Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

What deals are worth a look in the British Airways Winter sale?

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British Airways has just launched its ‘January’ sale. This is the big sale event in the BA calendar and you can usually find some good fares.

The best way to see what is available is via the ‘low fare finder’ page on the British Airways website here.

The main home page for the sale is here.

British Airways January Sale

The sale is on until 30th January so you have plenty of time to make your mind up!

Business class BA sale deals

There are fewer North American deals to be had in this sale. New York, which is usually discounted to around the £1,300 mark is not even close! There are, however, some good deals on routes that don’t often see lower prices, including:

Boston £1396
Chicago £1373
Montreal £1295
Nashville £1306
Philadelphia £1288
Pittsburgh £1395
Portland £1388 (this route was announced this week, £1388 to the West Coast is very good)
Toronto £1369
Washington DC £1388

These are genuine deals – Nashville is roughly £200 cheaper than it has been in other recent sales, as are many of the other destinations. Availability includes July and August, which is excellent.

British Airways January sale

The best deals, however, are to be had on Caribbean routes. These are all significantly cheaper than they have been in recent sales, where they have often been £2,000+. You’ll find the lowest prices are available August to October 2020:

Antigua £1398
Barbados £1298
Grenada £1398
Kingston £1344
Port of Spain £1399
Providenciales £1398
Punta Cana £1277
St Kitts £1398
St Lucia £1398
Tobago £1399

Two other options worth considering include:

Lima £1744
Seychelles £1798

Not only are these some excellent deals, but you’ll also have the chance to try BA’s new Club Suite, which will be rolling out to 30% of the longhaul fleet next year. Boston, Philadelphia and Washington DC will all get the A350 at some point next Summer, and refurbished Boeing 777s will be plying many other routes across the BA network.

World Traveller Plus

Since we recently reviewed World Traveller Plus (see here), it’s worth mentioning that on certain routes, British Airways is reducing the cost of premium economy to only £199 more than economy as a promotional offer.

Use the low fare finder to find the best deals – in general, they are available on the same routes as the ones outlined above.

Remember that the additional Avios will offset a fair proportion of the £199, and if you are chasing British Airways status then the extra tier points are an added benefit.  You can also upgrade your seat with Avios to Club World / Club Suite if availability opens up.

This HFP article lists all British Airways routes and the tier points they earn.  World Traveller Plus earns 90 tier points each-way compared with just 20 tier points each way for the cheapest World Traveller (economy) tickets.  One return flight puts you more than half-way to Bronze status.

In terms of Avios, as an example, World Traveller Plus to Washington Dulles earns 3,672 Avios each-way.  This compares to just 918 Avios each-way for the cheapest World Traveller (economy) ticket.  That is an extra 5,500+ Avios on a return flight, and you would get substantially more to the US West Coast or Asia.

How to pay ….

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 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.

Get an even better deal with BA Holidays

There are also some good deals over at BA Holidays, assuming you are happy to package in a hotel with your flight (and you can often make substantial savings if you do).

Whilst it is hard to get your head around, the weird ways that flights are priced means that booking a flight with a car or a flight with a hotel can be cheaper than just booking a flight.  Note that if you add a car or hotel it must be for the full duration of your holiday if you want to trigger a package discount.

Some headline Club World deals are:

  • Abu Dhabi from £1399 per person – for travel between in May 2020 including including three nights at the Sheraton and return flights in business class from Heathrow
  • Dominican Republic from £1532 per person – for travel between in October 2020 including seven nights at a 4* hotel and return flights in Club World from Gatwick
  • St Lucia from £1533 per person – for travel in September 2020 including seven nights 4* hotel and return flights in Club World from Heathrow

Remember that you don’t need to pay now when you book a BA Holidays package.  You just pay a deposit and can settle the balance up to five weeks before departure.

You also earn an extra 1 Avios per £1 when you book BA Holidays packages.  This is on top of the standard Avios you receive from the flight and the double Avios you would receive if you pay with a British Airways Premium Plus credit card.

The only downside is that flights booked as part of a BA Holidays package do not earn anything in the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.

Club Europe deals to come ….

We will have a separate look at Club Europe next week.  However, one standout deal is Helsinki for £195 return.

Helsinki is a 160 tier point route and, if you’re looking for British Airways status, £196 for 160 tier points is a great deal.  (A ‘fair’ price is usually seen as £2 per tier point.)   If you have a BA Gold card, you’ll also be able to use the new Finnair Platinum Wing lounge on the way home, which we reviewed here.

