Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

How to earn Avios points when booking a package holiday via

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A lot of people are not aware of the excellent deals being offered by when you use them to book a package holiday.  I thought a reminder was in order.

The first thing to note is that these are promotions, so you will need an account to collect Avios points. These can be transferred to British Airways Executive Club later if necessary.

The homepage for package holiday deals is here.

The first thing to notice is that they do not just work with ‘bucket and spade’ operators. The list includes some decent names (this is just a sample of the list):

  • Elegant Resorts
  • First Choice
  • Inghams
  • ITC Classics
  • Eurocamp
  • Kuoni
  • Mark Warner
  • Neilson
  • Thomas Cook
  • Thomson
  • Travelsphere

The recommend way to book is to search for whatever you are after directly on the website of the tour operator and then simply call Avios to make the booking.  Don’t use the expensive 0844 number on the website, use 01925 848619 instead.

Secondly, the earnings rate is excellent at up to 10 Avios points per £1 spent.

Thirdly, as I mentioned above they accept Amex and there is no surcharge for using any credit card.

Finally, the holidays team appears to have leeway to reduce prices if you can find a comparable deal – and you will still earn your Avios on the bookings

The only downside is that you don’t receive your Avios points until 28 days after your holiday, so you may be waiting a while for them. This is only a small inconvience, though, and this certainly seems to be an interesting option if you are booking package holidays.

In the past, holiday spend charged to a British Airways Premium Plus American Express card has triggered the ‘double Avios for British Airways spend’.  This no longer seems to be the case.

It is worth noting that you can also REDEEM Avios points for a discount on a package holiday.  I do not recommend this.  The discount is just 0.5p per Avios point you redeem which is poor but, to be honest, I could live with it. 

More important is the fact that you will not receive any Avios points for the portion of the booking which you pay in cash. This makes the net outcome substantially worse.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £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 famous annual 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. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable 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

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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 (32)

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

  • Steve says:

    Points have already hit my account from a Thomson booking and I am still by the pool in the sun.

  • Scott says:

    Wow – we’re just about to book a 6k holiday with Thomson. I’ve made some profit following your posts over the years but this seems exceptional, thanks!

  • squills says:

    Not just RSH 😉

    Loads of stuff owing from 2013 has just gone payable lol

    • JQ says:

      Thanks. I just checked yesterday and would have left it another month if I didn’t read this! OT comments are very helpful as long as you prefix them with OT :p

  • Duncan Stevenson says:

    As an update, I thought I’d try this out as I need to book a cruise in April 2016 on Celebrity for my partner and I and a couple of friends. I called on the non-0845 number and got through within a few minutes to a lovely lady called Karen who helped me out.

    I got a 1B Balcony for less than Celebrity and my usual TA charge. The cabins were £2082 each, and I got (or will get) 18,420 Avios per cabin. This is less than 10 Avios per pound on the actual cost, as I assume it doesn’t include some taxes etc. She asked if I’d had any lower prices and seemed willing to match if that was the case.

    Downside is that they don’t issue e-mail confirmations which removed the immediate gratification of booking, and Celebrity issue documents in 7-10 days. So far so good, but I’ll update if my experience changes.

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

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