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The Complete Guide to the Value of British Airways Avios Points

British Airways

Why collect British Airways Avios Points? Well, they are a good way to get that little extra bang for your buck when you spend on travel, shopping, lifestyle, finance, and more. Avios Points can soon add up and allow you to make substantial savings on British Airways travel and holiday products, as well as those of other airlines. So what does the savvy loyalty points collector need to know to maximize the benefits of collection of British Airways Avios Points?

What Is An Avios Point Worth?

This is a question that is almost impossible to answer with a monetary value, as the value of redeemed points is not fixed. Add to this the fact that fees and taxes are charged on some kinds of redemption, and the picture becomes very complicated indeed. However, our best estimate is that an Avios point is worth between 1 and 2 cents.
We’ll be talking about best redemption value later in this article.

The World’s Favorite (And Least Favorite) Airline

Let’s take a look at British Airways itself. If you are a determined Avios Points collector, then you are likely to fly with British Airways at some stage. Most of the best points deals are to be had when you redeem them for British Airways flights So, what can you expect the BA experience to be like? Founded in 1916 and the flag carrier for the UK, British Airways has at times been voted both the best and the worst airline in the world in the same year. Currently Skytrax World Airlines Awards has British Airways at a respectable 11th in the world – up for 19th in 2019. The comforting tones of British Airways pilots as they go through their welcome and landing routines are heard by passengers throughout the world, from Aberdeen to Zanzibar. Famous for relaying important information en route, such as the latest test match scores and the birth of royal babies, British Airways crews are generally considered some of the best in the world.

The airline has a seven star safety rating which is the highest available, so if you decide to fly British Airways, you can feel confident that they are traveling with one of the world’s safest airlines. In terms of service standards, passengers are generally happy with the key elements of cabin staff service, comfort and space of seating, food and beverage service and inflight entertainment. British Airways’ cabin staff do tend to be older than those of some other airlines, and they are subject to very high training standards. The eye-candy factor may not be as high as you might hope, but if you hit a patch of turbulence the calm efficiency of these experienced people is most reassuring. One negative that frequently comes up as a criticism of the venerable airline is their poor airport lounge facilities, especially at Heathrow, the British Airways’ home in the UK. Lounges are crowded and don’t feel very exclusive. Passengers report that sometimes they can’t even find a seat there.

Aircraft interiors also come in from some criticism, especially in economy class. Business and first class travellers tend to be more satisfied with the British Airways experience. In particular the freebies in First Class are of very good quality. Unlike many of the world’s top rated airlines that receive hefty help from the government of their home country, British Airways is not subsidized by the UK government. It is perceived as a national flag carrier, whereas in fact it has to compete and be profitable alongside all the rest of the commercial airlines. This has led to the aircraft interiors looking a little tired at times, although onboard entertainment and cabin service is rated very highly by users.

Can I Just Get And Use Avios Points On British Airways?

You can collect Avios Points by flying on the Irish airline Aer Lingus and the Spanish airline Iberia. Also, you can use your Avios Points on a wide range of airlines that form the One World Alliance. And of course, you can get points from everyday activities like shopping and staying in hotels, and by using the Avios credit card. Here is a list of airlines that allow you to use Avios Points:

  • British Airways
  • American Airlines
  • Finnair
  • Cathay Pacific including Cathay Dragon
  • Iberia, which includes Iberia Express and Air Nostrum
  • LATAM
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Japan Airlines (JAL)
  • Royal Jordanian
  • Qantas which includes QantasLink and Jetconnect
  • Qatar Airways
  • S7 Airlines
  • Sri Lankan Airlines

If you are a member of British Airways Executive Club, you can use your points on other airlines too, including Comair, Alaska, Aer Lingus and Sun-Air.

Apart From Flying, How Can I Collect Avios Points?

Here is a summary of the main ways that people add up their points total fast.

Car Hire

Not only can you collect points, you also get extras. For example, you get the advantage of having an additional driver for your rental vehicle added to the contract free of charge if you book with Avis. Other car rental companies that offer Avios points are Budget and Zipcar.

Hotels and Accommodation

The points offered and special deals available vary from company to company, and it’s worth doing a bit of research to find the best deal. Hotel and accommodation organizations in the Avios scheme include:

  • Accor
  • AirBnB
  • Avios
  • Best Western
  • Booking.com
  • Hotels.com
  • Hyatt
  • IHG
  • Marriott
  • Rocketmiles
  • VRBO

British Airways Holidays

British Airways offers a wide range of holiday experiences around the globe in around 12,000 hotels. You can both gain and redeem Avios points when you book one of these holidays.

Shopping

Shopping online through the British Airways shopping portal means you can buy online and get points while you do it. There are around 1200 brands that take part in this scheme, including Amazon, Harrods, Etsy, Hugo Boss, Apple, Selfridges, Marks and Spencer, The Royal Mint and much more.

