Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

You can take a 23kg suitcase on Flybe when you book via an Avios redemption

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In Lesson 15 of our Avios Redemption University series we discussed Avios redemptions on Flybe.

What’s interesting is that a standard cash ticket bought on Flybe does not include checked luggage whereas an Avios redemption via does. 

23kg suitcase on Flybe with Avios redemption via

Flybe tickets booked via should also come with a free suitcase although you are told otherwise during the booking process – for safety book on

According to the website this can be a suitcase up to 20kg.  It turns out that this was changed to 23kg in May 2017 and, last week, the website was finally updated to reflect this.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 2023)

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:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 30th May, the sign-up bonus on the Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard is doubled to a crazy 50,000 Avios! Apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 30th May, the sign-up bonus on the free Barclaycard Avios Mastercard is doubled to 10,000 Avios. Apply here.

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

CRAZY 50,000 Avios for signing up (to 30th May) and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

10,000 Avios for signing up (only to 30th May) 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

25,000 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 £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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.

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

60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! 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

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 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 (90)

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

  • Roger says:

    OT_ IHG Accelerate

    I have a target to use IHG Premium card for bonus points, I no longer have this card and instead only white (free/no fee) card. Would I still be eligible for the bonus?

    • Andrew M says:

      Not unless you get the premium card again. Sorry!

      • Roger says:

        That is very Cheeky of IHG.
        How do you achieve bonus if you do not hold the card!

        • JamesB says:

          It’s an old story with IHG, many have had their offers ruined by a credit card application target despite alreadyholding the card.

        • RussellH says:

          And sometimes it works the other way too. Sor far, the only Accelerate target I have ‘met’ this time around is to pay IHG with my IHG Credit Card. I got the points, but have not paid IHG anything – just guaranteed several points bookings against the card. I think it is call (mis)information technology.

        • Lady London says:

          IHG is also fond of demanding a booking using a corporate rate from people on Accelerate, wwhen many do not have any access to corporate rates. I suppose it’s because they want to collect the information on who’s linked to what corporate? and too bad if putting that target there means you don’t bother with Accelerate so put your bookings elsewhere.

    • Matt says:

      For my autumn 2017 accelerate offer, I had a target to sign up to the IHG credit card (which I already had). I wrote to IHG Rewards Club to explain this however they advised I can focus on the other targets which was a little annoying. However a couple days later the target showed as completed so unsure whether they intervened or if my existing card triggered the offer.

  • Lumma says:

    The problem with the economist deals is that, if you can’t write off the cost as a business expense, is that they’re constantly offering cheap deals for subscriptions. Just a quick search for “the economist” on my email inbox shows direct offers from them and deals through Groupon for 12 issues for either £10 or £12. Even though it returns to full price after the deal, they’re quick to try and get you back again if you cancel. In the meantime I don’t see why you couldn’t get another cheap subscription for your spouse, child, dog, cat, goldfish etc. in the meantime.

    • JamesB says:

      The other problem is that most UK residents can read the digital version for free on any internet-enabled device via their local authority library subscription. Therefore, the avios subscription offers at up to 13200 make no sense unless people want to have their personal print copy. Much better to use the library digital subscription and buy avios via discount offers like groupon using the money saved. For M&M though, the choices may be more complex as the miles are more difficult to collect.

  • Nick says:

    It may be of interest that have a Double Avios promotion running this weekend, until end of play today.

    As examples, you can get 12 avios/£ for Hilton bookings (normally 6/£) and 6 avios/£ with IHG bookings (normally 3/3).

    • Roger says:

      Yes, just booked on, with an expiring £30 bonus.
      Almost free hotel room once you add cost of BF!

    • Nick_C says:

      10 Avios per £ on Tesco Wine Direct, with a mysterious “more Avios” on orders over £100.

      • Anna says:

        And 20 avios per £1 at Holland and Barrett for detox products to counter the effects of all the wine!

        • RussellH says:

          Yes, that was quite a nice surprise – I though that I would be only getting 12 whenever they got around to awarding them. The transaction has not tracked, of course (they never do in my experience), but completing the complaint form has, so far, ultimately worked. I just noticed that my avios from on 8 Jan are ‘approved’. Still to actually get them, though.

  • Nick G says:


    Is there any redemption system I can use for checking flybe such as ba redemption finder? Or is it a case of painfully plugging dates in etc? I give up on avios so far this year I can’t anything I want in April or June from local airport.

