Yesterday we took a look at Avios pricing when you fly with British Airways partner airlines, primarily other members of the oneworld airline alliance.
This means flights on Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines and SriLankan Airlines.
Shockingly, there are now SIX Avios redemption charts:
- off-peak flights on British Airways and Aer Lingus
- peak day flights on British Airways and Aer Lingus
- off-peak flights on Iberia (pricing differ from BA)
- peak flights on Iberia (pricing differ from BA)
- partner flights, as we featured yesterday
- multi-partner award flights, which we are looking at today
I suppose I should be grateful that the complexity of the scheme effectively keeps me and the rest of the team in work, but it would be good if it could be a little bit simpler ……
What is the Avios multi-partner award chart?
95% of British Airways Avios collectors do not know that British Airways has the chart I am about to show you.
Importantly, this chart is the best one to use if you planning an Avios trip to Australia or New Zealand (for 2022, probably!) because it allows you to combine flights from different oneworld partners.
The only snag is that you can’t use a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher.
The chart below is for economy travel. Multiply by two for business class and by three for first class.
You can see the original by clicking here to ba.com and scrolling down to click on ‘Partner Airlines’ and then ‘Avios costs for booking on two or more oneworld airlines’.
When would I use the multi-partner Avios chart?
This is the reward chart that British Airways uses to price redemptions which include two or more oneworld partner airlines, EXCLUDING British Airways.
(For clarity, you CAN include British Airways flights in your booking but there must also be two flights on the itinerary from different oneworld partner airlines.)
If, for example, you flew from London to Amman on Royal Jordanian and then caught a Qatar Airways flight to Doha, it would be priced using the chart above.
Importantly, this reward chart did NOT change when British Airways increased the redemption costs for partner airlines in 2019.
Take a moment to note what I just wrote. Whilst a standard Avios redemption in Business Class on BA costs 3x an economy redemption, using the multi-partner chart only costs 2x. This makes the multi-partner chart very good value for Business or First Class Avios tickets.
How to use this chart to get to Australasia
If you use oneworld partner airlines to get to Australasia, you have (or will have, once normal services resume) a lot of options.
You have Finnair, which flies to many key cities in Asia. Cathay Pacific can get you into Hong Kong and then down to Australasia. Japan Airlines can do the same via Tokyo. Qatar Airways can do the same via Doha. Malaysia Airlines can do the same via Kuala Lumpur. And, of course, there is Qantas too.
You will struggle to find a way of not finding business class availability when you have all these airlines to choose from.
Here is a real example from a Head for Points reader which was sent to us:
- Heathrow to Tokyo Haneda (Japan Airlines) 5,957 miles
- 3 day stopover
- Tokyo Narita to Brisbane (Qantas) 4,426 miles
- Cairns to Hong Kong (Cathay Pacific) 3,451 miles
- 3 day stopover
- Hong Kong to Manchester (Cathay Pacific) 5,988 miles
(The easiest way to get distances is via the gcmap.com website. You need to enter airport codes into the box, eg HKG-MAN, and click ‘Distance’.)
Because this involves three non-BA oneworld airlines it prices off the multi-partner chart above. As he was travelling 19,822 miles, the total cost in Business Class was 200,000 Avios plus under £600 of taxes.
This is a far better deal than 300,000 Avios (peak day) plus £700 of taxes if you booked London to Sydney on British Airways in Club World – and you won’t be doing that anyway, because availability on BA has historically been non-existent beyond the guaranteed two Club World seats per flight.
The itinerary above is actually a very simplistic way of using the multi-partner chart. If it wasn’t for the fact that this itinerary is so close to the 20,000 mile threshold, you could have added in a number of domestic flights on Qantas or Japan Airlines.
What else can you do with the multi-partner reward chart?
Here is an example of a round-the-world routing using the multi-partner chart.
London – Delhi – Hong Kong – Tokyo – Los Angeles – New York – London is just under 20,000 miles. This would be 200,000 Avios in Business Class for the whole trip.
It is worth noting that I have never seen a firm list of the rules for booking multi-partner reward tickets. Most BA call centre agents will never have booked one.
In theory you are limited to eight sectors with just one overland sector (ie where the next flight departs from a different city) although I know people who have got away with this.
There is some confusion over how multi-class bookings are priced. The rule APPEARS to be that it is based on the longest flight so if that leg is in Economy and the other flights are in First, you are only charged Economy mileage. This happened to a friend of mine recently ….. but there are accounts of cases where it was charged based on the highest sector in the entire booking, however short. Caveat emptor.
In theory you can book a segment in economy – and the rest of the itinerary in business – and upgrade that segment later for free if availability in business appears
In theory, there appear to be no rules on backtracking although this may be down to badly trained agents. One example I saw was basically multiple holidays from London to somewhere, back to back, to get to eight sectors! If the agent allows it you could book, say, London to Qatar and home, London to Hong Kong and home, London to Tokyo and home, London to Kuala Lumpur and home as one booking – as long as you are using at least two oneworld carriers – and save a huge number of Avios on booking four holidays separately!
In truth, no-one seems clear. So few people book from this chart that we don’t have enough evidence to go on. The ‘eight flights maximum’ rule does seem to be firm – but that still gives you a huge amount of flexibility to put together a great trip.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 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.