Finance

British Airways offers a prepaid Mastercard that has the benefit of having no foreign exchange fees. You can also get Avios points when you use your American Express card. You can even get Avios points if you invest with J.P. Morgan’s Nutmeg program! A link to more information is here -Collect Avios with our lifestyle and finance partners | Executive Club | British Airways

Lifestyle

Like taking surveys? You can earn Avios Points by joining Avios for Thought – the Avios survey community. You get 100 points for signing up and taking a tutorial, plus 500 points for the first survey that you complete. eRewards is another survey company that will pay 600 Avios points for completing a survey. Find out more here. Collect Avios with our lifestyle and finance partners | Executive Club | British Airways

Magazines

British heavyweight magazine The Spectator will give you food for thought as well as Avios points.

What Can I Get With My Avios Points?

  • Avios Rewards come in six basic categories.
  • Air travel (including part payment with British Airways only)
  • Upgrades and extras
  • Hotel stays
  • Vehicle rental
  • Tours and experiences worldwide
  • Wine, beer and champagne

What’s the Best Value I Can Get When I Redeem Avios Points?

Reward flights over a short distance tend to offer the best value for your points, but as with most points systems, you do need to be a genius to figure out the very best deal. There are guaranteed to be fourteen Reward Flight seats on every British Airways flight out of or into the two London airports – Heathrow and Gatwick. When you are booking, a symbol comes up to indicate of reward Flights are available. In order to book these flights, you have to have earned at least one point over the previous year; that’s not too difficult to achieve. Remember though that these flights are not actually free. You will have to pay an Avios fee, taxes, and carrier charges. Because these fees can be pretty high for long-haul flights the best redemption value is for those shorter, internal flights. The minimum number of Avios points you need for a flight within the US is 6,500 for a one way flight. Avios Points “costs” can go up to 200,000 points! For a return flight, you simply double the Avios points cost. Cost and availability can vary. There is a useful guide to redeeming points and also to figuring out the cost of upgrades here.

Enjoy The Highlife With An Upgrade

If you fancy rubbing shoulders with the rich and possibly famous, then use your Avios points for an upgrade. The bad news is that you can only upgrade one class, and you can’t upgrade from the humble G, Q, and O economy fare classes. Another potential stumbling block is that your ticket must have been issued by British Airways itself, or by one of their registered travel agents. (It’s possible to upgrade if you have booked through another agent, but so many terms and conditions come with these bookings that they really aren’t worth it.) Essentially, to find the cost of an upgrade, you subtract the number of points needed for the flight that you have paid for from the points cost of the class that you want for the same flight.

A Little Something Extra?

You can use your Avios points to pay for additional bags, seat reservations and set upgrades. These need to be booked direct with British Airways.

Can I Pay Part Points, Part Cash?

The short answer is yes you can. And this can sometimes offer really good value. You can often pay a little more in cash, and save rather a large number of Avios Points to be used another another time. Check out the offering carefully, and remember, you are going to earn points on the cash part of your ticket. You can click on to the “More Pricing Options” button to look at the various combinations of cash and points available to you.

Other Ways To Redeem Those Avios Points

As we mentioned, you can use your points for wine, beer, champagne, hotels, care rental and you can even donate them to charity. Our view is that these extra ways of using your points don’t represent the same good value as does redeeming points for flights. However if you have points stored up, and aren’t thinking of braving the skies just now, with the constant threat of cancellations and delays, a consoling bottle or two of wine may be good way to use points that otherwise are just hanging around.

What If I Don’t Have Enough Avios Points For A Flight?

If you don’t have enough Avios Points for the flight or reward that you want, you can purchase Avios Points online. Another option is if someone you know has unused points that they are prepared to give you – points can be transferred from person to person.

Are Avios Points Worth The Trouble?

The answer to this question rather depends on your lifestyle. If you are a frequent flyer with the One World group of airlines, if you often rent vehicles, if you regularly stay in hotels, and if you enjoy buying higher end products on line, then Avios are definitely good points to collect. You do need to be maximizing your Avios opportunities in order to get enough points to redeem for something worthwhile, but once you the create Avios collecting habit this is quite easy to do. You also need to become quite canny about redeeming your points. An hour or so spent researching the options may seem like a big investment of time, but once you have the hang of how the system works, you will be able to make some meaningful savings on your future air travel.

Dana Hanson

Written by Dana Hanson

Dana has extensive professional writing experience including technical and report writing, informational articles, persuasive articles, contrast and comparison, grant applications, and advertisement. She also enjoys creative writing, content writing on nearly any topic (particularly business and lifestyle), because as a lifelong learner, she loves to do research and possess a high skill level in this area. Her academic degrees include AA social Sci/BA English/MEd Adult Ed & Community & Human Resource Development and ABD in PhD studies in Indust & Org Psychology.

Read more posts by Dana Hanson

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