    Also groupon deal is back if anyone if you’re interested. I bought the 2000 pack yesterday for €19 and it’s tracked via Iberia plus store so it says….

    • palcsaky says:

      You could have had them for only €15.20. There’s a number of 20% off vouchers floating online that work on existing accounts. I bought both the 2000 and the 8000 Avios packets in separate transactions, 20% off worked on each of them.

    • Rob says:

      Just need to plug dates in I’m afraid.

  • Lumma says:

    OT, has anyone else had problems accessing their Iberia accounts recently? Even after resetting my pin it still says that it’s incorrect

    • Roger I* says:

      I had that problem using AwardWallet. They said my IB credentials were invalid and I should check them at IB where they were OK. Even changing my login details at IB didn’t help.

      The outcome is AW don’t update my IB account.

      • Lumma says:

        It’s strange as I can log into my Iberia account through for combine my avios but I can’t actually log in on their website. Asked Iberia on Twitter and they said to try using Firefox as my browser. It’s clearly still 2005 in Spain

        • RussellH says:

          Iberia insisted that I change my PIN two days ago – after doing so I could not get back in because Firefox had not updated the change. I had to do it manually.

    • Michael Canning says:

      Yes I had EXACTLY the same issue – I couldn’t login as normal and no method of resetting PIN worked. It was incredibly frustrating!
      Iberia Twitter Help was useless, suggesting I cleared cookies and only used Firebox broswer(!).
      I failed to understand how this was a satisfactory resolution. Nevertheless once I’d explained I’d done this, they then asked for screenshots of each stage of the journey so they could ‘investigate’.
      I couldn’t be bothered so left it a few days and eventually I was able to reset my PIN successfully.
      The whole experience made me question Iberia’s IT systems and their ability to resolve issues (as I normally find a company’s Twitter support has the most up to date information so can resolve issue speedily). Rant over 🙂

      • RussellH says:

        What is twitter???

      • Lumma says:

        I’m convinced that the twitter account “Iberia English” is manned by someone just using Google translate. The response I got this morning was the most coherent one I’ve ever had. It’s usually complete nonsense

    • Bagoly says:

      I often get this when trying to login from front page.
      I carry on to do a booking or redemption, and when it gets to login stage it works!

    • Alex Sm says:

      Yes, I did have that too and it was annoying! Had to change my pin and spent ages transferring miles to Interestingly, it worked much better and faster in Google Chrome than in Mozilla Firefox

  • TripRep says:

    FlyMayBe :. Worth noting that many of their regional aircraft do not allow standard hand baggage size that you can normally take in the cabin when flying on BA, easyJet etc.


    • Florian says:

      I discovered this last weekend from Southend (or actually when coming back to Southend). Our bags were not checked on the way out and entered the plane without issue. This got checked on the way back and, we had to pay 54 euros each… Not buying new bags for them.. Will just fly with other airlines..

      • Graeme says:

        Had the exact same thing happen to us. It’s my fault for not checking the baggage allowances, but you just assume – which they clearly rely on. Again, we’re exactly the same – we just won’t fly with them again.

        • Genghis says:

          Isn’t it something that you just need to check?

          My default suitcase is a 55 x 45 x 25 – great for BA and EZY. It’s sufficient for whatever I need whether a week away or a 3 week holiday (with laundry). But I know that I cannot take it on say BACF as hand baggage (it won’t fit in the overheads), it won’t fit on 744 UD (so I ask straight away for it to be put in the cupboard) and it’s way too big for FR allowance so I have to take a smaller case / check baggage accordingly.

        • JamesB says:

          Agree with Genghis on this. At least a decade since I last checked a bag. My cabin bag is the same size and it is amazing what you can get in that bag if you pack well and avoid unnecessary stuff. I generally pack for 9 days leaving a couple of days clothes to allow for a weeks laundry. I even prefer paying hotel laundry bills to hauling and checking a bag.

        • Graeme says:

          I assume Florian meant “checked” as in checked by the gate staff – from Southend you have to pay for “large” cabin bags in advance. Foolishly I wasn’t aware and had to pay through the nose at the airport. I noticed several small cabin bags so some people were smarter than me and hadn’t just assumed.

    • Alex says:

      How big are your handhelds for this to be an issue as you shouldn’t be out by more than a CM and they don’t really care overall, as long as you can stuff it into the overheads or under the seat in-front then it’s all good or at least it is with LGW – NQY travel.

