‘Part Pay With Avios’ has, apparently, been very successful since it was launched. It allows you to redeem your points for a discount against a cash ticket, although you are not allowed to pay the entire price with points.
Unlike an Avios reward redemption, you will still receive tier points and earn Avios when you take the flight. There are also no availability constraints – the offer is available on all BA flights in all classes, and on direct American Airlines flights to or from the UK.
You can find full details of Part Pay With Avios on the BA site here.
The downside of Part Pay With Avios is that it isn’t great value unless there is a special promotion running.
On short haul European flights, you currently receive between 0.55p and 0.8p per point. The value gets worse the more points you redeem.
If you book via ba.com, you can only use PPWA on British Airways services and AA flights to / from the UK.
Whilst this next statement sounds obvious, it might not have crossed your mind before: if you want to book an Iberia flight, you can use Part Pay With Avios if you book it via iberia.com.
It’s not just Iberia mainline. You can also use Avios for bookings on Iberia Express, Vueling or Air Nostrum. It also works for BA, apparently, although that requires calling Iberia reservations.
In order to get your Avios into Iberia, you will need an Iberia Plus account. You also need to fulfil the following two conditions:
your Iberia Plus account must be 90 days
your Iberia Plus account must have ‘earned’ 1 Avios – the easiest way to do this is to transfer in some Amex Membership Rewards points or credit a flight, hotel stay or car hire
You can then use ‘Combine My Avios’ on ba.com to move your points to Iberia Plus. If you get an error message, the workaround is to move your points from ba.com to avios.com and then from avios.com to iberia.com – this will work 95% of the time.
But is it worthwhile?
Unfortunately, the answer is ‘not really’. Unless you are getting all of your Avios for ‘free’ via business travel, you won’t want to redeem them at the rates Iberia offers.
This is what I was quoted to reduce the price of an economy Iberia flight between London and Madrid:
£25 discount for 4,630 Avios (0.54p)
£42 discount for 9,260 Avios (0.45p)
£86 discount for 18,705 (0.45p)
0.54p is just about acceptable if you are Avios rich and cash poor, but I would advise against it. 0.45p is simply shocking.
The option is at least there if you want it, however.