NEW: You can now pay for BA Holidays packages with Avios
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This article is sponsored by BA Holidays
You can now pay or part-pay for British Airways Holidays packages, hotels and car hire with Avios.
You can pay the entire cost of your holiday (well, everything except £1!) if you have enough points.
How do you spend Avios on BA Holidays bookings?
One thing to note upfront is that – as with flight redemptions – you can only use Avios during the initial booking process.
One of the key advantages of BA Holidays is that you don’t need to pay for the full holiday at the time of booking. You can pay a small deposit, and then pay the balance from 4-7 weeks before departure, depending on your destination.
However, Avios can only be used when you make your first payment. If you just want to pay a deposit now you can (using cash or Avios, or a mix of the two) but, when you come to pay the balance, it will need to be in cash.
If you have an existing BA Holidays booking where you have yet to pay the final balance, you won’t be able to use Avios as part payment.
BA Holidays bookings with Avios are made in the normal way via ba.com/holidays.
When you have put together your preferred mix of flights, hotel and / or car, you will be given the option to log in to your British Airways Executive Club account. The options you are given for using Avios will vary depending on the balance in your account or, if applicable, your household account.
(Interestingly, it seems that you can use Avios from a household account even if the other passengers on the booking are not in your household account. This is one way of getting around the restrictions on who can travel on a flight-only Avios booking made from a household account.)
What sort of value can you get for your Avios?
The good news using Avios at BA Holidays is that you can, if you have enough points, get yourself a totally free holiday (well almost, like flight bookings, you will need to pay at least £1 in cash)… Flight, car, hotel… the lot.
Here is an example based on two people flying in Euro Traveller to Barcelona in June for a 3-night stay in a 4-star hotel:
- Cash price: £1,117
- Avios options:
As you can see, I can, if I wish, use 254,225 Avios to reduce the cost of my BA Holiday to just £1.
Let’s look at the value you get per Avios with the various options:
- £45 off with 5,400 Avios = 0.83p per Avios
- £80 off with 12,250 Avios = 0.65p per Avios
- £150 off with 29,900 Avios = 0.50p per Avios
- £187 off with 40,875 Avios = 0.46p per Avios
- £304 off with 69,250 Avios = 0.44p per Avios
- £402 off with 91,575 Avios = 0.44p per Avios
- £536 off with 122,100 Avios = 0.44p per Avios
- £714 off with 162,650 Avios = 0.44p per Avios
- £1,116 off with 254,225 Avios = 0.44p per Avios
This is not, of course, the most efficient way of using your Avios. We target 1p+ per point when used for premium cabin flight redemptions. Even after the recent devaluation, you will still get 0.67p per Avios by moving them to Nectar points for spending at Sainsburys, Argos, eBay etc.
Life’s not that simple, of course.
The BA Holidays route allows you to book any seats on any flight with no issues over Avios availability, and also allows you to pay for an entire holiday if you wish. You don’t need to find extra cash for your hotel or car hire. This will undoubtedly prove attractive to some people in the current economic environment.
There are also some additional benefits to booking with BA Holidays:
- ‘Flight and hotel’ bookings can be cheaper than just booking a flight.
- You’ll receive double tier points on BA flights on BA Holidays packages taken before the year end
- You’ll get an extra 1 Avios per £1 you earn on your spending with BA Holidays
- You’ll get double Avios on your credit card spending – 3 Avios per £1 – when you pay on a British Airways Premium Plus American Express card
It is always good to have new ways to spend Avios, and I’m sure that many people will find BA Holidays to be an acceptable way of using their points.
It’s also worth noting you can redeem Avios against BA Holidays ‘hotel only’ or car hire bookings too.
It may not be the most effective way of using your points but at the end of the day – as we often say on HfP – all that really matters is that you use your points to do the trip that you really want to do. Allowing redemptions on BA Holidays make using Avios for your ideal trip easier.
You can play around with pricing and booking options on the BA Holidays website here.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (March 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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Successfully apply for either of the Barclaycard Avios credit cards by 2nd April 2023 and you will be entered into a free draw to win ONE MILLION AVIOS! Full details are on the application forms here (free) and here (paid). This competition is exclusive to Head for Points readers. T&C apply.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express 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 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 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.
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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.
Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.
American Express Business Platinum
Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
60,000 points sign-up bonus (to 30th March) 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.