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What is the best value Avios flight per mile?

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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.

What is the best value Avios redemption per mile flown?

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.  Thanks again to Andrew for his help with this.

Destination Avios for CW return off-peak  Miles flown (each way) Avios needed per mile flown
Cape Town 125,000 6,010 10.40
Abuja 62,500 2,960 10.56
Durban 125,000 5,903 10.59
Jeddah 62,500 2,945 10.61
Kuwait 62,500 2,900 10.78
Moscow 34,000 1,560 10.90
Johannesburg 125,000 5,635 11.09
Mexico City 125,000 5,530 11.30
San Diego 125,000 5,470 11.43
Los Angeles 125,000 5,455 11.46
San Jose (CR) 125,000 5,425 11.52
San Francisco 125,000 5,360 11.66
San Jose (CA) 125,000 5,360 11.66
Sydney 250,000 10,665 11.72
Male 125,000 5,295 11.80
Phoenix 125,000 5,255 11.89
Lima 150,000 6,305 11.90
Las Vegas 125,000 5,230 11.95
Tokyo 150,000 6,220 12.06
Santiago 175,000 7,249 12.07
Chennai 125,000 5,115 12.22
Grand Cayman 125,000 5,085 12.29
Seychelles (Mahe) 125,000 5,076 12.31
Beijing 125,000 5,065 12.34
Mauritius 150,000 6,055 12.39
Bangalore 125,000 5,000 12.50
Hong Kong 150,000 5,965 12.57
Cancun 125,000 4,965 12.59
Chicago 100,000 3,955 12.64
Bangkok 150,000 5,930 12.65
Buenos Aires 175,000 6,915 12.65
Osaka 150,000 5,909 12.69
Austin 125,000 4,910 12.73
Sao Paulo 150,000 5,890 12.73
Singapore 175,000 6,755 12.95
Turks and Caicos 125,000 4,820 12.97
Houston 125,000 4,820 12.97
Hyderabad 125,000 4,795 13.03
Rio de Janeiro 150,000 5,745 13.05
Seattle 125,000 4,785 13.06
Shanghai 150,000 5,720 13.11
Dallas 125,000 4,745 13.17
Seoul 150,000 5,650 13.27
Vancouver 125,000 4,705 13.28
Islamabad 100,000 3,750 13.33
Kuala Lumpur 175,000 6,555 13.35
Kingston 125,000 4,680 13.35
Pittsburgh 100,000 3,715 13.46
New Orleans 125,000 4,617 13.54
Washington DC 100,000 3,675 13.61
Amman 62,500 2,290 13.65
Muscat 100,000 3,660 13.66
Baltimore 100,000 3,625 13.79
Tobago 125,000 4,495 13.90
Mumbai 125,000 4,465 14.00
Port of Spain 125,000 4,455 14.03
Miami 125,000 4,435 14.09
Philadelphia 100,000 3,545 14.10
Toronto 100,000 3,545 14.10
Tel Aviv 62,500 2,215 14.11
Tampa 125,000 4,425 14.12
Cairo 62,500 2,195 14.24
Grenada 125,000 4,360 14.33
Orlando 125,000 4,355 14.35
Calgary 125,000 4,355 14.35
Beirut 62,500 2,165 14.43
Nassau 125,000 4,330 14.43
New York 100,000 3,450 14.49
Bermuda 100,000 3,440 14.53
Punta Cana 125,000 4,290 14.57
Abu Dhabi 100,000 3,425 14.60
Dubai 100,000 3,405 14.68
Nairobi 125,000 4,250 14.71
St Lucia 125,000 4,220 14.81
Atlanta 125,000 4,200 14.88
Bridgetown 125,000 4,195 14.90
Nashville 125,000 4,176 14.97
New Delhi 125,000 4,165 15.01
St Kitts 125,000 4,140 15.10
Boston 100,000 3,260 15.34
Charleston 125,000 4,075 15.34
Antigua 125,000 4,075 15.34
Montreal 100,000 3,240 15.43
Doha 100,000 3,240 15.43
Accra 100,000 3,170 15.77
Bahrain 100,000 3,150 15.87
Dammam 100,000 3,124 16.00
Lagos 100,000 3,115 16.05
Riyadh 100,000 3,065 16.31


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Comments (48)

  • Craig S says:

    The value per mile is not that poor for the middle East. One thing this doesn’t take into perspective is taxes. Middle East destinations on the west side such as Jordan Israel Cairo also have far far lower taxes than the other locations so whilst poorer value for avios are much better values for cash. The cash component should never really be ignored since paying hi taxes on something which is theoretically earning you nothing back is poor value.

    DME being in RFS is still the best value for 241s at 54 quid tax pp

    Good article though

  • TimM says:

    Why exclude short haul? Why only have London as the origin?

  • Secret Squirrel says:

    2 x 100 bonus avios awarded here on 2 x accounts from the recent Iberia promo on here!