, with a stop in Abu Dhabi, although that service is ending in October.  Etihad is taking over the route.

Seats are already available for sale on these new flights, so Avios seats should also be available via ba.com.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 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

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 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.

Comments (9)

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

  • koroleon says:

    Do these flights feature the flatbed business class seats?

    • Rob says:

      Should do. I got a press release from AB this week saying that they would be fully converted to fully flat by the Summer.

  • xcalx says:

    “It also flies to Phuket, with a stop in Abu Dhabi, although that service is ending in October (Etihad is taking over the route).”

    I have noticed on the BA site that award flights can be booked in Jan 2015 TXL-AUH-HKT these are showing as AB flights. Will the AUH-HKT flights be honoured when these are taken over by Etihad in October.

    • Rob says:

      The ‘Etihad takeover’ is not yet clear to be honest. It has announced the launch of a Phuket service from October. Etihad, as you know, owns 30% of AB and is very active in its management. However, I have yet to see a formal announcement that the Phuket service is ending. (I checked a few dates on the AB website and couldn’t find revenue tickets for sale.)

      You’ll be fine though – worst case scenario is you get moved to AB.

    • Eshaq Choudhury says:

      All flights for air berlin to HKT seem to have dissapeared now from November onwards. I was hoping to book for half term 🙁

  • Singing Dwarf says:

    How do you recommend getting to Dusseldorf or Munich to start with?

    Obviously booking on one ticket sees the tax benefits being negated – but booking separate flights runs the risk of a missed departure on Air Berlin should the first leg UK to Germany have problems.

    I guess booking departures over two days would help, but still a bit concerned that insurance policies won’t cover such eventualities.

    On a related matter, how do insurance companies fair on their policies for covering reward flights? e.g. if a flight is missed, or circumstances prevent travel (which would ordinarily be covered) do policies generally cover the traveller? I know generalisations can be dangerous and each policy differs, but is there a general stance on such flights?

    • Rob says:

      Separate tickets is fine if you book BA. As oneworld partners, airberlin is very unlikely to leave you stranded and would put you on the next flight (albeit often the next day). On the inbound back home I really wouldn’t worry due to the large number of BA departures if you miss one. If you are concerned about the outbound, Berlin and Dusseldorf are great places (and very cheap places) to spend a night before your flight – the cost of a hotel will only be a fraction of the APD saving.

      Insurance is a tricky one which I have never fully got to the bottom of. However, as you can cancel redemptions up to 1 day before travel, you would not be in a situation where illness stopped you travelling. Your only risk if it airberlin refused to reaccomodate you and I doubt that would happen in practice.

    • Alan says:

      Personally I’d always aim to travel out the night before. I’ve only seen an explicit promise to cover bookings not on the same PNR from AA – I don’t even trust BA on this front on a domestic connection!

      No issue with insurance cover on reward flights – the only issue would be if you were having to cancel the whole trop, in which case how you’d agree appropriate compensation (not an issue if it’s just a change in date where they’d pay the cost). Note with Amex Plat insurance you need to pay any taxes/fees on an Amex card.

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

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