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Special ‘part pay with Avios’ deals on London City and Manchester routes – good deal?

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British Airways has launched a ‘part pay with Avios’ special offer on selected routes from London City and Manchester this Winter.

Here are the rules:

Book before 5th November 2017

Fly before 31st March 2018

Valid for one way or return flights

Valid in Euro Traveller or Club Europe

You can learn more about ‘part pay with Avios’ on ba.com here.

‘Part pay with Avios’ lets you use Avios to reduce the price of a standard cash ticket.  You book via the standard booking page of ba.com and will be offered the chance to use some Avios to partially (not completely) reduce the cash price.  Unlike a normal Avios redemption, you will earn back Avios and tier points as usual when you fly in the same way as a ‘100% cash’ booking.

Part Pay With Avios offer

Here are the routes included:

Routes from Manchester:

  • Chambery
  • Salzburg
Routes from London City:
  • Malaga
  • Palma
  • Ibiza
  • Paris Orly
  • Milan Linate
  • Zurich
  • Prague
  • Keflavik (Reykjavik)
  • Edinburgh
  • Glasgow
  • Dublin

But is it a good deal?

Not really.

Here is a typical example using a Reykjavik flight from London City in Economy / Euro Traveller:

Save £13 with 1,250 Avios – you get 1.04p per Avios

Save £25 with 3,000 Avios – you get 0.83p per Avios

Save £50 with 5,500 Avios – you get 0.91p per Avios

Save £75 with 8,500 Avios – you get 0.88p per Avios

Save £113 with 14,000 Avios – you get 0.81p per Avios

The best deal you can get is 1.04p per point, but that is for a paltry 1,250 Avios maximum.  It is hard to recommend redeeming for something around 0.9p per Avios unless you are very Avios rich and / or you earn all your Avios from flying paid for by your employer and so your points had no cost to you.

If you are earning Avios via credit cards, Heathrow Rewards transfers, Tesco Clubcard transfers, hotel point transfers etc then you really need to getting over 1p per point.  Otherwise, you could have got a better deal using your non-transferred points for something better.

(As an example, Tesco Clubcard points now convert at 1:3 into Uber credit.  £10 of Clubcard vouchers gets you £30 of Uber rides or 2,400 Avios.  Assuming you are a regular Uber user, you need to be getting over 1.25p per Avios point before Avios becomes a better option than free rides.)

In this Iceland case, the total fare was £185, so the best deal you could do (if you want to reduce the cash price the most) was 14,000 Avios plus £72.  You would also earn up to 3,200 Avios back depending on your BA status, plus a handful of tier points.

A standard Avios redemption on this route, for comparison, is 17,000 plus £35.  Because the cash price is relatively low compared to the Avios price, the ‘all Avios’ booking is an even worse deal given the £185 cash fare – unless you need the flexibility to cancel offered by an ‘all Avios’ booking.

Conclusion

It is only fair to give BA credit for continuing to roll out ‘part pay with Avios’ offers.  If you are booking one of these routes you should do the maths to see if it makes sense or not.  My gut feeling, however, is that it won’t.

If you want to learn more about ‘part pay with Avios’, read this page of ba.com.  You will also find full details of the offer on that page.

PS.  If you were thinking of booking Club Europe from London City via this offer, remember that the airport has no lounge and that the primarily Embraer 190 aircraft are 2 x 2 throughout so you don’t get an empty middle seat.  With large numbers of people on London City flights qualifying for priority boarding via their Gold status (only Golds can priority board at City), that isn’t much of a benefit either.  The food from London City, to be fair, is very good but then again you still get free drinks and snacks in Euro Traveller for now.  Only book Club Europe if you are not price sensitive or if you are looking for tier points.

(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.)

Comments (69)

  • BC says:

    Worth mentioning that I definitely think it is worth flying into city in CE. Lounge access at your depature airport, and much better food whilst on the plane.

    • Michael Jennings says:

      My experience flying in BA Economy in and out of City is that the food seems to be much better on the outward leg than the return leg. Outward = full meal. Inward = bag of crisps. Is this everyone else’s experience too?

      • Lumma says:

        Got some falafel and couscous thing flying from Berlin to city last month. Flew out off Heathrow so nothing to compare with but better than a bag of crisps

  • Wally1976 says:

    OT – sorry, no ‘bits’ today. Can anyone confirm if the Amex offer for 500 Avios on £10 spend at Tesco works if you pay using the Pay+ app (wouldn’t want to miss out on the extra clubcard point :-))?

    I can confirm it does work when paying for fuel at the pump if that helps anyone!

    Thanks.

  • Bob M says:

    OT – I have some BA Avios queries that I’d much appreciate some experienced assistance with.

    I started using a BA Amex Premium Plus in January, and have since achieved the 2 for 1 voucher then referred my wife who’s card we are now working towards another 2 for 1 with.

    1) If I downgrade to the BA blue Amex then reapply for the Premium Plus once my wife achieves the 2 for 1, does the start of my “Amex year” reset to the point at which my card was upgraded?

