Taking a leaf from Qatar Airway’s book, Avios Group has announced it will be donating 210 million Avios to NHS staff.
You can also donate your own Avios so that more staff will be able to benefit.
Unlike the Qatar Airways promotion, this is not a first-clicked first-served system. The Avios pot will be distributed amongst at least 3,500 doctors, nurses and other NHS staff. NHS staff and management will be able to nominate candidates later this year, with each individual receiving 60,000 Avios.
60,000 Avios has been chosen because it allows two genuinely free flights under the new short-haul pricing structure, and in some cases will also pay for a hotel.
For example, 34,000 Avios + £2 is enough for Economy flights for two people to Nice if you choose to use additional Avios to reduce the taxes to £1 per person with the new £1 charges model introduced last year. This would leave 26,000 Avios which would let you book roughly £130 of hotel room via the British Airways hotel booking portal.
(To maximise value, of course, a couple should actually pay 20,000 Avios + £50 of taxes instead of 34,000 Avios + £2. This would leave 40,000 Avios to book £200-worth of hotel rooms. This HFP article shows you how to book hotels using Avios. As you can see from the examples in that article, you will get around 0.5p per Avios.)
There is complete freedom as to how the Avios can be used. The offer is being promoted as offering the ability to also use the points for car hire, wine or West End shows. The best value is in using them for flights, of course – if you want to find out how to maximise the value of Avios when booking flights read our article here – but NHS staff outside the South East may find non-flight redemptions more practical.
British Airways and Avios are also giving you the opportunity to increase the size of the Avios fund and increase the number of recipients by letting you add your own Avios donation.
Avios chief executive Adam Daniels said:
“We are keen to play our part in thanking NHS workers. But on top of this, we’ve had feedback from Executive Club Members who have been asking for an opportunity to donate their Avios to a worthy cause. We’re therefore glad to be able to offer them the option to increase the pot if they feel they’re able, meaning we can thank more workers. So if you have any spare Avios, please do consider donating.”
Donations are in fixed 500, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000 or 25,000 increments. There is also an option to donate more than 25,000 Avios if you wish.
This might be a good opportunity to donate any ‘orphaned’ points that are held by friends or family members. A donation also counts as ‘activity’ which makes a 500 Avios donation an easy way to reset the 3-year expiry date of your points.
If you were thinking of a larger donation, however, it might be more efficient to give cash to a similar charitable venture – allowing both you and the charity to claim Gift Aid – than donating points which may end up being used for sub-optimal redemptions.
(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)