Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The best economy deals in the British Airways sale

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I’m splitting our coverage of the new British Airways sale into two articles.  This one looks at the best World Traveller (economy) offers whilst a second future article will look at the best deals in premium classes.

The best way to look at what is available is to play with the Low Fare Finder tool which you can find on ba.com here.  This is effective if you are flexible with your dates, as you can easily see the lowest price, month by month, for every British Airways route.

Here are a selection of prices I picked out.  I have also listed alongside the biggest ‘part pay with Avios’ option available.  Remember that it doesn’t always make sense to to maximise ‘part pay with Avios’ and you will find you get a bigger ‘pence per point’ ratio by using fewer points.

British Airways World Traveller seat

The BA ‘part pay with Avios’ system is totally different to the Virgin Atlantic model.  Virgin offers you 0.6p per mile, with no maximum and no minimum.  British Airways is generally more generous if you use a small quantity of Avios but less generous – trending towards 0.5p per Avios – for larger quantities.  You also cannot pay for a flight entirely with Avios via the ‘part pay’ route.

The full BA sale website is here.

Deals include:

North America

  • Chicago £295 / £179 + 20000 Avios
  • Fort Lauderdale £299 / £149 + 28000 Avios
  • Tampa £299 / £149 + 28000 Avios
  • Orlando £299 / £149 + 28000 Avios
  • Austin £364 / £180 + 36000 Avios
  • Nashville £376 / £180 + 38500 Avios
  • Pittsburgh £419 / £179 + 47000 Avios
  • Phoenix £599 / £249 + 69000 Avios
  • Las Vegas £689 / £339 + 69000 Avios

BA sale

Africa

  • Johannesburg £415 / £159 + 50000 Avios
  • Durban £435 / £159 + 54000 Avios
  • Cape Town £529 / £179 + 69000 Avios

Asia and Australasia

  • Singapore £419 / £159 + 51000 Avios
  • Hong Kong £520 / £170 + 69000 Avios
  • Sydney £609 / £259 + 69000 Avios

South and Latin America

  • Buenos Aires £529 / £199 + 65000 Avios
  • Rio de Janeiro £529 / £199 + 65000 Avios
  • Sao Paulo £599 / £249 + 69000 Avios
  • Santiago £749 / £399 + 69000 Avios

As usual, it is also worth pricing up a combined ‘flight and hotel’ or ‘flight and car’ package via BA Holidays – see here.  The pricing may be similar and you can get away with just paying a small deposit now, with the balance due five weeks before you fly.

New York, for example, starts at £379 per person in January or February for three nights in a 2.5 star hotel, plus World Traveller flights.  You still earn Avios and BAEC tier points when you book via BA Holidays, but you won’t earn BA On Business points in the ‘small business’ loyalty scheme.

In terms of travel dates, ba.com says:

Travel in World Traveller and World Traveller Plus from London Gatwick to Cancun, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Las Vegas, Antigua, Bermuda, Barbados, Grenada, Kingston, Lima, Male, Mauritius, Providenciales, Port of Spain, Punta Cana, San Jose (Costa Rica), St. Kitts, Tobago and St. Lucia is available for selected outbound travel dates between 8 January 2019 and 30 December 2019.

Travel in World Traveller and World Traveller Plus from London Heathrow to Austin, Nashville, Chicago, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, Abu Dhabi, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Seychelles, Muscat, Tokyo (Haneda and Narita), Osaka, Hong Kong, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Sydney, Nassau, Grand Cayman, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Santiago is available for selected outbound travel dates between 15 January 2019 and 13 December 2019.

Some routes require a Saturday night stay.  There is a minimum advanced purchase requirement of 7-21 days depending on route.

Full details of all these offers, including the rest of the small print, are on the BA sale website here.  In a future article I’ll look at the premium cabin deals.

To maximise your miles when paying, your best bet is the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card which earns double Avios (3 per £1) when you book at ba.com or via BA Holidays.  You do not get double Avios if you book with the free British Airways American Express card.  Another option is American Express Preferred Rewards Gold which offers double points – 2 per £1 – when you book flight tickets directly with an airline.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 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.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER), £200 travel credit and unbeatable 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 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 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.

Comments (47)

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

  • Adam says:

    Quick question, I need 40 tier points in January. Anyone have an idea of what would be the cheapest 40 point trip? (20 point per leg return) I am assuming if I booked a domestic economy trip in the sale it would be for 5 tier points or whatever the lowest is.

    • Rob says:

      Cheapest option I imagine is a quick return to Amsterdam etc, flying out in Economy (to pay the lower rate of APD) and back in Club Europe. 45 TP.

  • lblace says:

    Another OT question (sorry) – are multicity flights covered under BA’s price promise guarantee?

    Booked 2x CW LHR-Buenos Aires & back Rio-LHR but found it cheaper elsewhere after booking. BA’s T&C’s state “a one-way or return point-to-point flight only booking departing from the UK and operated by British Airways”… But what I am not sure is if multicity flights are considered ‘point-to-point’…? Rang them for clarification but indian call centre really not helpful 🙁

    Not sale prices as same prices before sale, just happened to book today.

    Have 22 hrs to cancel & book cheaper flight (currently still available to book) so any expert knowledge/experience greatly appreciated!

  • Dale says:

    For the suggestion of booking a holiday to get better value than flight only – is it possible to book a 7 day holiday for example, but arrange to stay for 14??

    Also is there any way to get the low fare finder tool to work from Edinburgh rather than London?

  • Alan says:

    Merry Christmas Rob! Can I ask when you will publish the other article of the best deals in premium classes? Thanks. 😉

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

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