Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

£1,408 to Auckland in Qatar Airways business plus other great 241 deals

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I recently covered the new Finnair sale to Asia.  There are two other sales going on at the moment which I have decided to pull together in one article.  The key thing that links all three is that, as oneworld member airlines, you will earn British Airways tier points and Avios when you book any of these services.

Exactly how many tier points can be worked out if you search on a leg by leg basis at the BA tier point calculator page.

New Qatar Airways deals

Qatar Airways has followed up its huge ‘Travel Festival’ sale in January with a run of impressive ‘2 for the price of 1’ fares in Business Class.

As usual, the best deals are to be had outside the UK.

The highlight appears to be Copenhagen to Auckland for DKK 12,289 which is £1,406.  Other Copenhagen deals include Cape Town (£1,327) and Singapore (£1,032).

If you have a particular destination in mind, the following Qatar country-specific pages list the best fares from the countries which seem to have the cheapest deals (Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, basically):

Copenhagen prices

Oslo prices

Stockholm prices

Helsinki prices

Sofia prices (€989 to Singapore)

Bucharest prices (see note below re tier points)

Belgrade prices (€722 to Dubai)

UK prices (for comparison)

The best thing to do is to look at each of these pages and compare the price for your chosen destination.  Remember to factor in the aircraft type used and the cost of connecting to your flight, including any hotel costs.

You must book by 15th February 2017 for travel before 10th – 15th December 2017 depending on origin.  Other black out dates apply and vary by destination.  You must travel in a group of 2, 4, 6 or 8 to get these prices.

For Asian destinations, you will earn 560 tier points – 140 x 4 – for a return flight, as long as each individual flight is over 2,000 miles.  Auckland would be 600 tier points – Doha to Auckland is a whopping 17 hours!

The one exception is Bucharest. shows Bucharest to Doha as earning just 40 tier points each way in Business Class – see the calculator here – so avoid that route if tier points are important.

As ever with Qatar, you should keep an eye on the aircraft.  The most modern seats are on the Boeing 787, Airbus A350 and Airbus A380 fleet.  I think that the full A330 fleet has been refitted now too.  The newer planes have a 1-2-1 herringbone layout where passengers faces away from each other.  

The Boeing 777 aircraft are fully flat but have a different 2 x 2 x 2 layout, albeit that a replacement for this will be announced at ITB Berlin in March (we’ll be there to check it out).  Qatar also uses short-haul planes on some European routes but these are configured with ‘proper’ business class seats.

Here are my Qatar Airways seat and lounge reviews – you will see that I am very positive about them:

Remember that bookings under this deal must be made by midnight local time on Wednesday 15th February.

Qatar A350

New Malaysia Airlines deals

You should also check out the current Malaysia Airlines deals as these offer a good alternative if you want to depart from London.

For three months, Malaysia Airlines was offering an astonishing deal to Sydney or Melbourne – £1,500 return in Business Class, flying from Heathrow.

That deal has now gone.  However, the airline has extended its Asian deals to the end of February.

You need to book on Expedia, where you can pick up some Nectar points as well for your trouble.  These prices are NOT available from Malaysia directly.

You need to search for London to Bangkok, Phuket, Bali etc in Business Class.  You need to search for ‘flight & hotel’ and then select ‘I only want a hotel for part of my stay’.  Assuming that you don’t want to book your hotel for the trip via Expedia, select one night only.

On the next page of the booking process you are shown a list of hotels.  These are NOT sorted by price by default, so re-order them.  The cheapest will be a hostel but that is fine as you won’t be staying there.

Bangkok, Phuket and Bali are available for around £1,100 – £1,200 return.  Other destinations may be available if you search.  These are excellent prices for trips starting in London.  For an extra £1,000 return you can upgrade to First Class.

Between London and Kuala Lumpur you will get an A380, with an A330 onwards on most routes.  The A330 business class seat is the latest version and has some very attractive solo window seats as the seating plan on this page of the Malaysia Airlines website shows.

