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Is ‘Part Pay With Avios’ for British Airways flights still worth it in the Nectar era?

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Is it still worth using ‘Part Pay With Avios’ when booking British Airways flights, now that Nectar is an option?

‘Part Pay With Avios’ has, apparently, been very successful since it was launched.  It allows you to redeem your points for a discount against a cash ticket, although in most cases you are not allowed to pay the entire price with points.

Nectar Avios light

The Avios / Nectar partnership moved the goalposts

In early 2021 Avios and Nectar launched their partnership. The page to transfer your points to or from Nectar is at this link.

You can transfer Avios into Nectar points at the rate of 1 to 1.6. As a Nectar point is worth 0.5p when you spend them in Sainsbury’s, Argos, etc, it means your Avios now have a floor value of 0.8p (0.5p x 1.6).

You can spend all your Avios in Sainsbury’s or Argos by turning them into Nectar points, and get a fixed 0.8p per Avios. This means that you should not be redeeming Avios anywhere else when you get under 0.8p of value.

Unfortunately, redeeming for ‘Part Pay With Avios’ will mean that you will often get less than 0.8p per Avios.

Let’s look at ‘Part Pay With Avios’ for BA flights

Just for clarity, before we get started, remember that ‘Part Pay With Avios’ is NOT the same as ‘Pay with Avios and Money’:

  • ‘Part Pay With Avios’ lets you reduce the cash component of a standard cash flight ticket by redeeming some Avios
  • ‘Pay with Avios and Money’ lets you reduce the Avios component of an Avios redemption ticket by paying some cash instead

We last looked at ‘Avios and Money’ redemptions in this article.

How to use part pay with Avios on British Airways

How to use ‘Part Pay With Avios’ on British Airways

You can find full details of ‘Part Pay With Avios’ on the British Airways site here.

As well as using ‘Part Pay With Avios’ for British Airways flights, it can also be used at to discount American Airlines flights between the UK and North America.

It can also be used on British Airways codeshare flights operated by Air Baltic, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Bangkok Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern, China Southern, Fiji Airways, Finnair, Flybe, Japan Airlines, LATAM, Loganair, Qantas, Qatar, S7 and Vistara.

Using ‘Part Pay With Avios’ on short haul:

On short haul European flights, you currently receive between 0.44p and 1p per point.  The value gets worse the more points you redeem. 

Here are is a typical example for an Economy flight, although the exact numbers may vary by route:

  • £10 off for 1,000 Avios (1p per Avios)
  • £18 off for 1,980 Avios (0.91 per Avios)
  • £26 off for 3,250 Avios (0.80p per Avios)
  • £42 off for 6,600 Avios (0.64p per Avios)
  • £68 off for 13,600 Avios (0.49p per Avios)
  • £90 off for 19,300 Avios (0.47p per Avios)
  • £120 off for 26,400 Avios (0.45p per Avios)
  • £160 off for 36,000 Avios (0.44p per Avios)
  • £250 off for 57,000 Avios (0.44p per Avios)

You will NOT be allowed to pay for your entire flight with Avios.  In my example above, I was only offered a maximum of a £250 discount on a £393 fare.

Remember that you get 0.8p per Avios by redeeming them via Nectar in Sainsbury’s, in Argos or on eBay.

On this basis, you would be crazy to redeem more than 3,250 Avios for a discount off the flight above. All of the other examples mean that you are getting less than 0.8p for your Avios.

Using ‘Part Pay With Avios’ on long haul:

Here is an example for a £536 long haul Economy flight on British Airways:

  • £20 off for 2,000 Avios (1p per Avios)
  • £40 off for 6,100 Avios (0.66p per Avios)
  • £70 off for 12,900 Avios (0.54p per Avios)
  • £110 off for 22,800 Avios (0.48p per Avios)
  • £150 off for 33,000 Avios (0.45p per Avios)
  • £230 off for 53,200 Avios (0.43p per Avios)
  • £330 off for 77,000 Avios (0.43p per Avios)

Interestingly, I had never seen a value as low as 0.43p per Avios before I ran this example yesterday. The rate continues to get worse as the months pass.

