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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 ba.com 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, 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

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 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.


HFP-Barclaycard-Avios-Card

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable 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 10,500 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 £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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.

  • Richie says:

    Sainsbury’s have some gems in their wine aisles, definately worth studying for the nectar point opportunities.

    • Lumma says:

      There’s a book called “the best wines in the supermarkets” which is worth a purchase – at Sainsbury’s it’s mainly the Taste the Difference stuff it recommends.

    • ben says:

      Monese quite often have Sainbury’s vouchers at 20% off and you can buy Argos vouchers in Asda using vouchers from the same promotion. For that reason I personally value Nectar at 0.64p each. I also recall a post from a user here who was generating lots of Avios and found his account was abruptly terminated when he tried to convert a large balance of Avios to Nectar – Nectar seemingly having somewhat less tolerance to such activity.

  • Dev says:

    If you earn lots of Avios from work trips, etc, then spending at sainsburys is genuinely free, and one way to combat the rise in cost of living.

  • C Davies says:

    I would say that the value per Avios is actually worse when you consider the value for the additional discount, for the short haul example:

    £10 off for 1,000 Avios (1p per Avios)
    £18 off for 1,980 Avios (a further £8 off for 980 Avois, 0.82p per Avios)
    £26 off for 3,250 Avios (a further £8 off for 1,270 Avois, 0.63p per Avios)
    £42 off for 6,600 Avios (a further £16 off for 3,350 Avois, 0.48p per Avios)
    £68 off for 13,600 Avios (a further £26 off for 7,000 Avois, 0.37p per Avios)
    £90 off for 19,300 Avios (a further £22 off for 5,700 Avois, 0.39p per Avios)
    £120 off for 26,400 Avios (a further £30 off for 7,100 Avois, 0.42p per Avios)
    £160 off for 36,000 Avios (a further £40 off for 9,600 Avois, 0.42p per Avios)
    £250 off for 57,000 Avios (a further £90 off for 21,000 Avois, 0.43p per Avios)

    And the long haul example:
    £20 off for 2,000 Avios (1p per Avios)
    £40 off for 6,100 Avios (a further £20 off for 4,100 Avois, 0.49p per Avios)
    £70 off for 12,900 Avios (a further £30 off for 6,800 Avois, 0.44p per Avios)
    £110 off for 22,800 Avios (a further £40 off for 9,900 Avois, 0.40p per Avios)
    £150 off for 33,000 Avios (a further £40 off for 10,200 Avois, 0.39p per Avios)
    £230 off for 53,200 Avios (a further £80 off for 20,200 Avois, 0.40p per Avios)
    £330 off for 77,000 Avios (a further £80 off for 23,800 Avois, 0.34p per Avios)

    0.34p per Avios is very low!

    • Bagoly says:

      Agree.
      And there is a further small marginal effect because on the amount of cash you don’t pay, you don’t earn Avios.
      On a BAPP, £1 of BA spend gets 3 avios.
      So the first line becomes £10 for 1030 avios, and the second £8 for 1004 avios.

    • Howard says:

      Yes – very important to consider the marginal value you are getting, so in the example in the article, £26 off for 3,250 Avios is actually worse value than Nectar, as you are getting a marginal 0.63p value.

  • David says:

    The X factor for me that the article doesn’t address is the fact that you also earn Avios, so the maths are a little more complicated. For example,

    “£42 off for 6,600 Avios (0.64p per Avios)”

    is a poor deal. BUT, if you earn 1350 Avios on the flight, then when it all shakes out in the end, you are 5250 Avios down whilst saving £42, meaning you have broke even on the Nectar floor cost.

    • Stu_N says:

      …but you earn Avios regardless of whether you part-pay or not, so in effect you’re getting a very poor return for those new Avios.

      • CamFlyer says:

        It depends on how you value of marginal Avios. Many of us don’t need to maximise the balance, but instead just to manage it so that there are always enough available for the desired purposes when required. Thus, I may be quite happy to be zero sum or even slightly negative in points accumulated on a cash booking, if the cash savings are sufficient. I care more about the TPs than the incremental Avios!

