Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Revealed …. the peak and off-peak Avios redemption calendars for 2018

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Both British Airways and Iberia have released their peak and off-peak Avios redemption calendars for 2018 which you can see below.

There is a permanent link to this article under ‘Key BA links’ in the HFP sidebar on desktop and tablet.

This came as a bit of a surprise as we thought that they had given up on publishing the full year in advance.  Recently you only found out 355 days in advance, when tickets came up for sale, whether a day would be peak or not.  Releasing the full year makes planning a lot easier.

BA 747 retirement

There are substantial differences between the two calendars.  Especially when travelling during school holidays on a route served by both by BA and Iberia, it may well be cheaper to book on Iberia.

If, for example, you want to travel on British Airways in April 2018, you will be paying the peak Avios price until 15th April.  However, if you look at the Iberia calendar, you can see that their peak prices only start towards the end of the month and 1st-26th April is off-peak.  (Easter Sunday is 1st April in 2018.)

There are also differences around February half-term. For example, Saturday 10th February is peak for BA and off-peak for Iberia. On that day, a Club World return from London to New York would be 120,000 Avios. In comparison flying from Madrid to New York would be only 68,000 Avios. The tax would also be £369.44 lower on the Iberia ticket as long as you book it via the Iberia website (£528.65 v £159.20).

The summer holidays peak season starts earlier on Iberia (22nd June) and ends only two days before BA which means you won’t be able to save much here.

The days around Christmas are also interesting as BA sees the full second half of December as a peak travel time whereas Iberia has got a couple of off-peak dates the week before Christmas and before New Year.

There is a separate article with the Aer Lingus 2018 calendar which is here.

British Airways calendar

(blue=peak, green=off peak / click to enlarge if necessary)


BA Avios off peak calendar 2017


BA Avios off peak calendar 2018

Iberia calendar


Iberia Avios off peak calendar 2017


Iberia Avios off peak calendar 2018


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (April 2023)

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 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 £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.

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

30,000 points and unbeatable 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 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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 (64)

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

  • barry cutters says:

    Has anyone had a birthday offer from IHG before offering 565k points ???

    • Genghis says:

      What? What are the conditions of the offer? V nice if you get it. I do recall @Liz being given a generous offer though not sure if she received it?

      • Barry cutters says:

        It’s a weekend stay within 90days . Just as Liz had below. I did find it unbelievable when I saw it so didn’t get too excited. As it happens I will do a weekend stay with them more than once for cash anyway . So I’m going to do it and then chase up once points are not received . I know I’m not going to get the full amount, but I’m will kick up a fuss and see what happens.. It too is the balance of my account -must be a computer error.

    • Steve-B says:

      Impressive. I got a mere 5000 bonus for my birthday earlier this year.

      • Alan says:

        I’ve never had any birthday bonus from them (or BA)!

    • Liz says:

      It’s a computer error Barry – I had an offer of 125102 pts which was the balance in my account at the time of my birthday – I had to complete a weekend away within 90 days which we did specifically to get the offer then IHG reneged on the offer – I would have been better off buying the points for the amount we spent – I and another complainant reported them to the ASA but I didn’t get anywhere with that either – I battled back and forth for weeks and eventually got 34k out of them – the offer is still sitting in my app! So if they are doing it again I would ask them to confirm it in writing before you commit to any spend and I would refer them to the ASA again and tell them they are at it again.

      • Alan says:

        Oh wow – didn’t realise that was how things turned out for you, Liz – how rubbish! It’s a perfectly believable offer too, that they said they’d match existing account balance.

        • Liz says:

          I gave up in the end – wasn’t able to deal with one person. I tried to get them to give me at least 60k which was the cost of the 2 nights in the Edinburgh hotel and also the cost of buying 60k which is the amount I could have bought with money I spent on a weekend away we didn’t need and wouldn’t have done otherwise. It all fell on deaf ears as far as IHG were concerned – they didn’t care that the offer sat on my account for weeks in error and that they didn’t withdraw it before I spent any money. It’s still sitting there now.

          • Alan says:

            Out of interest did you ever try ihgcare at ihg dot com? They’re the one IHG team I’ve had consistently decent interactions with (although appreciate they might not want to get involved now!)

          • Anna says:

            That’s dreadful customer service – and I’ve just applied for the IHG MasterCard, oops! Did you approach the FSA? I mentioned them to Lloyds recently because I was unhappy with their response that it would take 26 weeks to post my avios and immediately Lloyds posted the avios manually and gave me £200 compensation.

          • Alan says:

            FSA sadly wouldn’t be an option in this situation as it’s nothing to do with a financial product, just to do with the IHG scheme/app…

          • Liz says:

            @Alan – no I didn’t have that email address at the time – it did get escaped to customer relations but they were no better. ASA submitted my complaint and someone’s in the same letter but the response by IHG was that it was an error and that they had fixed it so ASA could not do any more – it was up to me to pursue them if i wasn’t happy with the compensation.

