Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Another Qatar Airways flight sale bargain …. to Johannesburg

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Here’s a quick update to our Qatar Airways sale article yesterday.

The best Johannesburg business class deal looked like it was the Frankfurt departure, at €1702 (£1500).  It turns out that, if you are willing to head down to Bulgaria, there is a stonking price out of Sofia – just BGN 2,715 which is £1228.  You need to use promo code PCGTBGIFT to get that price.  It comes down a little further if two people travel.

The Sofia sale deals page is here.

If you don’t have a credit card with 0% foreign exchange fees, your best option for paying is American Express Preferred Rewards Gold which offers triple points – 3 per £1 – when you book flight tickets in a foreign currency.  This is because the transaction triggers the ‘double points for airline spend’ and the ‘double points for foreign spend’ bonuses.

If you want somewhere to stay in Sofia, pictured below, the night before, a new InterContinental (the fully refurbished ex-Radisson) is about to open – see the IHG website here.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (July 2024)

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

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £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

30,000 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 £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

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

40,000 bonus points AND (to 27th August) £400 to spend at Amex Travel 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

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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 (88)

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

  • Crafty says:

    OT: If I book multiple rooms on 1 night at the same hotel (for a group holiday) on my IHG account, and pay myself up front on a non refundable rate, will I get all the points? Website suggests Yes, but I’m sceptical.

  • Will_2 says:

    I thought the IHG sale was only using the app?
    I can’t get the discounted prices to appear using the link above. I can see them in the app but the app won’t let me book as it tells me my address is missing from my profile (it isn’t).

    • Brian says:

      First couple of days were via the app. Now available on the website, though of course many of the best deals might have gone. No doubt Rob had a reason for not running the article when the sale actually launched…

      If you click on the link in the article, you seem to go to the normal booking page and then have to click on the banner at the top advertising the sale.

      • Will_2 says:

        Aha. Clicking on the Sale banner on the link gives me the same prices as the app.
        Cheers for that.

  • Richard says:

    One nice feature about Finnair tickets is that with an emerald card you still get one piece of checked luggage. BA remove this benefit gold card holders with their HBO fares. Using avios redemptions for the AY european flights can be a waste of time though. From Helsinki cash tickets to DUB/EDI are going for 150e return.

  • tical says:

    OT and thanks in advance. It seems like the Starwood Pay Your Birth Year Promotion (https://headforpoints.com/2017/05/23/pay-your-birth-year-an-attractive-starwood-promo-for-our-older-readers/) is requiring a username and password to access the site. Has anyone booked such a rate lately?

  • New Card says:

    OT – Any idea whether the 35% transfer bonus to BA is likely to come back in February this year? Is this normally announced in advance?

  • Anna says:

    OT – I have called avios.com as they have changed their website and it now strongly suggests that you can book 2 x 1 way flights online using the Lloyds upgrade voucher. Unfortunately, due to an IT glitch, you still can’t, and after inputting your flight details you will just get an error message. They don’t know when this will be rectified, which sounds very like the Lloyds answer to when they are asked when the problem with posting avios will be resolved. Can it be just a coincidence?!

    • The_real_a says:

      Depends what you mean, but i have always been able to book 2 one ways provided one was IN to uk and one was OUT of the uk. Destinations dont have to be same. Agree if it was an unestricted 2x one ways it would be fabulous enhancement.

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

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