You can find out more on all of these sale deals in the sale section of here.

how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 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:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 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

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee 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.

If you have a small business, we especially recommend Capital On Cap’s Visa card which comes with a generous bonus worth 10,500 Avios:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

(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 (132)

  • Marko says:

    Which dates can I find Helsinki for 195£? I need it just for the tier points. 🙂


    • Shoestring says:

      check on Google Flights

      2 great things about Helsinki in Business:
      1. you get 3000 Avios so in reality it’s £160 – ie £1/ tier point – that’s the El Dorado of the tier point seeker
      2. 4 business lounges to lounge crawl at T3 – BA/ AA/ Quantas/ Cathay Pacific (for some delicious noodles in a dark & dated lounge with great seats & big windows looking out on the runway!)

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Not much chance of a lounge crawl with an 8am flight though.

        • Shoestring says:

          that’s 8pm in Australia and you’ll find the Aussies & Kiwis getting in early with their internal clock adjustment

          • The Original David says:

            QF lounge doesn’t open until 8am though, so the antipodeans will have to get pissed in CX instead…

        • Andrew says:

          For the summer timetable they have retimed the Saturday and Sunday flights to midday. Perfect for a weekend tier point run and lounge hop at T3

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        @Marco: Feb 27th & 28th then every fifth day through March.

      • Harry T says:

        I am going to make a tentative booking for Helsinki. I know I can cancel within 24 hours and receive a cash refund. If I part pay with Avios to reduce the cash fares by £60, do I receive these Avios back if I cancel within 24 hours?

        • Shoestring says:

          within 24hrs – everything gets refunded on all BA bookings, whether it’s 1. all cash, 2. cash + part pay with Avios, 3. all Avios, or 4. Avios+ Money

          • Shoestring says:

            which can come in handy when some dope adds on an extra week of hols 🙂

          • Lady London says:


          • Harry T says:

            @Shoestring – thanks, think GF and I will keep the flights I booked for May. Not bad getting two return business flights for £327.82 (part pay with Avios to knock off £60). Nice long weekend. We’ve not been to Finland before and my partner has never flown business before.

          • Shoestring says:

            did you see?:
            Gavin says:
            20 December 2019 at 13:18
            I did a BPG with BA (vs. Travelup) to get a £40 voucher back on a £193 LHR – HEL return. BA replied with the voucher within 3 hours too!

          • Harry T says:

            @Shoestring I saw but don’t think I’ll be eligible if I part paid with avios?

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      Feb I found a stack load

  • pablo says:

    KLM voucher codes: £40 off economy, £125 off business for UK departures

  • Sk123 says:

    OT: I’d appreciate some advice please. I have some upcoming flights with Emirates and connections with Fly Dubai to and from Dubai for short haul. Yesterday I logged in to find both my outbound and inbound on Fly Dubai were changed, without notice, by 3 hours or more. One of them will end up giving almost 10 hours stop over at DXB as opposed to the 4 hours we’d originally booked. Emirates has offered alternative flights, none of which are ideal but I accepted the outbound as its within 2 days. We are on a wait list for the closest suitable alternative for the inbound.

    What is my position re compensation as I know airlines can make changes but this was too close to flying, no email to inform us. Almost at the same time of this chat, an email arrived that my flight will be operated by Smartwings instead of Fly Dubai. I’m not happy about all this as we are traveling with kids for a wedding. I did pay via an Amex card months ago that was later cancelled but I do have the Amex Platinum that I took out recently. Any compensation via them?
    I have never hassled airlines before but this one is inconvencing is a lot. The customer service lady said I could request a compensation but first I’d need to accept a flight, fly on it and file complaint on return. What should my action be or is there nothing I can do?

    • Genghis says:

      You need to be more specific on “upcoming”. If more than 14 days’ notice, no compo but right to rerouting.

      Flying from the EU on a connecting flight say via DXB, to elsewhere, all legs are treated as one in terms of the regs, ie it’s when you arrive at your final destination that counts. Emirates, however, are tough cookies when it comes to this so be prepared for MCOL. I believe there was a recent SC ruling and there’s been some CoA rulings.

    • Shoestring says:

      I’m a bit confused as to who is operating the flights & the distinction between what you’re actually flying, ie routes on both Emirates & Fly Dubai, are you flying LH with Emirates from UK then Fly Dubai somewhere else? (Pls clarify.) It matters, if Fly Dubai is some other flight out of/ back to UAE and not on the same PNR as the Emirates flights, you’d not be entitled to EC261 compo (as not departing EU). Any compo would be under their own compo scheme.

