Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Last minute Avios seats for pre-Christmas breaks in the Maldives, Caribbean, Cancun

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This is a quick article for anyone who has the flexibility to pack up and go at relatively short notice.

As flagged by reader Ed, British Airways has opened up pre-Christmas Avios availability to a lot of (usually) hard to get beach routes today.

There isn’t much in Club World but Premium Economy is available.

Ritz Carlton Maldives Avios

These screenshots were taken at 10.30am on Tuesday via SeatSpy, our preferred reward seat finder tool.

Blue means at least two Premium Economy seats, Green means at least two Business / Club World seats. We excluded Economy from our search but seats are there if you want them.


Maldives flights on Avios points


Barbados flights on Avios points


Antigua flights on Avios flights


Cancun flights on Avios points

There is probably more out there. If you have the ability to leave the country with just a few days notice, a beach-side pre-Christmas break could still be yours.


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.

Comments (16)

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

  • Mike says:

    Seats all gone, fare dead
    Congrats to all those who got in !

  • Paul says:

    Looks like the ludicrous fares are finally beginning to have an impact on loads. They are not releasing Avios seats out of any sense of seasonal goodwill

    • Mark says:

      But that many by the looks of it, beyond a week out at least, and tomorrow’s Barbados flight from Heathrow is looking pretty full. It’s not that unusual for unsold seats to be released for Avios close to departure and I’d imagine that’s more likely on leisure routes where they’re not going to get last minute business travellers paying full fare.

  • Metty says:

    May I just point out, to any newish subscribers trying to find Avios seats using a BA Premium Plus Companion Voucher (the new one, not an old style one) to those ‘difficult to get’ destinations e.g. SYD, SIN, Tokyo in cherry blossom season…

    …..there are shedloads of seats available if you are prepared to start your trip in the UK regions i.e. BHD NCL EDI GLA ABZ INV.

    You have to start journey at one of these points and connect in London the same day (break journey with stopovers doesn’t work). Starting in INV will save the cost of getting there and the Courtyard next to the terminal.

    Obvs may be a difficult sell to ‘normal’ folks but just pointing it out lest someone be desperate to get to e.g. Oz on Avios.

  • Annie says:

    But it doesn’t say how many avios it would have been good to get an indication of the range of points required

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

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