Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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)

  • Andrew says:

    OT, but has anyone received their 25k Avios from Barclays?

    • David says:

      No! Trying to contact them today, but long queues on the phone. Anyone else received theirs?

      • Andrew says:

        They told me to contact BA customer services… I knew they wouldn’t be able to help, and I was proved right. Have emailed [email protected] and will call Barclays again on Monday

    • BLT says:

      Yes. Received it last week in an email. You get an avios code to redeem. I did get the targeted email though.

    • AJ says:

      I chased today emailing my Premier relationship manager (generic premier cust services email). He was fantastic and sorted it out within an hour for me. Sent me the redeem code and link to redeem. Very impressed with the level of service from him. Perhaps I might actually switch my main banking to Barclays after all!

    • Tanya says:

      No! Barclays have long waits to get through and the agents are totally clueless. I was told to email avios and did so on 17th but haven’t received a reply. Once the avios arrive I will be leaving Barclays as their customer service has been dreadful.

  • Liz says:

    OT Just received 3 x 1000 Virgin miles from Tesco auto convert – time to switch back to vouchers

  • Darren says:

    OT, during a reward flight booking the agent mentioned that hotel bookings get 15 avios per £1 spent, can’t find this on BA.com as you get 1 per £1 but on Avios.com there is a link to ‘Avios hotels’.

    I closed my avios account months ago. Might need to re-open.

    • stevenhp1987 says:

      An ongoing promotion.

      Booking by phone only to get bonus Avois. I think phone booking fees apply but someone will correct me if I’m wrong.

  • Ian M says:

    OT – Singapore Airlines flight delay..

    I’m due to fly from Auckland to Heathrow via Singapore today. Just got an email from Singapore Airlines to say my AKL-SIN flight has been ‘retimed’ (aka delayed) from 15:15 to 19:15. I’ll still make my connection as I had a 12 hour layover (was planning an 8 hour sleep at hotel at the airport). It’s a redemption booking, anyone know if any compensation will be available?

    • Shoestring says:

      non-EU airline & flying from non-EU country – so EC261 does not apply (with an EU airline in that scenario you’d get compo ie flying back to UK & all on one PNR)

      you could check to see if Singapore Airlines themselves offer any sort of compo & could also ask on the Flyertalk board https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/singapore-airlines-krisflyer-500/

      • Callum says:

        I don’t think they would get any compensation from an EU airline in that scenario because they aren’t delayed – their connection is just shorter.

        • Shoestring says:

          pretty sure they’d be able to claim for the 4hr delay on the first leg of the journey, in isolation

          there are 2 destinations, Singapore and London – and if you’re delayed 4hrs arriving at destination 1 (Singapore), that means compo (or would with an EU airline etc) – even if you still arrive at destination 2 (London) on time

          ie both legs might be on one 1 PNR but leg 2 could just as easily be after a 2 day stopover in Singapore, no reason not to treat the 2 flights as separate entities for compo purposes

          • Ian M says:

            Hey thanks for the replies. They’ve not ‘retimed’ the flight another 2 hours. So 6 hour delay now. Makes the airport hotel booking pretty much useless! But that was a redemption as well. All very much first world problems but still very annoying!

            New Zealand law seems much weaker on flight delay compo compared to Euopre

          • Callum says:

            1. Even if you were to claim they’re two different trips, neither SIN nor AKL are in a territory covered by EC261 so no, even an EU carrier wouldn’t have to pay compensation.

            2. There’s every reason to not consider connecting flights booked as a single trip to be two different trips – which is presumably why the European Court of Justice has ruled that before. Using that logic, you wouldn’t be able to claim for any delays on connections outside of the EU. E.g. with a late arrival in Sydney but an on-time arrival in Singapore when flying LHR-SIN-SYD, BA could just say they’re two separate flights so any delays from SIN don’t count.

            I’m not sure how a 2 day stopover would change anything though. Everything I’ve read on the topic has referred to the “final destination”, so my guess would be this is a loophole and you wouldn’t technically be entitled to anything if you arrive at your stopover destination late (assuming it’s not two separate fares).

          • Shoestring says:

            @Callum – we’ll have to agree to disagree on that! 🙂

          • Callum says:

            Article 3, Paragraph 1 – Crystal clear, with no space whatsoever for ambiguity, that it does NOT apply.

            I respect that you don’t want to continue discussing this though, so hope you a good Christmas!

          • Lady London says:

            Would make sense if the break in journey was at least 24 hrs, thus making SIN a stopover, for the arrival time in SIN to come as a separate thing falling under EU261.

            If the break in SIN is 23:59 or less then the final destination of the flight starting in AKL would be LON not SIN. Tough cheese if you had something planned that was less than a 24h stopover, in SIN.

