Wine delivery company Laithwaites is an Avios redemption partner. With Christmas on the horizon and your flying potentially still symied until next year, you may be tempted by the idea of cashing in some Avios for a few bottles.
Should you use Avios to buy wine?
To redeem your Avios for wine or champagne, you must go to this page of ba.com. This is what you will see:
The majority of options are wine cases, but you are also able to use Avios to buy a variety of single bottles and spirits.
The good news is that the alcohol is genuinely ‘free’. You don’t need to pay a penny of postage. Simply order online and your alcohol will be delivered to your door “within 7 days”.
Does wine represent good value for your Avios?
Now, of course, the question you should ask is : “Is this good value for my Avios?”. And, to be honest, the answer is usually “No”.
You may think that this is not the point. If you are Avios-rich, trading in a few for a nice treat is a good way to go. Last year one of our readers, with far more Avios than he needed, cashed in a large number for a LOT of champagne – the photo below is only part of it – to hedge his bets over BA not surviving coronavirus:
The mixed cases differ from those offered on ‘The Wine Flyer’ so it is difficult to compare prices. However, it is easy to compare single bottles. For example:
This is Laurent-Perrier Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature champagne. It costs 13,300 Avios or £70. This works out at 0.52p per Avios which is roughly what you would expect from an Avios partner redemption.
A 70cl bottle of Sipsmith Gin sets you back 7,100 Avios. Sipsmith is heavily discounted by the supermarkets, however, and is available for £22.50 at Amazon (click here). This works out at just 0.32p per Avios, although the Avios option does come with delivery.
You also have the option to reduce the Avios component with a cash supplement as you would on a flight redemption. Taking the Laurent-Perrier option above, the choices are (based on a cash price of £70):
- 10,000 Avios + £20 = 0.5p per Avios
- 7,300 Avios + £35 = 0.48p
- 5,300 Avios + £45 = 0.47p
- 4,000 Avios + £50 = 0.5p
- 1,300 Avios + £65 = 0.38p
It doesn’t get any better if you mix and match.
Nectar has changed the game, however
From 21st January, British Airways Avios points have been freely transferable into Nectar points. You can find out more and link your accounts on ba.com here.
The transfer rate is 1 Avios to 1.6 Nectar points.
This means that 1 Avios is worth 0.8p (0.5p x 1.6) when redeemed for Nectar points.
You are GUARANTEED to get 0.8p of value per Avios if you transfer them to Nectar, and then spend them in Sainsbury’s, Argos or on eBay.
There is virtually no reason, at all, to spend Avios on anything via ba.com that gets you under 0.8p of value. Not wine, not hotels, not seat selection, not car hire.
You shouldn’t be redeeming Avios for wine via ba.com at all. If you really want to get a few decent bottles from your Avios, move them to Nectar and pop down to Sainsbury’s.
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:
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.