Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Taking a look at the highlights of the new British Airways sale

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British Airways launched its September sale on Tuesday with offers in all travel classes.

The home page for the sale is here.  You can book until 21st September.

Travel dates are all over the place and it would be take me a full article just to list all the permutations.  You can book well into 2017 on most routes for travel from September – the main exception is the USA where you can only book World Traveller and World Traveller Plus flights between Christmas Day and 29th March.

British Airways business first class sale

You should take a look at the small print at the bottom of the sale website for all the travel date details.

The easiest way to check out the best prices to a specific destination is with the British Airways Low Fare Finder tool on ba.com. This will show you the cheapest price on any route, in any class, on month by month basis.

If you can be flexible with dates, there are some decent fares available.

In general, fares in First and Club World are higher than we saw in the last major sale in June.  Very little got me very excited – I picked out in Club World:

Montreal at £1,332

Toronto at £1,332

£1,500 for a lot of the Caribbean routes from Gatwick

£1,352 to Abu Dhabi (which remain cheaper than Dubai despite being a 30 minute taxi ride away and using a new Boeing 787)

£1,500 – £1,700 to India

£701 to New York in World Traveller Plus looked a decent deal especially if you can use Avios to upgrade to Club World.  Similarly £599 in World Traveller Plus to Abu Dhabi is not bad, especially with 150 tier points.

Here are some major destinations, priced as World Traveller / World Traveller Plus / Club World / First:

New York £398 / £701 / £1,581 / £2,283

Miami £460 / £852 / £1,950 / £2,577

Abu Dhabi £379 / £599 / £1,352 / £1,852

Mumbai £420 / £770 / £1,517 / £2,113

Bangkok £498 / £1,049 / £2,199 / na

Tokyo £547 / £1,108 / £2,045 / £3,912

There are also some deals on European short-haul flights with some destinations at £200 return or less for 80 tier points. I spotted Alicante, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bergen, Billund, Bordeaux, Brussels, Friedrichshafen, Geneva, Genoa, Hamburg, Hannover, Innsbruck, Jersey, Lyon, Rome, Rotterdam, Seville, Stavangerm, Stuttgart, Valencia, Venice, Verona and Vienna. There are plenty more under £225 return as long as you stay away over a Saturday night.

One route that caught my eye for the wrong reasons is Cape Town – this continues to be offered at around the £3,000 mark in Club World which is terrible.  Johannesburg, oddly, is just £3,200 in First Class and probably better value if you don’t mind the connection to Cape Town.

Remember that ‘Part Pay With Avios’ can be used with these fares although there is no special offer at the moment.  ‘Part Pay With Avios’ has actually got worse!  The maximum discount at present is £200 for 35,000 Avios points (was 30,000 points) per return flight although you can now claim this off all fare classes – it was previously capped at £100 for economy flights.

It is also worth pricing up BA’s ‘flight and hotel’ or ‘flight and car’ options.  Adding a one-star hotel for just one night of your trip, or a small car for one day, can bring down the cost to less than just a flight.  Pop over to BA Holidays here and do a test booking before booking anything as ‘flight only’.  Another benefit of booking your flight as a holiday is that you pay a deposit now with the balance only due five weeks before departure.

The best thing to do if you are interested is to go to ba.com and have a look around.  The full sale details are here.


how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (July 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

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

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

We also recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company 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 (36)

  • Frenske says:

    On short haul the part-time got slightly better. Booked flights to Waw and was offered £50 off for 70.000 Avios e.g. 0.71p per Avios. Or was this always like this.

  • F1Flyer says:

    Singapore is also very good at under £2k for a lot of next year.

  • Jo says:

    How do you price the BA Holidays “flight and hotel” option with just one night in a hotel? I can’t see any way to change it from the full length between the flight dates.

  • Markc62 says:

    Jo – on the BA home page look down the left hand side of the booking options and you will see a menu item called “customise my trip” which allows you to select each component of a trip separately and then calculates a total price for everything you have selected. It’s a fairly recent improvement (!) on BA’s website – Rob ran an article on it a while back. Good luck!

    • Rob says:

      You may need 2-3 hotel nights to make it work, I think they brought in a minimum. Try it with different numbers of nights.

    • Jo says:

      Thanks so much. I knew there must be a way but was looking for the option after I went into the flight and hotel booking not via the separate section. And the hint re the minimum nights helped too.

  • Jumble says:

    It was worse on the higher discounts. Started at 0.55p per Avios for £100 off, and finished at 0.7p-ish per Avios for £10 off. None were worth writing home about. During the last sale it was a uniform 1p per Avios, regardless of discount, if I remember correctly.

  • Jumble says:

    Still, I needed 30 TP to get Silver, so a weekend away to Naples in CE, at sensible flight times, for £250, wasn’t bad. Will have 8 months left of Silver, plus the following 12 months, to enjoy it, so I’m pretty happy to get it wound up in the first four months.

  • David says:

    I’m flying to new york/boston in march. I’ll be using my amex 2for1. It will cost 110000 avios and approx £1k fees in CW. Should be no problem with availability. Is this the best value or should I consider other options? thanks

    • Rob says:

      ‘Best value’ is about going where you really want to go!

      Off peak Iberia only wants 68,000 Avios to NY from Madrid, plus £130 tax. Not sure if your days are off peak but if IB had seats you could pay 136,000 Avios plus £260 for two AND keep your 241 – but you need to go to Madrid ……

      • marly says:

        LEGEND!!!

      • David Devine says:

        thanks Raffles 🙂

      • Nick_C says:

        And I suspect IB’s Business Class is better than CW?

        • James R says:

          Ive been pricing up Iberia recently too.. the value is so much better.

          If your going to Brazil also remember that you might be better off booking x2 one ways flying out on Iberia £75 tax and flying back direct with BA to LHR as you pay £0 tax out of Brazil.

          The Business class doesnt look too bad at all, they have all A330’s on long haul.. Theres some youtube videos of flights taken in business and I cant seen too much difference from Club.

  • Dwadda says:

    Will the major hotel chains provide status benefits if you buy ‘flight and hotel’ through BA? What about earning hotel points? I presume you would still earn points for food and drink spend even if you don’t get any points for your nights?.. would you earn fixed points for night (if you choose that option with Hilton for example )

    Does anyone have experience of this with: Hilton, SPG, Club Carlson, Accor or other brands?

    • Alan says:

      No, normally these package bookings would be ineligible for hotel points although on occasion you might get lucky.

    • Klaus-Peter Dudas says:

      I got points for a Best Western Plus in Vancouver – I send them straight to Virgin Atlantic, so got 500 there but that hotel was booked with BA Holidays

    • Dave says:

      I booked the Crowne Plaza in Helsinki via BA Holidays. They recognised my IHG Platinum status as if it was a normal stay (free upgrade to club room, club lounge, premium internet), and I think I got the ~500 points welcome amenity too. No points for the room rate though, but that seems fair enough. Not sure if that recognition is standard for IHG or if I was just lucky, but I was pretty impressed!

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