Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

£266 Los Angeles returns available on British Airways in the New Year

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If you like the idea of getting away from a cold English Winter to the sunnier climes of Los Angeles, help may be at hand.

British Airways is, yet again, quietly easing out excess capacity by selling heavily discounted tickets from outside the UK.

Copenhagen is the best starting point as far as I can tell with flights from £266 return.  Plus, of course, the cost of getting to Copenhagen – your flight will be cancelled if you miss the first leg.

Ludicrously, you will earn back half the cost in miles.  American Airlines still gives 1 mile per mile flown on cheap economy tickets so this trip would earn you 12,080 American Airlines miles – even more if you have BA status.

Don’t credit the flight to BA.  It only awards 25% of flown miles for long-haul cheap economy tickets.

There are some similar deals of other European cities, but not as cheap.  They tended to come out at around £350 (eg Dublin, Rome, Madrid).  Copenhagen seems by far the cheapest.  Have a play around at ba.com and see what you can find.

January and February have the best availability.

If you just fly London to Los Angeles on the dates in my example above, it will cost you £560 – more than double.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 2024)

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.

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

40,000 bonus 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.

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

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 9th April) and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

Huge 60,000 points sign-up bonus (until 9th April) 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 (73)

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

  • Shane says:

    Does the 25% miles credit apply to Alaska economy flights also? I normally credit those to BA but maybe I shouldn’t.

  • Jonathan says:

    If you’re flying on one of these tickets since the devaluation it’s now 25% avios credit with BA:

    H, Q, L, V, K, G, T, R, U

    B and M, whilst still not flexible tickets give 50%.

    http://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/executive-club/collecting-avios/flights

    • Jonathan says:

      Meant to reply to the first message – this is for Alaska airlines.

  • Aliks says:

    When you say “credit the miles to AA” – how does this work?

    Do you have to make the booking through AA to do this?

    If you book through BA on BA metal is there a way to earn AA miles?
    If you book through Amex or any other OTA onto a BA flight, can you choose which points you earn? and finally, can you change the points allocation retrospectively from BA to AA?

    • Sandgrounder says:

      You nust need to add the correct frequent flyer number to the booking. This can be changed as late as in the airport before you start your journey. You can generally earn frequent flyer miles regardless of who you booked with. You can claim miles for a period if you did not apply a number to the booking, but once credited you generally cannot change the scheme chosen.

    • Rob says:

      Open an AA AAdvantage account and put that number in your booking instead of your BA number.

      You can credit a BA flight to ANY of the 15 or so oneworld frequent flyer programmes, plus Alaska Air.

      You can retrospectively change it after booking, as long as it is before departure. Whatever number is on your boarding pass is the account where the miles will go.

      • Danksy says:

        Am i missing something here? If you book the BA flight but credit to AA, how will the status of BA (in my case silver) be applied?

        • Rob says:

          That’s not what I meant. What I meant is, if you fly AA but credit to BA you get your BA tier status bonus.

          Obviously if you credit to AA you don’t. However, if you have BA status, there is no point crediting to AA because the 50% or 100% bonus – which is based on the FULL mileage – pretty much evens it out.

          • James67 says:

            Not to mention the AA devaluation most expect is becoming ever closer so crediting to AA may only be a good idea for those who already have a decent miles balance or those who can generate one quickly, and can burn in the short term.

  • Scott says:

    I’ve got an ex-OSL flight to JFK with BA and back to LHR with AA in October that cost me £260ish. Getting around 9300 Avios back as a Gold member.
    There are some flights going for around £200 at present.

    At least with CPH, it’s only 4500 Avios for a redemption positioning flight, I think, compared to 7500 for OSL.

    • Scott says:

      9736 Avios rather than 9300 🙂

      Not quite the 14-15000 I got last time, before the devaluation.

    • James67 says:

      …and quite a few thousand more for the rest of us British passengers BA treats like second class citizens just because we live outside the south east.

  • Globetrotter7 says:

    Hmmm… So very tempting!

  • Jovan says:

    I think you have typo – not sure how one will earn additional AA miles with BA status.

    • rich says:

      Yes surely there is no 50% or 100% bonus for ba status when crediti

    • rich says:

      Yes surely there is no bonus for crediting to AA when status is held with ba

  • Scott says:

    I did OSL-LHR-SFO and then SNA-DFW-LHR-ARN back in March for £260-£280 and got (gold 100% bonus):

    OSL-LHR 1446
    LHR-SFO 10716
    SNA-DFW 2410
    DFW-LHR 9494
    LHR-ARN 1780
    Total = 25846 Avios (less 7500 Avios to get to OSL) = 18346 Avios earned

    (Caught a Norwegian flight to OSL from ARN and then repeated this run before finishing in London)

    LHR-ARN 1780

    • Polly says:

      It’s a shame we have to work so hard at regaining avios theses days, if not Gold. But this is a fab fare if someone wants to take kids etc to LA. Even if not Gold, it’s a great price. My sis in Dub has been advised already about this offer this morning.

  • Chris says:

    I booked BRU to YUL for £266 each next May. First economy ticket purchase in years 🙂 but at that price can’t justify using points.

    • Matt says:

      Is this with BA? Got any details? I have travel to YYZ next May…

      • Matt says:

        Sorry, ignore me, found it on Google Flights. Thanks for the heads up.

    • James67 says:

      It may not be as bad as you fear. I recent flew EY EDI-AUH-BKK in Y after booking a £316 return. It was my first longhaul Y for a decade. Got off the plane feeling in better shape than I have rone flying to se Asia in CW. Despite that, I still upgraded AUH-EDI on the return.

      • Polly says:

        Depends which airline you fly Y on. You were NOT in BA Y, I guess…

        • James67 says:

          No, Etihad, and I was dreading it as it’s universally trashed on skytrax but it was really ok for daytime flight. I must have nodded off after dinner AUH to BKK too because next thing I remember was being offered pain au chocolat for breakfast!

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