Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Generous Avios deals with package holidays ending 31 December

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here. (not British Airways Executive Club) is, technically, a travel agency.  You may not be aware that you can use them to book a package holiday and earn yourself bonus Avios points in the process.

Until late 2015 this was a very generous deal.  You earned 10 Avios per £1 spent on your booking which, for an expensive family package holiday, often meant a lot of Avios points.  About a year ago the earning rate was cut to 5 Avios points per £1 although occasional ‘double up’ offers meant it remained generous.

Avios wing 6

This is all now to end.  From January 1st, it will no longer be possible to collect Avios points from package holiday bookings.

You can see the announcement on the homepage for package holiday deals here.

This means, of course, that you CAN still earn Avios on your package holiday bookings for the next six weeks.  They do not just work with ‘bucket and spade’ operators. The list includes some decent names (this is just a sample of the list):

  • Club Med
  • Cox & Kings
  • Elegant Resorts
  • First Choice
  • Inghams
  • ITC Luxury Travel
  • Kuoni
  • Mark Warner
  • Neilson
  • Thomas Cook
  • Thomson
  • Travelsphere
  • Villas4You

The list of Avios cruise partners is here and includes:

  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Cunard
  • Fred Olsen
  • P&O
  • Princess
  • Royal Caribbean
  • Silversea
  • Viking Cruises

The recommend way to book is to search for whatever you are after directly on the website of the tour operator and then simply call Avios to make the booking.  They accept Amex and there is no surcharge for using any credit card.

Historically, the holidays team appears to have leeway to reduce prices if you can find a comparable deal – and you will still earn your Avios on the bookings

It is worth noting that you can also REDEEM Avios points for a discount on a package holiday until 31st December – see here for details.  I do not recommend this.  The discount is just 0.5p per Avios point you redeem which is poor but, to be honest, I could just about live with it if Avios rich. 

More important is that you will not receive any Avios points for the portion of the booking which you pay in cash. This makes the net outcome substantially worse.

How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 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 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 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 Preferred Rewards Gold

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

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

50,000 points bonus until 2nd October – 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

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 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.

Comments (60)

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

  • Caro says:

    OT – can anyone recommend the best route for a status match from BA to Skyteam?

  • Stu N says:

    OT: BA Amex “spend £500 on, get £100 back” promo. Both had the offer (I messaged them to get it added). Partner booked holiday with her card and paid £500 as deposit, £100 credited almost straight away. I paid further £500 balance with mine. Took almost a week for the second credit to post but got it now. If anyone still has he offer unused (only lasts until 24/10 I think), it’s a good way to subsidise a flight or hotel upgrade. I’d expect I’ll get full 2 Avios/ £1 spent too before the cash back.

  • Chris Rasteiro says:

    Classic case of obfuscation marketing and many readers here have fallen for it.

    A case of sprinkling icing sugar on vomit.

  • the real harry says:

    O/T my mystery reds on the Amex Naked Wines offer arrived (£2.78/ bottle delivered) & I got:

    5x Arabella cab sauv 2015 – S Africa £9.49
    3x Jen Pfeiffer The Rebel Shiraz 2015 – SE Aus £11.49
    1x Kimbao merlot Malbec 2015 – chile £12.99
    2x Desnuda Franck Massard do montsant 2014 – Spain £12.99
    2x bodegas bargondia rioja 2015 – spain £10.99
    2x morum reserva rioja carlos Rodrigues 2011 – spain £11.99
    3x kimbao pinot noir 2015 – chile £13.99

    Grand total £208.62 – members get about 25% off so really more like £156.

    Not bad for a tad over £50!

    You may have the offer saved to Amex card & be thinking whether to order or not – enough evidence here? 🙂

    • Genghis says:

      Im jealous. We need to stock up zet not on any of our recently got cards

      • the real harry says:

        I’ve still got the offer available on my wife’s card, I think I will rinse & repeat

    • Gin and Tonic Please says:

      Out of interest, harry, were you a member (Angel) already? I am and the T&Cs say it’s not applicable to ‘marketplace spend and Angel orders’, though I’m not sure how Amex would know…

      • the real harry says:

        nope I’ve ordered from Naked Wines quite a few times but am not currently a member – I think I became one by mistake a couple of years ago but stopped it as soon as I realised

        I think they are merely saying you can’t get £100 off when you order wine at member prices – as you say, Amex wouldn’t know

        as a member, you can still order, just use a different email address & don’t log in

        • JamesLHR says:

          I’m an Angel but used a different e-mail address for this offer. Thanks for the advice, it meant I got 18 bottles for just over £50! Picking them up tomorrow!

        • Gavin says:

          Mine arrive tomorrow. Handy timing – a couple of Christmas presents taken care of

    • Jim says:

      Harry did you stack this with a £60 off voucher?

    • Brian W says:


      The Naked Wines deal is stacking with the naked wines ‘Amex16’ code available online earlier this year! Code gets you a £100 discount at the checkout so I upped my basket to £256.32 so the cost payable still activates the current spend £150 save to card offer.

      Go via first.

      -£100 Amex16 voucher
      £156.23 paid on Gold card with the offer.

      27 bottles of plonk for £56.23 / £2.08 a bottle 🙂

      Got Amex email after about 15 minutes to say deal redeemed so all good.

      Wife has it on one of her cards too……….could be an interesting Christmas.

  • the real harry says:

    O/T £30 off £100 @ Harrods

    & others

    • Gin and Tonic Please says:

      Very few offers on Connect (for the Lloyds/MBNA/etc cards), which seems to be a recurring theme recently…

  • Genghis says:

    Thanks for confirming.

  • Genghis says:

    Good advice. I think we`re a bit more picky and pick a hotel or two first that we want to stay in and then I find the cheapest / best way to do that (whether use points / cash etc).

  • Rob says:

    All true, although some of the more upmarket agents they use, like Cox & Kings, offer stuff that is trickier to replicate yourself. For a standard flight and hotel bucket and spade trip, I agree that DIY often wins these days.

    That said, a lot of Dubai hotels dump rooms via travel agents who agree to package them up but keep high pricing for direct bookers.

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

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