    2) I have bought BA reward flights for next summer using the BA PP to pay the fees, will there be any problems with the booking if I downgrade the card?

    3) Will my 2 for 1 voucher be affected if I no longer have the card I earned it with?

    4) And also can I maintain the same online username while continually downgrading and upgrading cards? I wouldn’t want to have to create a new account each time.

    Many thanks.

    • Wally1976 says:

      Pretty sure the answers are (someone will no doubt confirm):

      1) No, you keep the same “Amex year”
      2) No problem
      3) No
      4) Yes

      • Bob M says:

        Thanks Wally,
        Regarding answer 1) does that mean if, for example, I upgrade my card to the BA Premier Plus next June (after my wife has met the £10k target on her card) I will only have until the following January to achieve the £10,000 spend to get another 2 for 1 voucher?

    • Cate says:

      We’ve closed down our BA cards and the vouchers are still there.

    • Anna says:

      We’ve been able to have both my OH’s BAPP and gold on one account, but not my free BA card and gold. Queried it with Amex but they just said I couldn’t add the free card to the one I already had for my gold. It worked the other way around for my OH though!

      • Anon says:

        Sorry for off topic, I’m about 20,000 IHG pointsvfrom obtaining Spire Elite status. Firstly, there is a 100% bonus on at present on purchasing points. Do these purchased points count towards Spire Elite status?
        Secondly, there doesn’t seem much additional benefit fro obtaining Spire Elite? Does anyone have any good experiences of upgrade or of being a Spire Elite member?

        • Genghis says:

          Purchasing points does not count towards status. The easy routes include the erewards, virgin transfers, IHG credit card.

          SE is not the best but it isn’t bad. 100% bonus points on stays. I’ve had some reasonable upgrades in Indigo Tel Aviv, IC Amstel Amsterdam (though I am AMB too).

          The 25k points is the main benefit really. I also received 10k points ex gratia once (more than the value of the stay) as I had to endure a cold shower at a HIX and SE helped, I believe.

          In summary, if the numbers work for you then go for it but I wouldn’t worry so much if you don’t have it. There’s not a significant amount of benefit over Plat (obtainable through the IHG Black).

        • Rob says:

          Transfer 20k Virgin miles which, with the 25k Spire bonus, means you get 45k IHG plus 14 months of Spire. That’s pretty decent.

        • Liz says:

          Erewards pts are no longer qualifying for IHG. I transfer my erewards to Virgin now and then send them across to IHG that way.

  • Nick says:

    Aaarrgghhhh I’ve been rejected by Amex for the first time ever!! For the Nectar card too, you’d have thought that would be the easiest one to get. Any ideas whether they’re clamping down on churning (I’ve just opened a Gold for the second time) or whether there could be a ‘control group’ blocked from Nectar cards (I’ve never been targeted in the offers)?
    They’ve offered an address for challenges, is it worth writing to ask why?

    • the real harry1 says:

      MSE says credit card rejections are often random with no particular logic – 10-20%

    • CountryKerry says:

      I was declined as well and have a 999 credit score.

      I spoke to three different people at the New Accounts department and they’re all completely useless.

      Person 1 said once you cancel a card you can never hold it again. FALSE
      Person 2 said you can only hold one American Express card at a time. FALSE
      Person 3 said if I get a copy of my credit report it will show the issue. FALSE (I already have my credit report).

      I’ve sent off a letter and also made a complaint – they’re happy to increase my credit limit by a factor of three but not reduce it and align the limit with a new card?!

      • the real harry1 says:

        sorry to hear your story of woe

        otoh you might just apply again in a few days, think about changing some information that might matter & that you might present in a better light, eg your job or use your mum’s address?

        no point complaining about getting declined though we all hate rejection

        They gather
        around
        the warmth
        of a fire
        and share
        in the twin laughters
        of each other

        • Crafty says:

          I wouldn’t recommend this. Each rejection significantly increases your chance of the next one. You could quickly create yourself a downward spiral for your creditworthiness that takes literally years to fix.

        • Memesweeper says:

          Do not change your address or other details — the lesser known twin of the credit reference agencies is National Hunter, and it is designed to spot inaccuracies and triggers rejections. Multiple rejections can then hurt your rating!

      • Nick says:

        The Experian “score” is total codswallop, everyone knows that. What matters is how each institution interprets the other data. But my issue is that nothing has changed on the report since they passed me for Gold (4/5 months ago), so presumably something might have changed in their acceptance logic and if so I want to know before I try applying again.
        (And yes, Crafty is right, this won’t be for a while yet. Just thinking ahead.)
        I might ask them, they’ll probably tell me where to go but it’s worth a try, and at the very least it’ll cost them CS time in reading and replying. And yes, I’ve checked the specific agency they told me they used so I know it’s not a continuity error.

  • Lee says:

    Check which credit agencies AMEX use, bank sometimes use lesser known credit reference companies, so Experian and Equifax look fine but another doesn’t, seen it happen with a reference agency I think called Noddle.

    • Nick says:

      The rejection letter from Amex tells you exactly which reference agency/ies they used for their decision.