Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Last chance to book in the current BA and Virgin sales – BA deals improved by ‘triple Avios’

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Tomorrow, Wednesday 21st, is your last chance to make a booking in the current British Airways and Virgin Atlantic sales.

I wanted to do a recap today of some of the deals on offer.

British Airways

Since the sale was announced, British Airways has launched its generous ‘triple Avios and triple On Business points’ promotion.  As long as you travel before 11th December you will receive triple base Avios when you fly.  This makes these sale prices more attractive for Autumn travel.

British Airways BA A380 flying

The home page for the BA sale is here.

Travel dates are all over the place.  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.

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 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.

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 and have a look around.  The full sale details are here.

British Airways business first class sale

Virgin Atlantic

I didn’t focus much on the Virgin Atlantic cash sale because it was primarily for Economy and Premium Economy only.  Details of the Virgin sale are here if you want to take a last-minute look.

In general, you can book for travel between Christmas Day and 5th April, although it varies by route.

More interesting is the reward seat sale which runs until Thursday 22nd.  You will receive 30% off the miles required for Economy and Premium Economy redemptions.  This is same deadline as for the parallel ‘buy miles’ bonus.

Virgin taxes on Economy redemptions are lower (by roughly £100) than British Airways although they are roughly similar for Premium Economy.  Following the Avios devaluation last April, you will also need substantially fewer miles than BA for an identical route.

Here are some example prices in both Economy and Premium Economy – the Premium Economy deals look particularly attractive:

New York – 24,500 miles + £259 / 38,500 miles + £415 (this is up £70 since the February sale!)

Barbados – 31,500 miles + £211 / 49,000 miles + £347

Delhi – 29,750 miles + £254 / 49,000 miles + £390

Hong Kong – 35,000 miles + £278 / 56,000 + £427

Almost all other routes are bookable too.  A full list of taxes and the miles required can be found here.

What is interesting about this sale is that you can book for any time in the next 11 months.  There are no date restrictions as long as seats are available.  Remember that, even with 30% off, not all of these deals necessarily make sense in low season.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (April 2024)

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 £15,000 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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points 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

Huge 30,000 points bonus until 12th May 2024 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 sign-up 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 (54)

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

  • Pojapoja says:

    Does anyone know if there’s an easy way to generate/transfer into Copa Connectmiles? I have an upcoming trip for which I need 20k Copa miles (2 x 10k one-way tickets) but have no idea how to transfer into Copa.

    I have a decent amount of AMEX points, some avios, and some orphan hotel points in Marriott….any ideas on the most cost-effective way of doing this?

    As usual, thank you all for the tips / guidance.

  • harry says:

    You can log in with your UK details – it changes to UK Amex site – then change country to Espana, then click my link above – it all stays in Spanish and is the bonus transfer page. Somebody should give it a go – ie try transferring MR points to Iberia on this link – I think you would have a decent chance of getting 1.2 Avios per MR point.

    Annoyingly, as I said, I have no MR points on Amex Amex cards at the moment.

    • roger says:

      Sorry, at this time we can not process your order. Please try again and if the problem persists, contact the Permanent Customer Service to holders on the phone 900 814 500.

  • roberto says:


    works from Mrs Roberto’s spanish amex card to her UK BAEC account.. I could not get it working for her amex to her iberia. She is getting the bonus..

    I on the other hand could not get it work from my spanish amex to my uk BAEC but did get it working with my uk Iberia..

    Both our iberia/ba accounts are uk registered with a UK address. Hope that helps chum..

    And yes it’s a minimum of 1MR to both ba or iberia which is a touch too…

    • harry says:


      I must buy myself a Spanish villa (actually I prefer Castilla y Leon!) & spend my last 25 years there 🙂

      on the bucket list

  • James says:

    What has happened today to the Intercontinental Ambassador ??

  • TripleB says:

    Thanks for the reminder.

    Locked in a 430 quid trip to New York for March. Got the 8pm BA flight after work on a Wednesday night on the way over and the 11am AA flight on Sunday on the way back. 2 days annual leave and no overnight flights.

  • Graham Walsh says:

    In the Virgin Sale I managed to get Virgin flights for Easter next year to New York and return from Boston using the PE upgrade vouchers. I then had to buy the bonus sale PE for my 2nd son. Total of £1200 for the 3 of us at Easter in PE. Also saved 30k points by booking in the sale. The guy at Virgin was surprised the seats were available.

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

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