When IAG published its last set of financial results, it promised to give a presentation to City analysts in early 2016 about how Avios works and – more relevantly – about a change in accounting policy regarding Avios income and liabilities.
That presentation took place last week.
Having spent 16 years of my life reading and writing such presentations, it washes over me but, if you are not a City person, you may find bits of it confusing. Here are a few interesting points that I picked out. I have not covered the technical accounting changes but they are explained in the presentation if you are interested.
Enough Avios seats are redeemed each day to fill the equivalent of 86 short-haul departures
1 million Avios points are issued every 5 minutes
101 billion Avios points were issued in 2015
There are 7.7 million Avios accounts across all partner airlines
Avios Group Ltd made a profit of roughly £135 million last year, representing a margin of roughly 20%. A quick bit of maths means that revenue was around £675 million. This means that Avios were sold, mainly to BA and Iberia, for an average of 0.67p each. I know what most external partners pay for their points (I always ask when I meet them!) and it is noticeably more than this, even for Amex, so the net cost to BA and Iberia will probably be nearer 0.5p.
Royal Air Maroc is going to adopt Avios as its reward currency this year. I would expect this to be in the Flybe / Meridiana mould (ie no ability to use Combine My Avios) but it should mean that Royal Air Maroc seats are available via ba.com for Avios redemption. The airline is already an Iberia partner. As well as opening new options to Morocco for UK tourists, it will offer additional options to Johannesburg, Accra and Algiers amongst other places.
The Avios ‘platform’ is now being actively sold to airlines as an alternative to building their own bespoke loyalty platform. This is route that Flybe, Meridiana and RAM have taken.
One of the strengths of these new partnerships is to build the value of Avios outside the UK. At Paris Orly, for example, BA only operates two services per day. However, 16% of flights from Orly can be booked with Avios.
As I said, it is all interesting stuff and worth a read if you have 10 minutes spare today.
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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
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.
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.
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.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.