What are the peak and off-peak dates for redeeming Avios points? This article looks at the British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus peak and off-peak Avios calendars for 2019.
Remember that these calendars apply to the operating airline and not to where you book your flight. An Iberia flight uses the Iberia calendar even if you book it with the British Airways Avios redemption site.
You also need to remember that partner airlines are charged at peak rates at all times. This applies to Qatar Airways, American Airlines, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Finnair etc.
Where to the Avios peak and off-peak calendars differ?
I have reproduced the calendars below. You will note that there are substantial differences between the two main calendars for BA and Iberia. Especially when travelling during school holidays on a route served by both by BA and Iberia, it may well be cheaper to book on Iberia.
If, for example, you want to travel on British Airways in April 2019, you will be paying the peak Avios price from 5th April until 23rd April. However, if you look at the Iberia calendar, you can see that Iberia’s peak period is only from 17th – 22nd (as well as 12th + 13th and 26th +27 th).
There are also differences around February half-term. The whole month of February is off peak for Iberia whilst BA has peak days between 15th and 18th as well as 21st and 24th February.
For example, Saturday 10th February is peak for BA and off-peak for Iberia. On that day, a Club World return from London to New York would be 120,000 Avios return (peak BA price). In comparison flying from Madrid to New York on the same day would be only 68,000 Avios return (off-peak Iberia price). The taxes and charges would also be £380 lower on the Iberia ticket as long as you book it via the Iberia website (£537 v £157).
The summer holidays peak season starts earlier on Iberia (19th June) and ends one week after BA.
The days around Christmas are also interesting as BA sees the full second half of December as a peak travel time whereas Iberia sees 25th and 26th December as off-peak dates.
The 2019 British Airways peak and off-peak Avios calendar: (green=peak, blue=off peak / click to enlarge)
The 2019 Iberia peak and off-peak Avios calendar:
The 2019 Aer Lingus peak and off-peak Avios calendar:
(This article is part of our ‘BA Q&A’ series which explains how British Airways Executive Club works. You can see all of our ‘BA Q&A’ articles here. )
(Head for Points is the UK’s biggest frequent flyer website with 2.0 million monthly page views. Want to learn more about earning and spending Avios? Click here to read our latest news stories, click here to join our email list and click here to read our ‘Avios Redemption University’ series.)
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
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.
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.
There are also good bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These are available to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.