Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

BREAKTHROUGH: See ALL BA Avios seats from London, for dates you choose, in one click

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

If you know where you want to go and when you want to go, the process for booking Avios redemptions is good.  Compared to other airlines and other alliances, the Avios seat booking system on ba.com works well in terms of the number of airlines it shows online (virtually all of them) and how you search.

EDIT, March 2022: If you found this article via Google, hello!  Since we published it, ‘BA Redemption Finder’ has become ‘Reward Flight Finder’ – the links below still work.  However, we now recommend that you look at SeatSpy – see this HfP article – which is more comprehensive and usually more accurate in its BA data.

If your plans are fluid, however, it is not as good.

A year ago, Head for Points reader Tim launched “BA Redemption Finder”.  This sits at www.baredemptionfinder.com.  BA, for clarity, is supportive of Tim’s efforts and is happy to see the site operate.

“BA Redemption Finder” is the quickest way of checking Avios availability for British Airways flights.

The best bit is that the site is free.  It is a website not an app, but is optimised for both mobile and desktop.  It is simplicity itself.  Type in where you want to fly from, where you want to fly to, how many seats and what cabin and you will see – instantly – full availability for the next 355 days.  On mobile it looks like this:

BA Redemption Finder

Here are some results for two Club World seats from Heathrow to Tokyo – on the actual site, you get the full year on one scrolling screen.  Dark blue means it is a peak date, light blue means it is off-peak pricing.  The left column is outbound, the right is return – click to enlarge:

BA Redemption Finder

It gets even better.  You can set up email alerts for a fee of £3 per month.   Set a date range, route, class and number of passengers and you will be notified when seats become available.  Free email alerts are also available if you happy with less frequent notifications – although you may lose the seats.

The site is so smart that it even shows the extra economy Avios seats made available to BA Gold members.

There are a few issues:

It cannot handle connections, only direct point to point searches

It does not show oneworld partner airlines – so it is best used to check availability when you want to use an Amex 2-4-1 voucher.  If you are not using a 2-4-1 voucher you should use ba.com instead as it will show you Qatar, Finnair, Royal Jordanian, American etc as well.

There is still a slight delay on the data feed compared to real time availability, but very modest

These are mainly trivial points, however, in the context of what is an amazingly fast and usable site.

BA Redemption Finder has now got even better

Tim has just launched a new feature which turns the app on its head.

You can now search BY DATE.  The site will show you EVERY BA route which has Avios availability in the class of your choice for those dates.

Let’s look at half-term next February, which for us is Saturday 16th February to Sunday 24th February.

Step 1: Go to baredemptionfinder.com and select “I don’t know where I want to go” from the home page

Step 2: Select your dates, number of seats and travel class (I want 4 people in Business) and run the search

BA Redemption Finder

Step 3: Sort the results as you wish – if you want to go long-haul, reorder the results by “Distance (most to least)” or “Avios required (most to least)” and vice versa for short haul

And then you get a screen of results:

BA Redemption Finder

Obviously you still need to do some work.  As well as searching Saturday to Sunday, I would also want to check Saturday to Saturday, or possibly Friday (after school in the evening) to Sunday.  I would also want to look at First Class.

There is no option to mix classes, so if you would be happy with that you’d need to do separate one-way searches and try to match places where you can get, say, Business outbound and First back.

This is a real breakthrough for everyone who complains “I can’t find anywhere to go”.  If you are restricted on when you can travel, this service will solve your problems.

This new feature is currently free

Tim is planning to make this a paid-for feature at some point, not surprisingly.  For now, however, it is totally free.  Give it a try.

PS.  I was talking to Tim about this new feature last week and he said that he wrote the code over a weekend, whilst his wife was away with friends.  Let’s put this in perspective.  British Airways has a massive IT team and a massive budget and cannot deliver a feature like this.  One guy, working alone, is able to develop it over a weekend ……

You can take a look at BA Redemption Finder here.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 2022)

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. 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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

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.

The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Avios, if you apply by 1st June 2022.

American Express Amex Gold

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

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER) and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee 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 10,000 Avios.

Capital on Tap Visa card

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company 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 card

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.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits 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.

(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 (190)

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

  • Stuart_f says:

    Fantastic site and one I’ve used to snag 2-4-1s in F.

    One tiny request, would it be possible to put the furthest booking date somewhere on the page. eg Today, 355 days out is 2 Nov 19 but BA redemption finder shows me the whole of Nov and I have to work out if there’s no availability because it’s gone or because it’s not released yet. (1st world problems I know).

