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Avios Group donates 210 million points to NHS staff – and you can help too

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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.

Avios Group donates 210 million points to NHS staff

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.”

You can donate to the NHS Avios fund here.

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.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (November 2022)

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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

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.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (52)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Bluekjp says:

    I cannot believe the number of kop out excuses that posters here can find to justify (to themselves) why not to donate a few avios. As at the end of April 100 NHS doctors, nurses in and surgeons had died from exposure to the virus. My advice is to donate willingly, as I have, any number of avios to bring a smile to the faces of many NHS staff.

    • Rob says:

      I would suggest that, in general, HFP readers tend to be very numerate and financially literate and so would make a rational choice (eg the financial logic of donating points which may be used suboptimally and more importantly get no tax relief) vs an emotional choice.

      • Nick says:

        There’s also an interesting feature of course in that the recipient might not qualify for RFS pricing, through ‘virtue’ of not having earnt an Avios of their own in the last year…

    • MM says:

      Not a Kop out but for me I am not a Thursday clapper either. The NHS are doing a great job BUT there are great jobs done day-in day-out by other people (both with C19 and in normal times) and they never get thanks or recognition.

  • Tanya Wade says:

    As a doctor that has been on the front line I would be extremely grateful for an Avios donation. I think it is a lovely gesture from BA.

  • Eddie Hughes says:

    And while this is happening, quite ironic that another IAG company, British Airways, is currently screwing over its own staff!

  • Sandra Crawford says:

    Whilst I applaud the sentiment of “giving something back” why is everything directed at the NHS! There are lots of key workers who go out every day putting both theirs and their families health at risk .They get no rewards/perks/hero status but the shop and bank workers daily get abuse not thanks or recognition. Would be great if a company bucked the PR trend and gave something to them . Also I am not anti NHS my daughter in law is a nurse so I know some sectors of the NHS are working incredibly hard but so are a lot of other occupations let’s spread the “giving back” around a bit more !!

  • Joe says:

    Can’t understand why the only people with jobs and especially doctors who earn a fortune are getting so much for free.
    I appreciate everything they doing but not only is it their only job they are the only people earning anything at the moment.

  • MAD says:

    Maybe they could donate some avios to the 12000 BA employees they are unfairly sacking so that they too can keep on flying.

    • Rob says:

      United is giving a Gold card and a chunk of miles to the staff it is firing!

  • Sharon John says:

    As an NHS midwife how do I claim some of these Avios points?

    • Rob says:

      Your Trust will be asked to nominate people later in the year.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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