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.

  • Karen says:

    Can you book Avios out and pay cash inbound in Ba CW? Frustratingly, there’s good outward availability for Bangkok but hardly any return dates over the next month or so.

    • Anna says:

      Single fares on long haul flights are usually so expensive that it’s not worth it. You could try booking Y or PE inbound and ask about upgrading at the airport on your return.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Ok a WTP and upgrade for cash or just set up a RFF alert and pay £35 to change to CW when availability opens up. A one way from BKK will probably be very expensive.

    • Rob says:

      Better to get a connecting flight to somewhere with availability, like Singapore.

    • Lady London says:

      You could look at making the cash booking and seeing if the offer to reduce cash payable using avios is worth it if you have a lot of avios and are cash sensitive.

    • Lady London says:

      If you can scrape some miles for Delta (e.g by moving some from a bank or a card) then will work as to eur and some UK you would be patu g the US level of taxes.

    • BJ says:

      One way from BKK to the UK is typically around £1000 on Finnair and £800 on Sri Lankan, Oman or Aeroflot. BA WTP is usually £700-800 via a travel agent but can be same or much more directly from BA. Check Skyscanner and Expedia, almost always some carriers sub-£1k, and I’d imagine so at the moment unless BKK mopping up reroutes from HKG etc.

  • Alan H says:

    Anna and AndyW, thank you for your advice. It’s as I thought. Alan

  • mvcvz says:

    A bit off topic. Checked into Holiday Inn Ho Chi Minh City for six nights last week. Each of my companions (one IHG platinum, the other two with no priority Club membership at all) were immediately upgraded to suites and offered complimentary breakfast for the duration of their stays. As a Spire IHG member, I wasn’t upgraded or offered anything. The hotel appeared to be almost deserted.

    • The Original David says:

      Classic IHG… Has the hotel been a Holiday Inn for a while? When Spire was first introduced, there were reports that some places didn’t have a “Spire” option in their system, so the hotel just saw them either as basic or not even IHG members at all. Maybe the systems in Vietnam still haven’t been updated…

      • mvcvz says:

        Pretty much a brand new build hotel. Opened September 2019. Not entirely clear what difference that might make though…

  • rob says:

    I’ve just returned from a family holiday in Asia and honestly the virus made the whole experience underwhelming. Tourist attractions were shut, some bars and restaurants were shut. Sitting by the pool all day wasn’t even an option as they shut these more often that not too!

    The incredible drop in tourist numbers really shows. Service in hotels has never been better though I suppose!

    • ChrisD says:

      Which part of Asia did you visit, it’s a big place and I suspect the experience will be different depending on the country/area. I’m planning a trip for April to Thailand, and not concerned in the slightest, prices are good!

      • Polly says:

        Chris, where in Thailand are you planning to visit?

        • ChrisD says:

          Flying into CNX (great ex-Europe deals with Qatar!!) and onto Phuket, Phi Phi and Krabi. At least that’s the plan right now! 🙂

          • Polly says:

            Really, that should be fine. We are in Phuket atm, as l said, no sign of anything at all. Hotels have good offers if you haven’t booked yet. Lots of Chinese cancellations.

    • Polly says:

      We are having the complete opposite experience. First 2 weeks in Bali, you wouldn’t even know there was this virus out there. Nor here in Phuket this 2 weeks. Not even screened on MAS from DPS via KL, at all. Unreal. Not a mask in sight here in Panwa cape. Nor in Karon last week, stayed there 4 days. Restaurants, bars and pools etc buzzing. Hotel at 80% capacity. Had a few Chinese groups cancel across the hotel group.
      Don’t think the insurers would cover anyone hopping on a plane now, but, there are no specific FCO warnings out there, apart from the main few, so people are still travelling. Read into that what you will.

      At least we are reading about any people recovering, and it’s presenting as a milder version elsewhere, apart from China??? Not enough meds perhaps?

      • The Original David says:

        “Don’t think the insurers would cover anyone hopping on a plane now”

        What do you mean? You think travel insurance will deny claims because there’s a bit of flu in China? Can’t see them defending that in court…

        • Polly says:

          Actually meant into China. You never know how individual insurers respond when there is this known virus lurking. Would it not be considered knowingly putting yourself at risk? Of course people are travelling, you won’t know until you come to claim, that’s what my thinking was. Taking a view…

          • ChrisD says:

            Unless the government advices against all but essential travel, insurance would pay out. If you book, when the advice was already against travelling, that’s when you get into problems.

          • Russ says:

            My view to Polly. Was offered free cancellation or moved to a later date myself but took the view that choosing to go later would invalidate any claim I may later have citing ignorance.

          • marcw says:

            It’s been only declared epidemic in China. It’s not a pandemic.

      • Capt Hammond says:

        Currently in Langkawi and had a few days in Singapore last week. Been fine so far. – both places quieter than usual for the time of year because of the restrictions on entry from China, but (selfish viewpoint, I know), the lack of crowds has been nice!

    • Gavin says:

      Where?

    • mvcvz says:

      Agree with all that, except the quality of service. Absolutely terrible everywhere. Will be glad to get home.

  • Jonny says:

    OT: I have got what I think is a good upgrade via avios deal on a BA Seoul return flight in a couple of months. 30000 avios plus less than £100 to upgrade from WTP to Club World (please tell me if this isn’t as a good a deal as I think!).
    I’ve never flow long-haul business class before (I’m guessing Istanbul counts as short haul..) I therefore want to make the most of all the amenities!
    Has anyone got any experience flying from Incheon (Seoul) airport business class? Looking at the lounges, there doesn’t seem to be a massive range…

    • AJA says:

      That sounds really good. I’d go for it.