            That’s how Lufthansa got away with taking out 2 intermediate stops of less than 24hrs in Europe on my ticket to Asia, when I had planned to meet friends, when they sold off routes I was booked on, to Germanwings. They unilaterally reticketed me without those stops and told me they were not obliged to honour those intermediate stops only to get me to the final destination of the ticket. The above would be similar reasoning why lateness landing SIN would not count unless you actually missed a connection.

            Of course EU261 doesn’t apply in this case anyway. As you have a non-EU airline and your flight sequence in this direction is not departing from Europe (which is the only time nonEU airlines come under EU261).

            Plus there’s no assurance that common sense will apply although court judgments on EU261 have been remarkably sensible so far.

  • Harry T says:

    OT, no bits:
    Nationwide have launched a new credit card for One card available for members.

    “Just for our members with two great offers.
    Choose from our Balance Transfer Offer with 0% on balance transfers for 18 months and 0% on purchases for 3 months or our All Rounder Offer with 0% on purchases for 15 months and 0% on balance transfers for 15 months. Balance transfer fees apply.
    No matter which offer you choose, the Member Credit Card is great for travellers. It comes with unlimited commission-free purchases abroad, so you can spend on holiday without having to worry about unexpected charges.“

    @Shoestring or anyone with an interest – is there a use for this if you already have Halifax Clarity? I’ve not used a 0% card before, so unsure how to beat use them. I know @Shoestring mentioned them the other day.

    • Shoestring says:

      There are quite a lot of these cards out there but Nationwide might be the only one to offer the FX advantage. I’ve never done a balance transfer so can’t comment there. I’ve had 2 *Purchases* credit cards – these give you a credit limit for a certain number of months interest free.

      Eg £10,000 limit, interest free for 30 months. So you buy stuff & pay bills, & as long as 1) you stay under your credit limit & 2) pay the minimum monthly repayment every month, it is interest-free money for 30 months. = cashflow.

      Obvs you need to pay it back or you will incur (high) interest after the 30 months.

      You can put balance transfers onto some Purchases credit cards, for a fee, eg 3% one-off fee, then it is credit free for the (say) 30 months interest-free period.

      I think some people make (or made) a nice profit stoozing, ie running several of these cards and moving debt around, obvs doing something more useful with the borrowed capital to make money eg earning interest when that was more worthwhile.

      • Harry T says:

        Thanks. I was considering putting my hotel bills etc on it when I’m in Australia in March and paying off the balance over 15 months for cashflow purposes. The FX advantage would be uniquely useful in that scenario.

        Not sure if there’s much benefit to stooging these days when interest rates on savings accounts are so low? Probably wouldn’t even pay for your time.

        BTW I can’t find any fares to price match BA for my Helsiniki flight and I’m not sure I’m eligible anyway as I part paid with Avios. Something to remember for next time though.

        Looks like Hertz One isn’t working, so will have to wait to book my care from Newcastle to Heathrow!

  • Richard says:

    This BA “Sale” does not seem very impressive to me. I have been looking at going to Abu Dhabi for a short break in early January so was keeping an eye on prices and holding out. In the “Sale”, the prices for both flight-only and flight-plus-hotel have gone up by about £300 compared with two weeks before! The hotel still has loads of availability; harder to tell with the flight-only element of course. 🙁

    • Peter K says:

      With flights, they tend to be cheaper bought further out (how far depends on destination). From what I’ve read they just go up and up and up from 1 month out as they are then expecting only business passengers or those desperate will buy them at that point. They will not be going down for Jan ’20 now, only further up.

    • Doug M says:

      I think when you have a definite destination and near definite dates waiting on a sale is a poor tactic. Sales are good at short notice for a go anywhere attitude. With def dates and destination you need to start monitoring a long time out and book when you think the price is right. Easy to say in hindsight, but sales are not really all prices lowered by x, they’re about shifting unsold capacity.

      • Harry T says:

        Yes, it’s no coincidence that a lot of the most heavily discounted BA sale flights are at less popular or optimal times of year – they need bums on seats.

        If you have relatively flexible leave and no kids etc then you can wait for sales and just see where you fancy. Anyone with fixed leave or tied to school holidays is much more constrained and should book early for the best price they can get at the time.

  • vol says:

    OT – Avios In store / BA In store shopping (where people registered their cards and transactions would earn avios in regular shops like caffe nero etc) has that ceased now? I am still able to earn miles via Virgin in this way, but not BA

    • Doug M says:

      I think they said temporary, but it’s been at a guess 9 months now?

    • Pfh says:

      Starting up again on BAEC. Just a handful of retailers there for now, including Odeon and Fragrance Shop

      • Doug M says:

        Thanks. I hadn’t noticed. Logged in and could see it. Present retailers no use to me, but it’s a start that it’s back.

  • Ronaldo says:

    i want to book an AA flight from MIA to Cartagena Colombia, the AA site says 17.5k advantages miles, can I use avios for this? the BA site doesn’t accept the CTG airport as a destination.