Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: why BA changed the Club World bedding, pigeons in the BA lounge, 50% ‘buy Avios’ bonus

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

News in brief:

New PR shot of the improved Club World bedding

I was sent a new PR photo of the improved ‘The White Company’ Club World bedding which is soon to be rolled out on the JFK route – see below.

It does, you have to admit, look good and an improvement on what has gone before.  It will be 2018 before it rolls out on the rest of the network, however, which is odd.  I can understand why they may want to trial the new food service before committing to all of the new serving trolleys etc, but surely bedding is bedding?

However …. spot the difference.  Here is the new photo:

New British Airways Club World White Company bedding

…. and here is the original one supplied earlier in the year:

It seems … allegedy … that the original design failed a safety test.  Apparently the navy colour was too close to the colour of the carpets in the Club World cabins.  This meant that it was deemed a trip hazard, so the whole project was sent back to the drawing board.

Pigeons in the Terminal 5 First lounge

Meanwhile, the pigeon problem on the Terminal 5 Galleries First lounge terrace continues. Here are a few shots sent in by a reader:

and

and

Should you buy Avios with a 50% bonus?

A few people have contacted me this week about a targeted 50% ‘buy Avios’ bonus that is being emailed to some Executive Club members.

There are a few permutations, with the most generous being a 50% bonus on any purchase.

Here are a few price points:

5,000 Avios – was £95 (1.9p), now 7,500 Avios for £95 (1.26p)

10,000 Avios – was £175 (1.8p), now 15,000 Avios for £175 (1.16p)

20,000 Avios – was £335 (1.7p), now 30,000 Avios for £335 (1.12p)

50,000 Avios – was £815 (1.6p), now 75,000 Avios for £815 (1.09p)

100,000 Avios – was £1,615 (1.6p), now 150,000 Avios for £1,615 (1.07p)

The cheapest price is therefore 1.07p per Avios point.

Is this a good deal?  Well, it is fair to say that you won’t lose money at this level.  I have a spreadsheet showing the last few million Avios I redeemed and my average value is 1.15p per point, based on what I would have personally paid for the same flights.

It would be crazy to pay 1.07p per Avios if you were going to redeem them for 1.15p.  Avios points are obviously not as flexible as cash and are issued by The Central Bank of IAG which, frankly, has an inflationary track record to rival many third world countries. 

Personally, I would be targetting somewhere closer to 0.66p before I would be a speculative buyer – but that is based WHOLLY on my personal circumstances.

This is my long ‘what is an Avios point worth?’ article (click here) which takes a more scientific view based on different ways you may spend your points.  These valuations tend to come out at nearer 1.5p in the best cases.  On this basis, paying 1.07p – with no more effort required than picking up your credit card – may work you.

If you are only topping off an account with the last few thousand you need for a redemption, the price per point doesn’t really matter anyway.  Many people are offered a version of this deal which gives the 50% bonus however few points you buy, even the minimum of 1,000.

Before you buy, though, think about the options.  Could you or your partner take out an American Express Preferred Rewards Gold card instead?  The card is free for the first year and you’ll get 20,000 Amex points (= 20,000 Avios) when you spend £2,000 within 90 days.  That is a better deal than spending around £250 buying points under this deal.  

If you’ve got a BA Amex and a Gold or Platinum, how about the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card?  The 10,000 points you get for signing up convert to 10,000 Avios and you only need to spend £1,000.  (The Starwood Amex has a representative APR of 36.2% variable including the annual fee based on a notional £1200 credit limit.)

The deadline to buy is 29th September.  If you want to see if you are targeted, the ba.com ‘buy Avios’ page is here.


British Airways BA Amex American Express

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios 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 (91)

  • Lee says:

    1000 free marriott points by replying to marriot rewards on twitter to there NFL question with 360 foot .
    My points posted within 10 mins
    Need to link your twitter acc first to marriott
    https://mrpoints.chirpify.com/rewardspoints/register#!%23top

  • Derek Scott says:

    All these changes are all well and good, but for me, BA needs to get one of the basics sorted… On Time Performance. I’ve had about 10 flights this year so far, and every single one has been delayed by at least 20 mins, and upwards of 2 hours. Most of them, were in BA’s control. They don’t seem to follow their own mantra of expecting everyone to be at the gate on time, and their boarding process is slow, especially on full flights. I still don’t understand why they don’t load from the front and back, to get economy loading quicker.

    I timed a EDI-LHR 767 flight boarding and it took over 30 minutes. It could have been reduced significantly by parallel boarding.

    For me, On Time Performance improvements are more important than how comfortable a duvet is.
    Whilst some delays will be down to ATC, maybe this will underline BA’s reliance on LHR is detrimental, and to restart looking at Regional Long Haul again?

  • Ramon Philippe says:

    Pigeon Update

    Was caught in Friday whilst I was in the lounge, and asked to leave by the dragons for not having a gold card.

  • Alex says:

    That was a risk letting the pigeon alight on his shoe! Might have had a white sheen to it afterwards…..

  • Nick says:

    I’d take the 50% deal hands down but never get any BAEC offers.

  • Amexgirl says:

    Thanks for the all the info shared here! I already own a BA amex card and whe applying to the Preferred Rewards Gold amex card it says I ‘may’ not be entitled to the bonus points on the first two months… I really wanted to make use of this offer. Anyone knows of that is really the case? Also I looked everywhere and can’t find anything preventing cancellation during the first year ( dont want to pay anual fees for two amex cards)… Help appreciated!

    • Alan says:

      You’ll be fine, it’s only cards with the same rewards ‘currency’ that have an issue – BA and PRG are different, so no issue.

      • Amexgirl says:

        Thanks a lot Alan! And apologies everyone for the many typos, I was writing on the phone and in a rush..

  • rich_e says:

    Advice please!

    I will have ~95K avios by March-18 and plan to go to CPT in CW (150K) using 2-4-1 voucher. Should I buy the ~50K avios in the sale or wait? 🙂

    Thanks!

    • rich_e says:

      I got the 50% offer FWIW

      • the real harry1 says:

        why do you need advice? sounds like £500 which is hardly going to break the bank & gets you the 241

    • Genghis says:

      March 18 is a while off. There may be other opportunities between now and then to earn points much more cheaply. Can you open any more credit cards etc?

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.