Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Last call for flight bargains in the British Airways Winter sale

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31st January is your last chance to book in the British Airways Winter sale. You can take a look at what is available via this special page of ba.com.

(It may or may not be a coincidence that the BA promotion above starts one day later on 1st February.)

Nashville, pictured below, is the star deal, with Club World return seats available for £1,376 in March.  New Orleans is also looking attractive with Club World fares as low as £1,541.

The Caribbean looks interesting – Kingston £1,214, Punta Cana £1,493, San Jose £1,494 and so on.

British Airways Winter sale

Don’t forget BA Holidays

As usual, don’t book a Club World flight before pricing it up via BA Holidays – see here.  Adding a hotel or car can often cost little more, and sometimes less, than the flight itself.  BA Holidays also lets you lock in your trip now by only paying a small deposit, with the balance only due five weeks before travel.

Don’t forget ‘part pay with Avios’

Sale flights are still valid for ‘part pay with Avios’.  How much you save now varies by route and by class, and the value per point tends to get worse the more you try to discount, but it is always worth taking a look at what is on offer for your particular ticket.

A Nashville Club World booking offered me:

  • £50 off for 6,250 Avios (0.80p per Avios)
  • £110 off for 16,000 Avios (0.69p)
  • £150 off for 24,750 Avios (0.61p)
  • £190 off for 34,000 Avios (0.56p)
  • £280 off for 55,000 Avios (0.51p)

There are also deals in Economy and short-haul Club Europe, including short break deals via BA Holidays.

As usual, travel dates are all over the place depending on whether you are travelling short haul or long haul, whether you are flying from Gatwick, City or Heathrow, and what travel class you are flying in.  In general you’ll find you can book up to either May / June 2019 or mid December 2019.

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.


HFP-Barclaycard-Avios-Card

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 (177)

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

  • Anna says:

    OT but interesting. Rip Off Britain featured airlines which split families up if they don’t pay for seats together. Simon the expert in residence said that this is a safety risk which breaches CAS rules and planes are not allowed to take off if parents are separated from children under 12 by more than one row. It doesn’t apply to us now but it’s good to know!

    • Anna says:

      CAA rules!

      • Shoestring says:

        except it’s not – & not that black & white [‘every effort’ is pretty meaningless]

        Families, children and infants
        The seating of children close by their parents or guardians should be the aim of airline seat allocation procedures for family groups and large parties of children.
        Young children and infants who are accompanied by adults should ideally be seated in the same seat row as the adult. Where this is not possible, children should be separated by no more than one seat row from accompanying adults. This is because the speed of an emergency evacuation may be affected by adults trying to reach their children.
        Whenever a number of infants and children are travelling together the airline should make every effort to ensure that they can be readily supervised by the responsible accompanying adults.

        • Anna says:

          Hi Harry,

          This doesn’t say what the airline should do if their efforts fail – it was suggested that planes really shouldn’t be taking off under those circumstances as it breaches safety regulations (obviously in the event of an evacuation parents would be getting to their children first rather than getting off the plane as quickly as possible). It doesn’t bear thinking about that this might have to be tested before anyone acts on it.

        • Shoestring says:

          @Anna the papers have been full of stories of parents separated from their under 12YOs by a lot more than 1 row – so it’s clearly not enforced.

          Whether the CAA has privately rapped a few airlines over the knuckles & told them to try harder, I don’t know 🙂

          We don’t care any more, either – 4 of us were initially seated together somewhere near the toilets coming back @ Xmas (Avios) plus 1x HBO – it ended up the HBO got upgraded free to Club (which my wife selfishly kept for herself!), 6A, 7A, 7B, 16A – obviously we ended up choosing the 4 Avios seats @T-24, preferring windows to sitting completely together – it was a 100% full flight with limited options but my daughter was adamant she wanted 16A otherwise I’d have been the fall guy as usual

        • Anna says:

          Hence my comment about the possibility of a serious safety situation having to occur before anyone enforces it!

          Didn’t you offered your wife that seat IIRC?

        • Shoestring says:

          She got upgraded HBO—> Club twice recently, I grabbed the first one (1A) & my 1C neighbour & I drained the plane of Champagne 🙂 – that was a fun flight…

          For some reason she insisted on keeping the CE seat this time 🙂

          Her theory is that ‘single middle-aged woman’ figures high on the upgrade algorithm

  • Chas says:

    OT – has anyone got any real-world experience of using your Curve Card to top up the current account of various challenger (app only) banks such as Monzo, Starling, Revolut etc? Looking for guidance as to which one works most reliably and which one allows the highest value of transfers from Curve to the bank account.

    • New Card says:

      Seriously? Just try it and see.

      • Chas says:

        New Card – of course I could set up one of each account to test them all out, but I am interested in other people’s feedback if they already have experience of some of them not working as well as others, so as to save myself from wasted time and effort.

        • Luthar says:

          I just tried to top up Revolut £10 using curve and got charged £0.13 fee.

        • New Card says:

          Sorry Chas, was a bit snappy there!
          As a general rule I’d say it’s worth opening all the accounts anyway, you never know when they might become useful in the future…

      • jimmy says:

        starling and revoult don’t work

    • bazza says:

      Yea, let us know ..

