Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Non-flight deals to be had in the January sale

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here. (not British Airways Executive Club) has launched its January sale.  In order to take part, you would need to use the ‘Combine My Avios’ function on or to move your points across to

Oddly, there are no flight offers available.

Don’t dismiss the sale entirely, however, because there are some genuine deals to be had.

The home page for the sale is here.

Avios wing 5

Hotels is offering discounts on 100 hotels in key destinations.  This is for travel between March and May 2016, for rooms booked before 24th January.

The cities included are Dubai, Boston, Marrakech, Istanbul, Algarve, Madrid, Rome, Vienna, Copenhagen, Nice, Berlin and Amsterdam.

Here is the interesting bit.  Avios has reduced both the ‘pay with Avios’ price and the cash price.  This means that, even if you have a very small Avios balance, you can still get a good deal here.

One problem is that it is not clear which hotels are reduced.  When you dig around, though, there are some deals.  Let’s take Hilton Dubai The Walk from 16th to 23rd April – a photo of a typical apartment is below. wants Dh 7,501 for the entry level room including all taxes (£1,387).  The price is just £616 or 108,000 Avios or some combination of those.

This is a substantial saving.  Before anyone thinks of it – you cannot claim a Hilton ‘best rate guarantee’ against this because is treated as a ‘membership site’.

Hilton Dubai The Walk

Package and cruise holiday discounts has sharply increased the discount you will receive if you redeem your points for a package holiday.  You must book by 24th January for travel at any point in the next year.

The deal is valid with any tour operator that Avios can book, which is most of them.  Simply find the holiday you want in a tour operator brochure and call Avios to book.  You will pay the brochure price.

The discounts are:

Redeem 5,000 Avios and save £100

Redeen 10,000 Avios and save £200

Redeem 15,000 Avios and save £300

The minimum spend required to claim a discount is just £750.  Redeeming 15,000 Avios at a hugely generous 2p per point to save £300 is an impressive deal.

More details can be found here.

The small print online says that “Further discounts can be applied at a rate of £50 per 10,000 Avios”.  However, the document I was sent says clearly that the cap is a £300 discount for 15,000 Avios.  I get a feeling that you can increase the discount beyond £300 but you will only get 0.5p per point if you do.

Car hire

Avis car rentals are reduced by up to 25% depending on destination as long as you pay with Avios points.  You need to book by 4th February for pick up dates before 16th March.

More details on the Avis discount can be found here.

There are also some “earn extra Avios” deals as part of this sale which I will cover later in the week.

How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (August 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 BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

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 BA Amex American Express card

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 Amex Gold

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel 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 card

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.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

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.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (70)

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

  • Bill says:

    Thanks for the heads up on this one Rob. Do you forfeit your status if booking this way?

  • Peter K says:

    Used the £200 off for 10k avios on a last minute deal in Dec. Got a holiday for £600 + avios rather than £1250. Made it all the more enjoyable! Thanks for pointing out the offer Rob.

  • Peter Taysum says:

    I used to work for Carnival UK (P&O and Cunard) and when I checked prices for cruises previously the Avios site were very competitive, they were actually offering (considerable) money off brochure price for P&O. Would you also gain Avios booking this way?

  • Mark C says:

    If I book a night at a Hilton hotel through this sale and use it tagged on to the end of a 5 night redemption stay will they refuse my status benefits on the last day? I know technically they should but what are the chances of them actually doing it for a last day? And what would happen if they did? Would the breakfast just be charged to my room for the last day?

    • Alan says:

      TBH I think it’s unlikely they’d do that – most places would be pretty reasonable. What you wouldn’t want to do is mix a paid-for booking with either a redemption or a third-party booking as that could make the whole thing non-earning for points. Not an issue since you’re combining with a redemption.

    • mark2 says:

      From my limited experience in Canada you get vouchers for breakfast when you check in

    • Elena-MuslimTravelGirl says:

      Last year I had asked the same question to the Hilton the Walk in Dubai. Actually the receptionist told me their rooms were cheaper on I asked if I would keep the benefits of my Gold status and she said yes minus the points. I assume they still implement this.

