Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Good tax savings on long-haul Avios 241 redemptions if you start in Dublin

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As we covered recently, the taxes and charges added to many premium cabin Avios redemptions have shot up in recent weeks. Given that BA is still running a sub-standard service in Club World due to lack of crew (meals are still served in one go on one tray with small portions, for example) it’s not ideal.

Interestingly, the new higher taxes and charges (eg £842 return to New York in Club World) do not seem to apply if you start your trip in Dublin.

If you fancy a trip to Ireland on the way, there are good savings to be made. Remember that new-style British Airways American Express Premium Plus vouchers can start outside the UK, so Dublin to London to New York is acceptable.

British Airways taxes and charges from dublin

Here are a couple of examples WITHOUT using a 241 voucher. This is London to New York on a peak date:

You pay 120,000 Avios and £842 of taxes. In reality the taxes number moves by a couple of pounds when you continue to payment, but its a nominal difference.

Let’s look at the same flight but with connections to / from Dublin:

There are two options here of interest:

  • For those who are Avios rich and cash poor, you are offered the chance to use 152,500 Avios and pay £288 of taxes and charges. This is attractive – you are saving £554 but spending an extra 32,500 Avios. Of course, you need to get to Dublin to start your trip which won’t be free.
  • The directly comparable option is 139,000 Avios plus £576. I say ‘directly comparable’ because this is what you would expect to pay, eg 120,000 Avios for the long-haul flight and 19,000 Avios for the connection. Here, you are saving £266 by using an extra 19,000 Avios – but you also need to get to Dublin.

What happens if you add a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher?

Let’s look at what happens when you use a new-style 2-4-1 companion voucher. The answer is – ‘something weird’.

For two people, you are offered the following pricing with no alternatives:

versus

Something is wrong here – but it’s wrong in your favour.

The first screenshot makes sense. You are paying 120,000 Avios for two people (due to the 2-4-1 voucher) with double the usual level of taxes, so £1,684 for two.

However, the second screenshot makes no sense. You are paying 139,500 Avios for two people (due to the 2-4-1 voucher) but just £576 of taxes, ie 2 x £288. However, if you look at the screenshot above from Dublin, £288 is the level of taxes when you use 152,500 Avios.

How and why it prices like this doesn’t really matter though.

What DOES matter is that you can save £1,108 on this trip in return for spending an extra 19,000 Avios and flying to Dublin to start.

Can you avoid starting in Dublin?

No. Your entire ticket will be cancelled if you fail to show up in Dublin for the first leg.

However, if you are travelling with just hand baggage, you could hop out in London on the way back and miss your final flight.

The impact on other routes isn’t always as large as this especially if you are not flying to North America, but it is definitely worth pricing up your options out of Dublin – and indeed other starting points such as Amsterdam to see what is available.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 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. 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 BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

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 BA Amex American Express card

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.

The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Avios, if you apply by 1st June 2022.

American Express Amex Gold

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER) and an unbeatable set of 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 10,000 Avios.

Capital on Tap Visa card

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 card

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.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

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.

(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.)

Comments (76)

  • Cheshire Pete says:

    Interesting, I always assumed all LH got you a free SH hop, but apparently not. Then again I’ve only ever booked from MAN, so these new vouchers don’t allow a non Domestic free hop.

    • Cuchlainn says:

      Free hop / domestic was binned several years ago – mid 2010s.

      • adam says:

        Domestic free hop certainly wasnt binned years ago I used it as recently as February and I just checked by pricing up a long haul flight from London or Jersey, Avios required is the same for either origination point

      • adam says:

        Domestic free hop certainly wasnt binned years ago I used it as recently as February and I just checked by pricing up a long haul flight from London or Jersey, Avios required is the same for either origination point

  • david says:

    In a slightly related post. Does anyone know how my august £202 BER-LHR-CUN-CUN-LHR(where i will get off)-BER in economy made BA any money whatsoever?

    • Thegasman says:

      Marginal cost from additional fuel, passenger charges & economy meals probably less than £50. Obviously they couldn’t survive selling every seat at that price but if the seat would have otherwise been empty & you wouldn’t otherwise have paid more (as indicated by you being prepared to route via. LHR in economy) then RevMan have done their job.

  • Dawn says:

    I have three 2-4-1 trips booked to USA. Is it worth me changing the trip to start in Dublin/Amsterdam etc or too risky in case the reward seats disappear. My first ticket is LON – Phoenix return for this September for example. Is there any way I can change it by retaining my reward seats, using my existing booking, changing the departure point and getting money back? ….. or am I just being hopeful?

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