Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

A warning for British Airways Gold Guest List / GUF / GUF2 holders

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If you a high level member of the Executive Club you may, depending on your tier points, receive a ‘Gold Upgrade’ or ‘Gold Upgrade for Two’ voucher, generally known as a GUF1 / GUF2.  This lets you upgrade a cash or Avios British Airways ticket by one class.

Most GUF holders think that you need Avios availability in the higher class to use the voucher.  This is NOT true if you are upgrading a cash ticket.

What IS true is that, if you try to use your GUF on a cash ticket via, there MUST be Avios availability in the higher class.  However if you book via a travel agent then this is NOT the case.   Your GUF upgrade can be processed as long as CASH tickets are still available in the higher class in the cheaper ticket buckets.

Can I get into a British Airways lounge with a Gold card?

You can find out more on this travel agent website here which is one of the few agencies who actually know how to process a GUF.

If you want to upgrade a cash-bought Club World ticket to First Class, you need an ‘A’ class ticket available in First.  These are the cheap(er) non-refundable ones.

Now we get to the point …..

From 10th December, British Airways is withdrawing ‘A’ class availability on Dubai and Boston.  Only ‘F’ bucket First Class seats will be sold on those routes.  This is part of “a trial of new inventory buckets” – you can read more about it here.

It is likely that a travel agent will NOT be able to book a GUF into a cash bucket for Boston or Dubai after close of play on December 9th.  If you had been planning to use your GUF to travel in First on either of these routes you may want to move quickly.  Abu Dhabi remains a nearby alternative for Dubai of course.

This will also impact the ‘joker’ reward space opened up for Gold Guest List members since that also requires First Class to be showing ‘A’ bucket availability.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 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:

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:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

35,000 Avios (ONLY to 21st February) 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.

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

30,000 points and unbeatable 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 10,500 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 sign-up 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 (174)

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

  • Riku says:

    how is the news about the GUF2 voucher related to gold guest list? are their GUF2 vouchers different to the GUF2 voucher handed out at 2500 tier points to gold members (GGL has requirement of 5000 tier points). Certainly when I got a GUF2 voucher I was not GGL.
    BA themselves have quite detailed instructions about the GUF2 voucher here:
    and that’s where the A class is mentioned, but nothing about GGL in the rules. I think the GGL part is incorrect in this story, you only have to be gold to get a GUF2 voucher, not GGL.

  • Chuck says:

    Correct Riku, got a GUF2 and I have never been GGL …

  • Kevin says:

    There is no mention of GUF1s which will have the same issue.

  • Delbert says:

    Any recommendations for a good Accor hotel in London? Room rate’s not an issue.

    • Louise says:

      I liked the new Novotel in Canary Wharf

    • Mark says:

      Sofitel St James is my preference but also the Savoy if the rate is really not an issue.

      • Cat says:

        Definitely the Savoy,for any number of reasons, not the least of which is the ability to stagger back to your room from the American bar in a couple of short minutes!

      • BJ says:

        +1, was my first choice when I still had to go to London (on expenses) after moving to Edinburgh. Never did get a room with a bath though, it was all large showers. In that price range I really expect a separate bath and shower.

    • 1nfrequent says:

      Depending on where you need to be, the Pullman at King’s Cross has always been good to me – status recognition if you have it and the location is great for the Tube.

      Sofitel St James is also a good property with a good on site restaurant.


      • Rob says:

        Anika did a Pullman night this year before an early morning Eurostar and hated it.

        • Jon says:

          I didn’t think much of it either; unless you enjoy the ambiance of an office block.

        • Alan says:

          Interesting – why? I stayed there a few weeks ago and was pretty impressed. Gold with Accor and as no upgrade they said everything in the minibar was free. Superb breakfast spread. Also given a voucher (worth up to about £12 IIRC) for a drink at the bar, had a nice cocktail.

    • Lady London says:

      Sofitel Heathrow
      Some people like the Sofitel in St James’s Square

      • Lady London says:

        And, now that someone’s reminded me Accor had hoovered up Fairmont/The Savoy/Claridges etc., probably The Berkeley in Knightsbridge. I am sure they would have maintained their high standards.

  • Sean says:

    You can upgrade Avios tickets with a GUF (albeit this article does not apply as you need reward inventory in the upgraded class)

  • Anna says:

    I might finally take the plunge and open an Iberia account this week! Realistically, I won’t be able to make any IB bookings for another couple of years, but as long as I keep collecting points during this time I’m assuming they won’t expire (planning a retirement trip to South America so probably won’t transfer them to BA)? Also, how much better is the Groupon deal and can you use it with a newly opened IB account?

    • Shoestring says:

      Easy to keep IB points alive with a 1000 point MR transfer once a year (in the absence of other easy wins).

      They are a bit over-mean about cancelling points so worth diarising.

  • meta says:

    There’s also vente privee deal. However, the prices of 2000 Avios packages have gone up to 25€. You can purchase up to 3 x 2k packages. Not sure what on earth they were thinking when pricing as now it costs less to buy two 2k packages than 4k package which costs 59€.

    • Shoestring says:

      @meta – they always do that, small giveaway/ advantageous price just to get people to participate, make them think they grabbed a smart price.

      • meta says:

        But up until this round it was 19€ for 2k and 59€ for 4k.

        • Rob says:

          There was a 2000 Avios option but it went during the day yesterday so I had to rework the article.

        • Lady London says:

          That’s why I left it. it’s only the base valuation I have for avios anyway. At best, at all price levels they were offering.

          Plus I’m very worried about how British Airways may be intending to devalue the Avios program which must be imminent. So I don’t want to invest in it.

    • pablo says:

      This offer probably wouldn’t trigger on € spend as it says billed in GBP only. Would you like to try one for the team? 😉

    • Mr. AC says:

      Has anyone been able to verify the Vente-Privée offer works on the Avios bought via the French website?

  • Rich says:

    Pardon my ignorance but does this mean the end of lower cost First seats to DXB and BOS then?

    • Stu_N says:

      Sounds like it. A class is discounted; fares to east coast USA are around £3-5k depending on how far in advance you book but can go to <£2k in sales. F is full fare flexible which is 6-10k.

    • Nick says:

      No, they can control pricing in F class using other ‘levers’, such as fare restrictions and apex rules. This is part of a wider plan to rebuild the fare ladder to allow more price points at the bottom through direct and NDC, but which required additional letters to be repurposed.
      It’s a ‘trial’ so won’t all work immediately, but they’ll presumably learn which bits do and don’t. I suspect a nice fallout will be increased Z class availability for redemptions, particularly when GUF/joker holders start complaining.
      In addition, remember that the stated aim for F is to reduce to 8 seats on lots of aircraft and 0 on lots more, so having 3 letters just for F won’t be as relevant in that world.

      • Stu N says:

        Interesting – appreciate there are different fares within the headline classes but thus far, every time I have looked the A class has been substantially cheaper than F. If F will have a wider spread of fares than at present, should we expect this not to affect cash fares?

        May also be good for earning, as A earns 250% of base miles and F 300% – so this could actually be a good thing.

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