BA launches 4-day ‘part pay with Avios’ special offer – but is it worth it?

Ever since ‘part pay with Avios’ was launched, British Airways has been experimenting …. and experimenting …. and experimenting.   There have been constant changes to:

the classes in which you can use it

the value given per point and

the maximum number of points you can use

Personally, I am still grumpy that you cannot use Avios to cover the entire cost of your flight.  I mean …. either BA wants you to use feature or it doesn’t.  Either it is good value for BA or it isn’t!  Virgin Atlantic now lets you use your miles to pay the ENTIRE cost of a flight.

What I do know is that BA and Avios are very happy with the success of ‘part pay with Avios’.  To be honest, if I was them this would concern me!  If Avios collectors are happy to redeem for a value of 0.55p – the standard value for a large ‘part pay’ redemption – it shows that they don’t place much value on their points and will therefore not go out of their way to collect them.

British Airways Part Pay With Avios

Back to the offer …..

This is the ‘Part Pay With Avios’ page on ba.com.

You will save an additional 25% when you redeem Avios points as part payment for a cash BA flight.

This applies to bookings made by 11th July for travel between 1st September 2017 and 31st May 2018.

Is this worth it?

You need to remember that you still earn Avios and tier points for any cash BA flight when you use ‘part pay with Avios’.

The only thing to think about is therefore:

am I getting a good return for my points?

should I hold my points instead for a better redemption down the line?

I can’t help you with the 2nd point.  In terms of good value, this is what you will get.  These figures include the 25% additional discount:

Short-haul Economy:

Varies between 1.0p per point (1,250 Avios) and 0.68p per point (27,500 Avios)

Short-haul Business:

Varies between 0.94p per point (4,000 Avios) and 0.68p per point (36,500 Avios)

Long-haul Economy:

Varies between 1.0p per point (2,500 Avios) and 0.68p per point (33,000 Avios)

Long-haul non-Economy:

Varies between 0.94p per point (8,000 Avios) and 0.68p per point (55,000 Avios)

In a reverse of the usual laws of economics, the more you spend = the worse deal you get.

Personally, I would take 1.0p.  I doubt I would take 0.68p.  After all, to replace 1 Avios point in my account I would need to:

  • transfer an Amex point, which I value at more than 0.68p
  • transfer 0.42 Tesco Clubcard points, which I value at more than 0.68p
  • spent 66p on my British Airways Premium Plus Amex, on which an effective 1% return would be poor

On the other hand, if you earn all of your Avios by flying for work – and therefore didn’t pay anything for them – it is a different calculation.  Whatever you get for your points is pure ‘profit’.  You might prefer to cash out now at a guaranteed 0.68p rather than hold them for a possible higher benefit at some point down the line.

Full details are on the ‘Part Pay With Avios’ page on the BA site here.

Bits: Virgin West Coast sale, last day for £50 Virgin Atlantic cashback, 5000 Flying Blue miles with Avis
Bits: 10% off Radisson Blu with special link, new Clubcard deal includes UberEATS
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.

Comments

  1. Dave Barron says:

    I’ve been trying to check prices and book flights on BA since yesterday (both on BA.com and the app but not working due to technical problems. I notice on their twitter feed other people have had the same issues as me. There seems little point in a 4 day promotion if you can’t actually book anything! Well done BA

    • I was looking on Monday for options for next weekend. After 3 lots of “oops there’s a problem” type messages, I gave up and decided to do something else with my leave. BA are making it easy to ignore them.

  2. Frenske says:

    Regarding the reversed economics remark, BA obviously wants to customers to fly as often with them and keep a healthy Avios balance (and need to come back to BA to use them) rather than customers who spend their whole balance and possibly less likely to top up Avios balances and focus on other airlines.

    • With its reputation for value and reliability tanking, BA’s loyalty strategy (if it has one at all) should surely focus on retaining disillusioned frequent-flying (often Premium cabin) high-Avios-earning members rather than trying to recruit occasional leisure travellers cleaving to U2, FR, DY etc. Part Pay may be a convenient device for reducing BA’s Avios liability without compromising redemption seat inventory, but even at 1.0p “discount” per Avios I’d resent not being able to burn more for a full CW redemption ticket. As Lifetime Gold, I don’t need to earn Avios or TP, have 800K+ Avios to burn; and regard what I (not my employer!) paid to earn them as sunk costs. What’s more, Virgin Flying Club is more competitive and my loyalty is reciprocated at every step.

  3. I can see why BA might not want to give you 1p per avios which you then just spend on taxes, but it might be happy to give you 1p to spend on BA fares.

