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BA extends ‘Part Pay With Avios’ on short-haul – will it replace normal redemptions?

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British Airways introduced ‘Part-Pay With Avios‘ back in 2013.  This allowed you to pay part of the price of a cash ticket using Avios points.

At the time, a lot of people felt deflated by the product.  BA had been making noises for a long time about allowing Avios points to be used for revenue fares, but the actual implementation was a damp squib.

It turned out that you could only redeem for short-haul and you could only save £30 maximum.

Avios wing 6

Over the last three years, BA has been constantly fiddling with the scheme.  The maximum discount was increased to £50, but only on some short-haul routes.  We then had a number of limited time promotions when BA increased either the number of Avios you could redeem or the value you got per point.

British Airways now seems to have made some firm changes on short haul, and they are very interesting.  Take a look at the ‘part pay with Avios’ website here.  I’m not sure when this pricing came in but I hadn’t seen it before yesterday.

Here are the key points as I see them:

For Club Europe, you can now redeem 15,000 Avios for a discount of £100.  I had no problem getting a £218 Club Europe return to Bordeaux to reduce to £118 per person.

For Euro Traveller, you can redeem 7,500 Avios for a discount of £50.  On ‘longer routes’ you can redeem 15,000 Avios for a discount of £100. 

Because you are buying a cash ticket, albeit at a discount, you will still receive the usual Avios and tier points.  You do not receive On Business points if you use this scheme.

The other key rules presumably remain unchanged:

You cannot part-pay Air Passenger Duty or any equivalent foreign tax. What this means, in practice, is that the maximum discount offered will be reduced if the fare is too low to not cover the taxes.

Only BA operated flights are valid, not codeshares (so, for example, only BA flights to Madrid can be discounted, not the ones flown by Iberia with a BA flight number)

Any itinerary with a non-BA flight on it will not be offered ‘Part-Pay With Avios’ even if it also contains a UK or short-haul flight

You can only book at or via the BA call centre

It cannot be combined with promotional discount codes or ‘flight plus car’ / ‘flight plus hotel’ packages

It CAN be combined with Hotlines and presumably the MBNA Diamond Club credit card 10% discount

It works OK on the ‘hand baggage only’ fares

If you are in a Household Account, you will be allowed to use Avios to part-pay flights for people who are outside the Household Account

The Avios are deducted from the account of the person making the booking, even if the other passengers have their own BA or accounts

What do I think about ‘Part Pay With Avios’?

Slowly but surely, BA is moving towards what I was hoping they would do from the start – give you the ability to pay for your flight entirely in Avios if you wish.

The price of 0.67p per Avios is probably acceptable in return for losing restrictions on availability.

The idea remains a clever marketing move on BA’s partOn many routes, a member could use Avios to bring down the cost of a short-haul flight to less than the cash cost of easyJet or a similar low cost carrier.

It also removes the common complaint of ‘I can’t use my Avios because there is no availability’.

My one worry, however, is that we are seeing ‘revenue-based redemptions’ on short-haul introduced via the back door.  From this new position – where you can offset at least 50% of the cost of many European flights – it would not be a massive move to say:

you can now redeem Avios for the entire cost of short haul flights, less taxes (full taxes, not £35 RFS), at 0.67p per point

it will no longer be possible to redeem Avios for short haul flights based on the standard redemption table

You would no longer be able to complain about availability.  The impact, though, would be that the net cost of most BA short haul redemptions would roughly double based on my calculations.  Let’s see what happens.

The official ‘Part-Pay With Avios’ webpage is here.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 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:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 30th May, the sign-up bonus on the Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard is doubled to a crazy 50,000 Avios! Apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 30th May, the sign-up bonus on the free Barclaycard Avios Mastercard is doubled to 10,000 Avios. Apply here.

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

CRAZY 50,000 Avios for signing up (to 30th May) and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

10,000 Avios for signing up (only to 30th May) 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! 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 a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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 (33)

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

  • Genghis says:

    Very OT but I downgraded my BAPP recently to BA Blue after hitting the £10k spend and receiving (and since using) the 2-4-1 voucher. I note on my Amex account that it says that I need to spend just under another £10k to get the 2-4-1 voucher (i.e. spending £20k on the BA Blue to get the 2-4-1).

    Does anyone know whether I would actually receive this additional 2-4-1 on the BA Blue despite having received one on the BAPP prior to the downgrade?

  • ECR says:

    I think that pricing has been around for quite some time as I had a few LCY/DUB flights that I bought quite some time ago (I’m sure well over 6 months) when they had a £199 sale on and I used 15000 avios to reduce the price by £100 to £99.

  • Rehnn says:

    Unless I’m mis-reading the page at it’s really not that great as the most you can save is £200pp and that’s on Business Class Long Haul. A business class return to New York is between £3,000 £5,500 so relative to the total ticket price a saving of just £200 isn’t actually that great.

    I wonder why they’re not rolling this out to Premium Economy of Economy.

  • Michael says:

    Qantas has been doing ‘pay with points’ for years now – it’s exactly the same concept, however you can choose exactly how much (upto the whole ticket) that you’d like to pay for in points. This usually works out being more than a reception ticket, however since you’re getting the perks of a revenue ticket it’s usually well worthwhile. Also good for taking the sting out of premium cabin bookings!

  • nwmgc says:

    As someone avios rich but tier points poor, I find this very useful indeed. Of course, it will only be a matter of time until that is enhanced away…

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

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