Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Last day for the BA and Virgin Atlantic sales – and the 30% ‘buy Avios’ bonus

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Today, Tuesday, is the last day for the British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Winter sales. If you are feeling confident about travel opening up for the Summer, now may be a good time to jump in.

British Airways sale deals:

British Airways Holidays has launched some additional discounts for last minute bookers.

If you book a ‘flight and hotel’ or ‘flight and car’ package, you can make the following savings. The total price below is per booking and not per person:

Flight & Hotel:

  • Save £50 when you spend £1,250
  • Save £100 when you spend £2,500
  • Save £200 when you spend £5,000
  • Save £300 when you spend £10,000

Flight & Car:

  • Save £25 when you spend £650
  • Save £50 when you spend £1,250
  • Save £100 when you spend £2,500

Looking for a flight only deal?

We covered some of the best flight options in the British Airways sale in this article from mid December. It is worth a look if you are seeking inspiration. Club Europe to Malaga is as low as £168 return!

‘Book with Confidence’ has been extended – now no date limit

British Airways has removed all date limits from its ‘Book with Confidence’ guarantee. See our article here.

However far in advance you book, you have the right to cancel your flight or holiday for a British Airways ‘Future Travel Voucher’ at any point.

If you missed the news last week, a ‘Future Travel Voucher’ is now valid until 30th April 2023, not 30th April 2022 as originally promised.

Full details of ‘Book with Confidence’ are on ba.com here.

How should you pay for your tickets?

To maximise your miles when paying, 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

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

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.

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

You can search and book flight deals on this page of ba.com. BA Holidays offers can be found here.

Virgin Atlantic sale deals:

Virgin Atlantic has also rolled out some additional deals for the last day of the sale.

Virgin Atlantic Holidays (website here) is offering up to 10% additional discount on ‘flight and hotel’ bookings made by midnight tonight.

It is valid for travel up to 30th June 2022 for people who like to plan a long way ahead. The discount varies and applies to the total excluding Air Passenger Duty and other charges.

You need to use code SAVEUPTO10 when booking here.

Virgin Atlantic A350

Looking for a flight only deal?

The sale page of the Virgin Atlantic website is here.

Headline prices include:

Upper Class:

  • Tel Aviv £1,139
  • Jamaica £1,179
  • New York £1,199
  • San Francisco £1,495
  • Islamabad (Manchester) £1,689

Premium:

  • Jamaica £599
  • Los Angeles £619
  • Delhi £639
  • Mumbai £639
  • Orlando £700

Economy:

  • New York JFK £269
  • Tobago £319
  • Washington £399
  • Johannesburg £419
  • Islamabad (Manchester) £429

Don’t forget the Virgin Atlantic status match!

Virgin Atlantic is currently running a status match for anyone with Gold, Silver or Bronze status in British Airways Executive Club.

As long as you have a Virgin Atlantic flight booked, Virgin Flying Club will match your BA status.

Gold get Gold, whilst BA Bronze and Silver receive Virgin Flying Club Silver.

You can claim your match on the Virgin Atlantic site here. Our full article on the Virgin Flying Club status match, which includes the detailed rules, is here.

Matches are being turned around very quickly, often within 48 hours.

How should I pay for my tickets?

To maximise your miles when paying, your best bet is one of the two Virgin Atlantic Reward credit cards.  These earn double miles (3 per £1 on the paid card or 1.5 per £1 on the free card) when you book at virginatlantic.com or via Virgin Holidays

Virgin Rewards credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

The UK’s most generous free Visa or Mastercard at 0.75 points / £1 Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending Read our full review

Another option is American Express Preferred Rewards Gold which offers double points – 2 per £1 – when you book flight tickets directly with an airline.

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

Finally ….. last day for a 30% bonus when you buy Avios

British Airways has been running another ‘buy Avios’ bonus promotion which ends today.

We haven’t made too much of a fuss over it because, at 30%, it is a very weak bonus compared to the 50% offers that come along occasionally.

There is NO good reason to buy speculatively with a 30% bonus. Of course, if you are planning to make a booking in the next few weeks and need to top up your account, it is 30% better than nothing.

There is no minimum purchase.  The bonus kicks in with the smallest 1,000 Avios transaction. 

The link to buy is here. The offer ends tonight, 2nd February.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards. Both have increased sign-up bonuses until 2nd November 2021:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 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 and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

The 30,000 points bonus on Amex Gold runs to 9th November 2021. The 60,000 points bonus on The Platinum Card runs to 2nd November 2021.

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:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard 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. This card has a limited time offer of 60,000 Avios when you sign up:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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 (7)

  • ChrisC says:

    Extension of the BWC scheme has helped me firm up a couple of booking plans and I’ll use the value of a couple of vouchers to pay the deposits so not laying out any extra cash until much later in the year.

    It’s good for my mental health to have things to look forward to (whilst realising things can change)

    Plus if prices drop in future I’ll cancel, get another voucher and rebook.

  • lumma says:

    Wasn’t the standard price for Virgin Atlantic to Tel Aviv under £900 in upper when they first launched?

    • Rob says:

      There were some aggressive sale offers to fill seats pre-launch but you can’t really call it ‘standard price’.

      Anyway, it looks like we’ll all be going on holiday to Israel this year – as the only two countries in this part of the globe that will be majority vaccinated – so they don’t need to cut prices to the bone. I need to dig out those Tel Aviv hotel recommendations we published once.

  • AJA says:

    It is really telling that there are only 3 comments other than mine on this article this late in the day. That just shows you that the offers aren’t that fantastic and more importantly people are not buying tickets. It’s a shame as I’d love to book and travel somewhere but right now travel anywhere seems very unlikely to happen even for much later in the year.

    • Ollie says:

      Same with me. I am holding out for another sale mid year when we have more clarity on travel. These prices come and go every few months or so so I don’t feel I’m missing out at the moment.

      • jj says:

        What is there to lose?

        I intend to book for Jan 2022 before midnight. First to Denver for a transatlantic ski trip at just £1,600 is very tempting. If prices drop, the plane gets changed, borders close or a new coronavirus variant goes wild, I will cancel and rebook for a different date. If the world returns to normal and prices go upl, I will be very glad I moved.

        I actually think that the limited response to this article suggests we might be near the bottom of the trough for demand. A shed load of vouchers are waiting to be redeemed out there, and many people are desperate to go on holiday. When confidence returns, it might do so very suddenly indeed, and bargains might be hard to find as airlines seek to rebuild their finances.

  • Dom says:

    I don’t have the energy any more lol to book and cancel and book and cancel and call to get refunds again and again and again.

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