Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Want to go to Sydney? Good Avios availability just released in British Airways Club World

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British Airways has just turned on the taps for Avios redemptions to Sydney this coming (northern hemisphere) Winter.

Sydney is one of the most popular redemptions on the British Airways network. Avios seats often get snapped 355 days in advance – when British Airways starts selling tickets – so extra availability is always good news.

That has just changed. British Airways has opened the floodgates for Club World (business class) Avios flights to Australia for December until March.

Take a look at this screenshot from SeatSpy which shows Avios points availability for two people in Club World.  Outbound is on the left, return dates are on the right.  It is correct as of 10am on Wednesday.

The charts above show dates where there is availability straight through, without a stopover in Singapore.  If you are willing to be flexible and transit in Singapore for a day or so, you will find more options.

British Airways operates a Boeing 777 to Sydney.  You should expect the legacy Club World seat, not the new Club Suite, although it is not out of the question that you will get a refurbished Club Suite 777.

How many Avios do you need to fly to Sydney?

On a peak day, you require, from the UK:

  • 100,000 Avios return for Economy / World Traveller
  • 200,000 Avios return for World Traveller Plus
  • 300,000 Avios return for Club World
  • 400,000 Avios return for First

On an off-peak day, you require:

  • 65,000 Avios return for Economy / World Traveller
  • 130,000 Avios return for World Traveller Plus
  • 250,000 Avios return for Club World
  • 340,000 Avios return for First

….. plus, of course, a large chunk of cash for taxes and charges, which varies by class.

For a couple, you can halve the number of Avios by using the 2-4-1 voucher which comes with the British Airways American Express credit card.  You still need to pay the full taxes for both people.

Avios tickets offer flexibility

You may be wondering whether booking flights to Australia for this winter is a good idea given how strict Australia has been with its travel bans.  You won’t be able to travel unless the country chooses to open up substantially.

The good news is that, as these are Avios tickets, you can cancel up to 24 hours before departure with a full refund of Avios and the taxes and fees with nothing more than a £35 penalty per person.  That makes them one of the most flexible flight bookings you can make in the current climate.

Do NOT pay for seat reservations in Club World if you don’t have British Airways status.  These are NOT refundable if you voluntarily cancel your booking later.  Wait until you are 100% certain to fly or simply don’t bother and save the money.

If you want to travel off-peak to save Avios, the 2021 calendar of peak and off-peak Avios points dates is here. You can see how the British Airways companion voucher works in this article.

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 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.

These tickets are likely to go quickly.  You can book on the British Airways website here.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 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 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:

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 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.

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

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.

Comments (88)

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

  • marcw says:

    What are the chances of BA pulling the route completely?

    • Rob says:

      It lost money for 20 years (give or take) but I believe it had started to make money once the 2 x 747s were swapped for 1 x smaller 777 AND they stopped selling cheap tickets to backpackers.

      That said, the incentives to close the base in Singapore and simplify the operation must be huge.

      • marcw says:

        BA doesn’t have a Sinapore base anymore. It’s a MF route… so they go on a 7 day rotation (it’s the longest rotation).

        Let’s seee how routes develop in this year.

  • Neil Donoghue says:

    I’ll be amazed if Australia let in international travellers before 2021. They announced this a few months back and nothing has changed yet. Probably worth the gamble for Xmas though, cheers Rob

  • Jody says:

    Very interesting!!

    We currently have return flights to Miami booked in Jan which I need to cancel, as our cruise has been cancelled. We used a 2 for 1 companion voucher and avios to book. Our companion voucher runs out Feb 14th 2021 (already been extended for 6 months). I was thinking about phoning and cancelling and getting the voucher, as that would technically extend the 2 for 1 to April 2022 I believe.

    Anyone know if it is an instant thing in terms of getting the voucher? Would really like to consider booking some seats to Sydney, but not sure if I would have to wait to get the voucher, in which case availability might be gone.

    • Scallder says:

      Jody – who were you meant to be cruising with in Jan? I’ve got one in November with Royal Caribbean that very much expecting to be cancelled, but hadn’t heard of cancellations going into next year yet!

      • Jody says:

        NCL. It”s not directly because of Covid, but we were due to depart from Panama City on 31st Jan, and apparently all cruises out of Panama City have been cancelled until Feb 2021 as the new passenger terminal won’t be ready in time.

        This was a re-booking of an NCL cruise we were supposed to go on in March (and had already flown out to Santiago for!), it was cancelled the day before we were due to get on as the whole cruise industry basically stopped.

    • New Card says:

      Yesterday a future travel voucher landed in my inbox within an hour of applying for it.

      • Jody says:

        Thank you. Did you do it online or on the phone?

        I’m curious to know how it shows on the voucher as obviously I’ve used avios, a 2 for 1 and paid taxes. I did also ask the other day, and people didn’t seem to know, but wondered if it’s become more clear now if you still get charged the £35 per person cancellation fee if you go for a voucher?

        • Anna says:

          Be careful with the future travel voucher, people have said they have been told by BA that they can only use them to re-book to the original destination, although there doesn’t seem to be any specific guidance as yet.

          • memesweeper says:

            I’ve cashed in a FTV with a change from return to one-way, and a change of origin and destination.

          • Anna says:

            So you might have to HUACA, which could make it a long process!

          • Colin MacKinnon says:

            I had an expiring 241 and booked a EDI-LCY flight, knowing it would be cancelled.

            Once cancelled, I phoned to book a EDI-LHR-San Diego in F – departing after the expiry on my 241 – and got told I would first have to get a Future Travel Voucher.

            This arrived within the hour, back on the phone and new 241 to San Diego issued.

            Only went though the hassle because Avios flights are cancellable up to 24 hrs in advance.

            (Also bought IHG points to make fully cancellable bookings in California too!)

  • AJA says:

    Australia has just yesterday recorded its first Covid-19 death in a month. I think the chances of being able to travel to Australia are slim to zero for the next year. It’s a shame but I think it’s too early to be thinking about going there. Using Avios is a good idea though as they are fully refundable. I notice that there has been some take up on this though as my screen looks slightly less full than the screenshots above.

  • Anthony Littlewood says:

    Thanks for the heads up. Just booked for 3 weeks in Feb. Worth a gamble for £70.

  • Peter North says:

    Flood gates my ar*e, nobody will be allowed in for months, like any other sane country, why would Australia expose their citizens to tourists from Europe’s worst affected covid 19 country?

  • Liz says:

    I don’t think they will open their international borders for a long time. My brother and sister live in Queensland – they can move freely around Queensland now but the Queensland borders from the other states are still closed despite the very low numbers 1066 cases in total and 6 deaths (Qld). The Premier of Qld will not reopen the borders yet because she is up for re-election later this year. My family watch on in horror at our numbers and can’t understand why we didn’t close our borders back in March.

    • Anna says:

      I hope you told them that we wonder exactly the same but unfortunately our government inhabits a different planet from the electorate!

  • Allan says:

    £1k tax per person isn’t great value

    • Rhys says:

      Doesn’t stop a lot of people redeeming Avios on this route!

      • Allan says:

        Even at a generous 1p per avios that’s £3500 pp or £4500 for 2 with a 241. Usually possible to get a QR flight for under £2k including positioning flights and earn more avios.

    • Anthony Littlewood says:

      Have booked and tax was £1519 for two people.

      • Lady London says:

        Ouch. But the flexibility of booking with avios prob makes that just about worth it.

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