This article looks at how you use ‘Part Pay With Avios’.
The “Avios Redemption University” series is a good starting point for beginners, although I hope everyone will learn something from it. Click here to see the other “Avios Redemption University” articles.
‘Part Pay With Avios’ has, apparently, been very successful since it was launched. It allows you to redeem your points for a discount against a cash ticket, although in most cases you are not allowed to pay the entire price with points.
(I’m not sure that I am happy that ‘Part Pay With Avios’ has been successful. In general, it does not offer the best value for your points – you should be able to DOUBLE the value you get by booking a standard redemption instead. You could argue that this leaves more standard redemptions for the rest of us, but PPWA could also be seen as the first step towards making the entire Avios programme revenue based – with NO standard redemptions at all. That would not be good ….)
Unlike an Avios reward redemption, you will still receive tier points (with BA or Iberia) and earn Avios when you take the flight. There are also no availability constraints, of course – all you are doing is booking a normal flight and using Avios to reduce the cost.
There are different versions of ‘Part Pay With Avios’ for BA, Iberia and their other sister airlines. I thought it was worth running through all of the options in one place.
Just for clarity, before we get started, remember that ‘Part Pay With Avios’ is NOT the same as ‘Pay with Avios and Money’:
‘Part Pay With Avios’ lets you reduce the cash component of a standard cash flight ticket by redeeming some Avios
‘Pay with Avios and Money’ lets you reduce the Avios component of an Avios redemption ticket by paying some cash instead
How us ‘Part Pay With Avios’ on British Airways
Value received: 0.48p to 1p per Avios
As well as using ‘Part Pay With Avios’ for British Airways flights, it can also be used at ba.com to discount American Airlines flights between the UK and North America and on British Airways codeshare flights operated by Air Baltic, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Bangkok Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern, China Southern, Fiji Airways, Finnair, Flybe, Japan Airlines, LATAM, Loganair, Qantas, Qatar, S7 and Vistara.
‘Part Pay With Avios’ isn’t great value unless there is a special promotion running. This is something you will read again and again in this article.
Even worse, it appears that BA has dropped the valuation of each Avios by 0.1p across the board – except for the 1,000 Avios option – in the last year.
(If you read our article yesterday on using Avios for hotel room bookings, you will remember that Avios has also cut the value you get from booking hotel rooms by 10% in last 12 months.)
On short haul European flights, you currently receive between 0.48p and 1p per point. The value gets worse the more points you redeem. Here are is a typical example for an Economy flight, although the exact numbers may vary by route:
- £10 off for 1,000 Avios (1p per Avios)
- £14 off for 1,700 Avios (0.82p per Avios)
- £20 off for 2,780 Avios (0.71p per Avios)
- £28 off for 4,300 Avios (0.65p per Avios)
- £40 off for 6,800 Avios (0.58p per Avios)
- £56 off for 10,500 Avios (0.53p per Avios)
- £88 off for 17,800 Avios (0.49p per Avios)
- £108 off for 22,500 Avios (0.48p per Avios)
You will NOT be allowed to pay for your entire flight with Avios. In my example above, I was only offered a £108 discount on a £227 fare.
Here is an example for a long haul Economy flight:
- £20 off for 2,000 Avios (1p per Avios)
- £40 off for 5,900 Avios (0.67p per Avios)
- £70 off for 12,200 Avios (0.57p per Avios)
- £96 off for 18,900 Avios (0.50p per Avios)
- £140 off for 29,600 Avios (0.47p per Avios)
1p per Avios is decent and I would always seriously consider making a tiny redemption to reduce the cost of my ticket if the option was available. I wouldn’t refuse to speak to anyone who took the 0.82p option either, although once you get much below 1p per Avios, I struggle to justify it.
How to use ‘Part Pay With Avios’ on Iberia
Value received: a terrible 0.46p per Avios
If you want to book an Iberia flight, you can use ‘Avios discount’ if you book it via iberia.com. This is the same as ‘Part Pay with Avios’ on ba.com.
It’s not just Iberia mainline. You can also use Avios for bookings on Iberia Express, Vueling or Air Nostrum. Past reader feedback is that it also works for BA, apparently, although that requires calling Iberia reservations.
