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Save 50% on ALL BA long-haul economy Avios redemptions – but is it worth it?

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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.

Full details can be found on this special page of

Is this worth it, or is there a sting in the tale?

Avios wing 7

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 here and see what you think.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 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 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 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

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

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 sign-up 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 (71)

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

  • Mr(s) Entitled says:

    What am I missing?

    Landing page say’s LA was 32,500, not 16,250. I just priced up 4 WT tickets LGW-LAX on BA metal ithin the date range and they are coming back at 41,250 off peak. I guess the sale hasnt been loaded yet but I can’t even source the 32,500 rate.

  • Mr(s) Entitled says:

    *not = now

  • Anna says:

    Sting in the tail!

  • Jorge says:

    I’ve just tried it and it doesn’t work with the BA241. LHR – HKG – LHR comes at 39k for two with or without the BA241…

  • Dal says:

    Not sure if this has been covered before but I see a new BA ‘Flightpass’ offer… this worth it and can you do regional to LON??

  • Boris says:

    Do virgin do something similar to this??

    • Lev441 says:

      They used to do regular redemption sales around 3x a year but since the move to peak/off peak pricing they haven’t done any sales..

  • Sididdly says:

    Slightly OT but redemption related.
    I’ve got a trip to New York booked soon using a 2-4-1. Outward I’m in 1st and in on Business. Aspirationally I want to do 1st class both ways. If 1st availability opens up how do I go about it. I’ve paid 50000 points for business and 1st would be 68000 as it is an off peak flight.

    • Genghis says:

      If it becomes available, you call up BA and pay the difference in avios and your 2 x £35.

      • mark2 says:

        remember that you can use to tell you if any seats become available

        • Tilly says:

          Thanks for the reminder! Fingers crossed will be able to book our first ever redemption in a week or two. Hopefully outbound in F from LHR T5. Return if we’re lucky also in F but if not can live with J. Fingers crossed there’s availability when we book.

    • Polly says:

      Plus 1 do go for the F upgrade from NYC to Lon. It’s such a luxurious lounge in JFK. We just loved out J to F upgrade. Great one off use of avios…

  • Alex says:


    I checked my avios account today any have recived 32,000 for a transaction called A9223372035349503626-141860943437-8103362942735

    Has anyone ever seen this? Not sure whats its for…


    • Julian says:

      I would imagine that the number sequence you have published here to all the world would give BA customer service people more than enough information to remove these Avios from your account if they have been awarded purely due to an administrative error.

      On the other hand you may very well be entitled to them and its simply that a nonsensical code has been assigned to this particular Avios award by the IAG computer system.

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

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