British Airways and Avis, its dedicated car hire partner, have launched a shake-up of the way you earn Avios with your rentals.
If you want a one word answer to the question ‘Am I going to be better off?’, I’m afraid I can’t give you one.
(EDIT: I have amended this article to reflect the fact that the minimum Avios guarantee of 500 Avios, or 700 Avios for a 3+ day rental, has been removed.)
This is what has changed:
The earning rate has risen from 3 Avios per £1 spent to 5 Avios per £1 spent
The bonus of 250 Avios for paying with a British Airways credit card appears to have gone
The bonus of 1,000 Avios for renting four times in a calendar year appears to have gone
The minimum earning rate of 500 Avios (700 Avios for a 3+ day rental) has gone
Are you a winner or a loser?
If you are doing very short, cheap rentals then you are clearly a loser. This is because the minimum earning floor of 500 Avios for 1-2 day rental, or 700 Avios for a 3-day rental, has gone.
You are a winner if you are spending over £100 (£140 for a 3+ day rental) because the higher earning rate offsets the loss of the 500 / 700 Avios minimum earning.
If you would normally pay with a BA Amex (you have now lost the 250 Avios bonus for doing this) or rent enough to trigger the defunct 1,000 Avios for four rentals bonus, you need to factor that in too.
Is this better than the Virgin Atlantic / Hertz deal?
For most people, probably not.
You can earn 1,000 Virgin Points with a Hertz rental. Details of the Virgin Atlantic / Hertz deal are on the Virgin website here.
You would need to spend £200 with Avis before you would earn 1,000 Avios. Since you can almost always get a car rental down to £20 per day for a Compact with the use of the right codes and offers, this would imply that most people won’t be spending £200.
Are there any other Avios bonuses available from Avis?
Avis has retained one of the extra bonuses it used to offer.
If you join Avis Preferred for free you will collect an additional 1,000 bonus Avios on your first Preferred rental.
Is the ‘free additional driver’ offer still here?
If you book via the British Airways discount codes below, you will also receive a free additional driver. This can represent a decent saving and is one of key perks of the Avis / BA partnership.
How does the 50% bonus Avios work?
To launch this new earning structure, Avis is offering a 50% bonus on rentals completed by 28th February 2021.
This means 7.5 Avios per £1 you spend.
Here’s the small print:
Must book by 3rd December
Must book a Group C car or higher
Must book for 2+ days
Must book via the BA website or the Avis BA microsite
Must pick up car by 28th February
Not valid for collections between 15th December and 1st January inclusive
Valid for rentals in mainland Spain, Balearics and Canaries, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands and United Kingdom
You can check out the full details on the Avis / British Airways website here.
How do I book?
Avis and BA have a dedicated booking site at carhire-ba.com which you can find here and which automatically adds the correct discount code.
If you use avis.co.uk, you will need to manually add the British Airways discount codes (AWD) which are, based on your British Airways Executive Club status:
Gold members – N744400
Silver members – N744300
Bronze members – N284300
Blue members – N744100
Full details of this offer and all of the partnership benefits are on the Avis / BA website here.
You can also book, and find out more, on the car hire pages of ba.com here.
Note that all of the above only applies to Avis rentals. The British Airways partnership with Budget, sister company to Avis, works differently. You can learn about the Avios / Budget car rental partnership here.