Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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)

  • Mawalt says:

    It’s probably worth noting that if you use “Part pay with Avios” you can no longer claim under “BA Price Promise” (or whatever it’s called these days).

    I made this mistake once a few years ago…

  • Polly says:

    We used the “reduce with avios” multiple times on our reg DUB route to bring our sectors down to £10-£13 pp, often just to get our 4 BA sectors in if ness. Useful at the 1p level.

  • Ian Faulds says:

    Last March B.A. took 100,000 Avios plus £1,200 plus my 241 voucher to travel from Glasgow to Abu Dhabi via Heathrow in business class.Was this good value?It all gets too confusing for my old brain! I enjoy HfP postings each day.

    • Peter K says:

      I’m not sure that BA took all that, more that you decided to use all that.

      But to answer your question, it depends on your circumstances. If you had the Avios spare but not the money spare for business seats, then it could certainly be considered good value for you.

      On the other hand, if at the time you could buy direct flights for £1000 each in business class and had the cash easily spare and used up the last 100k Avios you had, then maybe it was not good value for you.

      It all depends on your own circumstances. But at the time you booked, overall, it seems reasonable value.

    • Scott says:

      If you were to take the same decision today, the flights would be costing you £,1200 + £800 (min. value of Avios if converted to Nectar). You should also consider the £195 fee for the BAPP, so you’re looking at £2,200 for the flights – would you pay more than that if it was the cash price?
      You could also net off from this cost the value of any Avios you received as a sign-up bonus on the BAPP (as compared to the next best card) but you’d need to add the missed value of Avios you would have earned by taking a cash flight.

    • kitten says:

      I’d have gone on Qatar

  • Jonny Price says:

    Not sure Flybe should be on your list above…!

  • Ian Faulds says:

    Thank you all for your comments. Qatar not an option, no flights from Qatar to UAE at that time.

  • EFL teacher says:

    One of the reasons I like part pay with avios is that you still earn avios and Tier points on the flight, compared to 0 on the reward flight. This is not considered in these examples.

    • peter says:

      That’s a bit confusing though!
      So I recently purchased return LHR-KRK, the prices was £59.89 and I took £10 off using 1000 Avios. For this return flight I will get 2×222 Avios so 444 avios – call it £4.
      Imagine similar situation at Sainsburry’s shopping for £59.89 and I take £10 off using 1250 Avios. For the remaining amount I will get 49 nectar.. 61 Avios.

      So in my case 556 Avios gave me £10 off with BA, 1189 Avios gave me £10 off in Sainsburry’s.

      Going with this logic, it doesn’t make sense to spend “Nectavios” at Sainsburry 😀

      • AJA says:

        I think the issue is that the £10 off for 1,000 Avios is better value than converting to Nectar since it values the Avios at 1p while Avios converted to Nectar is worth 0.8p [1.6×0.5] so for small sums of Avios you get a better deal using Avios at BA.

        As for your £59.89 spend you will get 49 Nectar points which are only worth 30 Avios [49/1.6] You get fewer Avios than Nectar points.

        It becomes less clearcut when the Avios discount returns less than 0.8p of value. But even at 0.7p value you should factor in the return on TP and Avios you will get. Even spending higher amounts of Avios works on the basis that I can easily get 520 bonus nectar points on a weekly shop, effectively for free, which is worth 325 Avios. In just 7 weeks I will accumulate 3,640 Nectar points which are worth £18.20 in Sainsbury’s or 2,275 Avios which is enough to give a £20 discount of 2,000 Avios and leave me with 275 Avios worth 440 Nectar points or £2.20 off my Sainsbury’s bill which means a return of £22.20 for doing nothing other than buying food which I do anyway.

        • Peter says:

          Thanks for correcting me. My take home from this is that now you should never use your Avios/Nectar/Amex points for less than 0.8p, whereas before I wouldn’t mind letting Avios go for less if I had too many of them, now simply spend them in shop.

          • Peter says:

            As there are reasons to spend them with BA (business, Xmas flights), part pay £10 for 1000 or Sainsburry/eBay in all other cases.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.