  4. Jack Contin says:

    Personally I think the part-pay option is one of the better parts of BAEC. I have a million+ miles and find it virtually impossible to make any worthwhile redemptions (absurdly high taxes, and the need to gather TPs). I’d gladly take a 0.68p redemption value with Tier Points and anytime availability, rather than hold out for something closer to 1p without TPs and with almost no availability.

    • James F says:

      I think that’s where I’m coming out on it at the moment.

      I’m a non exec leisure traveler and often travel with 2 x 25kg bags. Using part pay with Avios to reduce the cost of TP runs could get me to silver for a reasonable price, then I can take advantage of lounges and double baggage even on cheaper fares or RFS redemptions.

  5. the real harry1 says:

    Somebody more strategically-minded needs to bang together a few BA bean counter heads :)

    BA are very happy to let you ‘part pay with money’ when you are getting Avios redemptions – ie on 2 recent redemptions (both for 4x RFS fares), for Easter May/June half term out/ back, I paid £160 extra to save redeeming 20,000 Avios. In other words, it was like buying the Avios from BA for 0.8p.

    Presumably some bean counter is now saying: guys, it doesn’t make sense for us to sell Avios for 0.8p then buy them back for 1p – it’s, like, losing money, dudes. Tell you what, marketing bods – you can have your sexy 1p if you like – but only for a token 1K Avios or so. Then we’ll charge more. Hey, we can make money out of this!

    The strategic point being: a loyalty program is about, er, loyalty & repeat business, keeping customers happy, the long-term health of the company. So it doesn’t hurt to nominate investment monies for investment purposes & then actually invest it: indeed, that’s what marketing investment is supposed to be about – growing the business. Making part pay with Avios distinctly humdrum & limiting its appeal with the ‘reverse economics’ aspect is therefore a marketing failure vs the influence of the Finance bods.

    • If by “bean counter” you mean accountant, they are the ones who are forced to crunch the numbers while the numbskulls who call themselves “Business Executives” make executive business decisions.

      • the real harry1 says:

        really? the bean counters in my last company were akin to management consultants: they worked out the finances/ costs/ savings etc then made recommendations

        • Genghis says:

          Numbers can only tell you so much. Any decent accountant can do both quantitative and qualitative analysis

    • Sussex bantam says:

      As a member of the fine ‘bean counter’ profession I wish we could stop blaming them for every poor strategic decision made anywhere.

      In my experience bad decisions almost always originate from the colouring-in department (sometimes known as marketing !)

      • Colin MacKinnon says:

        But as loyal HfP readers, don’t we love it when the colouring in dept gets its promotions wrong – and we can scoop up loads of miles!

        Or free flights to the USA from Hoover!

      • Crafty says:

        Accountants shouldn’t have any influence on strategy at all. They certainly don’t where I work.

  6. I didn’t complete the process but it seems that it can’t be used with BA Holiday deals which is still on sale and a far better deal if you use the usual tactic of including a car/hotel that you won’t use… Oh! well next time…

  7. Sorry to drop in an OT, but it’s a quick one.

    Does anybody know when using BA 241, is it possible to fly out of LHR and back into LGW (open jaw, two US cities) – I can’t seem to find this anywhere and wonder if as they are both “London” this would be allowed?

    Thanks :)

    • @mkcol says:

      Yes, you need to phone to book.

      • No need to phone-just use the ‘multi city’ option on BA.com. Type ‘London (all)’ rather than LHR/LGW and you’ll get both. Tip – search for two ‘normal’ returns first to see which flight has the best price, then select from the schedule view in multi-city. You’ll then get the same fares packaged up as you need.

  8. Sorry bit of a newbie question, but using part pay still allows the flight to be a qualifying flight for status? I need a couple more flights for next tier so this would be a good option.

    Thnaks

  9. Flyer68 says:

    Was offered (and took) £39 off for 3750 Avios two days ago on a LHR – Palermo return in November for 3 people. Fare was decent too – £88 return each HBO.

  10. Alan Hunt says:

    So, if I read the terms and conditions correctly the value gained also depends on how many people travel on the same booking? If I book a solo flight I get only 1/3rd the value than if I book for three adults? Is that right?

    • Alex W says:

      I think you get the same value but the total you can save depends on how many travel. But the Avios price goes up in line too.

  11. Hi,
    Help please. How do I redeem my 500 E Reward points for BA Avios point? ( spent too many hours just trying to complete some surveys. I am hoping for a break via Avios…any chance?
    Thanks

    • the real harry1 says:

      you choose – on e-rewards – where to ‘spend’/ redeem your points – and nominate Avios with your a/c details – you have to request (say) 2000 point redemption each time ie it’s not automatic

  12. Have BA stopped flying to Entebbe?

Add your comment here:

*