(EDIT 2014: Avios Recycling has been closed down since this article was published)
It is over a year since I last looked at Avios Recycling, so I thought it was worth revisiting it again to see if it offers a decent way of earning extra Avios points.
The Avios Recycling page at avios.com is here.
The site is run on behalf of Avios by a firm called Anovo, who operate a number of gadget recycling businesses including Weebuy. Initially only accepting old mobile phones, they now accept digital cameras, consoles, laptops, MP3 players, sat navs and tablet PC’s.
In theory, these services SHOULD be a good deal for you. Why? Because Anovo presumably buys Avios from avios.com at a highly discounted rate (lets say 0.5p per Avios) and you value them more highly. In a perfect world, this service should thefore be a better deal than taking cash from a competing recycling service.
In reality, it didn’t work like that.
You should never do a trade like this before looking at the excellent Mobile Valuer site, run in conjunction with MoneySavingExpert. Here are a few tests I did:
Blackberry Curve 8520 – £37.25 from MobileCashMate or 3,000 Avios (so 1.24p per Avios)
Apple iPhone 4S 16gb – £210 from RPC Recycle or 20,000 Avios (so 1.05p per Avios)
Canon IXUS 900 Ti camera – £24.50 from Asda or 2,150 Avios (so 1.14p per Avios)
These are not terrible results, by any means – the effective price per Avios is less than you would pay if you bought them from avios.com directly. However, I am not a buyer unless the price drops below 0.75p per Avios, because I know at that level that I will always come out ahead.
It will, at the end of the day, depend on how much you need the Avios points as to whether Avios Reycling is worth a look. And, of course, it depends on how you plan to use them – someone who redeems for ‘Upgrade Using Avios’ is likely to value them more highly than someone who uses 100,000 outright, without a 2-4-1 voucher, to fly to San Francisco in Club World for example. My old post on ‘What Is An Avios Point Worth? is here.