British Airways Avios can concurrently be probably the most priceless and one of the crucial irritating factors currencies on the market. British Airways has a distance based mostly award chart, which means the foreign money is effective in situations the place different factors wouldn’t be as priceless. Nevertheless, British Airways additionally imposes massive surcharges on many award redemptions.
So on this submit I needed to take a look at a number of the nice methods which you could redeem British Airways Avios with out paying these large charges. That is an replace on a submit I wrote some time again. I figured it made sense to overtake that submit to mirror the state of issues in 2019.
First I needed to take a look at a few of the greatest methods to earn Avios.
- 1 Methods to earn British Airways Avios
- 2 The fundamentals of redeeming British Airways Avios
- 3 Journey inside Asia on Cathay Pacific
- 4 Journey on LATAM to/from/inside South America
- 5 Journey inside Japan on Japan Airways
- 6 Journey to Hawaii on Alaska Airways
- 7 Journey shorthaul inside Europe on British Airways
- 8 Journey on Qantas inside Australia
- 9 Journey in Qatar Airways’ shorthaul top notch
- 10 Journey on Aer Lingus throughout the Atlantic
- 11 Journey on Air Italy
- 12 Journey on Iberia throughout the Atlantic with out gasoline surcharges
- 13 Journey on American… when there’s award area
- 14 Backside line
Methods to earn British Airways Avios
The good information is that even for those who’re not a British Airways frequent flyer, there are tons of the way to earn Avios, which is how they seek advice from their factors foreign money.
Earn as much as 100Okay Avios with the British Airways Visa
The $95 annual payment British Airways Visa Signature® Card is providing a welcome bonus of as much as 100,000 bonus Avios, relying on how a lot you spend. The thresholds are as follows:
- 50,000 bonus Avios after spending $three,000 inside the first three months
- 25,000 further bonus Avios after spending $10,000 complete inside the first yr
- 25,000 further bonus Avios after spending $20,000 complete inside the first yr
No matter whether or not you propose on simply finishing $three,000 of spend to earn the 50,000 Avios, or whether or not you set $20,000 of spend on the cardboard (which is the equal of incomes six Avios per greenback spent on non-bonused spend on your first $20,000), this can be a nice bonus.
I utilized for this card final yr, and located it to be properly value it, as I earned over 100,000 Avios with it.
Switch Avios from Amex and Chase
British Airways Government Membership is switch companions with Amex Membership Rewards and Chase Final Rewards, so there are many methods to earn Avios past simply the British Airways Visa Card.
The fundamentals of redeeming British Airways Avios
British Airways has a distance based mostly award chart, as follows:
Off Peak // Peak
Off Peak // Peak
Off Peak // Peak
Off Peak // Peak
*Not out there in North America
The essential issues to concentrate on embrace the next:
- Awards on most associate airways worth on the peak ranges
- Variable (peak and off-peak) pricing solely applies for journey on British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus
- Pricing is per phase, so it doesn’t matter what sort of award you e-book, you’ll pay individually for every phase
- Journey on British Airways and lots of associate airways is subjected to service imposed surcharges, which is the frustration that many individuals have with this system
I agree with those that are annoyed by the surcharges that apply to longhaul British Airways flights. For instance, having to pay $400+ along with the 50,000 Avios for a one-way enterprise class award ticket from New York to London is tough.
British Airways’ 747 enterprise class
The excellent news is that there are numerous higher methods to redeem Avios, as I’ll cowl on this publish. What I recognize about Avios is that they’re helpful in several methods than different factors currencies. Avios are complementary to many different currencies, which is to say that I redeem them in a different way than I redeem most different factors currencies.
In no specific order, listed here are a few of my favourite redemptions that reduce service imposed surcharges and maximize the space based mostly facet of the award chart:
Journey inside Asia on Cathay Pacific
Airfare inside Asia can range wildly. Because of extremely low value carriers, airfare is reasonable in some markets, although in others it’s loopy costly. So redeeming Avios for journey on Cathay Pacific inside Asia is a superb deal.
