Last chance to book in the British Airways sale – and trigger your American Express ‘BA spend’ bonus

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The British Airways Winter sale ends tomorrow.  As I will remind you, the short-haul deals are pretty good and the long-haul deals are pretty average.  You can also double up with the American Express cashback or bonus Avios deal currently available to many of us.

A reminder of the American Express deal

British Airways and American Express have a cashback or points bonus which is generous, especially as it can be combined with the current sale deals.

The offer only appears to be added to British Airways American Express cards, either free or Premium Plus, although it is worth checking any other cards you have.

There are two variants:

£15 cashback when you spend £100+ at by 30th January

1,500 Avios – added to your BA Amex balance and transferred to BA with your normal Avios for card spending – when you spend £100+ at by 30th January

Both offers were only valid for the first 20,000 people to save them to their card.  This target appears to have been reached so you may no longer see it as available.  You need to look under the ‘Offers’ tab of your online BA Amex statement page at the Amex website here.

Remember that the offer will pay out on redemption bookings as long as the taxes are over £100.  I imagine that it will also trigger if you pay £100 towards any BA Holidays package you have booked.  It will NOT work if you buy £100 of Avios via This is because ‘buy Avios’ transactions are purchased by and you will see their name on your Amex statement.

If your booking is very close to £100, remember that you can make a small charitable donation to Flying Start or to offset your CO2 emissions.  This is worth doing if your ticket is more than £85 but below £100.  I imagine the Flying Start donation can also be treated as gift aid.

A reminder of the short haul BA deals

The highlight of the entire British Airways sale is the incredibly low Club Europe fares out of London Gatwick.

In fact, these are the cheapest Club Europe fares I have ever seen.  Back in October 2015 BA ran a flash sale offering seats at £150 return, but some of these deals beat that.  The lowest fare was to Nurmberg for £114 but that was for early January only.

More mainstream destinations are also very cheap.  Barcelona is £160 return in Club Europe from London Gatwick.

The maths is compelling:

You get 80 tier points for the flight, so at well under £2 per tier point this is worth considering for no other reason than it is a cheap way to earn or retain status.  As I note below, Catania is £215 return for 160 tier points.

Even a British Airways Blue member would earn 2,150 Avios for a return flight to Barcelona, so that is at least £20 of value coming straight back

You will get access to the impressive new British Airways Galleries lounges at Gatwick which we reviewed here 

You will get the other benefits of Club Europe – fast track security (which works well at Gatwick), priority boarding, empty middle seat, a free meal and all the champagne you can get through

The best way to look at the available routes is via the Low Fare Finder tool on   Click here, select ‘Europe’ and select ‘Business’.

This is what I see for travel between February and April for under £200 in Club Europe.  Remember that a 2-night minimum stay or a Saturday night may be required:

  • Alicante from £200 return
  • Amsterdam from £180 return
  • Barcelona from £160 return
  • Bilbao from £198 return
  • Bordeaux from £136 return
  • Friedrichshafen from £148 return
  • Geneva from £186 return
  • Genoa from £146 return
  • Innsbruck from £188 return
  • Limoges from £144 return
  • Luxembourg from £158 return
  • Lyon from £170 return
  • Malaga from £180 return
  • Nice from £180 return
  • Nuremberg from £148
  • Pisa from £196 return
  • Porto from £190 return
  • Rome from £200 return
  • Salzburg from £180 return
  • Seville from £210 return
  • Turin from £160 return
  • Venice from £180 return
  • Verona from £170 return

If you are after tier points, you should take a look at Catania in Sicily.  This is a 160 tier points route and is selling for as low as £215 return in May, June and July.  My article listing all of the 160 tier point Club Europe routes is here.

You should also have a look at the BA Holidays website here and do a dummy booking with a hotel or car hire added.  You might find it gets even cheaper.

A reminder of the long haul BA deals

The long-haul sale deals are less interesting.  The home page is here.  Remember that tomorrow is the last day to book.

Travel dates vary by route so take a look at the small print at the bottom of the sale website.  In general, you can book until early December 2018.  There seem to be fewer date restrictions than usual.

The easiest way to check out the best prices to a specific destination is with the British Airways Low Fare Finder tool on This will show you the cheapest price on any route, in any class, on month by month basis.  If you can be flexible with dates, there are some decent fares available.

In general, the premium deals are more expensive than the last sale, but some First Class deals are attractive.

