Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

BA bits: eBay / New Orleans, HighLife auction, flight simulator gift vouchers

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News in brief:

British Airways New Orleans auctions now ‘buy it now’

Last week I discussed the eBay auctions that British Airways is running to buy a place on a ‘test’ flight to New Orleans between 24th and 27th February.  This is in advance of the main service which begins later in 2017.

You can check out details of the auctions here.

Most of the auctions are ending today or tomorrow and are currently around £1,500.  At this level I think you are paying a fair price for economy flights for two people plus three nights in a hotel during Mardi Gras and VIP carnival seating.

The ‘buy it now’ pricing, on the other hand, seems a little toppy to put it mildly.  £3,250 for two economy flight tickets (no choice of dates, no Avios or tier points earned) plus three nights in a Hampton Inn does not seem like a bargain to me.  Whether or not you would add any value for the in-flight jazz band that BA is providing is a personal choice …..

If you’re interesting in going, you can follow the eBay action here.

HighLife charity auction launched

Meanwhile, the British Airways HighLife magazine is running a Christmas charity auction of its own.

Unlike the New Orleans auctions, ALL of the proceeds go to Flying Start for good causes.  Here is a typical lot:

  • two return Club World flights to Las Vegas over New Year Eve
  • tickets to an exclusive New Year’s private casino party
  • tickets to see Lionel Richie live
  • dinner at Mr Chow and Restaurant Guy Savoy

…. which beats an in-flight jazz band and eight hours in economy on a Boeing 787.  The current highest bid for the Vegas item is £1,275.

The most intriguing item is for 150,000 Avios points plus “five space-available upgrades on British Airways flights”. These upgrades would be confirmed or denied 48 hours before departure – the rules imply they would be accepted if seats remained for sale.  You have two years to use the upgrades.  They are not valid on Avios bookings or Sydney flights.

Details of the auctions can be found here.  Please read the small print on each item because it is very strict.  The £2,000 Selfridges gift card, for example, must be spend in one day or you forfeit the balance.

Give a BA flight simulator gift voucher for Christmas

Finally, British Airways is offering a 20% discount on gift vouchers for its flight simulators.

Flights in Boeing 767 simulators are available at £319, reduced from £399 or in a simulated 747 jumbo jet or Boeing 777 for £359, reduced from £449.  All sessions – located near Heathrow – are accompanied by a fully qualified British Airways instructor and no previous flying experience is necessary.

Gift vouchers can be purchased via this page of ba.com.  Use promo code SANTA for a 20% saving on bookings before 24th December.  Vouchers have a one year validity.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (July 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

30,000 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 (to 27th August) £400 to spend at Amex Travel 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

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 (22)

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

  • uk1 says:

    Clive it is a full simulator, and pilots completing hours on it are completely flight ready.

  • the real harry says:

    https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-telegraph-travel-show-tickets-25258041482?discount=telegraphtours

    free entry x2 for Friday/ Saturday/ Sunday

    Event Details

    Escape the grey British winter, grab your passport and join us at The Telegraph Travel Show in ExCeL London from Friday 13 to Sunday 15 January 2017.

    Save and book with exclusive show only deals, explore exciting destinations, win holidays, speak to impartial industry experts in the Travel Genius Bar, meet your favourite Telegraph travel writers and discover your trip of a lifetime in our talks theatres, plus gain free entry into The Telegraph Cruise Show and the London Boat Show.

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    Opening Times

    Friday 13 January: 10am – 5pm
    Saturday 14 January: 10am – 5pm
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  • COOL OPPORTUNITY: Redeem Just 12,500 Miles for Flight Simulator Time or Buy 20% Off - View from the Wing says:

    […] If you’re only going to be in London, though, British Airways offers flight simulator time and they’re selling gift vouchers for it at 20% off with promo code SANTA by December 24. (HT: Head for Points) […]

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

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