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’

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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 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.

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.

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 points from UK credit cards

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

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

There are two official British Airways American Express cards. Both have increased sign-up bonuses until 2nd November 2021:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 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 – 30,000 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 and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

The 30,000 points bonus on Amex Gold runs to 9th November 2021. The 60,000 points bonus on The Platinum Card runs to 2nd November 2021.

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:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard 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. This card has a limited time offer of 60,000 Avios when you sign up:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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 (56)

  • Robert says:

    Rob, I’m pretty sure the BA sale ends today (20th).

  • BOris says:

    OT

    The embarrassment of multi currency apps when I read the room rate off in the wrong currency, so it was 70% more than expected, then a hugely helpful Accor staff knocking a chunk of the rate to cover my mistake.

    Note to self: Take more care.

    • Raffles says:

      When I was in Turkey this year, the St Regis quoted me ‘160’ for a car transfer to the airport. I took this as Lira ( eg £40) which was a bit more than I paid coming in but still ok. When I paid my room bill (I had it charged to the room) it turned out they meant 160 Euro!

      I kicked up a stink and the price was dropped to 160 Lira.

      • Boris says:

        SHould have flown Etihad 🙂

        I am flying back to Istanbul next week one the Etihad Business sale from March. PLanning to be at the Conrad for a champagne breakfast and the swimming pool that was being rebuilt last time.

        Need to find out whether I get the chauffeur.

  • Breeze says:

    I can’t find anything on the BA site but, is the triple avios valid on flight and hotel bookings within the period?

  • Breeze says:

    I managed to get this confirmed, this is NOT extended to flight and hotel bookings.

    • Barry cutters says:

      It is for The flight portion . Just not on the additional points for holidays

      • Michael says:

        It is a flight only promotion so is not valid on Holidays, or the flight portion of a combined booking. That’s not to say some might not slip through (depending on booking class used I guess), but it has definitely been limited to exclude them.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Does that mean holiday packages are all booked in a booking class excluded from he offer?

  • Genghis says:

    Raffles previously mentioned that a referral scheme is coming in the Autumn.

    • Raffles says:

      There was one, it was dropped at Easter, it is coming back in a new form (this is from the mouth of the Virgin credit cards head).

  • Barry cutters says:

    Is world traveler to Abu Dhabi not 90tp each way?

  • James67 says:

    OT: I’m looking to raise 35000 avios and considering buying them with 10500 bonus in current sale making them about 1.26p/avios. Massively higher than I have ever paid for avios before but still works well for me for redemptions I have in mind which are over £3000 each for direct flight on BA. Anybody aware of any other options to get the 35k avios I need cheaper at moment? I could use clubcard points but holding off in hope of a bonus in next two quarters. I could also raise 20k via accor-IB but that woud cost €400 in hotel stays so not a good option.

    • Genghis says:

      I’d rather convert Tesco at non bonus than buy at 1.26p. I presume you’ve used up the usual BAPP, Amex Plat and SPG cards and partner referrals etc?

      • James67 says:

        Yes, options are purchase, directly or indirectly, or clubcard. I will need clubcard-avios later so I need to trade off standard clubcard conversion versus buy avios bonus now agaibst an uncertain clubcard or purchase bonus later. I’ve never had such a dilemna since taking up the hobby seriously about a decade ago. For me at least, the combined impacts of devaluatios in earn/burn rates and decrease collection opportunities is finally begining to bite.

    • Alex W says:

      I think Amex Plat has 35k signup bonus for £3k spend.

    • harry says:

      34000 Avios would have cost you
      2000 – EUR 19
      4x 8000 – EUR396
      less the EUR10 discount code
      —> c.GBP350 or (if you factor in the PluStore Avios on top —> well under 1p/ Avios
      https://headforpoints.com/2016/07/08/groupon-avios-iberia-plus/

      Were you asleep July 8th? 🙂

      • James67 says:

        Thanks Harry, no not asleep. At that time I was refusing to buy at anything over 0.5p/avios and only required 75k for 1xOW z7 CW redemption which was no problem but now I need 2 redemptions at 150k leaving me a 35k shortfall. I will ponder it until last day of the sale before deciding to buy or go the long way home on revenue tickets with Sri Lankan.

  • James Wattana says:

    Regarding this part of Rob’s post:
    “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.”
    I can’t see anyway of booking a flight for 1 week, with a hotel or car for just 1 day. The flight + hotel option doesn’t allow the dates to be changed only for the hotel part?
    Any ideas how to do it, please?

    • Rob says:

      The new BA Holidays booking site may have changed this functionality. Try 3 days hotel stay – I think that triggers it?

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.