If you are opted in to British Airways Executive Club marketing emails, you will have received a very interesting offer in your inbox yesterday.
If you book a BA flight for cash by midnight on Monday, you can ‘part pay with Avios’ and receive 2p per Avios in value.
Full details are on ba.com here.
The offer is VERY flexible:
- you can book in any cabin
- you can book for any travel date
- you can book one-way or return flights
The one minor snag is that BA CityFlyer is excluded so you can’t book the London City or Southampton departures.
All flights must depart from the UK.
Can you pay for your entire flight with Avios?
Unlike Virgin Atlantic, which lets you ‘part pay with points’ up to the entire value of your booking, British Airways only lets you pay the base fare, excluding all taxes and charges.
There are further limits as part of this deal.
For return flights, the only discounts available are (per person)
- £5 off for 250 Avios
- £18 off for 900 Avios
- £32 off for 1,600 Avios
- £56 off for 2,800 Avios
- £80 off for 4,000 Avios
- £100 off for 5,000 Avios
For one-way flights, these numbers are halved:
- £5 off for 250 Avios
- £9 off for 450 Avios
- £16 off for 800 Avios
- £28 off for 1,400 Avios
- £40 off for 2,000 Avios
- £50 off for 2,500 Avios
Each option gives you 2p per Avios, which is exceptionally generous. If you are making a BA booking this weekend, you’d be crazy not to take advantage of this offer up to the maximum number of Avios allowed.
No trips planned? You should be able to get a discount on a BA e-voucher
If you have no flights to book this weekend, you should be able to use this deal to get a discount on a British Airways e-voucher.
This is because, when you cancel a flight which uses ‘part pay with Avios’, your e-voucher arrives as 100% cash. You lose your Avios but get a voucher for the full original value of the flight.
Here is an example.
I found a return flight to Athens which was £174. I had to do quite a bit of trial and error to get a price that maximised the cashback.
When I click on ‘Price Breakdown’ in ba.com, I see this:
The base fare is £105 and the taxes and charges are £70. I just managed to get the base fare over the £100 threshold to maximise the discount.
I am shown the full range of discounts because my base fare is over £100:
If I book this flight using the maximum discount, I will pay £74.72 and 5,000 Avios.
I can cancel it under the ‘Book With Confidence’ guarantee. I would (based on BA’s own T&C for ‘part pay with Avios’) receive an e-voucher for £174.72. This would usually arrive within 10 minutes and would be valid against any future cash ticket I book, but can’t be used to pay taxes on an Avios booking.
The exact ba.com wording is:
If you used Avios to pay for part of a booking, can you still apply for an eVoucher?
Yes. You’ll receive an eVoucher that equates to the full value of the original booking, cash and Avios combined, that you can redeem against future bookings. Please bear in mind you won’t receive any Avios related to the original booking as a refund.
The only snag I can think of is that, online, you can only redeem four e-vouchers per booking. You can get around this by ‘merging’ vouchers. If you had eight e-vouchers of £100 which you wanted to use for an £800 flight, you could make two random £400 flight bookings, each using 4 x £100 vouchers. These could be cancelled to get 2 x £400 vouchers and then used for your £800 flight.
Athens is not necessarily the best example because the taxes are relatively high. Looking at our comments, the sweet spot is a one-way from Jersey to London Gatwick. Taxes are around £8 so any fare of £58-ish would let you cash out the maximum £50 for 2,500 Avios.
Please check the comments to this article before acting on it in as readers have added a lot of interesting new data and ideas.
If you had been planning to book any British Airways flights, this offer is a great opportunity to redeem some Avios for a discount at an exceptionally high rate.
If you don’t have any bookings planned, think about whether it is worth ‘buying’ an e-voucher by making a booking and then cancelling it immediately for an e-voucher.
You can find full details on this page of ba.com.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 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:
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.
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.
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.
EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.
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.