    • A Dickinson says:

      +1

    • Julian says:

      This site seemed very helpful to me on a route with very limited availability during the UK winter months like LON to SYD.

      I think BA quite deliberately and purposefully obstructs making it this easy to look up Avios redemption availability for months ahead in order to hide just how poor and/or non existent Avios redemption availability is on some routes and/or in some cabin classes.

      BA’s Exec Club’s own one week at a time availability grid is total rubbish, especially in terms of how long it takes to move from one week to the next and in terms of its determination that if you change the week of the outbound date you also wanted to change the week of the return flight date too.

  • Chris says:

    Totally OT:
    When buying Avios using a large value Clubcard voucher to extend points validity, when does the change appear?

    I ‘bought’ £2.50 of Avios using a £25 clubcard voucher 2 weeks ago. The Avios have posted but the points change has not yet been returned.

    • Anna says:

      I have a feeling it turns up in your next statement but Shoestring and Ghengis would probably know for sure!

      • jane says:

        definitely next statement, just got mine the other day after spending 2.50 from it a month or so ago.

    • Ian says:

      You have to wait for your next allocation of Clubcard points. The return of excess points is lumped in with the award of new points.

    • Alan says:

      They appear on your next quarterly statement.

  • Ian says:

    O/T – carrying on the Tesco refund theme… Any tips on successful refunds on the Christmas Saver CC points?

  • TripRep says:

    “British Airways has a massive IT team and a massive budget and cannot deliver a feature like this.”

    They can, but it’s not a priority.

    Sure keeping systems running & Cyber Security is more pressing at the moment

    • Will merrett says:

      I’ve been an avios collector for 10 years and while I appreciate there may be more pressing issues if you can’t implement a feature in 10 years that one man can implement in a weekend your doing something wrong.

      It’s not even critical, if it didn’t roll out smoothly the worst thing that would happen is some extra functionality wouldn’t exist, it wouldn’t affect existing tools. So to sign it off as live should be relatively easy.

    • Andreas says:

      Surely teams covering product enhancements and developments do not have responsibility for cyber security? I would imagine they have an independent team to look after that.

    • mr dee says:

      Quoting cyber security is not an excuse for a poor system that is part of their business functionality, if people can’t book flights easily even if its a redemption (liability) then they should spend more money on this area. A security audit team should be separate from the developers of the system anyway.

  • Neily says:

    OT – but new Amex offers on my Amex gold. £100 off £500 with United Airlines and £30 off £100 at Harvey Nichols.

  • S**mo says:

    Any reason i can’t find Nashville? (BNA – I think)….

    • Julian says:

      It only seems to list availability for airports that BA itself flies to and doesn’t seem to cover flights offered by other OneWorld Alliance members.

    • Genghis says:

      Newer routes are not available on BA search so presumably not on BARF either?

      • Graeme says:

        I booked it quite a few months ago!

        • Genghis says:

          Indeed. Newer routes – Nashville, Seychelles etc cant be “searched”. I dunno if BA do an annual update or what. I think SCL can finally be searched.

      • Lady London says:

        Er… perhaps BARF is not a good acronym for the tool.

        Doesn’t BARF mean “to chuck up” as in… chucking up…. in American?

  • Mzungu says:

    I’ll just add my thanks as someone else that has bagged a 241 return in F using this tool.

    I’ll also add a question/request – would it be possible in future to add the ability to select a particular flight or time range? For example, last year I was searching for LHR-DEL, I was quite flexible on dates. There was a lot of availability on the flight that gets in to Delhi at something like 04:00, but very little on the flight that I wanted, which gets in about 08:30. Using this tool, it just showed availability, but not the flights I was interested in. I hope this makes sense?!

    • Ed says:

      +1. Will be looking to book a 241 F return to nyc, will be very flexible on dates, but will need an early morning out and a late evening back 2 days later. Having an email alert when available would be great

  • MrK says:

    No Bits today so going to post here.

    Heading to London Gatwick for the first time in ages for a flight next week. Which is the best lounge to head to as a PP/Plat card holder and how many guests can I bring with me?

    • Shoestring says:

      1 free guest but you can pay reduced rate for the others £20 each, unlimited numbers I think

    • Rob says:

      N or S?

      If S your only option is No 1 UNLESS the new My Lounge is open yet.

    • Julian says:

      Is there any reason all you selfish deliberate thread polluters are so absolutely determined to prevent this discussion remaining focused on the original topic when this article was an important one that deserved all the subsequents posts and discussion remaining focused exclusively on that matter.

      Of course Rob actually encourages this by failing to ever delete all these totally irrelevant Off Topic posts.