      • CamFlyer says:

        It depends on how you value of marginal Avios. Many of us don’t need to maximise the balance, but instead just to manage it so that there are always enough available for the desired purposes when required. Thus, I may be quite happy to be zero sum or even slightly negative in points accumulated on a cash booking, if the cash savings are sufficient. I care more about the TPs than the incremental Avios!

    • ed_fly says:

      Surely this only relevant when comparing Avios usage for a reward flight vs part pay with Avios.

  • bobt says:

    I do find the repeated concept of the Nectar price being a floor somewhat tiresome. That is only the case if you spend a lot at their partners. At my annual spend of maybe £2 per week it’ll take me 100 years to use my avios. To switch from Tesco/Coop/Waitrose will probably cost at least 10% more on my weekly shop so that needs to be factored into the floor price.

    So I’m happy to waste some Avios on inflight F&B when traveling cattle class, while waiting for the big long haul spending opportunities.

    • Rob says:

      Just buy some Tesco / Waitrose / John Lewis gift cards on eBay then 🙂

  • L Allen says:

    If you factor in the Avios you will earn on a flight, you are handing over fewer overall which does slightly affect the stats. The figures in the article are assuming you don’t earn any Avios for the flight, and excludes those earnings from the calculation.

    I checked a return flight LON-GLA in business where I would earn 3500 Avios. I could spend 3000 Avios and get £30 off, which is a net increase of 500 Avios. At the opposite end of the scale, I could use 70800 Avios for £320 off (0.45p per Avios) and taking into account the 3500 I will earn, I would actually get 0.48p per Avios.

    I completely understand why this is omitted from the calculations in the article because the amount of Avios you earn is dependent on your status and would make for a very challenging article to write.

    I personally am happy using part pay with Avios because I earn full tier points and Avios on the flight and pay less cash. At the moment, with airfares through the roof, it’s really quite helpful.

    • WaynedP says:

      The reason that “Avios earned on the flight purchase” is omitted from the article is because you get them anyway, regardless of whether you choose to part pay with Avios, or not (as has been pointed out elsewhere). For the purpose of the assessment, they are essentially a redundant parameter.

      Far more relevant is your own stated personal preference (or at least indifference) to using part pay with Avios to reduce the headline price on a TP earning airfare, which illustrates my point that the extra choice that part pay with Avios affords BA customers to indulge their own personal preferences has a value in addition to the pure pounds and pence calculations.

      That doesn’t negate any of the objective facts included in the article, it just leaves the value assessment incomplete for most real life customers.

      • ed_fly says:

        Even when considering tier points, again it’s not relevant. Surely, the consideration is would you genuinely achieve 0.8 p per avios by converting to Nectar, either through Sainsburys, ebay, argos (see Rob’s comment above re. ebay gift vouchers). If so, then any use of Avios which achieves less than a 0.8 p per avios value for flights is pointless. You may as well convert the avios to nectar and use it to buy something you would’ve paid for anyway, and then use the cash saving towards that tier point earning flight.

  • TravelEd says:

    The caveat here has to be ‘unless there’s a good offer on’. I booked when there was an offer last month and got £420 off for 21,000 Avios (for 2 people). This works out at 2p/avios.
    Admittedly this was only valid in WT/WT+ cabins but as they were day flights and I’m expecting to have silver status when I take them WT+ should be ok.
    As others have said there is some additional value in getting avios for the flight on top of this (compared to other avios redemptions rather than not using avios at all) but lets just say this equates to ‘more than’ 2p/avios. I haven’t yet seen any other ‘more than’ 2p/avios rate for anything – hence why I booked it.

  • Scottydogg says:

    I got denied access to the Bristol airport lounge today with my priority pass . The guy said it’s pre bookings only . I asked how you pre book and he said there is no possible way with priority pass ? So this pass is effectively useless then ? Is it worth complaining ?

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