Tomorrow, Tuesday 12th July is the last day to book in the current British Airways sale.
As the sale has quite a lot of moving parts, I wanted to run through some of the discounts I’ve focused on over recent weeks in case you want to sneak in a last minute booking.
Full details can be found on this page of ba.com. This is the page for Club World flight and holiday deals but you can navigate to the other sale pages from there.
‘Part Pay With Avios’ offering 1p per Avios
British Airways introduced ‘Part Pay With Avios‘ back in 2013. This allowed you to pay part of the price of a cash ticket using Avios points. BA has been constantly tweaking (or fiddling, depending on your view) with the scheme since then. The current offer, which is running alongside the BA sale but is valid on sale and non-sale fares, is not bad.
Until 12th July, you can get the following discounts using ‘part pay with Avios‘ to reduce the price of a cash ticket:
Club Europe – maximum saving of £150 for 15,000 Avios
Euro Traveller (short haul economy) – maximum saving of £150 for 15,000 Avios
World Traveller (long haul economy) – maximum saving of £150 for 15,000 Avios
Club World and First – maximum saving of £300 for 30,000 Avios
All of these deals are offering you 1p per Avios point which is a decent deal. Remember that, because you are buying a cash ticket, there are no availability issues and you will receive Avios and tier points back when you fly.
Here are the key points to remember when using Part Pay With Avios:
You cannot part-pay Air Passenger Duty or any equivalent foreign tax. What this means, in practice, is that the maximum discount offered will be reduced if the fare is too low to not cover the taxes. This is only likely to be an issue on short haul tickets.
Only BA operated flights are valid, not codeshares (so, for example, only BA flights to Madrid can be discounted, not the ones flown by Iberia with a BA flight number)
Any itinerary with a non-BA flight on it will not be offered ‘Part-Pay With Avios’ even if it also contains a UK or short-haul flight
You can only book at ba.com or via the BA call centre
It cannot be combined with promotional discount codes or ‘flight plus car’ / ‘flight plus hotel’ packages
It CAN be combined with Hotlines (discounted staff tickets)
It works OK on the ‘hand baggage only / Basic’ fares
It works OK on open jaw tickets
If you are in a Household Account, you will be allowed to use Avios to part-pay flights for people who are outside the Household Account
The Avios are deducted from the account of the person making the booking, even if the other passengers have their own BA or avios.com accounts
All travel must be completed by 21st June 2017 for non-premium cabins and 24th May 2017 for premium cabins.
The official Part Pay With Avios website is here. Click on the ‘Find Out More’ button to see the special promotional rates – the rates shown on the home page are the normal ones.
BA Holidays deals
British Airways Holidays is included in the sale too. Click here to take a look at some of the deals available with Club World flights.
Some of the headline prices look good. These are the ‘lead in’ flight and hotel offers based on Club World flights:
New York – £1,415 including three nights in a 4* hotel
Toronto – £1,215 including three nights in a 4* hotel
Los Angeles – £1,685 including five nights in a 4* hotel
Boston – £1,356 including three nights in a 4* hotel
These prices are based on two people sharing.
Remember that with BA Holidays, you don’t even have to pay now! You can pay a deposit and then settle the balance five weeks before departure. You also earn 2 Avios per £1 for booking with BA Holidays on top of the Avios you will earn from the flights and from your credit card.
(One minor downside is that BA Holidays packages do not earn On Business points in BA’s small business loyalty scheme for the flights.)
Long haul Club World and First flight deals
There are also some impressive Club World flight deals available, for booking by tomorrow. Seats are bookable into May 2017 in most cases:
New York – £1,312 return
Atlanta – £1,356 return
Chicago – £1,260 return
Montreal – £1,158 return
Toronto – £1,130 return
Seattle – £1,180 return
Dubai – £1,363 return
Abu Dhabi – £1,245 return
Las Vegas – £1,381 return
San Francisco – £1,586 return
Other destinations are available too, but the deals are less compelling outside the Middle East and North America.
You should take a look at First Class pricing as well. It is often available for just £400 return extra on the Middle East routes.
£1,645 First Class to Abu Dhabi, for example, is fantastic – especially as you will be in the very small F cabin on a Boeing 787-9.
To find out which months have the cheapest fares, you might want to start your search with the British Airways Low Fare Finder tool which is here. That £1,180 deal to Seattle is only available for December and January, for example, when you may find it a little nippy!
Short haul sale deals
Finally, I want to recap some of the sale deals available on short haul. What is surprising is the number of destinations with one-way flights in Euro Traveller at £35 – £39 each way. This is exceptionally cheap for British Airways, especially if you have lounge access via status.
£35 – £39 one way fares are available to Berlin, Basel, Dublin, Geneva, Inverness, Jersey, Krakow, Lyon, Menorca, Nice and Oslo. Istanbul is astonishingly cheap at £45 each way on certain dates although the security issues there have obviously impacted demand.
If you are looking for cheap tier points, there are some good Club Europe opportunities too. At £200 return or less (prices correct as of 1st July) you have:
- Bergen (from £160 return in Club Europe)
- Bordeaux (here is our review of the new InterContinental Bordeaux)
You can see the months these fares are available via the Low Fare Finder.
Remember that you can combine these cheap short-haul flights with the special ‘Part Pay With Avios’ offer. If you take Bergen as an example – which is a lovely town to visit, far prettier than Oslo – you can get the £160 cheapest return Club Europe fare down to £95 each by redeeming 7,500 Avios.
Istanbul, at £300 return in Club Europe, would generate 160 tier points – but that is easily beaten by Malta which is £222 return for 160 tier points from September. A full list of Club Europe routes giving 160 tier points is here.
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:
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. 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.
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.