  • Simmo says:

    O/T but on the topic of car hire/travel

    Looking for 6 days hire from Newark airport for a trip down to Atlantic City and Philadelphia in march. Will also need to get into NYC (times square) on the return.
    We’ve looked at dropping the car back in NYC but then you get charged the extra for one way rental. for the regular NYC visitors, or USA car renters:

    1)Newark, easiest way into Times Square would be the New Jersey Transit to Penn station, then Subway to Times square? – Would the subway be suitable with two cases?

    2)I’ve been checking various sites for the car hire, am I correct in thinking the Avis UK site includes full insurance, where the US site you pay daily? is this common practice, If so the UK site is much much cheaper (30-40%). – Not keen on using excess insurance and having a lump sum placed on my card.

    3)I’ve found a broker (Atlaschoice) that are offering the same car with Avis for much cheaper again it also says it comes with a free tank of fuel, I’ve never used a broker before, let alone a company that doesn’t try rip you off on the fuel how do you make sure Avis stick to their side of the deal?

    4)Will also need to get back to JFK for a 8pm flight, and a few hours in the Concorde Room. Whats the best way this time of day 5pm rush hour? Uber? Train?

    • Rob says:

      Bookings on the UK site should include more insurance, yes, due to UK guidelines.

      Broker may well be cheaper – it is a very competitive market. Excluding insurance US rentals can be virtually free at times.

      Taxi from Newark Airport is not hugely expensive, you may find it makes life easier.

      The subway from JFK drops you in Times Square with no changes, as a plan B.

      • Simmo says:

        Great thanks! – just checked the avios site, their Avis bookings are also cheaper than the site. (dates outside the promo above).

        • Liz says:

          I have been pricing up Car hire for a one way drop off in the US and it varies greatly. Cheapest I have is with and they will let you part pay with Avios if you want. Avis direct and through BA much dearer and BA will not let you redeem part points.

          • Simmo says:

            Thanks, take it you call for the pricing? cant seem to find 1way on the Avios website.

          • Liz says:

            Yes you have to call – they are very helpful. I haven’t booked yet – holding out to put the spend on a new BAPP next month as cost is around £600 – hope the price they quoted me last month holds out!

          • Liz says:

            Cheapest I have found is $300 surcharge for taking back to a different state! Which is a bummer!

          • Lady London says:

            Mastercard often has a free One Way drop within the same country for Hertz. Hertz agents can book it – it doesn’t always show up online. I’ve used this a number of times over the years in a few countries and it can save a lot.

            Within many States in the US, provided you’re dropping off within the same State it can cost not much or zero. This experience is based on Hertz not Avis though.

          • xcalx says:

            I hired through Enterprise from Miami to New Orleans. No drop off charge was applied.

    • Matt says:

      With Avis, if you can return the car to a rental location within the same state, it is usually cheaper than returning out of state (I found a big difference comparing SFO-LAX versus SFO-LAS)

      • Liz says:

        Our next 3 planned US trips are all going to be picking up in one state and dropping off in another so we will have to suck it up as they say! We love doing fly drives – starting to work our way around all the states!

      • Gavin says:

        Very useful this car hire stuff for future reference, got a 2 week car hire in Texas coming up in May

  • harry says:

    O/t the Holiday Extras 15% statement credit can now be signed up @ – Barclays, TSB, MBNA, Lloyds issued Amex cards

  • koroleon says:

    For package holidays, which agents work with BA flights? We’re looking to fly BA to one of their Greek island destinations this summer; I checked Kuoni and it offers BA flights but it looks overpriced. No way to use BA Holidays with this offer?

    • Leo says:

      Have you got the BAPP card? I am doing the same – holiday in Greece using BA September. Using BA flight + holiday, not only is the cheapest pricing I’ve come up with so far for CE flights plus hotel but you also get an extra avios lump sum and if paying with a BAPP 3xpoints. It’s the best I’ve come up so far. I’m not sure that if you fly with Kuoni you would collect avios and or Tier points. Can anyone help on this? I thought travel agent fare buckets didn’t always attract points and I specifically need these flights for re-qualification of silver.

    • Rob says:

      Avios may be able to book it – they are a big standard travel agent at the end of the day. Ring them.

  • CV3V says:

    Found a hotel i liked in Reykjavik at 30 percent discount when compared to Any ideas if will join in on this sale? (I’m just thinking about bonus avios for using BAPP card!)

    • Anon says:

      Try the Hilton Nordic its the dogs danglers if you get it cheap enough…

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