Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forget the Avios changes for now – just get booking!

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In what is clearly a co-ordinated plan by British Airways, they announced massive changes to British Airways Executive Club just minutes after I boarded an eight hour flight 🙂

They forgot, though, that just because BA does not have wi-fi it does not mean that no airlines have wi-fi.  One up to Etihad.

Avios wing 8

I will do a full analysis of the changes for tomorrow.  My wife is away on business so a very late night will not lead to any marital disharmony.

In the short term, ie today, FORGET ABOUT THEM.

Because BA has released tens of thousands of Club World and World Traveller seats overnight, you have NEVER had a better chance of getting the redemption you want.

Fuss about the BAEC changes tomorrow.  Today, dust off that Amex 2-4-1 voucher and get something booked.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 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.

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 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.

EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.

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 (183)

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

  • Thechiefexecutive says:

    If I cancel an existing 241 to rebook a different destination using the new availability how quickly will the released avoid hit my account? Is it instant? I don’t want to end up with no bookings! I don’t have enough avios to do both now.

    • Andy says:

      Yes, instant. If you call them you can do it over the phone in a few mins. You then incur the telephone booking charge too, but I think it means you have some security in the event that someone nips in and books the flights you wanted as the CS rep is doing his/her stuff. The 241 is credited back to your account instantly too.

      We did this today.

  • Clive says:

    Well that has screwed my plans for my 50th Birthday celebration. Thank you BA

  • Simon says:

    This ain’t good. I wonder whether when the dust settles, new sweet spots will appear.
    London to East Coast in Club appears to be up from 80000 to 100,000 off peak? That’s still value.

    Some of the short-haul redemptions could be better too, if the taxes are less than the current RFS.

    • Rob says:

      A big cut in the fuel surcharge would, to be honest, wipe out much of the change. 100,000 to California in CW plus £550 would become 150,000 plus £200 – most people could live with that especially with a 241.

      • Polly says:

        Agree, that would certainly make up for the pain of extra avios, actually easily earned on a Plat card acceptance, as lots of HFP folks do anyway. Using the 241 then is still good value even on Club J class.

  • Polly says:

    Mick, all is not lost, get your overnight sleeper to London, enjoy your fab lounge experience, massages etc, get there early, some people spend 5 hrs in the lounge. It’s still a fab. Plus the train works out about £25 pp each way, so not far off the RSF of £35 pp plus avios. The 241 is still great value on Club while we can still earn them.

  • Max says:

    Just had a chance to skim tnrough this as was working all day yesterday when the poop hit the fan.
    Overall seems a negative move for most. And I suspect myself included in the long run but…

    We fly x2 long haul and one European return flights a year on average. We do save enough miles for this target. We generally drive on a fourth UK or Euro break. We do not use domestic connections and will try for First flights over CW if we can get them (we could pay for discounted CW seats so F is a real reward as we could not afford them nor would we pay if we could!). We have great flexibilty when and where we travel (though limited holiday time) and there are just two of us. We would never travel in the school holidays, and like off-peak travel.

    So for us it does not seem so diastrous, but can see how others will lose out more. I look forward to Raffles analysis.

  • Jimmy says:

    Why do I get the feeling that BA’s revenue computers weren’t prepared for this? Since 11pm last night when I checked flights to our chosen destination, availability has dropped off completely. And I mean ‘completely’: from about 22 days in a month to 2.

    Hasn’t it usually been standard practice to remove availability when demand increases? Is one side of BA not talking to the other?

  • Londonbus says:

    Peak redemptions to Asia now 50% more expensive. Whacked on earning, whacked on burning.

    What’s the logic behind IAG selling Avios?

  • Chelseafi says:

    Thank you for your help on here. I’m still learning lots. I started saving avios a few years ago via Tesco clubcard, then three years ago now got the BA amex card with the 241 after 10k spend. We are a family of four school hols only and visit US, florida every other year and Atlanta the other year, so BA works for us. After two years on amex spend I had the two 141 vouchers and lots of Tesco club cards vouchers and managed to get four 1st class return flights to Atlanta over the Easter holidays in April 14, loved it as only ever flown economy before. I am off to Orlando this summer flying out end July returning mid Aug, Last Sept I had booked 4 return flights via avios redemption to miami as orlando wasn’t available, but didn’t want to use too many Avios points on economy returns, so paid part cash £2460 & 60,000 points for the four tickets, I was happy with this as two years ago , I couldn’t get any flights, so paid £4,000 for 4 ecom returns to Orlando (usual BA cost for time of year). Since booking I now have two 241 vouchers, as husband got amex card too, after all the goings on Thurs, with BA I checked availability and was surprised how many flights were available. This is where I messed up and wished I knew what I should have done. I had 150,000 in my household account and £600 tesco points to convert if needed, I had the booking to miami, which if canceled retuned my 60,000. Availability was four ecomony return flights to Orlando (which was better then Miami for me) and four club world return flights too for my dates I wanted, I was very excited, as I wanted these…. I rang BA and told them I wanted the four club returns, use my 2 241 and cost 200,000 avios. But because I still had the miami booking that used 60,000 I didn’t have enough to book, I asked BA for advice what should I do. I was advised to change my miami econ to Orlando econ and then add the 50,000 into my account so that I could book the club returns using the 2 241 and then cancel the econ bookings, that was 3pm 29th Jan, by 7.30 am 30th Jan, I had the 200,000 in my account ready they still had the outgoing club for four but returns had gone. I rang BA ready at 7.30 but the agent couldn’t get the four club, he said the best he could do was two on one flight and two on the flight 2 hours later, we didn’t want that, I am annoyed, I missed out, think I got bad advise from BA, as thinking about it, I would have been better off booking the outgoing club flights the previous day and then changing to the return club (if and had) they still been available as I had 150,000 in my account, but I don’t know enough about changing or cancelling, as I didn’t want to end up with neither. Think I’m right that I messed up, I keep looking but think I’ll be lucky to see 4 club on the exact dates we need, as we have accom booked, they still have the 2 club on each flight, should I just keep checking and is it worth nearer the travel date, if they release more? Sorry it’s a bit long but wanted to give all details. Thanks for any help or comments.

    • Jason says:

      I’m sure Raffles will know for sure, but you should have cancelled the Miami flights, got your 60k back into your account and booked the CW tickets there and then, there was every chance someone would snap them up, especially over school holidays. The advice doesnt sound great, that you were given.
      Although I’m not sure you get a refund on the part cash part Avios element, which is why they may have advised a change rather than refund. It it was all Avios you definitely get the points back.

      • Rob says:

        Agreed. They should have (and can do this) have cancelled the first tickets and rebooked them in the same transaction on the phone so you were guaranteed not to lose them. You must have got an inexperienced agent.

        More seats may open up but it would be a little surprising given it is school holidays, unfortunately. Tampa, Miami etc may open up.

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