Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Exceptional sub-£1000 British Airways and other oneworld business class deals to the US

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British Airways launched a new sale on Tuesday – you can see the details here.  We are currently running through the best deals and we will do an article tomorrow.

However, nothing will beat the excellent £1,000-ish business class fares to the USA from Germany just launched by BA.

If you’re a long time reader here you’ll know that some of the best business class deals to the United States can be had when connecting from European airports.  Airlines have to try a little harder to attract connecting passengers as it is competing with carriers that can offer direct routings.

This is good news for us, since (if you don’t mind a positioning flight!) you can get some exceptional deals.

These are typical of the current flight deals from Berlin, with connections at Heathrow (BA), Madrid (Iberia) or Helsinki (Finnair):

New York (€1014, £925)
Boston (€1024, £934)
Philadelphia (€1073, £979)
Chicago (€1170, £1067)

You should find similar fares from any other German airport served by BA, Iberia or Finnair.  Other US destinations are available.

The travel dates are quite specific however, targetting Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter:

23rd – 28th November, return 29th November – 1st December
26th March – 12th April 2020, return 28th March – 15th April
26th June – 22 August 2020, return 3rd July – 26th August

The fares can be booked via the British Airways website. Don’t forget that you can often save on hotel or car rental costs by booking with BA Holidays, too.

If you want to travel at other times, I recommend you have a look at the BA sale prices for UK departures.

What will you get?

Don’t feel obliged to book British Airways flights with this offer – you’ll earn Avios and tier points regardless of carrier.

With a range of possible routings you’ll also have a choice of business class products. You can see our review of the Iberia A350 here, which it flies to some US destinations including New York. Finnair typically flies the A330 across the Atlantic but you can read our review of the A350 business class seat here (photo below).

If you are on a British Airways long haul flight you are likely to get the existing Club World seat although you may get lucky and have a Club Suite refitted Boeing 777 or A350. You can see the list of destinations Club Suite will be on here.

In general, unless you can guarantee Club Suite then I would be tempted to try Iberia or Finnair instead, especially if travelling solo – you get a lot more privacy on those carriers as there are solo seats.

You will earn identical tier points and Avios on all three airlines since these are codeshare flights and you will be travelling on a British Airways flight number if you book on ba.com. Don’t forget you’ll also earn Avios and tier points for the connecting flight from Berlin.

Assuming you don’t have a credit card with 0% foreign exchange fees, your best bet when paying 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 triple points – 3 per £1 – when you book flight tickets in a foreign currency, because it triggers both the ‘double points for airline spend’ and the ‘double points for foreign spend’ bonuses.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 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. 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 BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

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 BA Amex American Express card

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.

The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Avios, if you apply by 1st June 2022.

American Express Amex Gold

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 (SPECIAL OFFER) 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, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.

Capital on Tap Visa card

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 card

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.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

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.

(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 (52)

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

  • Michael C says:

    OT tier points needed asap!
    So I need the slightly annoying number of 50 points to renew silver, in theory by this Sunday (but I can ring to extend by 2 weeks, is that right?)

    Any ideas for the cheapest route I could do in a single day? I’m guess its economy one way, club the other (preferably from Heathrow). The problem is that the cheapest tickets in economy I’ve seen are ticketed in G class, which only gives 5 points.

    Thanks in advance for any ideas – have spent a few hours ploughing through, 200 GBP Copenhagen best so far.

    • TripRep says:

      Sofia?

    • Bagoly says:

      Depending on time you are willing to put into it, LGW-JER-LGW-JER-LGW in Economy?
      Or, as Iberia flights count, something like LHR-MAD-TXL-LHR?

    • Lottie says:

      I did a club return to Edinburgh when I needed mine quickly, it’s worth looking at domestic. I had to book two one ways as it wouldn’t let me book the back to back so close to each other.

    • Rob says:

      Anything in CE would do, try something like Leeds Bradford return!