That is very true for journey in enterprise class, given what number of longhaul configured plane Cathay Pacific flies on brief routes. You’ll be able to fly their new absolutely flat enterprise class between Hong Kong and Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, for instance. The price? 15,000 Avios plus $41.60.
Cathay Pacific’s A350 enterprise class
Journey on LATAM to/from/inside South America
There sometimes aren’t any service imposed surcharges for journey on LATAM, so redeeming Avios for journey to, from, or inside South America is an distinctive worth. For instance, for 12,500 Avios in financial system or 37,500 Avios in enterprise class you’ll be able to fly one-way between Miami and Lima. Or for simply four,500 Avios you possibly can fly from Lima to Cuzco in financial system, simply to offer one other instance.
LATAM’s 787 enterprise class
Journey inside Japan on Japan Airways
When you’re greatest off taking the practice for many transport inside Japan, there are some markets the place flying makes probably the most sense. For simply four,500 Avios and really minimal charges, you’ll be able to fly nearly anyplace inside Japan. For instance, the under flight from Tokyo to Sapporo prices four,500 Avios plus $2.58.
Journey to Hawaii on Alaska Airways
You possibly can redeem simply 12,500 Avios for a flight of beneath three,000 miles in financial system, which incorporates flights from the west coast to Hawaii on Alaska Airways. Alaska Airways makes a good quantity of award area obtainable, and given how a lot these tickets can value in peak season, this represents a terrific deal. You do should e-book these tickets by telephone, although.
Whereas I think about Hawaii to be the candy spot, there’s additionally loads of worth available in redeeming Avios for Alaska flights up and down the west coast. For instance, for 7,500 Avios you possibly can ebook a one-way ticket overlaying a distance of as much as 1,150 miles, which can get you up and down the west coast simply.
Journey shorthaul inside Europe on British Airways
Whereas the extremely low value carriers are doing quite a bit to decrease the price of airfare inside Europe, there are nonetheless some markets which are tremendous costly, particularly final minute. For simply four,000 Avios one-way, plus some service imposed surcharges, you’ll be able to fly nonstop from London to any vacation spot inside Europe that’s inside 650 miles.
All the time make sure you examine the price of paid airfare, as a result of typically paid tickets are low cost as nicely. Nevertheless, there are many instances the place this represents a terrific deal.
Some might disagree, however I feel it can be worthwhile to redeem Avios for Membership Europe, which is British Airways’ regional enterprise class. It will sometimes value you roughly twice as many Avios, however you’ll get precedence safety, lounge entry, precedence boarding, a blocked center seat onboard, and free meals and drinks. Personally I feel that’s value it for an additional four,000 Avios or so.
British Airways’ Membership Europe
Journey on Qantas inside Australia
Journey inside Australia could be costly, so redeeming Avios for Qantas’ in depth route community is a superb alternative. Fees are restricted, and Qantas is usually nice about making award area obtainable on home flights.
For instance, you possibly can fly one-way from Sydney to Perth for 12,500 miles in financial system. If you wish to fly enterprise class, the identical route will value you 37,500 Avios, which might get you their flat mattress “premium” transcontinental service.
Journey in Qatar Airways’ shorthaul top notch
Qatar Airways’ Al Safwa First Class Lounge in Doha is likely one of the greatest top notch lounges on the earth. It additionally has an fascinating entry coverage, because it’s solely out there to these in longhaul first (which could be very few routes, as Qatar solely has three cabin firstclass on A380s), or these touring inside the Gulf area within the ahead most cabin.
So for instance, you would fly from Doha to Muscat and use Qatar’s wonderful top notch lounge. You may arrive 20 hours early, get a bed room within the lounge, have a pleasant meal, and so forth. Perhaps it’s not for everybody, however that’s a heck of a deal for experiencing one of many world’s greatest lounges.
Notice that the airline appears to have lately began promoting entry to this lounge to enterprise class passengers, although it looks like it’s solely inconsistently provided.
