Uh oh: British Airways increases short-haul Avios redemption prices with no notice
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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.
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.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (March 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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Successfully apply for either of the Barclaycard Avios credit cards by 2nd April 2023 and you will be entered into a free draw to win ONE MILLION AVIOS! Full details are on the application forms here (free) and here (paid). This competition is exclusive to Head for Points readers. T&C apply.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express 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 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:
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios 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.
Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.
American Express Business Platinum
Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
60,000 points sign-up bonus (to 30th March) 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.