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 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 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 ba.com 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)

  • RussellH says:

    OT: Amex “Spend £4 get 1 Avios Every time” Offer

    Are people seeing many Avios from this offer being credited to their BA Amex a/c?
    So far just received on batch of 4 and 1 batch of five Avios following a fair number of transactions, including one for £104.

    Also, still not received the 1500 bous Avios on the BA Wineflyer offer. Amex chat told me last Monday that “You’ve received the Avios on 11 – Ded – 2019 from our end” and “You will receive the Avios within 5 – 7 working days in your account”.
    Anyone know what is going on here?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      I’m seeing all bonus points and any amex offers I’m due posting with a huge delay atm.

      BA bonus seems to be posting at random intervals I think for the day rather than each transaction but I’m not going to bother reconciling because I just cba for the low value return.

    • Anna says:

      We used the wine offer on BA blue and BAPP over 2 weeks ago and haven’t had the bonus avios, although we have both had confirmation emails. Problem is, all the chat staff will say is that they can take up to 90 days from the end of the offer, or whatever ridiculous amount of time it is!

      • Dev says:

        Haven’t received any of the bonus Avios, 1 additional Avios per £4 or 1000 additional Avios for £100 spend with BA.

        Will continue to monitor and report back when I see them. As already noted above, Amex has been delayed in crediting Avios and MR points for a few weeks now. Avios more than MR.

        • meta says:

          I am also seeing delays. Got some bonus Avios from the first week when the promo started, then a few days later from another day or two. Now I’ve been waiting for over a week for the next batch. It will take a while. Amex IT seems to be very slow these days.

      • Peter Taysum says:

        I’ve just had the 2000 Avios posted direct to my BAEC account. When I made the order through Laithwaites I then had to call them, as though order confirmed, no email confirmation and no payment taken. I have them a rubbish review if Trip Advisor and they refunded next day delivery charge (as they failed to do so) and I mentioned lack of Avios; though now appeared.

        The “bonus” Avios do seem to be posting for £4 spend; but slowly. I find it hard to check what’s posted correctly or not.

    • AJA says:

      I am also waiting for the 1 bonus Avios for £4 spent to post. I have only seen 2 small amounts post. Have 7 other transactions pending. Also waiting for a £5 credit for spending at Esso to post. It’s not good that Amex is so slow but am reassured that it’s not just me.

  • Anna says:

    OT – shocking report on Flyertalk about criminals targeting premium class passengers after being tipped off about where they are staying by airline insiders. The article focuses on the businessman who was murdered by robbers in Buenos Aires recently, apparently he was followed right from the airport to his hotel.

  • fivebobbill says:

    O/T
    Can anybody help me with the email addy for the GM at Sheraton Grand Dubai? I have a name, but am wondering is there a generic format like ****.*******@marriott.com, @ marriotthotels.com, @sheratongranddubai.com…
    Appreciate any advice as always.

  • stevenhp1987 says:

    Just paid £500.67 + 11,250 Avios (outbound upgrade) for return to TLV, Club World (new Club Suite) out, Premium back!

    Cannot complain at that price!

  • Gavin says:

    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!

  • Zoe says:

    OT as no bits, just got the email about Curve send, surely we can’t just send £500 a day from our credit card to our other half?

    • memesweeper says:

      I’m on the beta. I’m not sure what the limits/T&Cs will be on full roll out, but beta was £ 100/day and the recipient could *only* receive into Curve cash and spend it retail — no option to take it out as cash at an ATM. So limited opportunities for manufacturing on that basis. I wonder if the rules will be relaxed a little now?

      • Zoe says:

        What are my Curve Send limits?

        You can send a maximum of £500 per day or per transaction. If you are sending in a different currency, you will be capped at that currencies’ equivalent of £500.

        Can I send money to someone who doesn’t have Curve?

        Yes! You can do this by tapping on the contact you would like to invite to Curve, you will be given the option to enter the amount and currency of choice and select a payment card to use. You’ll then tap ‘Confirm & Send’ to finalise the transaction.
        Once confirmed, you’ll be taken to a new screen that will provide a payment link that you can send to your friend through the selection provided when tapping ‘Share payment link.”
        The recipient can choose to either (i) sign up for Curve by following the steps on the payment link; or (ii) accept the money directly to their bank card without joining Curve – for this they will just need to provide their phone number and card details on the Curve website provided on the payment link provided.

