What is the best use of Avios points? This is a question I hear a lot. In truth, the answer is ‘to go somewhere that you really want to go’. Your Avios are a tool to getting a great trip without spending a lot of money on your travel.
If you get a great holiday by using your Avios points, then you got a good deal. End of story.
That said …. there are various ways of ensuring you aren’t getting a bad deal.
Don’t book long-haul economy flights with Avios
Long-haul economy redemptions with Avios are poor value. The taxes required will almost be the same as a cash ticket, although the Avios ticket is refundable. This Head for Points article runs the maths on a few sample economy flights to show you how bad a deal it is.
You WILL get good value redeeming Avios for:
- short-haul economy
- short-haul business
- long-haul premium economy
- long-haul business
- long-haul first
Don’t use your Avios for ‘part pay with Avios’
British Airways is trying to encourage people to use their Avios to get a discount on a standard cash booking. This is almost always a bad deal.
You can get good value by redeeming a very small number of Avios – you can often get £10 off for 1000 points – but at higher levels you are usually offered closer to 0.5p per Avios.
Do not accept 0.5p per Avios! You should be looking to get 1p+ per Avios as this article shows.
Don’t use your Avios for hotel rooms, car hire or wine
Whilst flights are clearly the best use of Avios, you can also use them for other things.
In general, you’ll only get 0.5p to 0.55p per Avios when you do this. A flight redemption should be nearer 1p.
If all your Avios come from work trips, you can ignore this advice. If they don’t, don’t.
If your Avios come from travel paid for by your employer, you didn’t pay a penny for them. In that case, you might be more flexible in what you will accept when you redeem. Free is free, after all.
However …. your Avios were NOT free if you got them from credit card spending, converting Tesco Clubcard points etc. You could have used a cashback credit card instead, or used your Tesco points for a different redemption. In this scenario, you owe it to yourself to fully maximise the value you get from your Avios.
(This article is part of our ‘BA Q&A’ series which explains how British Airways Executive Club works. You can see all of our ‘BA Q&A’ articles here. )
(Head for Points is the UK’s biggest frequent flyer website with 1.5 million monthly page views. Want to learn more about earning and spending Avios? Click here to read our latest news stories, click here to join our email list and click here to read our ‘Avios Redemption University’ series.)
Get 20,000 Avios from Amex Gold, or 30,000 Avios from Amex Platinum! (January 2021 offer)
The sign-up bonus on American Express Preferred Rewards Gold converts to 20,000 Avios and the card is free for the first year!
You don’t qualify for the Amex Gold bonus if you have a British Airways American Express card. You DO qualify for the bonus on The Platinum Card, which converts into 30,000 Avios – find out more here:
If you have your own small business, the best way of earning Avios is via the Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa. It has a sign-up bonus which converts to 10,000 Avios:
You can find out more about ALL UK credit cards which offer travel rewards in this article, updated monthly.