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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

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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

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 UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2024)

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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up 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 £15,000 Read our full review

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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points 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.

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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 (77)

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

  • 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 communications.message@ba.com, 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.

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

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