In order to get your Avios into Iberia, you will need an Iberia Plus account which can be opened at iberia.com. You also need to fulfil the following two conditions:
your Iberia Plus account must be 90 days
your Iberia Plus account must have ‘earned’ 1 Avios – the easiest way to do this is to transfer in some Amex Membership Rewards points or credit a flight, hotel stay or car hire
You can then use ‘Combine My Avios’ on ba.com to move your points to Iberia Plus. If you get an error message, the workaround is to move your points from ba.com to avios.com and then from avios.com to iberia.com – this will work 95% of the time. As your old Avios Travel Rewards Programme has now been closed, you will need to open an Aer Lingus or Vueling Avios account. The new account number generated will work perfectly at avios.com.
Again, however, ‘Part Pay With Avios’ is not great value with Iberia. In fact, it is shockingly bad.
This is what I was quoted to reduce the price of an economy Iberia flight between London and Madrid:
- £8.53 off for 1,850 Avios (0.46p per Avios)
- £30.07 off for 6,525 Avios (0.46p per Avios)
- £50.12 off for 10,880 Avios (0.46p per Avios)
- £80.20 off for 17,410 Avios (0.46p per Avios)
- £95.23 off for 20,670 Avios (0.46p per Avios)
The maximum discount offered on a £100 flight was £95. A long haul Economy flight from Madrid to New York produced similar results.
How to use ‘Part Pay With Avios’ on Vueling
Value received: 0.52p per Avios
Vueling is BA’s low cost sister airline, primarily flying around Europe, including regional UK airports, from bases in Barcelona and Rome.
Vueling has its own Avios-based loyalty scheme called Vueling Club. You can learn more about Vueling Club in this HFP article.
Redemptions via vueling.com are ONLY available with ‘Part Pay With Avios’. You can pay for the ENTIRE cost of your flight with Avios if you have enough points.
You need to log in using your avios.com account details on vueling.com. If you no longer have an account which works at avios.com, open a new one. This will generate a new 3081xxxxxxx account number which can be used on the Vueling site and which, via ‘Combine My Avios’ on avios.com, you can use to push your points across from BA.
The redemption rate is poor, unfortunately. You will be offered 0.52p per Avios.
Before making such a booking, see if you can book the same flight for Avios via Iberia Plus at iberia.com. This will be priced using the ‘standard’ Avios pricing model (9000 Avios plus taxes for a short flight, return, for example) and may be a better deal.
To book a Vueling redemption for Avios via the Iberia website, you need to:
- open an Iberia Plus account at iberia.com
- had it open for at least 90 days
- earn at least 1 Avios in the account, possibly from a BA or oneworld flight, from crediting a hotel stay, from another partner or from moving across some American Express Membership Rewards Points and then
- use ‘Combine My Avios’ to move your points to Iberia Plus from BA
Complicated, I know – but booking Vueling flights via iberia.com using the standard Avios redemption chart is potentially better value than booking a Vueling flight via vueling.com and getting just 0.52p per Avios.
How to use ‘Part Pay With Avios’ on Aer Lingus
Value received: around 0.6 Eurocents per Avios
‘Part Pay With Avios’ is available for Aer Lingus flights via booked via aerlingus.com.
There are some restrictions in place. You cannot use it on flights which include codeshare sectors and you cannot pay towards ancillary products such as fast track security and lounge access. You also cannot use ‘Part Pay With Avios’ if there are seven or more people on your booking.
For a typical flight from Dublin to Frankfurt, I was offered:
- €62 off for 10,175 Avios (0.60c per Avios)
- €125 off for 21,925 Avios (0.57c per Avios)
….. which is poor.
You can also use ‘Part Pay With Avios’ on Aer Lingus if the flight you want is bookable via ba.com. This requires your Avios to be sitting in British Airways Executive Club rather than AerClub, but you can use ‘Combine My Avios’ to move them around. Note that Aer Lingus booked via ba.com can be more expensive than if booked via the Aer Lingus site.
Is ‘Part Pay With Avios’ ever worthwhile?
Unfortunately, the answer is ‘not really’, apart from potentially using 1,000 Avios to save £10.
The only exception would be if you are getting all of your Avios for ‘free’ via business travel, in which case you might be ambivalent as to what you achieve for them.
Be very clear about one thing. If you earned your Avios via credit card spend, via a Tesco Clubcard points conversion, via an American Express Membership Rewards points conversion etc then your Avios were NOT ‘free’. You could have redeemed your Tesco or Amex points for something else of value, or used a cashback credit card.
You are likely to have ‘paid’ more than 0.5p per Avios compared to the value you could have got elsewhere, so accepting something close to 0.5p per Avios by doing a ‘Part Pay With Avios’ redemption is not smart.
Want to learn more about how to maximise your Avios redemptions?
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (November 2020)
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.)