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Why the British Airways ‘triple Avios’ offer is worse than we thought

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On Tuesday I wrote a piece about the new British Airways ‘triple Avios’ promotion.  To say that the website for it left something to be desired was putting it mildly, with contradictory statements, misleading statements due to poor punctuation and key terms and conditions missing.

Someone was reading the criticism on here and on Flyertalk, because on Tuesday night the registration page for the offer was changed.

Avios wing 14

The dodgy punctuation remains – ‘You can earn triple Avios on all British Airways flights and when you fly with our partners American Airlines, Finnair and Iberia on flights between Europe and North America.’ which implies that only flights between Europe and North America are included. This is not true.

There is now a FAQ.  This makes clear that when the website was wrong – and remains wrong – when it says that you should go to the BA Avios-earning calculator to work out how many Avios you will get.  The one thing you won’t be getting in many cases is 3 x the number shown in the calculator.

This is because triple Avios is now defined as triple BASE Avios before the application of any cabin bonus.

At least, I think it is, because as far as I can tell these two statements from the rules are totally contradictory:

8) Eligible Participants who book and complete their journeys on Qualifying Flights within the Promotional Period will qualify for a triple Avios bonus based on cabin of travel.

9) Eligible Participants will receive triple Avios Points before any cabin or tier bonuses on all tickets except reward flights.

British Airways A350

In my original article on Tuesday I used this example:

Berlin to Hong Kong on British Airways, Club World, 8th-16th November

Cash cost: €1,737 (£1,454)

Avios earned as a Blue member (a status member would get more):

Calculated at this web page as (869 + 8969 + 8969 + 869) x 3 = 59,028

I was wrong.  This is because a cheap Club World ticket earns 150% of base Avios.  For any particular flight due to the cabin bonus.  The base Avios earned is what the BA calculator shows for a Y-class Economy ticket.

In reality, this is what you will get:

Berlin to Hong Kong on British Airways, Club World, 8th-16th November

Cash cost: €1,737 (£1,454)

Avios earned as a Blue member (a status member would get more):

Calculated at this web page as (869 + 8969 + 8969 + 869) + a bonus of (579 + 5979 + 5979 + 579) + (579 + 5979 + 5979 + 579) = 45,908

It still isn’t a bad deal, of course, just not as good as I first though.

If you haven’t already registered for triple Avios, the page you need is here.  It is open to readers worldwide.


how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (July 2021)

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

There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

We also recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company 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.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (86)

  • Simon says:

    Whilst its possible that a myriad of things have gone wrong with the preperation of this promotion, I suspect its probably one (or combination) of these three that caused it;
    – it was horribly rushed
    – gross incompetence
    – they just don’t care

    In any event, You don’t need to be a lawyer to get this sort of thing right, although running it past one before publication is always a good idea!

    BA really does need to stop the rot across a number of fronts.

    • Nick says:

      Quite frankly, is it any surprise, with the number of people leaving school, and indeed higher education today, who can barely write in anything more than text-speak?! 🙂

      • harry says:

        m8 r u serus? 🙂

        Marketing people are usually pretty literate, esp senior marketing people – looks very rushed to me.

        I’d say the IT failures are more serious.

        • Rob says:

          If you don’t FULLY understand how Avios works you cannot write this copy properly. And as there are only about 100 people who do ….. 🙂

  • roger says:

    Can anyone please shed some light on buying TF gift vouchers for amex offer?

    • Rob says:

      If bought in a TF shop it would almost certainly be ok. Online, you never know.

      • Roger says:

        Cheers Rob.
        I guess online limit is £500 GC, so it must be used in store to benefit from the offer.
        For flight bookings would TF match the same fare as you would get from OTAs likes of opodo, expedia?
        If so it’s a no brainer to buy GC now and use it for flight bookings for next few flights.
        I have offer on 6 different cards so not sure whether to max out on that and use it for flight bookings later on.

  • Mark says:

    It’s the sort of thing the litte coffee shop down the road would get wrong but you’d expect someone as big as BA to have things like this wrapped up before release.

