There is a little-known arbitrage you can use to save £50 of tax when booking British Airways Avios redemption flights to Cape Town.
Whilst Cape Town does have a direct BA service, it is often tricky to find Avios reward seats. Most people end up travelling via Johannesburg and changing to a Comair connection. Comair is a BA franchise and its planes have the usual British Airways livery.
This is how it works:
If you book London to Cape Town via a connection in Jo’burg, the cost (economy return) is 45,500 Avios off-peak plus £433 tax
If you book London to Jo’burg on one ticket and Jo’burg to Cape Town on a separate ticket, the individual costs are 32,500 plus £328 for the long-haul, off-peak, and 13,000 Avios plus £56 for the connection.
That is a saving of £49.
There is a small trade off, of course. As you will be on separate tickets, Comair and BA are not technically liable to look after you if you miss one flight because the other is delayed.
In reality, I would not be at all worried about this as Comair and BA effectively operate as one airline and will ensure you are OK. It is also likely that you would get your baggage checked through at Heathrow and at Cape Town.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.