British Airways has brought back its (fairly regular) Christmas sale on long-haul World Traveller Avios redemptions.
You save 50% on redemptions to 90 destinations worldwide.
Is this worth it, or is there a sting in the tale?
On the face of it, this offer looks better than it has in previous years. The reason is the very generous travel dates on offer.
Historically BA has used this deal to fill seats over the quiet Winter months. Importantly, because cash prices are generally lower over the Winter than the Summer, economy Avios redemptions begin to look even poorer value at this time of year.
Even with an Avios discount of 50%, once you have paid the full taxes and charges – taxes and charges are NOT reduced by 50% – your redemption is still often a bad deal unless you want the flexibility to cancel your trip or change your dates.
This offer is valid for World Traveller redemptions until 30th June 2018. This means that you can travel in late Spring or early Summer when prices are starting to creep up and still benefit from 50% off the Avios required.
Here are the core details:
This offer is only valid for World Traveller (economy long-haul) redemptions
You must book by 17th December
You must travel between 4th January and 30th June 2018
The discount only applies to British Airways flights and not partner airlines
And also note: “Reward flights are strictly subject to availability which may be very limited or not available at all on some routes including Sydney, Santiago de Chile, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, San Jose (Costa Rica) and Grenada.”
I am guessing that a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher can be combined with these fares, although it is not specifically mentioned except that “this cannot be combined with any other offer”
The British Airways ‘Low Fare Finder’ tool (click here) shows how the value from the deal improves as you get further into 2018.
Los Angeles, for example, starts at £462 return for cash in January but moves to £546 after Easter. An off-peak redemption in this sale will cost 16,250 Avios return plus £399 of tax.
In January, you’d be mad to use 16,250 Avios + £399 if you can pay £462 cash instead. However, at £546, you are getting closer to 1p per Avios.
Johannesburg is also 16,250 Avios plus taxes (£334) under this offer on an off-peak date. At £536 cash in January you are getting 1.25p per Avios. When the cheapest cash tickets jump to £607 in April, you are getting 1.7p per Avios.
It is also worth noting that the cheapest cash prices I quote above may be at inconvenient times or inconvenient days of the week, so you may get an even better deal.
In general, redeeming your Avios for long-haul economy redemptions is the worst possible way to spend them. That is not necessarily the case with this promotion, and you may find that there are good deals to be had.
Take a look at the sale page of ba.com here and see what you think.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.