Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Uh oh: British Airways increases short-haul Avios redemption prices with no notice

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

British Airways has quietly increased the cost of short-haul Avios redemptions.

The increase is 750 Avios each way, so 1,500 Avios for a return flight.

The price increase seem to have taken effect immediately. Earlier this afternoon it was only on flights for 2022 but now appears to include 2021 services.

Here is the old Avios redemption chart:

This is what has changed. This is one-way pricing so you need to double these numbers for a return flight.

Zone 1 (eg Amsterdam)

  • Off-peak Economy – was 4000 Avios, now 4750 Avios
  • Peak Economy – was 4500 Avios, now 5250 Avios
  • Off-peak Business – was 7750 Avios, now 8500 Avios
  • Peak Business – was 9000 Avios, now 9750 Avios

Here is an example for 1st January 2022 for a peak day Business Class return flight to Berlin. However, during this evening, the changes have extended to cover 2021 too. Look at the number next to the ‘£50 taxes’ option (click to enlarge):

Zone 2 (eg Barcelona)

  • Off-peak Economy – was 6500 Avios, now 7250 Avios
  • Peak Economy – was 7500 Avios, now 8250 Avios
  • Off-peak Business – was 12750 Avios, now 13500 Avios
  • Peak Business – was 15000 Avios, now 15750 Avios

Zone 3 (eg Corfu)

  • Off-peak Economy – was 8500 Avios, now 9250 Avios
  • Peak Economy – was 10000 Avios, now 10750 Avios
  • Off-peak Business – was 17000 Avios, now 17750 Avios
  • Peak Business – was 20000 Avios, now 20750 Avios

Nothing has changed for Zone 4 and above, which are primarily long-haul routes.

The pricing above is ‘base’ pricing, ie the level at which you pay £17.50 in Reward Flight Saver fees in Economy or £25 in Business.

These are also the Avios figures you will be quoted if you use a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher.

For non-241 bookings you will also be offered a range of other prices, some needing more Avios (and less cash) and some needing fewer Avios (and more cash).

British Airways does not actually publish an Avios redemption chart any longer. The chart above is one we compiled ourselves. The ‘Reward Flight Calculator’ tool on ba.com has also been broken for some time …..

Changing a flight?

If you voluntarily change a short-haul Avios flight, you will be required to pay extra Avios.

If British Airways cancels your flight, you should not have to pay any additional points.

Conclusion

At a time when cash prices are likely to be very weak, especially this Winter, it is hard to understand the rationale behind ramping up Avios prices.

Making Avios worth less when used for flights is also an odd move now that the Avios / Nectar partnership is here. It simply makes it more attractive to cash out your Avios for 0.8p in Sainsbury’s or Argos credit by transferring them to Nectar.


HFP-Barclaycard-Avios-Card

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 2023)

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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

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

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

35,000 Avios (ONLY to 21st February) and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

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

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable 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

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year 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.

Comments (111)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Alex says:

    To be fair, I was expecting the cash payment to increase from 35 to 45 or so to account for the new LHR fees, so this seems reasonable, if somewhat regressive in terms of increasing the cost on Band 1 disproportionately compared to higher bands. Makes sense though, given this is where some of the best SH deals were historically…

    • Mike says:

      Alex – you must have been expecting it quite a lot to post twice

  • Alex says:

    I was expecting the cash payment to increase from 35 to 45 or so to account for the new LHR fees, so this seems reasonable, if somewhat regressive in terms of increasing the cost on Band 1 disproportionately compared to higher bands. Makes sense though, given this is where some of the best SH deals were historically…

    • Mike says:

      Alex – you must have been expecting it quite a lot to post twice

  • Prins Polo says:

    I’m sure we’ll find out one morning soon that the cash component has increased overnight too…

  • BJ says:

    “At a time when cash prices are likely to be very weak, especially this Winter, it is hard to understand the rationale behind ramping up Avios prices.”

    Why? Devaluation is the norm come hell or high water.

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      Usually devaluation is done when there is a lot of demand for cash tickets. Airlines book accounting profits.
      At this time, more than devaluation, a cash infusion is important. Let travellers redeem more, hoping they spend some cash on taxes and other fees. Until demand gets back to normal.
      Looks like BA have decided that they have enough cash and want to book some accounting profit.

  • Alex says:

    Its a small increase, with basically a years notice. Seems odd to me, why would they bother? As rob mentions it makes other avenues more appealing and surly won’t benefit BA that much financially? Unless it’s a pre-cursor to other increases in long haul?

    • BJ says:

      Obviously longhaul pricing is going to increase, devaluation is the norm and a BA one is already long overdue. Possibly only the fees kept the breaks on a bit but that won’t last. Folks grumble about the fees but they conveniently forget it is a flexible ticket their fees are paying for, not a discounted non refundable non changeable flight.

  • Ziggy says:

    Pricing is already in effect for flights this month.

    One oddity stands out: LHR-LCA (zone 3) peak business pricing is showing at 18,350 at the moment (e.g. 10 July) and that’s cheaper than it was in the past.

    • Rob says:

      Yes, you’re right – have updated. They seem to have done 2022 first then rolled it back.

  • Chris Heyes says:

    To be fair, It’s a warning of changes to come I’m expecting a stabilizing of prices 2021
    a small increase 2022′
    With large shake-up 2023, so enjoy 2021/22 but be prepared to pay more in Avios and cash 2023 onwards.
    I would expect “Reward Flight Saver of £17.50 Economy £25 in business to go sometime in 2023 as well

  • Andrew says:

    Do Domestic redemptions come under Zone 1?

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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.