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 credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 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:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 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 – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee 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.

If you have a small business, we especially recommend Capital On Cap’s Visa card which comes with a generous bonus worth 10,500 Avios:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

(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 (90)

  • 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.