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 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)

  • Luca says:

    I cannot find an NYC WT+ for love nor money at £701..

  • Andrew H says:

    O/T. I’ve got a stack of Tesco vouchers that I want to convert to Avios. I’m waiting for a ‘20% extra with BA’ offer like the one they did last year. I’ve seen the Virgin equivalent from Tesco this year but no BA offer. Do you think there’ll be another one, or is it unlikely?

    • Genghis says:

      No one knows but you’re waiting like most of us

      • Andrew H says:

        We’ll find out in a couple of months I suppose. If they don’t, I’ll just convert as normal.

        • Genghis says:

          It depends how much you need the avios and whether you have plans for them. I think I’ll make do with another round of CC churning when back from hols and keep the Tesco points until a bonus comes along

    • Alex W says:

      They seem to be favouring competition entries to win more Avios when you convert Tesco CC. For me the guaranteed 20% bonus for transferring to Virgin was better than the (unlikely) chance of winning more Avios.

  • NS says:

    OT – does Iberia ever launch a sale? In my 12 or so months reading the site I’ve rarely seen reference to it. Looking at booking flights to Cuba

  • Andrew H says:

    Another O/T, this time an update of the MTX Connect 6000 Miles and More offer. 5000 miles were just uploaded to my account, so hopefully everyone else here who took part will also get theirs today! That was very quick indeed.

    There was supposed to be a further 1000 miles for the 20 euro top up, I assume they will follow later.
    An excellent deal!

    • YL says:

      Well done Andrew. I have not yet received the sim after 4 working days:-(

      • Andrew H says:

        I was staggered it only took three days to go from Luxembourg to the UK tbh. Hope you still get the miles!

        • Andrew H says:

          By the way, to get the extra thousand miles, you actually have to spend the 20 euros you added to your balance.

          • YL says:

            Yes, thanks for the reminder Andrew. The only problem is that I am not sure if I have made the cut and whether there is any point of toping up the sim with €20 now.

          • Andrew H says:

            Email them and check. They replied to me within 24 hrs. [email protected]

          • Andrew H says:

            I had received and activated the SIM and topped up my balance by then, but it’s possible that they took the first 1000 people to order a SIM, in which case you may still have a chance.

  • RR says:

    Last time I took a ride from Dubai Marina to corniche in Abu Dhabi it took me 1hour 10 minutes, but still worth it in terms of new aircraft and saved ££!

  • Moray says:

    OT: Can I just check that the Virgin Black CC PE upgrade vouchers need to be booked within one year of their issue or whether the flights need to be taken within one year. It might make a difference as to whether I jump on one of these sale redemptions.

    • Clive says:

      Once the vouchers are issued they expire in one year. You can use the vouchers as far out as you want. I used mine in the sale to upgrade flights in Aug 17

  • Genghis says:

    OT. @TGLoyalty. Thanks for the heads up on the Curve ‘BUDDY’ referral code. Bagged my wife a free Curve Blue.
    If others are trying, after entering the code, note it still says £35 on the first screen but the confirmation email says £0 cost.

  • Bob says:

    I guess the triple avios offer is not valid for existing bookings, despite travelling before december 11? I already had some bookings (AA and BA) for this period…

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