1p per Avios is decent and I would always seriously consider making a 2,000 Avios redemption to reduce the cost of my ticket by £20 if the option was available. 

Below this level, however, there is no point using ‘Part Pay With Avios’. You are getting less – often far less – than the 0.8p per Avios that you get by redeeming via Nectar.

Is ‘Part Pay With Avios’ ever worthwhile?

Unfortunately the answer is ‘not really’, apart from potentially using 1,000 Avios to save £10 or 2,000 Avios to save £20.

This is not a new discovery. It has nothing to do with the Nectar partnership.

I target a 1p return when I spend my Avios, so almost all of the ‘Part Pay With Avios’ options were bad value in my book.

The only thing that has changed with Nectar is that it has crystalised my opinion as fact.

You no longer need to take it on trust from us that getting as little as 0.43p per Avios – as you get in some examples above – is a bad deal. You can get 0.8p per Avios via Nectar as a guaranteed return so don’t waste your points accepting poorer deals.

You can’t even use the excuse any longer that ‘I get all of my Avios points from business travel so I don’t mind what I get for them’. Even if all your Avios are ‘free’ from business travel, it makes no sense to redeem them for less than the 0.8p per point that Nectar offers.

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 (67)

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

  • John says:

    I pretty much always take the first option at 1p since I earn it back from the flight anyway.

    • ChrisC says:

      Am being offered 3000 for £30 on some short haul European flights which Is good value at rhe penny an avios rate.

      It also brings the cost of those particular flights below the £200 barrier for AMS and £250 for Berlin which beats some sort of of value level for me.

  • points_worrier says:

    Remember the marginal costs. Yes it is £10 for 1000 avios (1ppa). At £18 for 1980 avios, the marginal cost is 980 avios for the last £8 (0.81ppa). This is still just above the nectar value. The next step is 1270 avios for the next £8 (or 0.63ppa). So anything more than the £18 option for 1980 avios really isn’t worth it!

    • points_worrier says:

      So you would be ‘crazy’ to redeem more than 1980 avios, not 3250. You should be spending the 1980 avios on the flights, then convert the remaining 1270 avios to nectar if you really want to spend 3250 avios.

  • Erico1875 says:

    However my typical shop is probably 25% more expensive in Sainsbury’s than it costs in Aldi or Lidl, so that in turn makes to almost just as crazy to convert Avios to Netar points(0.6p) as I too normally aim for at least 1p

    • points_worrier says:

      My typical flight is 25% more at BA!

      • Erico1875 says:

        The flights I have been looking at are 100% more expensive on BA than equivalent Ryanair/Jet2 flights.
        Amazingly, based on available bookable seats, it looks 70% booked

        • Rob says:

          The headline price of the flight is probably, on short haul, 25% of the total cost of getting from your house to your hotel. This is before you add in the value of additional time taken if you’re taking the most suitable flights for your plans.

          There is no such thing as an ‘equivalent’ Ryanair / Jet2 flight unless potentially you live in Farringdon.

          I have to take a Jet2 next month – no option. 7am from Stansted already adds £250 of hotel cost to the bill. Getting to Stansted from West London will cost, for 4, over £100 and 2 hours vs £10 and 40 minutes to Heathrow. I am ignoring paying for fast track, luggage and seats because, whilst I get those off BA, non-status members don’t. Jet2 could pay ME to take the flight and I would still be worse off than paying for a BA flight from Heathrow – except none exist in this case.

          • Froggee says:

            Then there are us poor blighters in Scotland. Jet2 wanted 380 euros to fly us from Faro to Edinburgh on the date I wanted. BA via London City – 161 euros. And the Jet2 price is before paying for luggage and seat selection which is sadly necessary as a family of four.

            In the end I booked BA with business for the Faro to City leg but economy up to Edinburgh at 247 euros. It means we don’t need to get up early and should be fed vaguely properly on the flight and will also be first off the plane. I think we get fast track at Faro too.

            It’s a bit of a waste paying for business given that BA uses a priority pass lounge at Faro and I’d get priority check in anyway (and the seating is identical) but I’m all about making flying as least painful as possible nowadays.

