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.

  • Shoestring says:

    O/T so are we going to gave another occasion in quick succession where Avios are on sale under 1p on Iberia – and HFP refuses to cover it, citing pressure of articles etc?

    • Jamie says:

      Where can I find these sub 1p Avios?

    • Doug M says:

      But mostly it’s barely under 1p, and that only if you get the exchange rate prompted, which is often not the case. An awful lot of people don’t think that buying Avios at 1p is much of a deal. I get it suits those you have a 241 and struggle to raise the Avios, because they don’t fly that much, and there are certain routes/holiday times where it pays off. But Avios at 1p is frequently not a good deal, especially if you fly and are earning plenty of them. Cash is king.

    • Rob says:

      A BA one usually follows with no issues over FX fees, transfer issues etc. For eg Avios now seem to be blocking HHA transfers to BA.

      • Shoestring says:

        we know the BA price will be £3215 for 300K Avios (it always is!)

        whereas you could prefer to pay EUR3601 = £2993 right now on a FX fee-free card

        obvs the average HFP reader would prefer to waste the difference (£222) because they can’t be @rsed to buy at Iberia instead of BA – and transferring the points back to BAEC is so arduous

        • Anna says:

          Also it can be a good way of helping trigger a 2 4 1 or other bonus which outweighs the extra cost.

          • Crafty says:

            You’d voluntarily pay an extra £200 for the same product to trigger a 2-4-1?

            Now this is the customer Amex are looking for…

    • Lady London says:

      OT hey Shoestring have you any idea where the people that quoted you got their 50x from? J am wondering if that is from industry tables that are amended from time to time or the quoter’s discretion

      Also wondering is the risk of having to honour the existing arrangement and pay out each year is so high, when normally they’d only have to do for, say, 25. So wondering where does the 50 come from? Or, is it just a number of years value that is obliged to be stated and only so high as the value is temporarily so high due to low interest rates.

      Have a feeling I might get 51 and wanted to know is this an indicator of high risk passing from quoter to me that the 50/51 is an indicator of or purely due to interest rate phenomena (which I would regard as temporary)

      • Shoestring says:

        I assume it wasn’t from any published tables but would have been the fund trustees agreeing a ‘fair’ formula with their retained actuaries. Tideway told me they know many funds are still extremely keen to get their numbers of deferred pensioners down sharply, so are deliberately erring on the side of generosity. In theory, ISTR that the trustees wanted to be scrupulously fair about it, ie taking the present discounted value of money into account, somebody dying at average age eg 80 would have cost the fund exactly the same whether they stayed in or not – adding in any scheme variables such as does surviving spouse get 50% or 67.7%?, how good is the annual increase eg CPI or RPI? etc

        Also I mentioned nearly 50x but that was not taking into account annual increases for remainers, so obvs a fair bit less in reality

        • Shoestring says:

          weekend papers had the usual string of pre-budget rumours about adverse changes to pensions – but there is one persistent story that keeps coming back and has even the right wing quality newspapers saying they can’t understand why it’s lasted so long in its present generous unlimited format – the 25% tax-free lump sum

          • Lady London says:

            15% within about a year I would say so Nov or next Mar, possibly with provision for lower later.

            Guessing first budget esp of new Chancellor has to focus on confidence post Brexit.

        • Lady London says:

          Thanks for your reply Shoestring. The quoters are in the 10pc of db funds in UK that don’t give any annual increases at all. My accrual is pre 1997 so they can get away with it. Even for post 1997 they have given increases in 2 years only. They have publicly stated their policy is to give no increase unless they are legally compelled. Other countries compel and that’s all they pay. For sure they are in deficit. Any recovery made by improving investment returns will just reduce company payments into fund accordingly. They’ve been sued for not paying any increase contrary to previous promises and it failed.