How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (August 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 BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

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 BA Amex American Express card

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 Amex Gold

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

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

10,500 points bonus – 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 card

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.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

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.

(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 (71)

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

  • Fadi says:

    Where are the Etihad deals to Oz? I thought they would be out by now.

  • Anna says:

    After the predictable run-around by BA, I’ve had a very fast email response from SUN AIR immediately offering the Hannover/Hamburg alternative. I’ve asked for a few concessions and told them that otherwise I am going to insist on being re-routed to Bremen. We’ll see what they say…

  • Nigel says:

    Quick and basic question about retaining status – my tier point Year ends mid Nov but my account says status lasts until 31 December. If I were to earn enough points to retain silver between these two dates (after mid nov but before end of Dec) – would my status refresh until end of 2018 or end of 2019?? 🙂

    • barry Cutters says:

      end of 2018

      only way of getting 2 years status is by collecting enough points in the first week of you joining .

    • C77 says:

      My anniversary / reset date is the same as yours – 08NOV. You will be reset to zero tier points on this date. If you’re a just short of a status milestone you can ask for upto a 14 days grace period for you to hit this. The status expiry is always the last day of the following month which means you can still avail yourself of silver benefits (lounge etc) if you’ve dropped to bronze until 31DEC

  • Doodles says:

    My return flight to Helsinki in March has an 8.5 hour stopover, midnight – 8.30am. Do they ever offer the airport hotel for those that qualify for a free hotel? Arriving in the middle of the night, I’d love to go to a hotel for a sleep but, by the time I get to the hotel and allowing time to get back to the airport, it’s not really very long at the hotel. I checked the rate already at the airport hotel and it was a crazy rate, £170.

    If I do decide to request a hotel, do I contact their Finland office as that is where my ticket is booked from?

    • Polly says:

      Doodles, not worth it. If it’s only 8.5 hrs. They have a sort of quiet area with black bendy couches, a bit away from the food, which you can stretch out on. They will bring you blankets etc. Very nice service. But when we went to the hotel another time, we only had about 5 hrs sleep…nice tho.
      If you do want to book, just log into MMB and book it there..we just did HEL, SGN with 6 hrs wait one leg.

      • Doodles says:

        Hello Polly, thanks for your reply. This is what I was hoping, to find a quiet area to pass some of the time.

    • Sohan says:

      Hilton at Helsinki airport is great and 2 mins walk from terminal

    • AndyR says:

      I think I remember someone requesting the airport hotel as their free stopover hotel. Could be worth a try.

  • barry cutters says:

    flying aer lingus tomorrow from heathrow.
    im BA gold.
    Flight is operated on an are lingus number though

    can I get lounge access and seat selection for free?

    • Rob says:

      Lounge access – yes

      No sure about seat selection

      • Barry cutters says:


        • Barry cutters says:

          And lounge options for T2

          • the real harry1 says:

            good old begging, always beats a quick google

          • Rob says:

            That would be the Aer Lingus lounge 🙂 Review on HFP if you search. No idea about a guest, I was on my own the one time I got in via my BA Gold.

        • Keith says:

          Not when I tried as silver a couple of months ago. The dragon at the desk even had a big laminated notice at the front of her folder stating that BAEC members were not entitled to bring a guest into the lounge. She almost suggested that I went in and left my wife outside!

  • Neil McGinty says:

    Why are the British still getting a raw deal in Qatar sales?
    Even the so called British flag carrier takes us for granted.
    Aug, 2 Adults & Child, AMS-LHR-BKK-LHR-AMS… £3300, LHR-BKK-LHR, same flights…. £7500, what a joke

    • C77 says:

      Because compared to BA, TG and BR flying direct to BKK, the fare is still cheaper and people are prepared to pay it. 5x daily service + code sharing service with BA, QR manage to fill their planes from London no problem.

    • Rob says:

      Qatar can fill its planes out of London. The new BA revenue sharing deal may also reduce their options.

  • Pauline Peddie says:

    Is it only possible to book the Malaysia airlines deal for max stay 3 weeks?

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

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