      • Jay says:

        @Julian, you OK big guy? That was a ‘Granddad on a park bench shouting at kids’ level rant. Just scroll on past the non-topic comments. It will always happen and sometimes there’s nuggets of info in the responses.

        • Julian says:

          The Off Topic babble is easily avoided if Rob either ruthlessly deletes any Off Topic responses in the discussion on any particular topic (the key offenders would soon learn not to bother) or if Rob would introduce a normal proper Subject based internet discussion forum linked to the subject matter on his website.

          Perhaps I should have applied for that assistant job after all but I think it would only have interested me if the working location(s) for some or part of the time could have been considerably more flexible.

        • Mark2 says:

          If you find it so distasteful, your best alternative is probably not to read it.

        • Stu N says:

          If Rob was that bothered about OT posts then he would do something about it. Personally I like the idea of putting OT posts under “Bits” but there wasn’t one today so that’s not an option.

          As others have said if you don’t like them, ignore them instead of adding to them and encouraging others to do so while you’re at it.

        • Bazza says:

          No, his right. The poster could have waited a day.

      • RakishDriver says:

        Is there any reason this raging post, lacking in any form of contribution, coherence or punctuation, has still not been deleted?

        • Shoestring says:

          Well, it might be missing a question mark – or that could be deliberate.

      • Eric the Half a Bee says:

        @ Julian – take a deep breath and, here, have some of these as I have some spares: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

      • Evan says:

        No Bits today so cool it. You like a rant don’t you.

      • Riku says:

        we’ve had the “OT” discussion before when Rob was asking for comments/suggestions on the site. I dislike the OT comments too – a bit like an elderly relative commenting about something totally unrelated to what is being discussed. Also the search engine does not find anything in the comments – only the body of the article. So the OT posts are (much like the elderly relatives ramblings) totally forgettable within a short period of time.
        I would like a voting button to identify “OT” comments. you could then have a setting to control whether you want to see these ramblings or ignore them.

        • Shoestring says:

          I play a silly game in supermarkets – it’s called ‘spot the OCD/ OAP/ just stressed or stupid people’ – all you have to do is space your shopping out in a very relaxed measured way on the belt (not cramped together) then put the divider down at a nice big interval & a 45 degree angle not tight up to your own shopping.

          About 85% of people will get mildly irate at that. They’ll straighten out the divider & push it tight up to your shopping.

          WTF? I don’t want your smelly breath coming near me, I want a bit of Lebensraum lol That’s my way to give me an extra 50cm in the queue (and work out who’s a dwork/ nutter/ wierdo/ OAP).

          Some old folk even push my own shopping up tighter!!!

          I class objections to off topic posts in the same category. HfP has more than its fair share of OCD people.

          Post as you like. That’s where the gems get discovered.

        • Shoestring says:

          Personally I blame Raffles for not having a Bits thread every day 🙂

        • Binks says:

          +1 on the gems. Life would not be the without these lovely gems!

        • Binks says:

          – missed out the word “same”

        • Callum says:

          Shoestring – You sound just as bad as Julian… I’ve never seen anyone act that way in a checkout line before and people are quite right to get annoyed at you.

          As to Julian, just ignore him. From the writing style of his previous posts I think it’s something he can’t help.

      • Lady London says:

        Sometimes the OT’s are asked by newbies who don’t know where to start asking about something. I’ve got grumpy about the fact that you might think they’ve not bothered to search the site themselves before occasionally. But in my better behaved moments, I remind myself that everyone starts somewhere. for sure I did my share of OT’s and basic questions in the early days – one of which was even answered by Rob long before HfP even existed. So I try to be more tolerant (but it is a strain 🙂

    • Lady London says:

      In the same terminal as Easyjet (I forget if this is called north or south) No. 1 Lounges. You can pay £5 to reserve if you are going to arrive at a peak time – turning away Priority Pass passengers at peak times seems to be a particular problem with No. 1 lounges, followed by Aspire lounges to some extent.

      In the other terminal, the one BA departs from, you do have No. 1 Lounge (new) but PP should also be offering you credit in a decent place to eat there – check the app. It;s called something like the Granary. The PP app is usually up to date within about a week so you can check there.

      The lounge scene in LGW seems to have improved a lot in very recent years – although still not inspiring, it’s adequate.

      • Lady London says:

        *not sure if I meant Aspire, I was thinking of the lounges in STN and LTN, I think I mean Escape Lounges rather than Aspire

      • ChrisC says:

        BA is South Terminal

        EasyJet is North

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.