What is the best value Avios redemption per mile flown? Or, put another way, what’s the furthest you can fly for the fewest Avios?
After October’s article on which routes are the best British Airways redemptions on an ‘Avios per minute of flying time’ basis (link), we were left wondering whether the league table would change when calculated per mile.
With the help of Andrew, a reader who kindly did much of the ground work for us, we have put together a list of the flying distance of each long and mid haul British Airways route and compared it with the Avios required for a Club World off-peak redemption.
Distances are measured using the ‘great circle route’ ie. the most direct path between origination and destination.
If you ever need to work out the distance between two cities, we recommend Great Circle Mapper at gcmap.com. Use airport codes in the search box, eg LHR-CPT for London Heathrow to Cape Town, and click ‘Distance’. Andrew used the data from BA’s High Life magazine.
Hopefully this gives you a better idea of the value of different routes, although you should remember that ‘value’ is subjective. If you don’t want to fly to Kuwait, for example, it doesn’t matter how ‘cheap’ a redemption would be!
As we always say, the ‘best’ Avios redemption is one that takes you to somewhere you really want to go. With the exception of South Africa, both the ‘best value’ top four and ‘worst value’ bottom four destinations are unlikely to be top of your bucket list.
There are various reasons why a list of ‘best Avios redemption per mile flown’ will NOT be the same as ‘best Avios redemption by minute of travel time’:
stopovers on some routes have a big impact, padding out travel time hugely
some flights are forced to fly circuitous routes due to political issues about overflying certain countries, so the flight time is disproportionately long compared to distance
some routes have ‘padded’ flight times to minimise the impact of prevailing winds on connections and landing slots
The winner based on ‘Avios needed per mile flown’ is Cape Town. 10 Avios will get you one mile in a Club World flat bed on that route.
It was in the top ten of the ‘Avios per minute’ chart but has now climbed to the very top of the list. This is great news since Cape Town – in addition to being great value – is also a fantastic city to visit! Cape Town is one of the destinations in BA’s route map that should technically be priced in a higher Avios category but isn’t, so it makes sense that it should be excellent value.
Most of the top fifteen remain the same when calculated by mile or by minute. Abuja, Jeddah, Kuwait, Moscow, Johannesburg, Mexico City, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose (CR), San Francisco, San Jose (CA) and Sydney all perform well.
The biggest climber is Bangalore, which climbed 38 places and is the 25th most value-for-Avios route based on distance travelled. It was 63rd on a per-minute basis! The biggest loser is Dammam, which dropped over 60 places to almost the last spot – the stopover in Bahrain made it a long flight but, purely on distance, it is a bad Avios deal, as are most Middle Eastern destinations.
Other interesting differences are Tokyo, which jumped 34 places to 18th best; Singapore which jumped 37 to 35th place and New York which fell 24 places to 68th.
Take a look and see what you think. The table shows you the Avios per mile you need to redeem to get a Club World redemption.
If you want to compare these results to ‘best Avios redemption by minute of flying time’, you can find those results here.
I also recommend this HfP article which shows every British Airways route and the Avios required to fly it.
|Destination||Avios for CW return off-peak||Miles flown (each way)||Avios needed per mile flown|
|San Jose (CR)||125,000||5,425||11.52|
|San Jose (CA)||125,000||5,360||11.66|
|Turks and Caicos||125,000||4,820||12.97|
|Rio de Janeiro||150,000||5,745||13.05|
|Port of Spain||125,000||4,455||14.03|
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (April 2021)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
There are two official British Airways American Express cards:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.
If you have a small business, we especially recommend Capital On Cap’s Visa card which comes with a generous bonus worth 10,500 Avios:
(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)