        Might be useful

        • Sandgrounder says:

          Ts&Cs also say you can’t send to Curve Cash, only to the recipient’s bank card. I wonder if this may tip more issuers over the edge with cash charges?

        • Anna says:

          I’ve just sent 2 x £10 to my OH but not been shown a link to any website? Where will the money have gone?!

          • Anna says:

            Looks like you only generate a link if you pay someone who doesn’t have Curve, which is a not how they’re trying to sell it!

    • stevenhp1987 says:

      Virgin Atlantic Reward+ – 4th December, went through as MCC 4829 – money transfer.

      Cash advance fee, no go back in time possible.

      • Grant says:

        Ouch

      • Zoe says:

        Steven,
        Was this an ATM withdrawal, or were you paying your friend in Brighton, or Necker?

        • stevenhp1987 says:

          Curve Send… to my wife…

          • stevenhp1987 says:

            To add insult to injury, my wife’s only Debit Card on file with Curve was a Tesco Debit Card.

            The refund was processed as MCC 8999 – meaning Tesco saw it as a purchase refund and took away clubcard points for it…

            Was added randomly for the beta on 4th December.

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        That was my first thought – no way this is going through as anything other than a cash advance…

  • JamesR says:

    A few weeks back I booked open jaw economy Heathrow to Nashville then Las Vegas to Heathrow for £600.

    Thought tt would be a good idea to check the price again today… £370. Doh!!

    Didnt think open jaw stuff usually got discounted??

    • marcw says:

      Prices go by market. Usually, within the same market, yes. If you book, say, LHR to LAS but return from MEX, because MEX is a “different” market you are usually charged quite high. But within the same market, you can expect sales and fares to mix&match.

    • Callum says:

      Your booking just combined “half” the round trip fare of LHR-LAS with “half” the round trip fare of LHR-BNA.

      If either of those fares go on sale then the open jaw will automatically be cheaper. They don’t have their own special pricing. It also prices the exact same way if you change it to MEX (or even SCL). It doesn’t really have anything to do with being in the “same market”, the examples I’ve quoted just say the distance between the open segment needs to be shorter than your longest flight. E.g. LHR-BOS, SCL-LHR is allowed because SCL-LHR is longer than BOS-SCL.

      • Jonathan says:

        Not necessarily. Often the cheaper fare buckets (particularly in Economy) will have restrictions on Open Jaw (in the same way they have minimum stay & Saturday night requirements). If you try & book an OJ it will push you into more flexible, & expensive, fares.

        • Lady London says:

          This is where using a travel agent can help. They can do things the website can’t.

  • laineyling says:

    OT: apologies, I have booked a ticket for my son flying out below 2 years old and returning when he is 2. I book with avios, and did the original booking with a member from the Newcastle team who make some sort of dummy booking to hold the seat when he turns 2 (legal requirement) while processing as a lap infant.

    BA have now changed cancelled the flight and moved us, however they have note held a seat for my son for when he turns 2, and suggests to call back once our holiday has become. This seems totally crazy to me as if the seats are sold out we will then be forced to change flights etc.

    Has anyone experience as the current call centre (think India) says that they cannot do what the original agent did (hold a seat via a dummy booking).

    • Anna says:

      This is the advice from BA’s website:

      “If you’re travelling with an infant who reaches the age of two during their journey, your child will need their own seat for any flights on and after their 2nd birthday. However, there is no charge for this; you will still only pay the infant fare for the entire journey.
      As your infant will only be required to have a seat for part of your trip, this can’t be booked online, so contact us and we’ll be pleased to help you.”

      I think you need to escalate this to a manager as otherwise, as you say, you risk there not being 3 seats for you to get home.

      • laineyling says:

        Thanks, escalating to a manager seems to have done the trick.
        Very annoying as had to spend about two hours going back on forth on different calls. The first agent dealing with the change didn’t want to put us on the original flight (but downgraded cabin) as there was no Avios availability, I had to point out and push the fact that it was a BA change, not a change I wanted.