British Airways has launched an Avios redemption sale!
Until 21st November, you can get 50% off World Traveller and World Traveller Plus (premium economy) redemptions, as well as 10% off Club World and First. You must travel before 30th April.
You can see more on official promotion page on ba.com here.
We’ve seen similar sales before, but this is the first time that premium cabins on all routes have also been discounted.
Unfortunately, you are still on the hook for taxes, fees and carrier charges which are not reduced as part of this sale.
The other catch is that – of course – this depends on redemption availability being open. If there are no seats available to redeem, you can’t benefit! As far as we are aware, no additional Avios seats are being made available. Your best bet for checking availability quickly is with Reward Flight Finder.
For clarity, you CAN combine a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher with this offer
. I am assuming that Lloyds Avios Rewards vouchers, ‘Gold Upgrade For Two’ vouchers etc can also be used.
Does this change the economics of redemptions in World Traveller?
Generally, redeeming your Avios for a long haul economy ticket is poor value, since you often end up paying almost as much as you would for a cash ticket.
For example, on a return trip to New York, you are paying £260+ on taxes and fees PLUS 26,000 Avios (off peak). Given that cash fares for New York in economy are often under £300 in the winter months you are using 26,000 Avios for a very, very small discount.
In this sale, however, you are paying 13,000 Avios plus the £260+ taxes and fees. That makes an economy redemption slightly better value, although it is still not a great use of points.
How do other classes fare?
Let’s start with World Traveller Plus or premium economy, again between London and New York. Taking a look at BA’s low fare finder tool, a cash ticket will set you back at least £750+.
If we look at an Avios redemption, you can expect to pay around £475 on taxes and charges. Outside of this promotion you’d be paying 52,000 Avios (return) on top of that, which means you’re redeeming an Avios at less than 0.5p – a poor redemption.
With the 50% off promotion, the Avios component is reduced to 26,000. This is virtually 1p per point based on a £750 cash alternative. It is likely to be a whole lot more if you are not flexible with your dates – the cash price goes over £800 as we get into April.
The Avios economics are even better for redemptions in Club World or First, despite a lower discount of 10%. This is because – on the whole – redemptions in business or first class are typically the best value anyway.
Club World return to New York is typically £1,300+ during the sales. At the moment, the cheapest fare on ba.com for the next 12 months is just under £1,500.
A normal redemption sets you back 100,000 Avios + £668. That means you are using 100,000 Avios to save roughly £832, which works out at 0.83p per point. That’s not great, but if you wanted to fly in December, January or March, the cash fare is £2,500+. You’d be getting 1.8p per point or more.
With this sale, you’d save 10,000 Avios and the total Avios cost would reduce to 90,000. This means you would be getting almost 1p per point even during the cheapest months.
A redemption in First is even better value, as cash fares are almost always over £2,000+ and frequently top £3,000. Despite this, the taxes and fees portion of a redemption are identical to a Club World ticket, at £668. 136,000 Avios are required, reduced to 122,400 with the 10% off in this sale. That means that you are looking at signficantly more than 1.2p per Avios regardless of when you redeem.
As a HfP reader you are most likely already familiar with the economics of Avios redemptions. This redemption sale obviously increases the value you get in the flat bed cabins which were already the best place to redeem. It also means that some economy and premium economy redemptions become competitive when compared with the cash alternative.
As always, you should do the maths for your particular dates and ensure you are getting value for money.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 2023)
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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Capital On Tap has increased its sign-up bonus to points worth 30,000 Avios if you apply by 4th February. This is exclusive to Head for Points readers. Click here to apply.
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.
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.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.