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Three outstanding Avios earning airfares …. all with a catch

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If you chasing cheap British Airways tier points, or are simply looking for a good deal for your next holiday flight, there are three interesting deals with oneworld partner airlines which crossed my desk this week. As they are on oneworld airlines, you will earn Avios and tier points when you fly them.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that they all come with some degree of inconvenience …. but you may consider it a price worth paying.

Avios wing 12

Business class tickets to Asia for under £900

Cathay Pacific is currently running an excellent fare sale to just about anywhere in Asia.  From Moscow.

Don’t stop reading yet.  For a start, you don’t need a Russian visa if you are only transiting Moscow without passing into the country.  Do NOT book this without getting proper advice on whether you can connect OK.

Whilst you need to get to Moscow to start and end these tickets, it is a Reward Flight Saver route.  Club World (on a 747) is only 40,000 Avios + £50 return, although be careful which flight you book as there are also short-haul planes on this route. You can travel at any point from 1st April to 31st August.

As a typical fare, Moscow to Bali via Hong Kong comes up at £881 return.  That would be 560 tier points which is over 90% of a British Airways Silver card. Fares are non-refundable.  You can book via the UK Cathay Pacific site.  The flight from Moscow to Hong Kong is the old style Cathay seat (picture below) but your onward connection may be more modern.

Business class to Dubai for €895 (£660)

Finnair is currently offering this very aggressive fare from Helsinki to Dubai.  Availability is good over Easter as well. Sounds great?  Well, here are the snags:

  • The route only operates 29 March – 27 April and 9 – 23 October
  • It is a short-haul A320 plane.  Whilst the business class seats are big and comfy, they are a million miles from an Emirates flat bed.
  • The outbound flight is 8.25am so you would need to spend a night in Helsinki
  • I couldn’t price the fare from London – although it would make more sense to do an Avios redemption anyway for the connection.  Finnair also flies from Manchester to Helsinki to connect.

Business class from Colombo to Auckland for $1,300 (£845)

I won’t go into this in detail, but View from the Wing had a piece on this fare yesterday.  You would be flying on Qantas for the bulk of the trip. It would be easy to get to Colombo on a SriLankan redemption from London with Avios or via a cash or Avios ticket from The Maldives (accessible via British Airways).

This ticket seems difficult to book in practice.  However, it is worth noting that there are many, many excellent fares out of Colombo which is probably the cheapest place in the world to buy premium airline tickets.  Qatar had a £900 business class return fare to London recently, for example.


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 (36)

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

  • Peter Taysum says:

    Thanks Rob/all

  • Peter Taysum says:

    Hmmm… I’ve been thinking about the Trans Siberian railway for a while. Maybe I should take that, and do Sri Lanka to Auckland as above…

    I fancy Moscow, as I’ve not been, and was blown away with St Petersberg.

    I’m planning on taking some time off to travel, I still want to travel in the style to which you’ve introduced me…


    • BAM says:

      I used to think about taking the Trans-Siberian Railway, but changed my mind over the years. I get the impression the tourist train doesn’t really get you at the heart of the place. Having seen people get off that train at an intermediate stop and head off in a group on a guided tour of a small town, it seemed a bit restrictive…personally I think there are bettervways to see Russia and other, more adventureous rail lines there too…

      …it did look comfortable though!

  • Josh Fisher says:

    Can anyone find any of the Cathay Pacific flights now? Seem to have disappeared. I’ve tried a number of different dates – Raffles was there an expiry date on the offer you saw? Thanks for the help!

    • Rob says:

      Yes, now over – seems it had to be booked by today (15th) and in Moscow it is now past midnight. I did not know this when I originally wrote the piece (original offer page was in Russian) which is why I did not mention it, apologies.

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

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