            We’re going out RyanAir (only about 25% more expensive than BA) as their flight times are perfect.

          • PerkyPat says:

            Or if you live outside London, direct with Ryanair/Jet2 or via Heathrow, with all the potential disruption that involves, with BA. No contest for me.

          • yorkieflyer says:

            Flights 25% of the total cost of getting there, bah! Only in your very specific example of non car owning central London residents such as yourself Rob

          • Rob says:

            It’s not really a very specific example, is it? We’re talking about probably 1/3rd of the UK HfP readership. This was also in response to a comment comparing BA with Jet2 / Ryanair pricing, which means you’d be in the Heathrow catchment area anyway.

          • jj says:

            Rob is totally right, and his example certainly applies to South Wales residents like us. Heathrow almost always has the best flights and isn’t much further than Bristol, but we invariably have a night in the Sofitel, 300 miles @ 20p/mile, parking, an overnight meal plus transfers at the other end. That’s usually £400-500 total for two people before we start paying for flights, but can be much more if we’ve paid for private transfers or car hire at the far end.

            But it’s a relatively pleasant way to travel compared with the horrors of a bucket-and-spade airport, so count myself lucky to be in easy striking distance of LHR.

          • Erico1875 says:

            It’s actually EDI to PMI, Rob.
            BA, TUI, Easyjet, Ryanair and Jet2 all fly that route from EDI.

    • Rich says:

      You make this same comment every time Erico. Where most of us live, Sainsbury’s sell competitively priced petrol or diesel too and you can pay at the kiosk with nectar. Aldi do not sell fuel.

      You also get uptight when this is pointed out. I already know that where you live they apparently only offer pay at pump, most of us are luckier.

      • Erico1875 says:

        I certainly don’t get uptight about it Rich.
        For me 0.8 doesn’t work.
        Even if it did work mathematically, I really couldn’t get excited about trading Avios for chopped tomatoes etc.
        I can fully understand people swapping their Avios for less valuable alternatives such as money off flights or £1 RFS fares however

    • pbcold says:

      I think that this is often missed. Sainsbury`s is significantly more expensive than Tesco, Aldi and Lidl and inferior in quality on the majority of items in my experience of shopping there since the Nectar deal was struck. Many “high end” items (fillet steak, smoked salmon etc) is far cheaper and far better at Aldi.

      • Rob says:

        Sainsbury’s, however, would have at least 5 different types of smoked salmon in a large store, at least it will if its anything like our Waitrose. Aldi will have one.

        • WaynedP says:

          True, but the expert scrutiny that Lidl and Aldi seem to devote to selecting one, single, high quality offering at a price that can rarely be matched elsewhere has almost always satisfied my personal tastes, and renders 4 (or 400) other choices completely redundant for me.

          • pbcold says:

            I agree, although I wish it were not so.

          • Rhys says:

            I get overwhelmed in big supermarkets now. Way too much choice!

            Although some things you genuinely can’t get in Aldi/Lidl. Harissa, for example…

          • Richie says:

            BTW Aldi has at least two opportunites for smoked salmon, a regular and a specially selected. The premium one is good. The largest Aldis have more specially selected opportunities.

        • CamFlyer says:

          While I agree the selection is less, my local Lidl has 2-3 types of smoked salmon. We tend to shop Lidl for basics, local independents / specialty shops for day to day meat, vegetables, and perishables, and a monthly trip to Sainsburys for anything else. Taking into account the quality and value of our time, this is the best option for us. It all depends on your eating and shopping patterns – as with the value of an Avios point, there is no one answer.

          Redemptions of my modest Nectar balance go for Nero coffee, at around 0.9p/1 Nectar point.

        • yorkieflyer says:

          Indeed, horses for courses, I find Waitrose and Tesco’s poor on a price/quality comparison with Sainsburys. Aldi and Lidl are the proverbial curates egg, good for some stuff, not so for others, fruit and veg for example not great quality or range

          • Peter K says:

            +1 for poor quality fruit and veg at Aldi/Lidl. Awful where we are. After a few times of it being mouldy a couple of days after buying I gave up. I was so excited when Aldi came to where I live. I was so disappointed.