    • Polly says:

      Def worth grabbing that upgrade. It’s a long flight and you need some comfort. Can’t comment on lounges. Get some Nytol in Boots to help you sleep….

    • Anna says:

      How are people getting these upgrade offers? And are they on award or cash bookings?

      • Jonny says:

        Thanks everyone. Anna- this was on a World Traveller Plus cash booking. I just looked at the cash option for an upgrade to business class and it wasn’t too good, but the avios and cash upgrade offer was!

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      The BA flight is mid-morning and we were staying in central Seoul so we didn’t get there too long before the flight. The lounge is the Asiana one – I remember it being fairly busy but comfortable. Food and drink was alright – I think I had a draft beer and some noodles. I don’t remember check in or security so I suppose they must have been alright.

  • Roger* says:

    Since we’re discussing awards and 241s 😉
    I managed to book last year’s BAPP 241 to South Africa on the last day of the AmEx 3,000 bonus Avios offer as CPT availability for Feb 2021 opened up. No CPT round trips available (no surprise) so it’s out to JNB and back from CPT – ergo an open jaw so unbookable at ba.com and phone bookings don’t qualify for the 3,000 Avios bonus.

    Ah, well. At least we have a booking and there’s always a chance of a £35 p.p. amendment at a later stage if better availability opens up. After all, it will be the first time we have been able to get to CPT in recent years using Avios and without piggybacking via Doha/Helsinki/Oslo or Zurich.

    I’m getting too old for this hunt-the-redemption malarkey so will be concentrating on RFS trips in future. :}

    • Roger* says:

      ‘I’m getting too old for this hunt-the-redemption malarkey so will be concentrating on RFS trips in future. 🙂 ‘
      I know I can book flights for our brother/sister-in-law in Switzerland but I’m guessing they would need to reside in the UK for us to share a family account. Has anybody successfully experienced a similar situation? Thanks.

  • Mark says:

    On topic almost. Should I choose, day flight from Bangkok on a 777 or an overnight on a 787-9 from Kul? I’ve read a couple of things that Bangkok is changing planes from the 777 but it’s still coming up as the plane for 2020

    • Polly says:

      We have done the 787 many times overnight from KUL. Really good experience, presume you mean in J. And the golden lounge in KL is lovely.

      • Mark says:

        Yes sorry in J. Will stick to this then. I really don’t like the old 777s so probably a good idea.

        • DB2020 says:

          The BKK flight will be operated by the refurbished B777 with Club Suites. You will need to check the dates though, I recall it mentioned that it is expected to be later this year. J on the B787 is cramped and if you have an aisle seat then be prepared to be brushed by anyone and everyone passing by because of the narrow aisle.

          • Rhys says:

            Where are you getting the BKK info from? 787 is going on the route from June, but that won’t have Club Suite.

          • Mark says:

            Rhys it still says 777 as the plane details when I look on the ba website for that date in Jan. will this be a refurbed one? Or will it change to a 787

  • Jeremy I says:

    Hi guys a quick question about UUA – if I book a ticket with the outbound in WTP and the return in basic economy, can I upgrade the outbound flight or does the basic economy return leg “invalidate” the ability to UUA. Thanks so much Jeremy

    Also whilst writing why is no one mentioning the REUNION1 discount code – still seems to be working for me.

    • Steve-B says:

      You should definitely be able to upgrade the outbound WTP to CW if redemption availability is there. I believe all WTP fare buckets are upgradeable.

      • Jeremy i says:

        Thanks Steve. You can do Lgw to nyc in wtp on the way out and basic economy on the return for just £371 return with reunion1. Hopefully the additional taxes and charges to upgrade the outbound to business won’t be too steep

        • Shoestring says:

          that’s a great code & I believe there was a companion code for Business

          just no use for it, I’m surprised it wasn’t highlighted in an article but as usual they ignore a lot of good stuff such as the Avios points for under 1p offer currently ongoing

          • Shoestring says:

            Gavin 07:11
            https://headforpoints.com/2020/01/21/get-3000-bonus-avios-for-300-of-british-airways-spend/comment-page-1/
            Don’t know if this has been posted before but used a code called REUNION1 last time which got 15% off WT & WTP fares (to Seoul in our case). I believe there’s another code for Club World fares. Combined with the current sale, it got us a WTP return for £707 which is an exceptional price. Upgraded the outbound overnight leg to club round as well.

            Gavin says:
            21 January 2020 at 08:38
            REUNION1 Code – yes it did allow me to upgrade to CW. However I did this after booking was complete rather than during the booking process..
            It didn’t seem to work on the App, only BA.com. Valid for bookings made by 29th February 2020 not sure what the restriction dates for flying are – we used it for late May – June.
            My wife found the code on a forum, it’s valid on fares ex UK only. The text is:
            “Simply use the code REUNION1 to make a booking in World Traveller and World Traveller Plus. If you’d like to treat yourself to Club Word, you can use the code REUNION2”

          • Rob says:

            Couldn’t find the rules. Looked everywhere. I can’t run it if there is a risk that BA will come after us and say it is restricted to a certain group / company / travel agent etc. They pay a big chunk of our wages!

          • Shoestring says:

            I think if I’m buying Avios points, I’d prefer to save £222 by buying on the Iberia site @1p/ point rather than buying on the UK site

          • Shoestring says:

            OK I get that

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