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Should you use your Avios for British Airways ‘Experiences’ rewards?

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You may not know this, but British Airways Executive Club has a range of ‘Experiences’ redemptions.  Available in most major cities in the world, you can redeem your Avios points for local attractions or sightseeing tours.

There is a tiny bit of explanation about the programme on the ‘Spending Avios’ page here at ba.com.  Click on ‘Book Experiences’ to be taken to a log-in screen.

BA removed this option from its website during covid, but with travel now re-opening it has made a comeback with a restricted range.  Is it worth it?

Are Avios ‘Experiences’ redemptions a good deal?

Not really, for two reasons.  The curse of Nectar strikes again, as you will see.

As with most third party Avios redemptions, such as hotels or wine, you tend to get around 0.5p to 0.6p per Avios.

Here is an example.

If you want to climb over the roof of the O2 Arena in Greenwich, it will cost you 6,300 Avios:

Alternatively, you can pay £32 in cash.

This works out at 0.51p per Avios.

This is not a great deal.  It is certainly far poorer value than using them for flights – even economy long-haul redemptions should get you over 0.5p of value.

Before 2021, I used to say that if you have more Avios than you can realistically use, or if you earn your Avios from business travel and therefore value them intrinsically at nothing (as you spent nothing to earn them), then it might still be worth a look.

In January 2021, however, Avios launched its partnership with Nectar.

You can now transfer up to 50,000 Avios per month into Nectar.  You will receive 0.8p of Nectar points for every Avios you transfer.  These can be spent at Sainsbury’s, Argos, eBay etc.

When you can get 0.8p per Avios by transferring them to Nectar, there is no value in using them for ‘Experiences’ redemption at 0.5p.

Pay cash for whatever ‘experience’ you are after and use the Avios for Nectar points.  You will be better off.

In this example, the 6,300 Avios required for the £32 O2 climb would get you £50.40 of Nectar points.  You can pay £32 in cash for the O2 climb and will be £18.40 better off than if you’d redeemed directly for it.

The same logic now applies to most other non-flight redemptions bookable via British Airways Executive Club – wine, hotels, car hire, seat selection etc.  You are far better off paying cash and redeeming for Nectar points instead.

You can find out more about Avios ‘Experiences’ redemptions on the British Airways website here.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 2022)

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:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 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.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER), £200 travel credit and unbeatable 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 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company 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 long list of travel benefits 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 (7)

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

  • JAXBA says:

    Or book Experiences through BA Holidays (a separate booking tool than the Avios redemption one), and earn Avios for the transaction. Pay with a BA credit card and it counts as BA spend too, earning more Avios.

    Different Experience options offered though, no O2 climb through BAH as yet.

  • Neo says:

    If You book it via iberia avios or avios.com You will pay around 20% less than expirience on ba.com big difference….You should check it for article…

  • Paul pogba says:

    Typo: “ month innto Nectar”. Feel free to delete the comment if you fix it 🙂

  • Andrew says:

    “Climb 52 meters” (from advert) – gas or electric?

    The slope doesn’t look any steeper than some parts of my old walk to High School.

  • Mr(s) Entitled says:

    Nectar isn’t really a “curse”. It is additive for users and while it may be problematic for BA, I am not sure they can curse themselves. They can of course enter into contracts without due care and attention.

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

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