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.
The Avios / Nectar partnership moved the goalposts
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, eBay.co.uk 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
As well as using ‘Part Pay With Avios’ for British Airways flights, it can also be used at ba.com 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 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.