Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

When should a British Airways Gold book a ‘double Avios’ Gold Priority Reward?

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A while ago, pre covid, we were with some friends when the conversation turned, as it always does when the other person is a traveller, to miles and points.  The wife was unleashing her frustration about being unable to get the short-haul redemption seats she wanted to fit around her kids school holidays.

“But John is BA Gold and, as he flies to New York every fortnight on BA, is clearly not short of Avios.  Why don’t you just book a Gold ‘double Avios’ ticket?” I said.

British Airways Gold Priority Rewards Avios

This was met with confused looks all around.  For some reason, British Airways does a bad job of communicating Gold Priority Rewards to its Gold members.

What is an Avios ‘Gold Priority Reward’?

Very simply, a British Airways Gold member can book a seat on ANY BA flight using Avios.  The catch is that you have to use DOUBLE the normal amount.

You cannot use an American Express 2-4-1 voucher.

Your flight must be booked more than 30 days before departure.

There is some further information on the BA Gold benefits page here.

Normally, these rewards are poor value for long haul.  Let’s take one of our regular family runs to my sister-in-law in Dubai.  Four Club World tickets on a peak day, including one on an Amex 2-4-1, cost 360,000 Avios.  Using a Priority Reward, it would cost a crazy 960,000 Avios – plus the standard taxesYou won’t catch me doing that in a hurry.

There is one tiny exclusion

There is one catch.  You can’t use a Gold Priority Reward on a BA CityFlyer service which means all of the short-haul services from London City Airport.  This is because, technically, CityFlyer is a separate business inside British Airways and not treated as part of the ‘mainline’ operation.  Strange but true.

British Airways Executive Club status cards

Are Gold Priority Rewards a good deal for short haul?

For short-haul European bookings, these rewards have some use.  Let’s take our standard run to Hamburg to visit the parents in law.

  • A standard Avios reward ticket on a peak day is 9,000 Avios + £35 taxes (this is the ‘base’ pricing used for 2-4-1 redemptions – BA will also now offer you a £1 taxes option for more Avios which is usually a bad deal)
  • A ‘Priority Reward’ would cost me 18,000 Avios + £35 taxes

In theory, changes to Gold Priority Rewards are meant to be free although I have had mixed success with that in the past, and it is not written anywhere that this should be the case.  Cancellation is free.

Importantly, I can cancel the BA ‘Gold Priority Reward’ and switch to a normal reward at any point as long as seats open up.

Let’s look at the costs here.  If a flight has no Avios availability, it is likely to be a busy flight.  This means that the cash price is also likely to be higher than average.  Let’s assume we are heading to Heathrow from school on a Friday afternoon and need to be on a particular service.

You’d be looking at £175 return to Hamburg for cash in Economy.  Knock off the £35 Reward Flight Saver tax charge and I am saving £140 for using 18,000 Avios points.

This is not the greatest use of Avios by any means – we are looking at 0.78p per point.. However, I am locking in a hard cash saving and I get to travel on the exact flights I want.  0.78p per point is also not a terrible deal.

A word on pricing ….

Ever since British Airways added the option to use lots more Avios but pay only £1 of taxes, there has been confusion over Gold Priority Reward pricing.

When you ring to book, some agents want to use the ‘£1’ option. This is a truly terrible deal.

Using the Hamburg example above, you can – for economy – choose to use 18,000 Avios + £1 instead of 9,000 Avios + £35:

If the telephone agent you deal with wants to use the ‘£1’ price, you would be charged 36,000 Avios + £1 for a Gold Priority Reward economy flight to Hamburg. This is, clearly, ludicrous.

The general view is that, if an agent tries to enforce the ‘£1’ option on you with the higher Avios requirement, you should hang up and call again.

What is the best use of Gold Priority Rewards?

The best use of Gold Priority Rewards flights is for ski resorts at February half term.  We have done this a number of times over the years.

British Airways likes to push up economy tickets to £500 if you want Saturday to Saturday during February half term – which is what the hotels often insist on – and this is an excellent way to avoid that.  It arguably justifies a push for a Gold card on its own if you are getting close.

If you are Avios rich – and especially if you got most of your points from work-funded business travel and do not need to justify a minimum value when you spend them – the Gold Priority Reward can work well.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (November 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

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

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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

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

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of 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 10,500 Avios:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard 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 card

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

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.)

Comments (11)

  • 1ATL says:

    A while ago – 17th June 2019 to be exact when you published the exact same article

    https://www.headforpoints.com/2019/06/17/how-book-british-airways-gold-priority-reward/

    • Rob says:

      No, it actually goes further back than that 🙂

      We tend to update articles on core topics every 18 months or so.

      John and his wife are actually divorced now 🙂

      • old bob says:

        Continuous lockdown has seen off plenty of relationships sadly. fortunately I am still tight with my old mucker Geoff, we travel quite a bit together and even share the same room to save money ( in a Morecombe and Wise arrangement if you see what I mean) given we are both pensioners

  • Chris Heyes says:

    1ATL As new readers come to HFPs articles need to be repeated so repeating an article from June 2019 is no big deal, infarct welcome by some lol

  • KP says:

    Can you combine the Gold Priority Reward with a 2 for 1 ?

    • Ben says:

      What is an Avios ‘Gold Priority Reward’?

      Very simply, a British Airways Gold member can book a seat on ANY BA flight using Avios. The catch is that you have to use DOUBLE the normal amount.

      You cannot use an American Express 2-4-1 voucher.

      Your flight must be booked more than 30 days before departure.

    • Doug M says:

      No. It specifically says you can’t.

    • Andrew says:

      No

  • Alan says:

    Little use from up here sadly on short haul as costs are doubled thanks to no free connecting flights. Even before GPR an LCC Z is normally cheaper, even with luggage and priority seats.

  • Always_in_the_air says:

    It is also maybe worth mentioning that the booking also carries all the usual benefits of an avios booking, which at the moment may be quite useful!

    I booked 4 flights (LHR-GVA-LHR) using gold priority reward for my brother and family between Christmas and New year. Cash price over £1600 at time of booking. Avios price 38,463 and £140.

    Flights were later cancelled, but would have made a lot of sense!

  • Graham Law says:

    I have just seen it does specifically say there is no charge for changes or cancellation on this page …..

    https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/executive-club/spending-avios/booking-and-service-fees

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