Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

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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 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.

British Airways BA Amex American Express

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards. Both have increased sign-up bonuses until 2nd November 2021:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of 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:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard 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. This card has a limited time offer of 60,000 Avios when you sign up:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (48)

  • 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:


    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.

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