    Do they get the kids on work experience to know this stuff up and then don’t bother to check it.

    I’m sorry but if one of my staff organised a shambles of a promotion like this they would be getting a rather quick demotion or the option to go to evening school!!

  • Toby says:

    O/T

    Does anyone know if priority pass allows access to “Aspire Plus” sections of Aspire Lounges?

    At ncl the aspire lounge is essentially now an extension of the main terminal with every tom dick and harry using the lounge. The aspire plus section which is a lounge within a loung is more befitting of a typical airport lounge but is unbelievably charged at £15 per head.

    • John says:

      When anyone can get a PP (like yourself) it’s no wonder that every tom dick and harry can get in.

  • James says:

    O/T: Re Virgin’s miles booster. Finished call with them. Only base miles included and only on VS operated flights (so Delta doesn’t count). Normal miles and TP apply of course. However, anyone who booked Chicago for next year (mine is April) will find that they can’t do the miles booster offer because that flight number doesn’t yet exist in VS’s system! Am on hold while supervisor works out what to do to let me participate…

  • Colin says:

    I booked a first class flight to the USA yesterday on the strength of this offer. The BA operator who took my booking said it was a very generous one. I am now totally confused about how many Avios I will receive. If it’s triple the economy amount, I will be seriously unhappy.
    I will contact BA for clarification and if my worse fears are confirmed I will let you know.

  • the_real_a says:

    Its rather more serious than just poor communication, because something like this can persuade someone to make a booking that otherwise would not with BA

    It rather illustrates the point, that we should all be taking screenshots of T&C`s when booking through offers.

    • Nick says:

      Without wishing to stray in to hyperbole, one can imagine that if a dispute ever arose because a customer made a booking on the basis that the 300% offer would apply to the cabin bonus, BA might have a bit of difficulty explaining that it does not.

      Of course I don’t imagine anything like this would ever get that far, but para. 8 is pretty clear, in isolation. And if memory serves, BA have in the past awarded these uplifts on the cabin bonus too.

      What is so annoying is that this is still a pretty decent offer really. I am beginning to wonder if BA did actually include the cabin bonus in this to begin with, just to give them something to “enhance” my removing it the next day!

    • harry says:

      yep I was kicking myself that I did not screenshot the Sunday Times Travel offer – fortunately all worked out OK 🙂

      • Peter Taysum says:

        I have had 4500 Avios posted to BAEC and Avios in the last few days

    • Colin says:

      I agree. I have started taking screenshots of this offer. I had a reply from BA saying I would earn triple points on my 1st class booking. I had asked them to quantify the figure, but they didn’t, so I have sent them another request.

  • Paul says:

    OT Anyone know if you can pay npower bills at paypoint?
    Thanks.

    • harry says:

      ISTR only if you have a pre-payment meter

      ie they want to facilitate payments from those who need extra help but are unwilling to give this option to standard metered customers

    • Boris says:

      Just don’t go there.

      Even if npower gave you a gold bar every quarter, it would not be worth the hassle you may receive.

      When I tried npower as a switch they grabbed my neighbours gas and my electric, and it took well over a year to resolve.

      • Genghis says:

        On the topic of energy switches, the MSE collective switch comes out 13 Sep. Register beforehand to get notification and to be able to participate.

        • harry says:

          I was just able to pay in £1000 to my EON a/c (BMI DC VISA 1000 Avios) – they don’t like you to go more than £300 in credit but I did it on the phone, nae problemo

    • John says:

      Don’t they give you £100 off if you have a direct debit set up?

      • mark2 says:

        I use Scottish Power as they are cheapest for us and have a direct debit. I greatly overpay pref using Go Spend It with money off coupon from Tescco and then ask for a refund. I have has £300 twice to bank
        in the last few months. It is all done online nut they may notice eventually.

        On the subject of energy comparisons you need to check the assumptions that they have made about your current supplier. If your fixed price finishes in the next year they may assume that you will move onto an expensive standard rate. There is an energy equivalent of Apr which will be hidden somewhere.

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