Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

An Avios flight redemption bonanza to parts of Asia …. if you’re up for travelling at the moment

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This is, I admit, not necessarily the best time to be planning a holiday in Asia.

However, hear me out.

British Airways has opened the floodgates on Avios availability to some Asian cities between now and, in some cases, the end of 2020.

You may never, ever see it as good as this again in Club World.

British Airways BA 777X 777 9X

Don’t dismiss the idea.  The key with Avios travel is that you can cancel your ticket and get all your Avios and cash back for just a £35 per person fee.

If British Airways cancels your flight due to coronavirus, you will get it all back without a cancellation fee.

On some routes, if we look ahead to December – ten months from now – there are loads of dates with virtually unlimited amounts of Club World availability.  Coronavirus could be a lot worse by December, but it could also be a lot better.

Here are some screenshots from seatspy.com this evening.  They show days where BA is offering AT LEAST 9 (NINE) Club World seats outbound.

If you don’t need nine seats for your family, you will have even more options 🙂

There are probably MORE than 9 Club World seats on these dates, but ba.com won’t show more than 9.  I have only looked at outbound travel but the return patterns are similar.

The ‘hollow’ rings are off-peak dates.  The ‘solid’ rings are peak dates.  Click to enlarge.

To Singapore (Singapore is only wide open until May):

Amazing Avios business class availability to Asia

Hong Kong (Hong Kong is only wide open until August):

Amazing Avios business class availability to Asia

Tokyo (not so good due to the Olympics, but still plenty of days with 9+ Club World seats):

Amazing Avios business class availability to Asia

Amazing Avios availability to Asia

Beijing:

Amazing Avios business class availability to Asia

Shanghai:

Amazing Avios business class availability to Asia

Seoul (to be honest, I think the days with 9+ Club World seats are just standard availability with no coronavirus impact):

Amazing Avios business class availability to Asia

Oddly, seats are still very restricted to Bangkok, Osaka and Kuala Lumpur if you want nine Club World seats.

It’s up to you if you want to risk a booking, but it is really a one-way bet given the Avios refund rules.


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 (124)

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

  • Secret Squirrel says:

    Is the avios transfer points system not working at present? Used it successfully a few weeks ago but not letting me transfer points to BA tonight?

    • Rob says:

      Someone told me the other day that Avios to BA was not working … is your BA account a household one? Seemed to be a restriction.

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Yes, a HH account which only a few weeks ago was not an issue. Thanks, I’ll undo the account & give it another go.

        • Yorkieflyer says:

          If this is true then it’s a real nuisance as I would need to remove Mrs Yorkieflyer and then couldn’t add her back for 6 months? Arbitrary changes like this are really unreasonable

          • Secret Squirrel says:

            If you do dissolve your HH account, do not worry too much as I’ve dissolved & reinstated a few times in the last year.

  • Clive says:

    They need to drop the amount of Avios to entice people.

    • Rob says:

      Give it time …

      • Russ says:

        I think that could go at least two ways. Wouldn’t be surprised to see some spectacularly cheap fares coming to entice people to fly, maybe with nice hotels thrown in as the chains are feeling the pinch. Probably be non refundable though but this is where your article fills the gap. Be interested in your thoughts Rob on how to keep airline/hotel elite status for those whose travel has been significantly curtailed.

        • Rob says:

          Difficult question, which of course will depend how things pan out. I would suspect if your travel history has a lot of China and HK in it (possibly Japan and Singapore too) then requests not to be downgraded will be looked at positively.

          • Russ says:

            Thanks Rob.. Looks like we’re just going to have to sit it out…..

          • The Original David says:

            Come to Asia for a mattress run, is surely the answer! I’m jumping between Accor and IHG properties in Thailand right now for between £25-£40/night, and then getting a good chunk back in points. Should have Accor Gold and IHG Plat all tied up before the end of March…

          • Alex Sm says:

            My partner won 2 nights stay at a 5* hotel in Shanghai (valid until end-May) and we don’t know what to do. This was before Coronavirus and we were contemplating to go but now probably not…

        • lebron 23 says:

          hyatt auto-extending status for 12 months if you have address in asia

    • Marcw says:

      The fees…. That’s the problem.

  • Rob says:

    Yes, seems to be.

    I know what you mean though – I was looking at Barbados for August this week and there is loads out and none back.

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      Recently booked to BGI, outbound good availability but inbound terrible?

      • Rob says:

        Yes. I tried to find a way back via Miami but no joy there either.

        • Anna says:

          NYC? It’s a longer connection but usually CW return leg guaranteed and a nice city break add-on to a trip. And the new lounge at JFK is very decent.

        • Lady London says:

          Or try the old trick of booking your way back toa region eg ncl

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      Works for me!

    • Lady London says:

      Virgin miles on AF or KL ? from US, another island or via South America perhaps also considering IB via MAD for return?

      Don’t laugh if South America is ridiculous geography is not my strong point.

      • Lady London says:

        reasoning is historically France and the Netherlands ‘own’ bits of the Caribbean so there should be some flights.

    • Alex Sm says:

      Can you stay there for a while?

  • John W says:

    Totally agree – I have been watching for flights in May for sometime – I can find plenty out but not many back – Same for Cyprus in September – Loads going out – hardly anything coming back ! – Surely this is a strategy – We have X number of reward seats available !

  • Axel says:

    I’ve been following Singapore as a destination for a month or so, think more is opening up through Star Alliance.

    My partner also mentioned the lounges in Changi were dead (quiet) yesterday.

    Expecting next March’s Kris Flyers deal to out match Avios

    • Russ says:

      Agree. Think we can expect availability opening up across the board plus, those airlines who traditionally don’t open J and F class to partners may now take a view.

  • Mikeact says:

    I don’t think this is unusual at all, (more flights out than back.) This seems to have been the case for ages….I posted a question about this on FlyerTalk probably some two years or so back and never did get to the bottom of it. That’s one reason I always, usually, book one ways out and back…..seems to perhaps bring up more availability, sometimes . Or even through Avios.com, where availability can be different. Likewise, looking via other OW carriers can Qantas, Cathy etc, can show anomalies. I had to call BA last year, as I found a couple of redemption seats I wanted, but weren’t showing on BA.
    More to the point, I don’t have any BA status these days, so I guess I only ‘see’ basic availability, whereas you guys probably have access to far more seats. At least we have Club seats direct to LAX next week, thanks to a Lloyds voucher..coming back? We’re on Delta, just a few Dollars each in charges, which makes the overall cost, there and back, pretty painless.
    (Be nice though, to get a complementary Silver card !!)

  • Mark says:

    I’ve been praying for 2 CW seats before Xmas to come up, currently booked into WT and CW return to KUL, happy fly into HKG, BKK, SIN or upgrade my KUL flight so fingers crossed something comes up.

  • LetBAgonesBe says:

    I am planning a trip to Shanghai in May.
    No amazing deal hotel-wise, despite the fact that for example W Shanghai reception told me that the I was looking to arrive, they would have only 1 other person checking in.

    I wonder if luxury hotels will eventually drop prices or they just leave it as it is.

    • Will says:

      Depends how much pain they’re under and how much cash the chinese government hands out in stimulus to keep everything open.

      Stock market is shockingly resilient given what the downside risk could be if this is the start of a pandemic.

      I’m not saying it is, just that once upon a time the spivs would have priced that in, but now it would appear we’re invincible. Irrational exuberance?

    • Marcw says:

      I believe they are closing down hotels and reshuffling clientes un the open ones. Probably a measure to protect average room rates.

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