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 from UK credit cards (August 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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.
(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.)