            @ Anna I didn’t contact the FSA. I am in the same boat as you with Lloyds. I have to phone up each month and get my points added manually. I’ve just had the upgrade voucher added manually too. My complaints manger told me that we will get all the points again after 26 weeks so I am not complaining really – I’ve had £312 in compensation and over 5k pts more than I’ve earned – so if we get them all again in 6 mths time then I’m ok with that!

        • Liz says:

          Technically I had 3 offers in my app – one for 1000 pts, one for 125102 pts for doing nothing and the 3rd one was 125102 pts for the weekend away – so I should have received 251204 pts – so don’t trust anything you get offered.

          • Barry cutters says:

            Yes I also have a second offer for 10k

          • Jack says:

            Re: Lloyds card. I assumed that Lloyds had sorted out the issue – I called and complained about the timescale and was given £150 (this was early May I think) and they manually added the 16k or so Avios I had accrued thus far. The “real” points then transferred over a few days later. So it was an easy and welcome way to double my points. I’ve since had my June statement and I think the points hit my Avios account the next day so all seems to be working now. Love this card and sorry you’re still having problems!

          • Liz says:

            I like the IHG scheme and they are great for USA trips – we got either upgraded rooms, free breakfast, free drinks and snacks/food and cheaper parking in 12 out of the 13 IHG hotels we recently stayed in. I am pushing for Spire again for next year as we get great value from our pts bookings in the USA.

          • Liz says:

            @Jack – we’ve had all our pts transferred manually since Dec. Each month when they don’t transfer I have to call my Complaints Manager and get them added. The longer it goes on the more points we will get duplicated.

        • Graeme says:

          do you seriously think its a believable offer?

          • Alan says:

            Yes. Back in the mists of time there were ones (IIRC KLM) where they matched existing balances. You would assume for a genuine offer they would have screened out any balances that they were too high and they didn’t want to match.

          • Barry cutters says:

            No – as I said above it’s clearly too good to be true. It’s a computer error and shows your current balance in place of the targeted offer amount. In this case 565430 vs 10000.

          • Alan says:

            Just checked, it was KLM I was correctly thinking of before – others have offered it more recently too –

            Granted these were match offers from competitors, but still perfectly plausible that they had decided to offer this sort of thing to a selected group of customers (remember lots of us didn’t receive any offer at our birthday).

          • Liz says:

            Barry did you see my notes above – I had 3 offers – assumed the free one was a mistake but took the weekend offer to be genuine and acted on it – I was annoyed IHG wouldn’t reimburse me in points value for the error – so check before you do anything.

  • RTS says:

    Got a bit of a dilemma; the missus and I need to head to HK at some point next year. I have enough avios, virgin miles, a 241 and a Lloyds upgrade voucher. Which do you think would be the wisest/best value for money choice here:

    -Using 241 for PE out and CW In = 114k points and £1,018 in taxes for both of us.

    -Flying virgin PE out and BA with lloyds upgrade voucher CW in = 45k virgin miles, 78k Avios and £676 in taxes for both of us.

    Logically, the second option would be the best value, right?

    • Lev441 says:

      Second be sounds about right to me..!

      • Andy W says:

        Agreed second option.
        Less Tax and Virgin PE far better than BA, plus Virgin to HK is a new 787.

    • Alan says:

      Lloyds one-way from HK definitely a good way of doing things on the tax front…

  • Another Phil says:

    OT – is champagne available in CE for UK domestic? If so, what type?

  • bill says:

    Just a quick one, is it possible to redeem a BA 241 voucher whilst booking flight + hotel via BA Holidays? I would obviously be paying for the hotel bit with cash and not Avios

    • Rob says:

      No, sorry

    • Anna says:

      Depending on how many are travelling, you could book a package holiday for 1 or more travellers and use the 2 4 1 separately, then add or amend room size later. Then you only have to pay for the package 5 weeks before you travel. We’re considering using 2 4 1 for OH and son to America next year, and book my flight and a car as a separate fly-drive package.

      • bill says:

        It’s just the two of us but I’ve just noticed for the first time that you can book holidays only via so might try that when the time comes

  • Stu_N says:

    OT – have a BA Plus fare booking tomorrow (domestic). I want to change from a mid afternoon flight to a mid morning flight, which I can do for free on the day of travel. There’s loads of Avios availability and cash fares are low on the flight I want to get so should be OK.

    Anyone know if “day of travel” is from midnight, midnight GMT (so 0100 BST), or some arbitrary time in the middle of the night when systems update? Also, do you ever get pro-active upgrades offered after such a change? The tier points would be helpful and it’s a cheap way of getting them.

    • James says:


      • Crafty says:

        You’ve literally answered the question with any one of the 3 possible choices.

        • Stu N says:

          It’s midnight local time and you may get offered a cheap upgrade.

          But in my experience the upgrade didn’t complete, which meant the booking got locked so I couldn’t check in or choose a seat in euro traveller. Sorted at the airport, fortunately.

  • Jack says:

    I have a quick OT – is there ever an offer for bonus Avios to upgrade from BA Amex to BAPP?

    I don’t really want to lose the limit I have on my existing BA account. Not going to make the 10k this year as have been spending on the Lloyds card, but planning for my options for next earning year.

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

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