Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Last chance to book in the British Airways sale – summary of the best bargains

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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  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 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 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.)

British Airways BA A380 flying

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:

  • Alicante
  • Amsterdam
  • Barcelona
  • Bergen (from £160 return in Club Europe)
  • Berlin
  • Billund
  • Bordeaux (here is our review of the new InterContinental Bordeaux)
  • Brussels
  • Dusseldorf
  • Friedrichshafen
  • Geneva
  • Genoa
  • Gothenburg
  • Hamburg
  • Hannover
  • Jersey
  • Lyon
  • Paris
  • Pisa
  • Rome
  • Rotterdam
  • Seville
  • Stavanger
  • Stuttgart
  • Turin
  • Valencia
  • Venice
  • Verona
  • Vienna

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

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 (20)

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

  • John says:

    Any ideas why BGO is significantly cheaper than any other destination in CE?

  • 1nfrequent says:

    Picked up 3 CE tickets to Dusseldorf for about £95 each using part-pay with Avios. Sale price was £200 return but there was availability at that price on all of the flights.

    • harry says:

      So I guess you are giving nil value to the Avios points you used? How many were needed?

      • 1nfrequent says:

        37,500 for 3 people but I’m drowning in Avios at the moment and need the Tier Points to make gold for the first time.

  • Frenske says:

    I found some cheap Business class flights to Malta which where cheaper than normal price flights (£112 vs £124). Though return flights we will fly economy class.

    • Modern Day Sinbad says:

      Remember to check flight + hotel packages too. I found return business class flights to Malta + 7 nights accommodation for £255 per person.

  • darrenf says:

    Are “part pay with Avios” bookings still refundable inside 24hrs?

  • Nick M says:

    Is there a way to tell if a fare is in the sale? – I need to book some flights for October but plans won’t be confirmed for a few more days… at the moment I can see decent prices from LCY which would be preferable to Ryan Air via Gatwick!

    • John says:

      Does it matter? If you like the price then book.

      The “low fare finder” gives some indication of whether BA considers it a sale fare. Otherwise replicate it on ITA matrix and see when the ticketing deadline is.

      • harry says:

        Indeed. Some amazing deals on our route, I only checked ET but £90 return non-peak is incredible. Cheaper than a single ET ticket on same route.

        Sadly can’t use them. But there were literally hundreds of seats @ this price.

  • Is the BA sale a con? - FlyerTalk Forums says:

    […] }); Head for Points offered a summary of the best deals this morning –…ends-tomorrow/ Think the Middle East was especially good value (especially on F fares being only a few hundred […]

  • KennyM says:

    I almost purchased yesterday for EDI-LHR-HAM for April 2017.

    Cash price of return economy flights during the sale was £204 (with option to use 11250 Avios to save £112)

    However, the cash price today (as soon as the “sale” and part-pay enhancement finishes) has dropped to £154!

    Very strange and hardly transparent.

    I’m probably going to wait until September for this booking when Easyjet announce their schedule of direct flights but BA need to get their act together on pricing to and from the “regions”!

    This is clearly

    • Genghis says:

      £204 seems a bit steep to me for that route. Even £154 is pricey.

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

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