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 (December 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 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:

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 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

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

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.

  • John McLeod says:

    OT Contrition – backed up by donations to charities – from IAG, following claim that EI staff were robbing the company en masse.

  • Anna says:

    Can’t remember, was this a targeted offer?

  • Sam says:

    Worked for me but you have to do the payment page in a specific order for it to work. When I first did it, the code said not valid for the purchase but then I added the Amex card first as payment option then did the code and it was fine.

  • JD says:

    Appreciate some advice when making first ever avios redemption!

    Looking to book return business/first to Florida for Disney during Christmas period 2019. Looking at going during off peak period In early December. Got my notifications set up on redemption finder. Happy to do open jaw to any of the 4 Florida airports. Got BA 241 and Lloyd’s upgrade. Flying Me, wife, 4yr old, and baby (due in Jan 19). How do I go about booking this!? In particular how to use Lloyd’s now is dead and booking outbound first and then inbound once become available and how do I book baby who does not yet have a name let alone passport.
    Many thanks JD

    • Anna says:

      This is going to depend on how many seats BA release in the class you want. Some HFP readers are happy to travel on different days, but this would take some enjoyment out of the trip for me (especially with small children!). I think you would struggle to get 3 seats in first but might get them in CW to Miami, others might have more experience with this. If there are 3 seats available your best option would be to use the 2 4 1 for one adult and the 4 year old, then use the upgrade voucher for the 2nd adult. However, this would need 2 separate bookings and there’s a chance the 3rd seat would go in the meantime (unless one voucher belongs to you and one to your wife, in which case you could do the bookings almost simultaneously! I think you can add an infant after it’s born as it won’t need a seat.

      Another option would be to use the 2 4 1 and make a cash booking for the 2nd adult. You would probably get a good deal on a package (with hotel or car) prior to the start of the school holidays and you wouldn’t have to pay the balance till 5 weeks before you travel. You would get a decent chunk of avios for this as well.

      Hope this helps!

      • Anna says:

        You have to call to use the upgrade voucher, they can book the outbound then add the return on later. You can’t do this at midnight, though, as their call centre doesn’t open until 8 am.

  • Anna says:

    OT – has anyone else had multiple texts & emails from BA today announcing changes of flight times for next year? Never had so many in such a short space of time (9 flights changed so far)!

    • Tom Cook says:

      No flights in for next year yet, but we got hit with the same thing happening this year with a few flights out of Manchester (which I think is where you many fly from). A couple of flights got moved to the next day which meant we had to go and try to sort out our prepaid Air BNB!

      • Anna says:

        Yes all originate and end in MAN but it’s the LHR legs which have been changed!

  • JPV says:

    OT: £100 off £500 United Airlines spend amex offer

    offer terms are it’s only valid on “flights departing UK airports”

    How likely is this to be enforced? Looking a USA-USA flight that would otherwise qualify

    • Shoestring says:

      Careful, I think Amex get to see your ticket ISTR

      • JJ says:

        I think you’re right. Booked a cash ticket on VS with my Plat earlier this year and was surprised to see the flight details on my statement.

        • Alan says:

          They’ve certainly always shown the flight details, the question is whether then make use of them when determining offer eligibility or not I guess!

  • RakishDriver says:

    Thanks, thought it was targeted, but worked.
    I did mess up subsequently by selecting the giftcard credit – immediately nuked the £25 saving.
    Had to cancel the order and reorder.

  • Derek says:

    Don’t you just love it when hotels offer all these “Bonus Points for stays”.. but more commonly for last minute bookings. Where’s the bonus point options for early bookers? Don’t they deserve thanks and bonuses too?

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