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Is it worth redeeming Avios points on Flybe?

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All three articles today look at different aspects of the new tie-up between Flybe and Avios which was announced yesterday.

My main story today covers 13 key questions about the deal.  In this article I want to look at whether it is worth redeeming your Avios points on Flybe.

If you live in the UK regions, this deal should be a fantastic result for you.  Flybe flies from over 35 locations in the UK and Ireland from Sumburgh in Shetland to Newquay in Cornwall.  The full route map is here.  They even fly to Barra in the Outer Hebrides where the planes land on the beach.

Flybe flights have always been available on  Historically, though, they only appeared below a certain price threshold and some routes never seemed to appear at all.  I assume that availability will be improved under this new arrangement.

As of today, cancelling a Flybe redemption costs £50 return when booked using Avios.  I assume this will drop to £35 return – the standard Avios fee – after 27th October when the new arrangement kicks in.

Are Avios deals worthwhile?

There are two things to remember when looking at Flybe redemptions:

Reward Flight Saver is not available with Flybe so you are looking at a large ‘tax and charges’ figure

You receive one free 20kg suitcase when booking an Avios redemption on Flybe.  A standard cash ticket on Flybe does NOT include any luggage.  This means that the value of a redemption varies depending on whether or not you would take a suitcase.

Let’s look at a couple of typical redemptions.

Birmingham to Paris, Friday 21 – Monday 24 November

Three of the six flights of the day are available in both directions.

A ‘Just Fly’ ‘no suitcase’ ticket would be £105 – £120.  The ‘Get More’ price with luggage would be £153 – £168.

An Avios redemption is 9,000 Avios plus £64 tax.

Without a suitcase, you are getting 0.44p – 0.62p per Avios which is poor.  With a suitcase you are getting 1p – 1.15p which is pretty good.

East Midlands to Edinburgh, Friday 21 – Sunday 23 November

One of three outbound flights and one of the two return flights are available.

A ‘no suitcase’ ticket would be £100.  With a suitcase, you would pay £146.

An Avios redemption is 9,000 Avios plus £60 tax.

Without a suitcase, you are getting 0.44p per Avios.  With a suitcase, you are getting 0.96p.

What conclusions can we draw from this?

Availability may change after 27th October, allowing you a wider range of Flybe redemptions.

At the moment, I am struggling to see a lot of value if you are a ‘hand baggage only’ traveller.  0.44p per Avios is a lot less than the 0.58p that you get redeeming your Avios points for a hotel, for instance.

You DO benefit from the option to cancel and get everything back less £35.  This may make the Avios option more attractive than a cash ticket if you think your plans may change.

With a suitcase, the Avios option does look more attractive and worth considering.  You may also get lucky and find more expensive routes where Avios availability is showing.

If you want to know more about Flybe’s participation in Avios, their Avios page is here and they issued a FAQ here.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 2023)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (6)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • sandgrounder says:

    The flexibility is a big plus as always, if you need it Avios fares are a big saving if available. As Flybe flights are priced one way, you can get better value by using points from low tax locations such as the CI and the H&I and cash the other way. Always worth checking!

  • Mikeact says:

    Why would Avios not insist on the RFS option ?

  • Mark2 says:

    I just tried a random dummy booking via Avios which may or not be typical.
    Birmingham to Inverness on 12/03/15 returning next day is 9,000 Avios + £56.29 (luggage unclear).
    To book and pay it is £70.01 with hand luggage or £116.01 with hold luggage.

    • Rob says:

      Seems in line with my examples. OK if taking a case, poor otherwise. The Avios ticket includes luggage.

  • Rich. says:

    My concern is the flybe. Downgrade swap of equipment…. Getting a number of older prop planes in exchange for their shiny new EMB’s selling their Gatwick slots …. I wonder how long they will be with us…

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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