British Airways has added the option to take Avios rather than a cash refund or voucher if your flight is cancelled.
This only applies to normal cash tickets, not the taxes element of Avios redemptions, and it requires your flight to have been cancelled. It is not available if you voluntarily ask for a refund under the ‘Book With Confidence’ guarantee.
The offer is only available over the telephone, although that doesn’t make a lot of difference at the moment given that online refunds are still unavailable! It does mean that you won’t be offered it if you are cancelling a travel agent-booked flight, however, as these are cancelled electronically.
This is a one-shot offer – you cannot change your mind once you have accepted. To be clear, this offer is in addition to your cash refund rights and vouchers which will continue to be offered.
Is this good value?
You need to look at this as buying Avios with cash since that is effectively what you are doing given that the cash alternative is on the table.
You should only go ahead if you would have done the same deal if BA had launched a ‘buy Avios’ deal at the same rate.
That said, the rate is VERY attractive at half the normal ‘buy Avios’ price. In other words, it is the equivalent of getting a 100% bonus on the usual ‘buy Avios’ price.
Here are some typical examples, assuming that British Airways is using exactly half of the standard ‘buy Avios’ price:
£127 – 15,000 Avios – 0.85p per Avios
£250 – 28,600 Avios – 0.83p per Avios
£567 – 70,000 Avios – 0.81p per Avios
£1607 – 200,000 Avios – 0.8p per Avios
0.8p is better than the 0.92p you would have paid under the 75% buy Avios bonus that British Airways recently offered. This was the most generous bonus we have ever seen. Even the irregular Groupon Avios offers are generally just above 1.0p per Avios.
At this rate, you should be able to make a ‘profit’ when using the Avios on flight redemptions. Based on Rob’s spreadsheet of the last 7.7 million Avios he redeemed, he got 1.18p of value. This is using very conservative valuations for the flights booked, eg valuing a Business Class flight to Dubai at £1,500 because even if BA isn’t charging that there is usually a deal with a secondary airline.
As our core article on ‘What is an Avios worth?’ shows, it is easy to get a lot more than 0.8p. Rob’s 1.18p real-life valuation is low because he does a lot of Gold Priority Rewards (using double Avios to force open a seat, mainly due to school holiday restrictions) and doesn’t always have a BA Amex 2-4-1 voucher to use.
In the current circumstances, you might be happier to have cash in the bank rather than adding to your Avios collection. I wouldn’t blame you for that.
However, if you don’t need the money urgently, this is an EXCELLENT opportunity to pick up a lot of Avios VERY cheaply indeed.
Remember that this offer is in addition to existing cash refunds or vouchers, and not a replacement, so no-one is losing out.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (August 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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
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.
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.
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.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.
(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.)