          So no increases not even inflation no-brainer to get out and even a tracker fund should do better. Yet I am being advised by.a savvy.ex boss to stay. The only downside i can see is transaction charges because tracker fund should make back management charges and inflation as this is the UK. So highly unlikely interest will ever be negative – quite the opposite is the case. So wondering what am I missing as getting out asap seems a no brainer

  • The Streets says:

    Fees and taxes seem to be creeping up for reward flights. Last week I booked two one way First Class flights to HKG at £396 for later this year. Today, booked three more one ways this time to Bangkok in Business which broke the £400 mark. Can’t remember it being this high before

  • Lumma says:

    In Japan at the minute and flying to Seoul this afternoon. Can’t see why either place is any less safe in relation to Coronavirus than remaining in Europe as things stand

  • Alan H says:

    Question. If I book a reward flight with BA using Avios and a BA/Amex Companion Ticket, (Rob’s article – An Avios redemption bonanza to parts of Asia …. if you’re up for travelling) and I cancel the flight what happens to the Companion Ticket, which in my case would have expired ie the date by which it has to be used. I have assumed that it will be lost, and not extended?

    • AndyW says:

      You have to fly the outbound by the expiry on a companion voucher anyway, it’s a use by, not book by date.

    • Anna says:

      I presume you mean companion voucher (both tickets would be cancelled)? Normally it’s lost once it’s expired but BA has been known to extend them under exceptional circumstances, so if your flight was cancelled by BA, say, due to coronavirus fears you might persuade them to extend the voucher.

      • Lady London says:

        Someone reported in past 3 days or so BA did reissue a voucher valid for a further year after a flight was cancelled. I think the original voucher was a Lloyds upgrade voucher though.

  • Anna says:

    On a night flight I’m going more and more towards Y or PE to save avios. I don’t find BA flat beds particularly conducive to sleep and don’t really take advantage of the F & B.

  • Nick says:

    There will also be an Avios bonanza to the US tomorrow… watch this space!!

    • Jamies says:

      You know of something coming? Or is this just a guess

    • Anna says:

      So a taxes and fees bonanza for BA also? 😂

      • Lady London says:

        Yes if BA is not selling the tickets they need then based on the so-called ‘taxes’ they charge (which are money kept by British Airways to a large extent, and not by the government) then for an avios ticket BA gets more money from you than you would have to pay outright in the market to buy that same ticket for cash.

        BA also gets to take your miles off you as well as the fake ‘taxes’ so win-win for BA.

    • lebron 23 says:

      already gone live today

      have a look on seatspy and all will become clear

  • AndyK says:

    OT. I booked an open jaw reward flights using 2-4-1 yesterday. I can see the booking under my account as confirmed but I also can still see the voucher.
    I was under impression that voucher should disappear immediately.
    Any advise? Shall I call again to check?

    • Anna says:

      Do you mean the BA voucher? It shouldn’t be possible to book an open jaw online with it, have you checked how many avios have been deducted, i.e. has the voucher been applied to the booking?

      • AndyK says:

        Yes, I booked over the phone as impossible online and asked to wave the phone booking charge.
        No BA voucher or Avios were taken from account.
        However I have enough Avios to book only with the voucher. I find it very strange.

        • AJA says:

          As long as you can see the confirmed booking in your account but neither voucher nor Avios have gone out I’d wait a couple of days. It should catch up.

          Do you see the taxes and fees on your Amex account that you paid with or is that still pending? If still pending tomorrow then I’d phone to make sure the transaction has gone through.

          • Lady London says:

            I wouldn’t phone! I’d just look online to ensure the ticket has been issued.

            Sadly though Ive never seen a report of a voucher not being taken if used so I think the admin will catch up.

          • AndyK says:

            It’s still pending on Amex so waiting for now

      • Ralph says:

        I’ve booked Open Jaw with a BA Voucher before – it just needed to be within the same zone (Spain and Portugal in my case). I tried one in different zones and got denied.

  • Graham Walsh says:

    I saw my alerts go mad for HK over the last few days. Decided on an open jaw to New Orleans and Phoenix plus a trip to Vegas to use up a 241 in CW.

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