Is it still worth using ‘Part Pay With Avios’ when booking British Airways flights, now that Nectar is an option?
‘Part Pay With Avios’ has, apparently, been very successful since it was launched. It allows you to redeem your points for a discount against a cash ticket, although in most cases you are not allowed to pay the entire price with points.
The new Avios / Nectar partnership has moved the goalposts
You can now transfer Avios into Nectar points at the rate of 1 to 1.6. As a Nectar point is worth 0.5p when you spend them in Sainsbury’s, Argos etc, it means your Avios now have a floor value of 0.8p (0.5p x 1.6).
You can spend all your Avios in Sainsbury’s or Argos by turning them into Nectar points, and get a fixed 0.8p per Avios. This means that you should not be redeeming Avios anywhere else when you get under 0.8p of value.
Unfortunately, redeeming for ‘Part Pay With Avios’ will mean that you will get less than 0.8p per Avios.
Let’s look at ‘Part Pay With Avios’ for BA flights
Just for clarity, before we get started, remember that ‘Part Pay With Avios’ is NOT the same as ‘Pay with Avios and Money’:
‘Part Pay With Avios’ lets you reduce the cash component of a standard cash flight ticket by redeeming some Avios
‘Pay with Avios and Money’ lets you reduce the Avios component of an Avios redemption ticket by paying some cash instead
How to use ‘Part Pay With Avios’ on British Airways
As well as using ‘Part Pay With Avios’ for British Airways flights, it can also be used at ba.com to discount American Airlines flights between the UK and North America and on British Airways codeshare flights operated by Air Baltic, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Bangkok Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern, China Southern, Fiji Airways, Finnair, Flybe, Japan Airlines, LATAM, Loganair, Qantas, Qatar, S7 and Vistara.
Using ‘Part Pay With Avios’ on short haul:
On short haul European flights, you currently receive between 0.45p and 1p per point. The value gets worse the more points you redeem.
Here are is a typical example for an Economy flight, although the exact numbers may vary by route:
- £6 off for 600 Avios (1p per Avios)
- £10 off for 1,000 Avios (1p per Avios)
- £20 off for 2,800 Avios (0.71 per Avios)
- £36 off for 6,100 Avios (0.59p per Avios)
- £50 off for 9,200 Avios (0.54p per Avios)
- £74 off for 15,000 Avios (0.49p per Avios)
- £90 off for 18,500 Avios (0.48p per Avios)
- £110 off for 23,000 Avios (0.47p per Avios)
- £130 off for 28,000 Avios (0.46p per Avios)
- £160 off for 35,500 Avios (0.45p per Avios)
You will NOT be allowed to pay for your entire flight with Avios. In my example above, I was only offered a £160 discount on a £239 fare.
Remember that you get 0.8p per Avios by redeeming them via Nectar in Sainsbury’s, in Argos or on eBay.
On this basis, you would be crazy to redeem more than 1,000 Avios for a discount off the flight above. All of the other examples mean that you are getting less than 0.8p for your Avios.
Using ‘Part Pay With Avios’ on long haul:
Here is an example for a £398 long haul Economy flight on British Airways:
- £20 off for 2,000 Avios (1p per Avios)
- £60 off for 9,950 Avios (0.60p per Avios)
- £96 off for 18,900 Avios (0.50p per Avios)
- £120 off for 25,500 Avios (0.48p per Avios)
- £200 off for 44,000 Avios (0.45p per Avios)
1p per Avios is decent and I would always seriously consider making a tiny redemption to reduce the cost of my ticket if the option was available.
Below this level, however, there is no point using ‘Part Pay With Avios’. You are getting less – often far less – than the 0.8p per Avios that you get by redeeming via Nectar.
Interestingly, I had never seen a value as low as 0.45p per Avios before I ran this example yesterday.
Is ‘Part Pay With Avios’ ever worthwhile?
Unfortunately, the answer is ‘not really’, apart from potentially using 1,000 Avios to save £10 or 2,000 Avios to save £20.
This is not a new discovery. It has nothing to do with the Nectar partnership.
I target a 1p return when I spend my Avios, so almost all of the ‘Part Pay With Avios’ options were bad value in my book.
The only thing that has changed with Nectar is that it has crystalised my opinion as fact.
You don’t need to take it on trust from me that getting between 0.45p and 0.71p per Avios – as you get in some of the examples above – is a bad deal. You can get 0.8p per Avios via Nectar as a guaranteed return so don’t waste your points accepting poorer deals.
You can’t even use the excuse any longer that ‘I get all my points from business travel so I don’t mind what I get for them’. Even if all your Avios are ‘free’ from business travel, it makes no sense to redeem them for less than the 0.8p per point that Nectar offers.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 2021)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
There are two official British Airways American Express cards:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.
Do you have a small business? Until 20th May 2021, you can receive a special sign-up bonus worth 29,900 Avios with the Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa credit card. This offer is exclusive to Head for Points readers. Click here to learn more.
(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.)