      • Michael C says:

        Thanks for all the ideas…Leeds 190 GBP Club (on BA Hotline!) – maybe it’s time I stumped up for an Amex Plat…

        • Jonathan says:

          If you call BA they will sell you a ticket in whatever fare class you need. I think the lowest economy that earns 10TP is S or V, often this is only £5 more than Q so a cheap way of boosting TP’s. You also get 50% of distance flown as Avios rather than 25% which reduces cost further

    • MudIslandMlungu says:

      LGW -AMS B2B. Must be booked as separate tickets though.

      • Lady London says:

        Depending how short of time you are, how about a return trip to Paris. Make sure the coming back leg is in CE. Then park yourself in the CX lounge for a few hours, it’s small but nice. Not sure of tier points, CE return should do it but you might be able to get enough going out Y back J.

  • James S says:

    Any decent Club Europe fares in the sale?

    • Rob says:

      Go to BA’s low fare finder – you can see all short haul fares on one page.

  • Bagoly says:

    ” Finnair typically flies the A330 west bound”
    When governments allow global airlines I can imagine that it might make sense to fly some planes predominantly west to go with the sun, in order to catch more daytime traffic.
    Until then I’m mystified.
    I can’t work out the spellcheck or cut and paste which gave rise to this!

    • Rhys says:

      Not sure what you are saying but my I meant that Finnair reserves its A350s for longer routes. Transatlantic is closer so doesn’t quite need the range!

    • Nick_C says:

      Nothing new there. PanAm 001 flew round the world westbound. (And PanAm 002 went the other way).

  • Janie says:

    Any other US cities available? Any West Coast?

  • AJA says:

    “You will earn identical tier points and Avios on all three airlines since these are codeshare flights and you will be travelling on a British Airways flight number if you book on ba.com. ”

    The Tier Points will be the same but are you sure you will earn identical Avios on Finnair even with a BA flight number?

    I thought flights operated by Finnair result in lower Avios than on BA or Iberia as they don’t award the status bonuses for being Bronze, Silver or Gold. I thought it was the operating carrier that determined the Avios awarded not the marketing carrier. Happy to be wrong.

    • Lyn says:

      This should be correct. OneWorld earnings are usually based on the marketing airline.

      I think it may be Star Alliance that bases them on the operating airline.

    • Doug M says:

      Many of the better prices I was finding were through AA not BA.

  • MudIslandMlungu says:

    OT: with the renovations happening at Helsinki Airport just a heads up that the LHR-HEL B2B is now painless.

    Just like AMS you literally get off and join the queue to get back on. Becoming an open plan transit Terminal without the need to go through PP control and security.

    On my way back to LHR. BAEC Gold dome for another year.

  • Matt says:

    Choosing not to fly direct to east coast and Chicago seems dumb.

    • Shoestring says:

      horses for courses

      there are plenty of people who like tacking on a stay somewhere interesting with the ex Europes, effectively for free; enjoy the flying & lounge experiences in themselves; do the convoluted routes for the tier points as well

      as a pensioner (not yet, folks!) – I could quite see myself getting into the convoluted routes for all of the above reasons, where time is not a problem and it’s far more interesting than sitting in your front room with a nice cup of tea

      • Doug M says:

        I’m half retired and I love the convoluted routings. When you have time it’s good fun, nice lounges, people watching, some stop overs for as you say a near no cost break. I like flying and airports.

      • Gary says:

        Try the convoluted routing to an ex-EU start point from a regional via BA 🙂
        520 Tier Points If you use Club Europe for your positioning and returning sectors.

    • Doug M says:

      Is there a reason why it’s dumb for east coast and Chicago? Is it less dumb for west coast or some eastbound destination? Do you just mean for <9 hour flights?

  • TravelDuck says:

    Just booked two returns from Berlin-Philadelphia for under £1,000 each. Managed to tie it in to a trip we were already planning to Berlin. Philadelphia has always been on our “to do” list so it doesn’t count as a tier point run even though it helps us get Gold status back with BA! Excellent value. Thanks for this.

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