    • 456t says:

      Starling need a sort code so no chance there as curve don’t have one. Monzo works I heard

      • Chas says:

        It appears that Monzo stopped allowing debit card top-ups in Aug 18. So if Revolute and Starling don’t work, I don’t think that what I was wanting to do is possible, as you need an account which you can set up DDs with, and which you can top up via Debit Card. Instead I’ll have to see what bills I can pay on my debit card each month ahead of the DD being collected – a bit of an administrative nightmare tbh.

  • ChrisC says:

    Priced up BA flights only and then as a holiday and the package was way more expensive than separate bookings for flights and hotel. BA Holidays weren’t offering anything to justify the price difference (no room upgrade or free breakfast etc) other than a few bonus avios.

    Also BA website didn’t offer me the flights I wanted (all on BA or AA with BA codeshare) yet Expedia were able to put them together and all on the same 125 ticket number.

    So be advised to check all your options not just assume BA are the best price even in a ‘sale’

    • Peter K says:

      Atol protection on BA holidays as a package deal. If bought separately then no ATOL protection.

      • Lost+confused says:

        ATOL protection will also apply to an Expedia booking if the flight and hotel are booked same or following day

  • Dawn says:

    Didn’t realise that you can start in other countries for the BA holidays offer as my business partner has to come over every year. Managed to get a CW return including car for a week in October for £1370 from Johannesburg to Heathrow for her. Pleased with that particularly as we only needed to pay a deposit now.

  • roberto says:

    Also our on BA001 and back on a 747 (in First) in May, the 9th to the 13th – however I wish our hotel netted down to £108 per night……

    • Anna says:

      We’re also flying to NYC in May, out in F, back in J, but at the end of the month when cash prices are insane! Our flights are currently pricing up at £12k, and our hotel (Embassy Suites so not that special) is hovering around $500 per night, though happily we got 3 nights for 210000 HH points.

      • AndyGWP says:

        Anna – at the other end of the scale for NYC IN May holidays, we got economy cash flights for sub £300 each and an Airbnb to ourselves in Brooklyn for £300 for 6 nights

        Think of us paupers down the back when you’re drinking your champagne 😂

    • Nick_C says:

      Hey Roberto, I am on the same flight out. There were only 20 people on that flight last time I took it, so if we bump into each other we can swap Geese stories (see above).

      I’m taking the morning flight back on the 14th. I’ll spend my last night in a cheap hotel at Jamaica. Thought it would ease the jet lag and let me enjoy the flight instead of just sleeping through it.

      Anna, have you done BA1? It’s a great flight but no lounge or pampering at LCY. OTOH, you can in theory just turn up 20 minutes before the flight.

  • Mark says:

    OT: Has anyone else received their letter regarding the changes to the Lloyds Avios cards yet? I’ve heard nothing – apparently about to be charged another annual fee and my Amex card is still working.

    • Simon says:

      my understanding that no one has heard anything. With 60 days noticed needed and their target of April that means we should all get the “staggered” letters in the next month or so.
      You’d better smash that 7k through.

      • Mark says:

        Thanks. Unlikely I’ll put £7K through it in 2 months, but probably too late to cancel now before the annual charge hits.

        Hopefully there will be some flexibility for people party way towards the voucher spend.

        • Simon says:

          If curve hadn’t explicitly updated their terms today of suggest that method…

      • Mark2 says:

        Let’s hope that they keep that target as well as kept the target to fix the problem where some accounts were not getting Avios at the correct time (but generous compensation). Unfortunately it was fixed eventually.

      • AndyGWP says:

        I had to contact Lloyd’s the other day as my card was suspected of fraud (Mastercard only, so that limits the opportunities where this was done – ie. not BA website)

        Anyways, he seemed convinced that the Amex cancellations had started… (for some reason he seemed to think I would be issued a new mastercard when the Amex deal comes to an end and was worried my replacement card would overlap with the card he was sending me)

        … I haven’t heard anything from anywhere else tho, so I doubt it has started yet

    • Nick_C says:

      I’ve just paid my annual fee, and I’m ready to trigger my final upgrade voucher when I get the letter. Spent a bit on curvaceous poultry with the MC.

  • RussellH says:

    OT: Re Missing Marriott point from Creation M/Card
    We had some discussion about this yesterday.
    Shock / horror, but my missing points posted today.

    • ankomonkey says:

      My balance has increased today, but by more points than I was owed from card spend. There was no entry in the itemised transactions list, so was waiting to see what that says. Thanks for reporting back, though!

  • Ant says:

    OT: Hilton
    Looking at the sale we are staying at KL Doubletree for 3 nights and the options are 10,000 points or £48pn.
    Trying to work out which is the best option when you consider the 2,000 bonus per stay and the points we would get if we paid cash. Will be doing a Diamond match.
    Thoughts?

    • ankomonkey says:

      You’d get the 2000 stay bonus when paying points or cash. I’d pay points as 10k HH points are worth less than £48 to me.

    • Russ says:

      General rule of thumb for us anything under three figs left of the decimal point then pay cash. Anything over 3 decimal points to the left then pay points. Midpoint depends what looks the better deal at the time.

    • tom1 says:

      Have you looked at the new Hiltons in KL? two properties side by side, one (I think South) has a pool. Reviews look good, and cash rates are £20 when I looked (or I think 8k HH).
      I don’t know whether the location is less desirable though.
      Also, if you are chasing diamond, you could always switch properties one night if you really needed the extra stay.

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