As usual I strongly recommend also getting a price via the BA Holidays website here.  Packaging a hotel and flight, or a car and a flight, can sometimes cost less than the flight itself.

Economy and Premium Economy deals:

If you are looking for a real bargain then I suggest looking at World Traveller (Economy) and World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy) fares which are down sharply, especially to the US and Middle East.  We don’t really focus on those much on HFP but I would highlight:

  • Boston – £306 World Traveller / £749 World Traveller Plus
  • Chicago – £394 World Traveller / £755 World Traveller Plus
  • Montreal –  £406 World Traveller / £731 World Traveller Plus
  • San Jose (US) – £442 World Traveller / £781 World Traveller Plus
  • Bermuda – £578 World Traveller / £928 World Traveller Plus
  • Lima – £483 World Traveller / £855 World Traveller Plus
  • St Lucia – £488 World Traveller / £789 World Traveller Plus
  • Abu Dhabi – £317 World Traveller / £567 World Traveller Plus
  • Muscat – £298 World Traveller / £508 World Traveller Plus
  • Male – £726 World Traveller / £1220 World Traveller Plus
  • Shanghai – £415 World Traveller / £806 World Traveller Plus

Remember that World Traveller Plus fares can be upgraded to Club World with Avios, either during the booking process (use ‘Book and Upgrade’) or later.  There must be Avios availability for redemption seats in Club World for you to do this.

The cost is the difference between a Club World and World Traveller Plus redemption.  You can look up Avios pricing by route in this article.

Premium sale deals:

As I said above, the deals are not as good as they were in the Summer sale.  However, there are some excellent First Class offers.  In general, these are priced at roughly £400 above the equivalent Club World fare.  

Here are some major destinations, priced as Club World and First:

Boston £1364 / £1787

Chicago £1473 / £1896

Fort Lauderdale £1686 / £2122

Montreal £1410 / No First

New York £1387 / £1790

Philadelphia £1370 / £1787

Kingston £1189 / No First

Punta Cana £1284 / No First

Abu Dhabi £1247 / £1680

Dubai £1497 / £2138

Muscat £1098 / £1630

Shanghai £1890 / £2442

In general, Asia prices are not too attractive – even Bangkok, widely discounted by everyone at the moment, is still £1698 in Club World.  South Africa is also very high (£2854 Club World to Jo’burg, more to Cape Town).

If you were looking at Dubai, remember that Abu Dhabi is cheaper and it is a £40 / 1 hour taxi ride from the airport to Jumeirah.  That is only a little longer and a little more expensive than the ride from Dubai International.  It is worth taking a serious look at Muscat, however, as the fares are even cheaper and Oman has some good hotels.

And don’t forget ….

Remember that ‘Part Pay With Avios’ can be used with these fares.  The maximum discount at present is £250 for 45,500 Avios points per return flight in Club World and £300 for 55,000 Avios in First – which is pretty terrible, to be honest.  You can learn more about ‘Part Pay With Avios’, including the rates for other cabins, on this special page of

Don’t forget to compare pricing with BA Holidays too.  Their home page is here.

The best thing to do if you are interested is to pop over to and have a look around, starting with the Low Fare FinderThe full sale details are hereThe sale ends tomorrow, Tuesday 30th January.

To maximise your miles when paying, your best bet is the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card which earns double Avios (3 per £1) when you book at or via BA Holidays.  You do not get double Avios if you book with the free British Airways American Express card.  Another option is American Express Preferred Rewards Gold which offers double points – 2 per £1 – when you book flight tickets directly with an airline.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

Here are some hotels where you can redeem your points for suites
Fly Iberia's A350 aircraft with its new flat bed business class to Madrid this Summer

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  1. Slightly O/T, however since WTP and Club are mentioned here, I thought I’d mention it: for any HFP readers who happen to be BAEC Gold members thinking of redeeming a “Gold upgrade for 2” voucher during this sale and checking for WTP->Club deals, be “warned”: If you book and redeem the voucher on, the website will incorrectly reprice the BASE fare of your ticket , whereas all it’s meant to do is calculate a slightly different tax (approximately + £103 BA imposes fres). I had to book a dummy reservation using my voucher to allow BAEC to forward the details to their sales team to confirm this a “known issue between WTP and Club) and pending a fix. Summary: if you have the GUF2 voucher, make sure you get a cash quote first, then check for upgrade availability and try and redeem the voucher. If you see the BASE fare of your quote had increased as well, call BAEC, get them to re-quote you (and remove the £10 booking fee!) and redeem the voucher over the phone. You may find it saves you in the region of £200!

