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See the ‘Pay with Avios’ for food and drink prices

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As a follow up to my main story below on charging for food and drink on board, BA has now sent me some sample ‘pay with Avios’ prices:

Mature cheddar cheese ploughman’s – £3 or 375 Avios

Lightly salted hand cooked crisps – £1 or 125 Avios

Water – £1.80 or 225 Avios

Tea or coffee – £2.30 or 300 Avios

G&T (Anika, please note 🙂 ) – £6 or 750 Avios

Wine – £4.50 or 575 Avios

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It could have been less generous, I suppose. At around 0.8p per point there are worse ways to spend your points (but obviously far better ways too).


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 (77)

  • Bob says:

    Ah!!

    Thank you Rob!

    I was about to ask if you were going to write a breaking post about that.
    You do.

    Five posts/threads today!!!!

  • Bob says:

    I guess the large numbers of people who collect small amounts of avios with no plan for them will enjoy getting a ‘free’ sandwich for them rather than pay – and BA gets to mop up a lot of outstanding avios.

    • RIccati says:

      They could have done much worse than 1p for Avios, e.g. £3.75 a sandwich.

      Redemptions are hard to find and taxes to pay on Avios are through the roof.

      Plus for an occasional, economy class traveller it is a problem to accumulate miles (you have to apply for an AMEX BA card or collect at Tesco!).

      Where BA/IAG will be losing out (if people think Avios are for “free” sandwich) is that less people get into habit/business of air miles collection, the loss of powerful loyalty tool.

      • Bob says:

        Yes but someone who earns a few hundred avios from an economy flight might be more loyal knowing they get a free sandwich next time – compared to knowing they’d get a free flight if they hit a target they will never reach.

        With v low avios earning in economy, a divide may be opening between people earning avios in economy to only ever spend on snacks and people in other cabins earning to redeem on flights.

  • Neil says:

    Can we earn Avios for buying food is the question? lol

  • Hugh says:

    so how does it pay for BA to be paid in Avios?

    or does it mean that its cheaper to pay for food than allow them to be used for flights?

    • Bob says:

      I would’ve imagined (though Rob will know) that the quantity of outstanding avios are some kind of liability on IAG’s balance sheet, since they have to allow them to be redeemed in future. Letting people spend them at a poor rate for something which was previously free would reduce that liability.
      Obviously they’re no better off if the avios would’ve otherwise expired, but it might make sense from an accounting perspective?

      • RIccati says:

        Yes and no.

        BA has to pay cash to M&S for the goods now.

        • Bob says:

          Surely they had to spend cash on catering all along? What else would they have paid for it with…?

          • ankomonkey says:

            A fair amount of their catering looks like it was wiped off someone’s shoe after the dog had done its business. That may be free…

        • Genghis says:

          Yes but there is a reason why they would do it. I’m thinking aloud here and I’ve no idea of numbers but assuming BA make a 100% mark up on the food and value avios at 1p on their balance sheet, using one avios to pay for food would:

          Dr Liability 1p. Decrease the value of the liability
          Cr cash 0.4p. BA would spend this on M&S food stuffs
          Cr P&L 0.4p. This would be the mark up on the food with my assumptions
          Cr P&L 0.2p. Ie. Releasing a small profit on the difference between the what the avios liability was charged at and what the avios was then used for.

          Perhaps if someone who actually does the accounting for FFSs reads this, please critique.

  • Raffles says:

    If you want a night out (note: this is a BA comp, not a HFP one!):

    To celebrate the partnership, we’re giving away a pair of tickets to the annual M&S food ball where guests enjoy a three course meal and celebrity entertainment. Five runners up will also win M&S goodies.

    To enter, simply email [email protected], quoting the name of the famous M&S pig in the subject line by 6pm October 4, 2016. Please remember to include your contact details. To attend the M&S ball you need to be available on October 11 at The Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London from 6.30pm.

  • RIccati says:

    CHARGING NEAR £2 FOR SMALL BOTTLE OF WATER

    • Leo says:

      Have you not tried to buy water at a Rail station lately? Always shocks me.

      • RIccati says:

        There is still competition, M&S Food, Boots and even Little Waitrose — rail stations in London have supermarket presence.

      • Andrew says:

        Buy water at a station?

        Only a fool would do that… When they could buy a Telegraph for less than a bottle of water and get a bottle of water “free”!

        • Callum says:

          Or just buy the water from one of the numerous shops near the train station.

          Or be less wasteful and drink the “free” water from the tap!

          • Leo says:

            I don’t buy water full stop but millions do. I was reflecting on how much is charged for it.

          • Stuart says:

            Would love to find a tap I trust to top up my water bottles at a train station!!!

            Heathrow T5 has, if I remember, 2 maybe 3 across whole terminal – one water fountain at each end of the terminal. At least the US ones I have frequented have one at every “bathroom” (aka toilet).

          • Lewis Watson says:

            Am not sure I would drink the water from the tap in a train toilet

      • Genghis says:

        You have the option to take from home / work. With airlines you have to take an empty bottle through security and then fanny around trying to fill it up.

  • Yuff says:

    1 months subscription to the Sunday times travel magazine will get quite a few items for £2.50 😉

  • PalCsaky says:

    Off topic: there’s an increased sign up bonus of 40 000 nectar points for Nectar Amex for October applications. Found on the Nectar app.