    • Kinkell says:

      At INV ,all was good until at the gate , normal size cabin bags were put aside and we were assured they would go in hold and be off loaded for collection by aircraft steps at our destination. Worked fine and no extra charges.

  • Yuff says:

    OT ; I need to book a flight from Madrid to London, using avios, and I thought I’d read somewhere that Iberia business is better than CE but that might only be on a particularly type of aircraft.
    Any tips?

    • Yuff says:

      Just read about Iberia express short haul and it mentions trying to get the A340 from Madrid.
      I am flying from Palma and the A340 leaves 65 mins after I land. I’m hand baggage only is it doable?
      Also couid BA book my flight all on 1 ticket I’ve just booked pmi-mad on within the last hour!
      Sorry for all the questions but the a340 looks a much better option 🙂

      • Luke says:

        I did PMI-MAD-LHR this week – IB A340 is proper business class service, you get proper 2 course meal, bottomless bubbles, working IFE etc….all the goodies I did not experience flying LHR-MAD on BA B777. 65 minutes for transfer is very very tight – you have to take train from HKL gates to S gate,l + security checks and long walk…I took earlier flight and enjoyed 4 hrs in great IB business lounge rather than rushing through the airport.

      • Rob says:

        Doable but Madrid is a HUGE airport so don’t hang around.

        If your ticket is all cash the, yes, you can cancel your current booking under the 24 hour rule and do PMI-MAD-LON on one booking, which gives you some extra protection if you miss the connection. However, this will only be possible if the Minimum Connecting Time at Madrid is under 65 minutes. If it isn’t then you won’t be able to book.

        If you were planning to use Avios to London but cash from Palma then it needs to be separate tickets.

        • Nick says:

          I did a 65-min connection this week to the same flight (also from domestic Spain albeit not PMI), it was easily doable, no issues at all. Remember to use the lifts not escalators (like LHR) to save time. Like the uk there’s no extra security check from Spanish origin airports. Even got a few mins in the lounge on the way. I wouldn’t hesitate for a second doing this again – particularly given that there’s so many later flights they’d move you to if your inbound were late.

        • Yuff says:

          Thanks that’s all really helpful.
          I’m hoping to do both flights on avios 🙂 but not sure I can via BA

        • Yuff says:

          All booked via BA on 1 ticket.
          I paid the extra avios between peak and off peak (2250)as the connection is 50 mins not 65 mins and I assume I was charged a peak rate as it was Iberia via BA.

  • Graeme says:

    OT – considering my options for a 241 (preferably in First) to San Francisco for next Summer (vague, I know – waiting on a friend to set a wedding date) – is that somewhere I need to book T-355?

    • Leo says:

      No. I’m flying F on Wednesday, booked it a while back but not a year. That said it’s harder to get flights back. Coming home from San Diego.

    • mark2 says:

      It’s a personal decision, but I always book at t-355 to be sure.

    • David S says:

      T-355 if booked at midnight quickly, guarantees you the seat since no guarantees that seats will be available on exact days you want if you wait. I managed to get J tickets to and from SFO booking about 3 months out but we were flexible with no set dates in mind.

    • Anna says:

      IF seats don’t necessarily get released at T-355.

      • Anna says:

        F – stupid auto correct!

      • Gill says:

        Is the optimal option in to book J at T-355 and then keep an eye out for F availability? Interested in Santiago or Buenos Aires next September which both seem to be very popular routes.

        • Stu N says:

          Yes, if you have firm plans then I’d book something acceptable when seats are released then try to improve on it as you get closer to departure dates. You’ll pay a change fee of £35 per person for each change and sometimes the taxes, fees and charges move a wee bit but in the scheme of things it’s not too bad to do that a couple of times to get exactly what you want.

        • Gill says:

          Thanks Stu. I’m fine with paying a few extras to get F it it comes up but will priorities trying to get the J as soon as they become available.

        • mark2 says:

          Remember that you can use BARedemptionFinder to tell you when seats become available.

    • Graeme says:

      Thanks all. My concern is that our friend won’t book their wedding until after T-355, making it tougher. Your replies are encouraging though, thank you.

    • Lady London says:

      IF you did not want First then as SFO is a very competitive market you might well have been able o snag excellent J or other non-F fares for cash. Personally I would not spend miles on SFO due to this. But I would also rarely spend miles on First.

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