Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Get your child a personalised British Airways and My 1st Years backpack

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As part of #BA100, British Airways will be giving away 5,000 My 1st Years mini backpacks to children passing through Gatwick and Heathrow on selected days during August.

They are quite sweet as you can see below.

My 1st Years British Airways backpack

My 1st Years is also selling them directly to the public.  You get FREE personalisation, up to nine characters, which is a nice touch.  The ones given out in the airports have ‘Mini Adventurer’ on the back (which I know is more than nine characters!).

You can order one for a child in your life via this page of the My 1st Years site.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 2023)

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:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

35,000 Avios (ONLY to 21st February) and the famous annual 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Capital On Tap has increased its sign-up bonus to points worth 30,000 Avios if you apply by 4th February. This is exclusive to Head for Points readers. Click here to apply.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 30,000 points bonus, worth 30,000 Avios, until 4th February 2023 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 (66)

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

  • Nick says:

    for those of us supposed to be flying home on 5/6th who foots the bill for hotels if BA cancel our flight and can’t get us home on the same day?

    Due to fly JFK to LHR on 6th, I’m aware they have many flights so should be okay, guess might have to take a downgrade from F thought.

    • Shoestring says:

      BA (the operating airline) – duty of care rules EC261

    • ChrisC says:

      BA is unlikely to cancel Long haul flights. It usually takes out short haul first.

      If it does cancel a flight on a route like JFK- LHR then it has plenty of other flights (plus AA) to move people onto..

      • Lady London says:

        +1. For sure.

        If BA cancel a short haul under thèse curcumstances then i will take a bet it’s lightly loaded and thé strike was a good excuse.

  • Daniel says:

    Looks like you can have two lines of text on the backpack. One 9 letter and the second 10 letters.

  • David says:

    Phew – on a purely selfish note we fly back on the 19th 😎👍

  • Shoestring says:

    there’s no destination/ ticket check at Security – & whilst I guess the security staff could ask if you’re flying BA, it’s not going to be a very perfect system – ie I imagine a lot of people not using the check in desks will arrive at the gate with a big cabin bag & get told to check it in

    or will they? By this stage it would be *extra* time needed to relieve passengers of their cabin bag, just because they didn’t know the new rules

    or they arrive at Security with their cabin bag, having queued for what is maybe likely to be 20 mins or more, get noticed as flying BA. & get told to go back to the check in desks to check it in

    • Sam G says:

      Personally I can imagine things like wheely bags, large holdalls – very easy things to spot, being sent back to check in. But laptops and other reasonable smaller items are most likely to cause an argument going through.

      In my experience laptops aren’t a big cause of delay as they are seperated, it’s massive bags where someone has liquids or cables or something else the security cannot identify in there

      • Sam G says:


        • Derek Scott says:

          Laptops are an issue because of risk complexity, not size, it’s easy to screen a bottle of perfume under 100mls in comparison to a laptop. The reduced number I’d screeners means trying to reduce items of risk going though. Everything going through security still has to be screened, so the less volume, size and complexity the better as each search, handsearch just slows the whole system down.

          If this helps… just remember the plane with a hole blown in it because of explosive material hidden inside a laptops workings, that went unnoticed through screening. I’ve done a screeners job… it ain’t easy in the time you have

    • marcw says:

      BA will have staff before the security. There they’ll screen passengers. Now that’s easy to do in LHR T5… not sure about T3.

      • Derek Scott says:

        BA’s website states that all Airlines are being asked to follow the same restrictions so there should be no issue with it being airline dependant as to whether you can carry more than personal item size only

    • Craig says:

      Also, you can’t put a lithium battery in the hold. Just say that’s the type tube laptop uses.

  • James says:

    Backpack words “I am on strike” Ba bringing teenager years to 1 year olds…

    Other words possible its not my fault its your fault

  • Andrew says:

    It sounds like one of those things where BA are trying to enforce a rule that doesn’t exist and most people adhere to things they are told at airports (can I see your boarding pass at WHSmith – no you can’t because you are going to claim the VAT back if I’m flying outside the EU, but charge me the same – you are within your rights to politely refuse). So I would think if it’s not a Heathrow rule you can take through what you want and no one will stop you.

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      Could be wrong but I thought WHSmiths long with Boots were on the list of firms who agreed to discount the vat element?

      Seems strange to me that Smith’s are still around outside of airports. They’re just Hudson News to me and I suspect much of the travelling public – I’ll psy $9 for aspirin if I’m in an airport and have a headache but I dont think I’ve set foot inside a High St Smith’s in two decades

  • Andrew says:

    If the main issue was laptops why don’t they just say no laptops?

    • Shoestring says:

      maybe they are hoping a lot of gullible people will check in their laptops? (to save a bit more time at Security)

      thus making checking in laptops a personal choice of the passenger, as opposed to BA requesting it & being liable for damaged/ missing laptops later

    • Lady London says:

      I am sure a laptop bag can normally be carried instead of a handbag, as well as 1 cabin bagage.

  • David Gillan says:

    Interesting to read what the BA website actually states:- “You’ll only be allowed to take one small personal item of hand baggage that can fit under the seat in front of you. Any additional items of hand baggage must be checked in.” My rucksack easily fits under the seat in front so that will be OK then?

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