Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

How is British Airways Avios reward flight availability for late 2020 and early 2021?

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Now that all British Airways 2-4-1 vouchers have been extended by 6 months (see our article here), you may be wondering what to do with it.

Although it may seem a little early, now may be the time to consider travel for six to twelve month’s time.  You are likely to find better Avios availability on routes if you book now, as many people will not be booking holidays at present.

This is a mistake. Whilst the current restrictions on travel and movement are prohibitive, they will not go on forever. By booking travel for October onwards, you are securing your tickets now.

Avios wing 14

If October rolls around and there are still restrictions in place (or you just don’t fancy travelling), you are only on the hook for £35 per person – all your remaining taxes and fees, as well as the Avios cost, are refunded, as we explain here.  I’ve just booked a pair of tickets to Bangkok for travel in February 2021.

Whilst I wouldn’t bet on the aircraft types or seats at this stage – the scheduling for the winter timetable, which starts in late October, is yet to be announced – you can be fairly certain that British Airways will get you to your final destination if the route is running.

Late last week I had a quick look at BA’s top destinations on SeatSpy to see which ones had availability in Club World for two people or more. Here is Sao Paulo:

Montreal:

…. and New Orleans:

These cities are also showing good availability for later in the year and / or early in 2021.  This is by no means an exhaustive list as I was focusing on mainstream destinations – although you can usually rely on Lagos being available if you want it:

  • Abu Dhabi
  • Austin
  • Boston
  • Denver
  • Dubai
  • Johannesburg
  • Los Angeles
  • Nashville
  • New Orleans
  • Mexico City
  • Miami
  • Moscow
  • Montreal
  • New York
  • Orlando
  • Rio
  • San Francisco
  • Sao Paulo
  • Seoul
  • Tokyo
  • Toronto

Not all routes are open – there is very little to Bangkok, Barbados, Cape Town, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Maldives, Seychelles for example.

However, here is one thing I noticed.  March 2021 is VERY widely available.  It seems that, once coronavirus struck, everyone gave up jumping in as soon as seats were released.  For example, there are NO DATES AT ALL with two Club World seats to the Seychelles between October and February, but 9th March and 16th March were available yesterday.

The 2021 calendar of British Airways peak and off-peak dates for Avios flight redemptions is in this article. You can see how the British Airways companion voucher works in this article.

You can book on the British Airways website, here.

To maximise your miles when paying the taxes, 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.


HFP-Barclaycard-Avios-Card

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 2023)

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 with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

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:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

35,000 Avios (ONLY to 21st February) and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable 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 10,500 Avios.

SPECIAL OFFER: Capital On Tap has increased its sign-up bonus to points worth 30,000 Avios if you apply by 4th February. This is exclusive to Head for Points readers. Click here to apply.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 30,000 points bonus, worth 30,000 Avios, until 4th February 2023 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

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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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.

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