Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

How Jason got to the World Cup semi final at 48 hours notice using his Avios, miles and points

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

I had an email from reader Jason yesterday which I thought I would share.  He decided, last Saturday night, that he fancied a trip to Moscow to watch England in the World Cup semi-final.  And he wanted it for as near to free as possible.

Anyone who did this for cash ended up paying crazy sums for the few last minute cash seats available.   Jason paid next to nothing, using his Avios and hotel points.  He was helped by the fact that Finnair is very good at releasing unsold seats for frequent flyer mile redemptions close to departure.

This is how he did it:

£1 – a one-way car rental to Heathrow via the special Europcar offer 

15,000 Avios + £25 – a one-way BA business class flight on Monday from Heathrow to Helsinki

16,000 Hilton Honors points + £46 – a room at the Hilton Helsinki Airport (reviewed here) which he used as an office on Tuesday to avoid an extra day off work

18,000 Avios + £36 – a return Finnair flight on Tuesday evening from Helsinki to Moscow

10,000 Marriott Rewards points – Marriott Courtyard hotel in Moscow for Tuesday night

£140 – Holiday Inn Express in Moscow (no points option!)

Included above – flight back from Moscow to Helsinki on Thursday

15,000 IHG points – Holiday Inn Helsinki Airport for Thursday night

19,500 Avios + £65 – a one-way business class flight Helsinki-Edinburgh on Finnair, then Edinburgh-Manchester with Flybe, on Friday

Total cost to get to Moscow at 48 hours notice plus four nights accommodation …… 44,500 Avios + 16,000 Hilton Honors points + 10,000 Marriott Rewards points + 15,000 IHG Rewards Club points + around £300 in cash.  Not a bad result.

Hotel offers update – February 2024:

Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.

Want to buy hotel points?

  • Hilton Honors is offering an 80% to 100% bonus when you buy points by 12th March 2024. Click here.
  • IHG One Rewards is offering an 80% bonus when you buy points by 7th March 2024. Click here.
  • Marriott Bonvoy is offering a 35% to 40% bonus when you buy points by 31st March 2024. Click here.
  • World of Hyatt is offering a 20% discount when you buy points by 9th April 2024. Click here.

Comments (60)

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

  • Graham says:

    I went to first England match on 18/6. Forced a gold priority to DME and standard back, replaced them with standard and then CW redemptions for 18600 Avios and £167. £200 on S7 flights (including a free upgrade inbound) and free accommodation in a friends apartment ????

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.