Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The British Airways ‘Upgrade to First’ offer returns for business class ticket holders

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

British Airways has brought back its regular ‘Upgrade to First’ offer.

Until 31st May, any Club World flight you purchase which is ticketed in semi-flexible R, D, or C class, or a fully flexible J class, will receive a free one-way upgrade to First.

This is subject to availability and requires ‘A class’ cash tickets to still be available for sale in First.

You need to take the outbound flight between now and 28 August 2019, except for Tel Aviv and Delhi where you must fly out between 1st June and 28th August.  You need to complete your travel by 30th August for Heathrow routes and 14th September for Gatwick routes.

British Airways free first class upgrade

Participating destinations are:

All services to the United States, Mexico and Canada on flights operated by American Airlines or British Airways

British Airways services to Abu Dhabi, Abuja, Accra, Bahrain, Barbados, Beijing, Cape Town, Delhi, Dubai, Durban, Grenada, Hong Kong, Jeddah, Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, Lagos, Moscow, Nairobi, Port of Spain, Riyadh, Seychelles, Shanghai, St Lucia, Tel Aviv and Tokyo

Full details are on ba.com here.  Note that you can only book this over over the telephone – in the past, some corporate travel agents have also been able to book it.

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 direct with BA.  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 (48)

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

  • ADS says:

    if you were unlucky enough to get the original 15 avios per GBP Hackett offer (like me) … worth noting that it expired 10 days ago !

  • Shoestring says:

    Short sleeved?

    Well dodgy unless you’re a double amputee.

  • KBuffett says:

    Personally I find their styles too wild. Big colours, bold prints etc.

  • Jim says:

    OT:

    At the Sheraton in Edinburgh having lunch with the family. When the bill comes can I give them my Bonvoy number and get points or do you need to be staying so you can put it on your room bill?

    • KBuffett says:

      I’d be interested to know too. I’ve got a big bill coming at the end of my stay at a Marriott property – does spend at the spa and food & beverage earn points?

      • Alan says:

        Definitely used to work when it was SPG (I used it at that very location, and a few others!). Definitely no harm in trying and contacting Bonvoy CS if nothing posts.

  • Jimbob says:

    OT – the 2 year expiry of the BAPP 2-1 voucher, does the 2 year expiry relate to the date the flights are booked or the outward leg flown? Thanks ie, could I fly out 2 years and 355 days after I’ve earns the voucher?

  • Ed says:

    OT – Sorry I know this has been asked before but on the amex gold credit card – do you get any points for adding a second card holder? Thanks.

    • Peter K says:

      3000 for the first supplementary I believe, if added after (not during) the main application process.

  • AspirationalFlyer says:

    On a previous trip to Florence, I actually flew to Pisa and took a bus. Quite a long ride, but it meant that I travelled in Club Europe for almost the same piece as economy. I wanted the tier points.

    The Pisa lounge is pretty awful too. A bit like sitting in someone’s living room with a few drinks on a table.

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.