Qatar Airways’ Al Safwa Lounge Doha
Journey on Aer Lingus throughout the Atlantic
Redeeming British Airways Avios for journey on Aer Lingus might be an distinctive worth. Whereas the variety of Avios required are just like what you’d pay on British Airways, the profit is that you simply’re not charged the large service imposed surcharges. As an alternative of paying ~$500 in surcharges, you pay ~$20 in surcharges.
I additionally occur to assume that Aer Lingus’ enterprise class is best than British Airways’. When it comes to the variety of Avios required:
- Aer Lingus flights between Eire and Montreal value 10,000-12,500 Avios (off-peak/peak) in financial system, or 31,250-37,500 Avios (off-peak/peak) in enterprise class
- Aer Lingus flights between Eire and Boston, Chicago, Hartford, Minneapolis, New York, Toronto, and Washington value 13,000-20,000 Avios (off-peak/peak) in financial system, or 50,000-60,000 Avios (off-peak/peak) in enterprise class
- Aer Lingus flights between Eire and Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, San Francisco, and Seattle, value 16,250-25,000 Avios (off-peak/peak) in financial system, or 62,500-75,000 Avios (off-peak/peak) in enterprise class
Aer Lingus’ A330 enterprise class
Journey on Air Italy
Meridiana was just lately rebranded as Air Italy, after a 49% funding from Qatar Airways. Air Italy operates flights from Milan to Miami and New York, and in a couple of months will even be launching flights to Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Toronto.
The catch is that they’ve hefty surcharges if redeeming for a ticket originating in North America, however not if originating in Europe. So that you’ll need to redeem Avios from Milan to North America, and never the opposite approach round, making this an excellent choice for a one-way ticket.
For instance, a one-way ticket from Milan to New York will value you 75,000 Avis plus $215.90.
Air Italy’s A330 enterprise class
Journey on Iberia throughout the Atlantic with out gasoline surcharges
Iberia has the identical dad or mum firm as British Airways, so many points of the airways are aligned. You need to redeem British Airways Avios on Iberia? You’ll pay the complete service imposed surcharges. On this case, we’re speaking $531.40 plus 34,000 Avios for a ticket from Chicago to Madrid.
Nevertheless, Iberia runs a parallel Avios program, and there’s a very cool trick to it. You don’t pay the hefty service imposed surcharges on Iberia for those who e-book immediately by means of that program. That very same actual flight by way of Iberia Plus will value you 34,000 Avios plus $98.79, so that you’re paying over $400 much less. That’s a heck of a deal.
The one catch is that so as to have the ability to switch factors between British Airways and Iberia, each accounts must be open for 90 days. Nevertheless, Iberia Plus can also be switch companions with Amex Membership Rewards and Chase Final Rewards, so you’ll be able to switch over factors instantly from these packages.
Iberia’s A340 enterprise class
Journey on American… when there’s award area
There’s a purpose I’m placing this one final. American usually isn’t nice about making saver degree award seats out there.
Nevertheless, there are definitely situations the place there’s award area, and when that’s the case, it may be a good way to redeem Avios. There aren’t sometimes gasoline surcharges for home awards or flights to Latin America, whereas there sometimes are for flights to Europe or Asia.
Simply to provide one instance, I traveled to St. Kitts a few months in the past, and paid tickets have been outrageously costly. In the meantime you possibly can redeem simply 10,000 Avios one-way, plus the taxes. That’s a a lot better deal, and award availability is superb.
I’d say an actual candy spot of redeeming Avios on American is for journey to the Caribbean.
American’s A321 financial system
If I might solely ever gather a single factors foreign money once more it wouldn’t be British Airways Avios. Nevertheless, additionally they serve a helpful and particular objective for me, and I all the time worth having a large stability of Avios. So when you’re somebody who’s disenchanted on the considered redeeming Avios for journey on longhaul British Airways flights and paying large surcharges, hopefully the above provides you some good concepts for how one can redeem these Avios.
Between the British Airways Visa Card and the power to switch Amex and Chase factors to British Airways, there are many nice methods to gather Avios.
What are your favourite makes use of of British Airways Avios?