      Was your Emirates flight out of UK changed involuntarily or voluntarily by you when you learned of the Fly Dubai changes?

      • Shoestring says:

        …and was everything on the same PNR?

        • Sk123 says:

          Thanks Gengis and Shoetring.
          We are flying from LHR to Jeddah in business using 2 for 1 on BA and all that is fine. Then, booked separateky, we are flying to Dubai via Emirates and Dubai to Karachi via Fly Dubai. The Jeddah to Karachi and return is all booked via Emirates UK website and one PNR for all 4 of us so it says Emirates but for the DXB Karachi segment it says operated by Fly Dubai.

          • Sk123 says:

            Also, the Jeddah to DXB flight is on the 22nd of December ie in 2 days so within 14 days.

        • Shoestring says:

          then it falls outside EC261 for compo purposes (the non-BA flights don’t originate in the EU and are not operated by EU airlines)

          try the Flyertalk boards? for compo possibilities on Emirates/ Fly Dubai (FD are owned separately to Emirates) –

          • Sk123 says:

            Thanks. So nothing I can try with Amex Platinum’s travel insurance either?

          • Shoestring says:

            pretty sure it’s not retrospective

          • Shoestring says:

            did you pay on an Amex *credit* card (eg Gold credit card)? In which case you get S75 protection if transaction was over £100.

            Not compo as such – but you shouldn’t be worse off financially because of the changes you mention.

            If you paid on an Amex *charge* card – you don’t get S75 protection but can at least ask them to put you right financially and in some cases they will/ or will chargeback when appropriate

            [I now never pay BA on a charge card if value of flight/s (ie the single transaction paid for flights, it’s irrelevant if BA split the amount by passenger on your credit card statement) is over £100.]

  • C says:

    I did a final payout from the site that can’t be named on the 13th before the 25% bonus avios offer ended and have an email from that day with the correct amount of avios. However the points posted today with only a 5% bonus. Anyone else? A previous payout in November posted correctly with the 25% bonus. I’m going to raise a support ticket as the correct number was in the payout email but it seems like as it was processed after the end of the offer I only got the usual amount

    • Shoestring says:

      got most of the backlog + bonus

      got a couple missing – but originating site (Payout History) doesn’t say Payment Received yet

      • Shoestring says:

        incl from the 13th, that’s present & correct in terms of bonus

        • JPa says:

          My one is wrong also. Payment history is correct but the miles on the BA side as only 5% bonus.

          • meta says:

            Same here. The one from 13 Dec is not correct.

          • The Original David says:

            Wait, when did the 25% bonus end? It was still showing on the site when I initiated a payout a couple of days ago…

          • Liz says:

            Same here – i raised a support ticket today. Also transferred some more today and still says 25%

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      15th Nov / 11th & 12th Dec payouts only at 5% bonus for me. Lengthy CS request to sort out missing 20%.

      • Paul says:

        Reading this, checked my payout details, and I too received only the ‘standard’ 5% bonus not the 25% for payout requested on 12th Dec. with Avios posting on 20th. Support ticket just submitted…

  • Yawn says:

    No bits, so I thought I’d report it here. KLM is offering a discount code of 40 pounds of an economy flight or 125 pounds off a business class flight:

    “Benefit from £40 off your next Economy Class trip with discount code ECHAPPYHOL or £125 off your next Business Class trip with discount code BCHAPPYHOL. Take off for an unforgettable travel experience.

    How to redeem your code:

    1. Choose a long haul flight to any destination in Economy or Business Class
    2. Enter code ECHAPPYHOL for Economy or BCHAPPYHOL for Business Class on the payment page, during checkout.
    3. Click on ‘Add discount code or voucher’ to see if your booking qualifies for the discount.”

  • Optimus Prime says:

    OT – if anyone is flying out of LGW today, they should check their route…. lots of train cancellations and delays due to floods in the area.

  • NigelT says:

    Cheapest I am finding for HEL for 2 nights is £259.14 and very limited availability. Have been to HEL dozens of times so 2 days is all I want to do. Found 1 day departure at £196 on cheap fare finder but when you click through it was £259 as well.

  • Jovanna says:

    OT: I paid for a return flight with my BAPP card. I left a set of Bose headphones on one of the flights and they’ve not turned up. Can I claim on my Amex Platinum card for the loss? It’s the same Amex account?