Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The hidden jewel in the Qatar Airways sale? Helsinki

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I ran an introductory article on the new Qatar Airways sale yesterday.

Since then, it has become a little clearer where the good deals are to be found.

There are a few things you need to know about Qatar Airways sales:

The best deals get scattered around.  One city may have a great deal to Johannesburg but a bad price to Cape Town, whilst another city may have the reverse.

Qatar A350

All Qatar Airways flights are not created equal.  The A380, A350 and Boeing 787 aircraft are the most modern although you are guaranteed a flat bed in business class whatever you do.  Some shorter flights may be on short haul aircraft into Doha but those will also have flat beds in business unless the plane gets swapped at the last minute.  My review of Qatar Airways A380 business class is here, 777 business class here and 787 business class here.

Qatar Airways flights earn Avios and BA tier points.  A trip to Asia will earn at least 560 tier points return (140 points x 4 flights of over 2000 miles, due to the connection in Doha).

This current sale has, from some cities, got better pricing when two people travel together.  If you would be booking for two, search for two people to see accurate pricing.

In general, you must book on the Qatar Airways website by 6th September and travel between 15th September and 30th June.  No travel allowed between 15th December to 10th January.

Business class pickings from the UK are slim.

However, the £979 return fares from the UK to Dubai in Business Class are in theory still available to book until 31st August.  Full details are here.  I say ‘in theory’ but I was struggling to find them last night.  The ‘sale’ price to Dubai is £1,600 which is widely available.

The full UK sale list is here.  The prices don’t seem too special – £3,000 to Australia, £2,000 to Asia, £1,600 to the Middle East is the ‘new normal’ these days in business class.  I don’t get excited about anything at these levels.

Yesterday I mentioned that it is worth looking at the following pages on the Qatar website for pricing ideas:

Qatar Airways Stockholm deals

Qatar Airways Oslo deals

Qatar Airways Copenhagen deals

Qatar Airways Paris deals

Qatar Airways Amsterdam deals

Qatar Airways Brussels deals

In most cases you must book on the Qatar Airways website by 5th September and travel between 15th September and 30th June.  No travel 15th December to 10th January.

However, it seems I missed one.  This time around Helsinki seems to have the best deals.

This is positive news.  Finnair flies to Helsinki from Edinburgh, Manchester, Dublin and London and you can book Finnair flights using Avios points.  If you need to stay overnight, there is a good Hilton at the airport which I reviewed here and which is 30,000 Hilton points.

The Qatar Airways / Helsinki deals page is here.

Note that Helsinki flights do not start until 10th October.  The flight to Doha will be on a short-haul A320 aircraft but equipped with fully flat business class seats.

This is what you can get (prices are business class, return).  I have highlighted the ‘two together’ price where it was shown, there may also be ‘two together’ discounts for other cities.

Australia €2,009 (€1,910 if two travel)

Bangkok €1,229 (€1,150 if two travel)

Delhi €1,169

Dubai €789 (€750 if two travel)

Hong Kong €1,779

Kuala Lumpur €1,429

Maldives €1,559

Phuket €1,189 

Ras Al Khaimah €779

Tokyo €1,269

Helsinki is also a lovely city in its own right if you do decide to spend a day there.  The list of Helsinki deals is here.

Is it worth the trouble?  Well, clearly you need to see what you would be paying out of the UK and compare it to a Helsinki price.  If you need the BA tier points then these fares are definitely worth it.  If you have time to spare – especially if you do a day in Helsinki – it is worth it.  If you can use Avios for a Reward Flight Saver ticket to Helsinki then, again, it is worth it.

After all, the chance to go to Tokyo for a touch over £1,000 in Business Class doesn’t come along often – especially with 560 British Airways tier points.


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.)

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

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