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 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.

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


HFP-Barclaycard-Avios-Card

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.

  • Jody says:

    Well, we managed to get booked! Phoned up, asked about the voucher, but was told they could just change the flights on the phone with no charge, so that was a bonus.

    Thanks so much for this, just got to hope it isn’t cancelled now!

  • William says:

    Would be good if you gave the Avios requirements for a return in the article too. But good tip, thanks!

  • Jeremy says:

    Ok so I got business to SYD In Feb and used my 241 as Rob says I can see where things are in December and if it looks workable book the rest of the holiday or cancel for 70 quid , not stopping in Singapore but availability was thin when I read the article and gave it a punt , thanks Rob out 4th feb and back on 22nd if it goes ahead

    • Jerrry Butler says:

      Sounds great Jezza, you will be there for the start of for Mardi Gras, you’ll love it.

  • onlysuites says:

    Rob if BA does end up cancelling can’t you rebook for next year on any date you want? That for me is the biggest bonus if still being allowed.

    • Louie says:

      Excellent point. Although BA might have changed their policy by then given most borders will hopefully be open.

  • Louie says:

    Alan Joyce has just announced that Qantas don’t expect to be flying internationally until next July. They are more likely to have their finger on the pulse as to when the Australian government expects the borders to open.

  • Jon says:

    Some airlines’ fare conditions include words along the lines of:

    “In case of refusal of official documents/entry permit/visa a full refund will apply…”

    Not sure about BA, and presumably it may vary by ticket type / fare bucket anyway, so would have to read the small print carefully.

    But I wonder whether that would apply where the flight is not cancelled but the destination country’s borders are closed? Might save the £35pp cancellation fee *if* BA has something like this in its fare conditions for an Avios redemption booking? (Then again, BA’s general conditions of carriage basically say you’re liable to reimburse BA for any costs if you’re denied entry at the border and have to be sent home – but I’m thinking more about if you needed to cancel before flying due to borders being closed – would that count as visa refused/entry denied?).

    • John says:

      As everyone needs a “visa” to enter Australia (albeit a simple online application for most people), the question is whether they are denying new applications or not. They may be accepting visa applications but just refusing permission to fly at the airport.

      • TimS says:

        ETA visas for Australia are not currently possible to even apply for online while travel restrictions are in place.

  • Michael says:

    Does it even make sense to pay up to 400k avios + taxes for this route, unless you want to guarantee a seat today with cancellation option? Rob, if I remember correctly, you had told in the past to not bother for sydney redemptions and wait for sales? Wouldn’t you normally find a business return between 2-3k ex Scandinavia? Do we have any reason to believe there won’t be any sales this year?

    • Rhys says:

      For people with more Avios than they can use it definitely makes sense. If you scroll through the comments you’ll see people who coupled it with a 2-4-1 for £1519 + 275k.

      • Jeff 99 says:

        But you’re tying up your 2-4-1 voucher into a trip that probably won’t even happen and you might not find this out for another few months.

        • Rhys says:

          A lot of people have had their 2-4-1s released this year due to all the cancellations, so it may not matter. Especially if both you and your partner have 2-4-1s. It may not make sense for you but there are plenty for whom taking the gamble is worth it.

        • Jody says:

          But if your 2 for 1 is due to expire soon anyway, then it’s not really an issua?

          We were supposed to be going for a West Coast and Hawaii trip in April this year using our 2 for 1. Obviously the avios and 2 for 1 were returned, and with the 6 month extension given, that means it is now due to expire mid Feb 2021.

          We then booked a trip next Jan using it to Miami, and had booked a cruise, but the cruise has since been cancelled (passenger terminal in Panama City won’t be ready). I hadn’t bothered cancelling the flights yet, and was considering taking the voucher, as this would mean that effectively, our 2 for 1 due to expire in Feb 2021 would be extended to April 2022. Then this article came up yesterday, and we’ve managed to swap our Miami flights to Sydney flights paying an extra £92 per person taxes and 112000 extra avios.

          We are not avios rich, and this has pretty much wiped us out. Nor are we likely to earn another 2 for 1 any time soon (and no point if we don’t have any avios to use!). However, I never thought we’d be able to get a redemption to Sydney because with only 2 seats per flight than go in seconds, it’s almost impossible. Yes our 2 for 1, avios and money for taxes are tied up, but they would have been anyway. If BA cancel we get everything back, if they don’t we’re happy at this point in time to take a voucher which means we’ll still get the opportunity to make use of our 2 for 1 up until April 2022 when it would otherwise expire, and worst case scenario we could just forgo it and get the taxes and avios back and only lose £35 per person.

          For us it’s an opportunity we wouldn’t normally get, and one we’re definitely prepared to take a punt on. We’re not like a lot of people on here, don’t have 6 figure salaries, travel for business, or even hold any status with airlines. It’s just a hobby, we earn points slowly, and this to us is a great opportunity to fly somewhere we never normally would be able to at a cost of £750 each in taxes for a business class flight (which is the only way I would contemplate such a long flight). Others may not look at in the same way as we do, but for us it’s win win.

  • Mikeact says:

    Not the best use of Avios. I’d look at the multi carrier option for better value…apart from the patience you need to get flights on the routings you want. I’ve done it once and got two decent holidays out of it, and a short weekend trip to Edinburgh to maximise the miles. If you attempt it…..the best of luck !

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