            Yes Sainsbury’s is more expensive than Aldi/Lidl, but it does have much more for those with dietary requirements and I personally find the quality overall to be higher than Aldi (Lidl do better).

    • 2ilent8cho says:

      The products might cost less in some cases at Aldi but they are not the same product , usually taste vile and if you care remotely about your health you look at the ingredients and see Aldi is generally worse.
      Lets go for 85% Dark Chocolate

      Aldi Cocoa Mass, Cocoa Butter, Sugar, Fat Reduced Cocoa Powder, Emulsifier: Lecithins (𝐒𝐨𝐲𝐚); Vanilla Extract. £1.19 per 100g.

      Now in Sainsburys I can get Lindt 85% £2.10 per 100g , but look at the ingredients

      Cocoa Mass, Fat-Reduced Cocoa, Cocoa Butter, Demerara Sugar, Vanilla, Cocoa Solids: 85% min

      Notice no nasty emulsifiers? That are basically detergent in your stomach and long term consumption damage the intestinal barrier and cause you chronic disease

      The food may cost less but you are trading that for your long term health. I am sure I can find 85% chocolate in Sainsburys with some emulsifiers in, but I at least have 5 or 6 brands to choose from and I can pick accordingly, unlike Aldi.

  • Bluekjp says:

    You can go on and on overthinking this but if you shop at Aldi or Lidl (and I don’t although many do) they are apparently on average 14% cheaper than Sainsbury’s so your 0.8p is really 0.69p for this cohort of consumers, so in this case a £42 discount for 6600 avios is likely to be ok too. This is notwithstanding the fact that you can still get 0.8p at Argos but most people shop there once a decade if my habits are anything to judge by.

    • Reney says:

      I rarely shop at Argos but eBay is another story. Did my first ebay/nectar conversion last week, did need an extra step compared to using nectar points in sainsbury but generally easy enough.

    • john says:

      Aldi or Lidl only work if they have built near where you live.

      Aldi is a 12 mile return trip for me. Thats £2.90 worth of petrol at current prices. Sainsburys is 0.8 mile return trip when added on to dropping my daughter off at nursery – I usually pop in after dropping her off. Thats about 20p of petrol. I spend on average £20-30 twice a week so driving to Aldi (£2.70 difference) would add 9-14% on to my bill which makes it a similar cost to Sainsbury’s, but would add on at least 40minutes of time..

    • Peter K says:

      As with anything, it’s all personal. Aldi/Lidl don’t sell much of what I need, so I only pop in for top-ups, looking at the special buys or for specific items.

    • Brian78 says:

      Yep. Who has enough free time to worry about whether they’re getting 0.66 or 0.63p per avios? !

      0.8p is easy enough if you shop at a nectar partner. You don’t have to worry about silly stuff like reward flight availability or log on at 1am etc

  • Mike Ward says:

    Whilst I can’t fault the logic – I think it’s also worth thinking about the psychological benefit.

    If I drip feed my Avios as Nectar to pay for groceries I don’t see any emotional benefit.

    However if I get a chunky discount on the headline price of a long awaited holiday it feels better!

  • Gary says:

    Is there any value in transferring Avios to Nectar to then spend with Expedia for travel?

  • Carlos says:

    Can you compare the rate between part pay and reward flights?

    • Rob says:

      You could but it is down to how much you value flexibility to cancel a reward flight and your need for tier points.

  • WaynedP says:

    The increased consumer choice offered by part pay with Avios has a different value to each individual that can’t be quantified by the pounds and pence calculations alone.

    This weekend I used part pay with Avios yielding 0.55p per Avios, but the benefit of being able to use my BAPP on purchasing BA repositioning flights, but reduce total price to avoid triggering my next Companion Voucher before the mid October deadline has far greater value to me than the theoretical 0.25p per Avios Nectar conversion benefit foregone.

    I won’t need to purchase any more BA flights before October, so my BAPP will now go into a drawer for two and a half months when I can use it to trigger a more valuable Companion Voucher expiring mid-October 2024 rather than July 2024.

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