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Save 50% on ALL BA long-haul economy Avios redemptions – but is it worth it?

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British Airways has brought back its (fairly regular) Christmas sale on long-haul World Traveller Avios redemptions.

You save 50% on redemptions to 90 destinations worldwide.

Full details can be found on this special page of ba.com.

Is this worth it, or is there a sting in the tale?

Avios wing 7

On the face of it, this offer looks better than it has in previous years.  The reason is the very generous travel dates on offer.

Historically BA has used this deal to fill seats over the quiet Winter months.  Importantly, because cash prices are generally lower over the Winter than the Summer, economy Avios redemptions begin to look even poorer value at this time of year.

Even with an Avios discount of 50%, once you have paid the full taxes and charges – taxes and charges are NOT reduced by 50% – your redemption is still often a bad deal unless you want the flexibility to cancel your trip or change your dates.

This offer is valid for World Traveller redemptions until 30th June 2018.  This means that you can travel in late Spring or early Summer when prices are starting to creep up and still benefit from 50% off the Avios required.

Here are the core details:

This offer is only valid for World Traveller (economy long-haul) redemptions

You must book by 17th December

You must travel between 4th January and 30th June 2018

The discount only applies to British Airways flights and not partner airlines

And also note:  “Reward flights are strictly subject to availability which may be very limited or not available at all on some routes including Sydney, Santiago de Chile, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, San Jose (Costa Rica) and Grenada.”

I am guessing that a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher can be combined with these fares, although it is not specifically mentioned except that “this cannot be combined with any other offer”

The British Airways ‘Low Fare Finder’ tool (click here) shows how the value from the deal improves as you get further into 2018.

Los Angeles, for example, starts at £462 return for cash in January but moves to £546 after Easter.  An off-peak redemption in this sale will cost 16,250 Avios return plus £399 of tax.

In January, you’d be mad to use 16,250 Avios + £399 if you can pay £462 cash instead.  However, at £546, you are getting closer to 1p per Avios.

Johannesburg is also 16,250 Avios plus taxes (£334) under this offer on an off-peak date.  At £536 cash in January you are getting 1.25p per Avios.  When the cheapest cash tickets jump to £607 in April, you are getting 1.7p per Avios.

It is also worth noting that the cheapest cash prices I quote above may be at inconvenient times or inconvenient days of the week, so you may get an even better deal.

Conclusion

In general, redeeming your Avios for long-haul economy redemptions is the worst possible way to spend them.  That is not necessarily the case with this promotion, and you may find that there are good deals to be had.

Take a look at the sale page of ba.com here and see what you think.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 2022)

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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £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 UK’s most valuable card perk – the 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 £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER), £200 travel credit and unbeatable 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 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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 a long list of travel benefits 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 (71)

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

  • Roma says:

    I’ve had a look on the BA website but can’t find it. Do you know if there is a comprehensive list of the 90 destinations? Rather than having a set destination, i’d rather find places I’ve not been…

  • Rob MC says:

    OT – but still reward flights

    Have the Delta flights that use to be only 5.60 dollars in tax now gone? For example NYC -london one way is now showing as 501 dollars..

  • tassojunior says:

    This is the best reward sale I’ve ever seen !
    From the east coast 6500 miles plus $178 wide open through June.
    Stop thinking in terms of only roundtrips. It’s 2017. Everything’s 1-ways.
    BA has plenty of London-to-Europe rewards for 4000 miles and a few dollars.

  • Mo says:

    Does a redemption sale ever happen for Club World?

    • Rob says:

      Not on a regular basis. Only when BA is in dire straits and wants to keep its ‘% of seats filled’ stats up to stop the City guys dumping the shares 🙂

  • Eli Gold says:

    I waited and waited for this sale last year and it never came.
    2 years ago if I remember correctly it was a 30% sale

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

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