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Is ‘Part Pay With Avios’ for BA flights still worth it in the Nectar era?

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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.

Nectar Avios light

The new Avios / Nectar partnership has moved the goalposts

On Monday, Avios and Nectar launched their partnership. The ba.com page to transfer your points to or from Nectar is now live at this link.

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

We looked at ‘Avios and Money’ redemptions in this article.

How to use part pay with Avios on British Airways

How to use ‘Part Pay With Avios’ on British Airways

You can find full details of Part Pay With Avios on the British Airways site here.

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 credit cards

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

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

Until 9th April 2021, American Express is running the biggest sign-up bonuses ever seen on a UK payment card.

You will earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points on American Express Business Platinum (apply here) and 50,000 Membership Rewards points on American Express Business Gold (apply here) which is FREE for your first year. Points transfer 1:1 into Avios. Here are links to our reviews:

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

100,000 points sign-up bonus – SPECIAL OFFER TO 9th APRIL – and a long list of travel ….. Read our full review

Amex American Express Business Gold card

American Express Business Gold

50,000 points sign-up bonus – SPECIAL OFFER TO 9th APRIL – and free for a year Read our full review

Here are your other options. There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

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

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

If you have a small business, we especially recommend Capital On Cap’s Visa card which comes with a generous 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

(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 (43)

  • riku says:

    How us ‘Part Pay With Avios’ on British Airways
    should be “how to use …”

  • Andy says:

    Was Ba hoping for a influx of money from nectar from people redeeming for avios, because by all counts it seems redeeming avios for nectar points is of better floor value.

    • Andrew says:

      The marketing for this new partnership is all about moving nectar to Avios – so clearly it’s an attempt to acquire Sainsbury’s customers by BA. We are more in the minority who, having done the maths, in this pandemic and potentially without a use for a 2for1 now realise that cashing out our Avios to nectar represents better value. And when calculating the cost of a redemption ticket now you also need to factor in the 0.8p per Avios you will earn back when taking a cash flight (plus tier points).

      • AJA says:

        On the other hand it is currently easy to get a lot of Nectar points for relatively low spend. This week I earned 520 bonus nectar points for my £64 spend which gives me 325 Avios for free (on the basis I will spend £64 on food regardless and ignoring the base points earned on the £64 itself). If I get that each week I will earn 2,000 Avios in just over 6 weeks for free.

        2,000 Avios is equal to 3,200 Nectar points which is worth £16 in Sainsbury’s or £20 off a flight. So it makes sense to convert Nectar points earned effectively for free to Avios if you are going to buy a flight.

        Alternatively in just 28 weeks if I get 520 bonus nectar points each week I will accumulate 14,560 points enough to redeem for 9,100 Avios which will allow me to buy a return RFS reward economy class seat to Paris for £35 tax in August. The same flights including baggage currently cost £136 to buy. The same nectar points will only give me £72.80 to spend in Sainsbury’s.

  • aahjnnot says:

    I’m not sure the maths is right here. To make andecision, you really ought to look at the marginal costs and benefits of each option.

    Comparing the short haul option of saving a total of £20 with the previous best option, you are saving £10 more for an additional 1,800 avios. That earns an exceptionally poor rate of 0.55p.

    The decision remains the same, of course.

    • Rob says:

      You are correct, of course, but I have tried to explain things this way in the past and it just causes ‘confusion and delay’, as the Fat Controller would say.

  • Froggitt says:

    I’ve always been a Sainsbury shopper/Virgin flyer. Need to get used to this new world.

  • Doug says:

    There is a modern new Aldi close to me, way cheaper than the ageing sainsbury’s so I would say that Aldi is usually 20% cheaper, so avios are not really 0.8p value for me, more like 0.65p or something

  • T says:

    I also think the math is baffling to fix the rate at 0.8 via nectar

    • Rob says:

      It’s a bit like the old days, when countries fixed their exchange rates – which remember we had until 1992 – but you can’t “fix” the underlying differences, and eventually the system explodes as it did on Black Monday.

      • T says:

        Agreed, net result massive devaluation

        • kitten says:

          Oh dear. A very prescient remark, Rob

          The UK had better keep on vaccinating as fast as possible as FX rates will be affected by the relativities of the different countries’ recovery

          I was listening all day to my car radio as Nigel Lawson lost the battle to prop up the Pound against the markets and in one afternoon interest rates went from 7% to about 14%.

          The noise from the government about being willing to put in the countrt into negative interest rates has so reminded me of the sabre-rattling around the EMS which utimately failed on that day.
          Am I wrong?

      • Wally1976 says:

        Aren’t there still plenty of countries around the world that peg their currency to (usually) USD?

        • The real John says:

          Yes, but like Black Monday it works until it doesn’t.

          Barbados is suffering because of their USD peg. It’s illegal for Barbados residents to hold USD (physical cash and in banks), though hard to enforce.

          The blockade of Qatar nearly caused its peg to implode too.

      • Bagoly says:

        Black Wednesday (not Monday!) was indeed 1992, when sterling left the ERM, but exchange rates had been floating from 1971, including wildly in the 1980s, albeit in restricted bands during the ERM.

        • Rob says:

          I know that, just making a point. Not that I’m old enough to remember the Gold Standard.

  • Melonfarmer says:

    Thanks Rob, it’s time for me to cash in. An extra £4 on 2000 Avios doesn’t seem worth the hassle of being tied to BA (will wait until the extra 500 is credited).

    I’ve just done a check on a trip to Las Vegas & would reinforce your suggestion of looking at flight+hotel: it’s an extra £60 (+resort fees) for 7 nights compared to (econ) flight only.

  • Alex B says:

    Do you earn full Avios and TP on part pay with Avios?

    • Polly says:

      Yes, as it’s a cash ticket first and foremost. But there are different TP earning levels of cash tickets too, they offer you that at the initial purchase stage.

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