    • Had 2 x GUF1 that I used to book travel for later this year. The base fare difference between the cash WTP fare on and the GUF1 upgrade fare (WTP->CW) is about £300 per person. I thought that this is because not all fare classes can be upgraded and went ahead to book the upgrade via the website, but it seems you are saying this is not the case.

      So is it true that all WTP cash fares can be upgraded to CW (if availability permits)? If true, I must have also wasted hundreds on my GUF2 I redeemed last year! Is there a way for BA to fix this on my booked ticket for later this year?

      • A few years ago some deeply discounted WTO tickets could not be upgraded but this was clearly flagged at booking. BA then stopped it, presumably due to customer confusion.

        Nothing you can do about a ticket already booked. Some difference will be BA surcharges though.

  2. BA put my £100 spend through as two lots of £50, so it didn’t register for the 1500 Avios deal.
    A quick call to AmEx with their usual superb customer service got it sorted though.

    • Odd, I thought it would trigger anyway as BA always charges each ticket separately.

  3. Would the bonus points be credited if it’s an ex E.U flight, so charged in euros but then converted to £ on the statement?

    • Check the small print – these offers are often restricted to £ purchases.

      • roberto says:

        My flights from Spain priced in Euros did not trigger the bonus. I resorted to plan B and paid £100 off a BA holiday which did.

        I have also triggered my £200 of £600 Amex travel deal but not had the credit back thus far – has anyone got their’s?

        • BA Hols balance payment worked for £15 off £100.

          The Amex Travel “£200 back on £600” offer did work for me but the statement credit took about 10 days to appear.

        • Out of interest what did you use the 600 spend towards? I was looking at buying a flight for August but unsure whether this would work as t&C’s state that it must be used for travel before May (I think) although struggling to work out how they would go through thousands of transactions

        • Gabriel says:

          Yes, I got both £200 of £600 on Platinum and £50 of £200 on Gold, in around a week from the moment of booking.

        • Been 6 working days and not had my £200 credit back on platinum yet, going to call them as wanted to cancel ASAP. Partner has had £50 back off £200 on Gold card from same day.

          Used ours on hotel bookings, all separate but hit the thresholds.

        • Tom Cook says:

          Got mine on a hotel booking – took around 7 days to register.

        • The £200 Amex Travel one was used for flights in the summer, no mention of a May cutoff in the offer I had.

        • roberto says:

          Mine was a New Orleans Hotel Booking @ £613

  4. Just to confirm, paying off part of a BA holiday balance did trigger the bonus for me.

  5. Braiden says:

    Will selecting and paying for seats for a CW fare trigger this?

  6. A bit off topic and sorry if it’s a silly question.
    I’m booking a flight via and I’m going to credit the miles to BA.

    I believe I’m getting 160 Tier points. And the reason I’m not booking it via Ba is because it comes as £1000, but only £500 via Qatar.

    There is a Ba coded flight and a Qr coded flight. Which is better if I’m crediting the miles to Ba?


    • If this is in economy and you don’t have any status with BA then it’ll be the same. If you have BA status and/or it is Business then you are better with BA coded flights.

  7. As a lowly Blue, I used my BA amex offer to reserve seats in CW Upper Deck. 1500 points triggered straight away.

  8. Chris L says:

    We had intended to book WTP LHR-SFO in the sale, but found it was ‘only’ double the price to go out in F and back in CW. I found it was easy to convince myself it was a good idea 🙂 The only thing I resent is having to pay for a seat selection in CW as I don’t have BA status.

    • Def worth it esp if you get good location in aircraft in J. F is oftenbworth the difference in avios spend. We did it coming back from NYC. Bummer having to pay tho.
      Saying that we are in F 241 now about to take off for KUL with new J layout. It looks really good l can say right now. Wouldn’t mind going J LH now seeing this tonight..

  9. Does anyone know if Palermo (Sicily) counts as a 160 tier point route??

  10. Does anyone know if the BA £100 spend is cumulative? I thought it is, until I saw Kevin mentioned that his £50 and £50 did not trigger the bonus…

  11. Would a part payment on an ex-EU holiday tigger the payment? Would be in Euros.

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