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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.

(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 (January 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

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

If you have a small business, we especially recommend Capital On Cap’s Visa card which comes with a generous bonus worth 10,500 Avios:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

(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)

  • BIGTED says:

    As a newly retired person who has just achieved Silver status with BA, I thought I was on to a winner with the TRIPLE points deal as I was going to Malta, Phuket and Barbados in the allocated time. Then I realised that the caveat used was NEW bookings and TRAVEL during that specified period.What an absolute bummer.
    I am sure that the vast majority of leisure travellers do not book and travel within 3 months.
    (Must admit the punctuation in the BA offer was terrible).

    • idrive says:

      true, i book a few weeks before or less 🙂

    • Keith says:

      Similar for me – just re-gained my silver, and have return flights booked in each month of the offer. All booked a few weeks ago or more. Some reward for our loyalty! Just another way which BA demonstrate that they don’t care.

      • harry says:

        I think it’s a bit of an unfair/ naïve gripe tbh – they are trying to drum up new business, not give extra discounts to tickets already bought

        as to whether they should be sympathetic on the phone if you have a little moan, that is a different matter 🙂

  • Dan Mortimer says:

    I’m not sure if anyone else has noticed but the Book & Uprgade tool is not working and hasn’t for the last 5 days!! (Since the Triple AVIOS offer was posted??) Interestingly, though, the book with AVIOS part does work – I have Tweeted BA three times asking if the Book & Upgrade tool will be working before the sale ends, “we are aware and working hard to fix it” was the response! I was pointed in the direction of the booking line, to which I responded that reward seats are few and required customer flexibility – and booking them would take hours over the phone!

  • Callum says:

    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.)

    Maybe I’m not quite as literate as I thought, but that clearly says all BA flights anywhere in the world, and the partner flights between Europe and North America to me. Granted the standard of English is low (though I’ve seen similar on this normally well written blog many times! – it’s much more important for BA to get it right though), but it seems clear enough to me.

  • Wyle E Coyote says:

    For heaven’s sake, when a promotion is too complicated that your own PR people can even understand it maybe, just maybe, it needs to be simplified.

    • Wyle E Coyote says:

      *can = can’t

    • Nick says:

      Thing is, it is a very simple offer. And, to be frank, a good one too.

      The problem here lies not with the guys who came up with the offer, but (I assume) the marketing department who made a right mess of communicating it.

      I hate to be critical, but whomever is responsible for this really needs to ask themselves if they really are the best person to run this sort of thing. It’s embarrassing. I’ve had ‘difficult conversations’ with juniors on 20k a year for lazy wording like this. If anybody on 50k+ a year had anything to do with this, they are overpaid.

      The English language can be like a Swiss watch: beautiful, and precise. This promo is more like the counterfeit version which is such a pity because rather than getting excited about what a great offer this is, we are bemoaning what it is not because they are incapable of clear communication.

  • Pateldaku says:

    English is not my first Language, but I don’t see anything wrong with the Punctuations.
    2 categories
    and in the second 3 sub categories.

    You can earn Triple Avios

    1. on all British Airways flights
    2. when you fly with our partners
    a. American Airlines
    b. Finnair
    c. Iberia
    on flights between Europe and North America

    1. 2. separated by “and”
    a b separated by “,”
    b c separated by “and”

  • KK says:

    OT: Having hit my BA PP £10K spend and the 241 voucher duly received, is it possible to :
    1.Downgrade to the free BA Card and get a refund on the remaining annual fee?
    2.Does it affect the 241 validity?
    3.Do you get a new card number. i.e a new application and new credit check?
    4.Can you upgrade to the Premium card after the anniversary date to start the cycle of £10K spend to gain another 241?

    Any advice much appreciated, my first tryst with BA PP Amex!

  • Canuck says:

    I read that as

    – All BA flights
    – And long-haul flights between N.America/Europe for partners airlines.

  • Scott says:

    Apologies but so OT:

    Hilton free night certificate, once you redeem if you need to cancel do you get the certificate back in your account? Thanks