Nutmeg Avios

How to buy Avios for 0.77p whilst making your next redemption!

When you book an Avios redemption on the British Airways website, you are – unless using a BA Amex 241 voucher or booking with a couple of obscure partner airlines – given the option to reduce the number of Avios needed in return for paying more cash.

BA doesn’t hide this option.  It is offered to you in clear view:

However, the odd combinations they show of Avios and money means that you might not realise what a good deal you are being offered.

For long-haul economy / World Traveller redemptions, long-haul World Traveller Plus redemptions and all short-haul redemptions, it makes sense to pay more cash and use fewer Avios.  It is the equivalent of ‘buying’ Avios for as little as 0.77p which is as cheap as you will ever see.

Here are some worked examples based on a return flight to New York, off peak:

World Traveller:

26,000 Avios + £365

20,800 Avios + £415 (buying 5,200 Avios for 0.96p)

16,900 Avios + £445 (buying 9,100 Avios for 0.88p)

13,000 Avios + £465 (buying 13,000 Avios for 0.77p)

10,400 Avios + £485 (buying 15,600 Avios for 0.77p)

9,100 Avios + £495 (buying 16,900 Avios for 0.77p)

In the most extreme example, you pay an extra £130 cash in order to use 16,900 fewer Avios.  That means you are effectively buying those 16,900 Avios for 0.77p each.

World Traveller Plus:

52,000 Avios + £440

41,600 Avios + £530 (buying 10,400 Avios for 0.86p)

36,400 Avios + £570 (buying 15,600 Avios for 0.83p)

31,200 Avios + £620 (buying 20,800 Avios for 0.86p)

26,000 Avios + £650 (buying 26,000 Avios for 0.81p)

20,800 Avios + £680 (buying 31,200 Avios for 0.77p)

Again, you are offered the chance to ‘buy’ Avios for 0.77p – up to 31,200 Avios in this case.

This method doesn’t work in Club World however.  Take a look:

Club World:

100,000 Avios + £526

90,000 Avios + £726 (buying 10,000 Avios for 2.00p)

75,000 Avios + £996 (buying 25,000 Avios for 1.88p)

65,000 Avios + £1,226 (buying 35,000 Avios for 2.00p)

57,500 Avios + £1,326 (buying 42,500 Avios for 1.88p)

50,000 Avios + £1,426 (buying 50,000 Avios for 1.80p)

Club World is ludicrously expensive.  There is no reason for anyone to take advantage of this deal.  Even in the unthinkable scenario that anyone was willing to pay 2p for an Avios, they could buy them directly from BA for 1.6p.

Here are two short-haul examples.  The plan works well on the Euro Traveller ticket but less well on Club Europe – although it is still worth considering.

Euro Traveller, using Reward Flight Saver:

13,000 Avios + £35

10,400 Avios + £65 (buying 2,600 Avios for 1.15p)

9,200 Avios + £75 (buying 3,800 Avios for 1.05p)

7,800 Avios + £85 (buying 5,200 Avios for 0.96p)

6,600 Avios + £95 (buying 6,400 Avios for 0.94p)

4,300 Avios + £105 (buying 8,700 Avios for 0.80p)

and, a slightly worse deal:

Club Europe, using Reward Flight Saver:

25,500 Avios + £50

23,000 Avios + £80 (buying 1,500 Avios for 2.00p)

21,200 Avios + £100 (buying 4,300 Avios for 1.16p)

18,700 Avios + £120 (buying 6,800 Avios for 1.03p)

17,000 Avios + £140 (buying 8,500 Avios for 1.06p)

13,600 Avios + £160 (buying 11,900 Avios for 0.92p)


Next time you book a short-haul or an economy or World Traveller Plus long-haul Avios redemption, without using a 241 voucher, seriously consider taking advantage of this opportunity.   They will be some of the easiest and cheapest Avios you will probably ever ‘purchase’.

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

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  1. guesswho2000 says:

    This article is well timed, I just made a redemption on QF MEL-ADL return, various options around 1-1.5p/Avios or the full 9,000+GBP 24.40. I took 8,000 + 34.40, 1p/Avios, as I know I’ll beat that value wise. Every little helps!


    Why anyone would pay most of the econ prices listed while also throwing away miles is far beyond my reach of comprehension.

    • Obviously! But at peak dates, or if needs must …

    • the real harry1 says:

      I don’t follow you – the RFS flights (European) are return tickets so the prices are pretty cheap – to a 6500 Avios single destination in Economy – why do you think a cash ticket (enabling you to earn miles) would be a better option?

      Same for the New York flights – off peak returns. Just did one cash comparison LHR-New York off-peak, cheapest available 8-12 Nov, it came in @ £590 vs the example above [9,100 Avios + £495 (buying 16,900 Avios for 0.77p)]

      The £590 flight would earn a few points but even including them, there’s no particular advantage to paying cash & earning points. And I did choose the very cheapest cash fare – there are redemptions available around those dates where alternatively you’d be paying cash >£1000+

    • Gilbert btw where are you now on your homeless year!

      It’s fantastic value if like many of us.. you are trying to complete the 4 legs on ba metal to retain ba silver. E.g. our positioning flights next month to HEL..we have CE going out and Y back. Reason for Y is once we land in HEL on way home l call ba when we are in passport line. And get on an earlier ba flight back to UK…you can change this y flight on the day. We always get a great use avios offer on these types of flights . So our cash pay out is substantially smaller. Other return we then do hbo to Dub.
      So def a winner all round esp as Rob says school holiday time when people have no other choice.
      I also think Anna And Harry you two are still very much focused on school hols time therefore this perk in very valuable for you esp flying if 4 or 5 pax. We still value it highly going to Dub in the peak summer time…been using it as long as ba are pushing it.
      As Rob says they offer it quite openly and am sure people use it when they need to.
      But your concept of actually buying these avios for 0.7 p might not be how people see it. They basically see it as using up avios to reduce tkt prices. But costing it out is useful and will focus people’s mind on the advantage in future.

  3. Can you upgrade the redemption from WT to CW ?

    If you can, then as WT to CW upgrades are fixed (presumably ?) then go to WT first and then up to CW instead of buying into CW directly as the rate is prohibitive.

  4. For people who earn their points through flying (it took me a while to realize there are many on this site who this does not apply to) then buying more points does not always make sense since they’ll have a huge number of points anyway and using as little cash as possible is the important thing. Making good use of the points is important but if you have half a million points balance then why would you buy even more

    • Half a million avios isn’t that many… That is a Club World or First redemption for a family of four. It’s more a matter of whether you make this amount annually by flying (you are Avios rich) or whether this is your balance (not so rich).

  5. OT – trying to book a hotel on the accor website.

    I have selected all hotels that I can pay using points.
    When it gets to the payment stage, it gives me no options to pay with points….

    Anyone know if there is a button I am missing or some obscure part of the website that I need to go to?

  6. Speedbird676 says:

    Most of my Avios spend goes on Club Europe RFS and I almost always do this, reducing the number of Avios I’m burning and get access to Club Europe and the lounge for a small amount of cash. Tier points aside, it is much better value than buying a cash fare and reducing with Avios.