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Is ‘Part Pay With Avios’ for British Airways flights 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 at the moment you are not allowed to pay the entire price with points. This will change soon ….

British Airways Holidays also embraced ‘Part Pay With Avios’ last year – click to read more.

Is Part Pay With Avios a good deal?

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 300 to 400. 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 0.66p (0.5p x 400 / 300).

You can spend all your Avios in Sainsbury’s or Argos by turning them into Nectar points, and get a fixed 0.66p per Avios. This means that you should not be redeeming Avios anywhere else when you get under 0.66p of value.

Unfortunately, redeeming for ‘Part Pay With Avios’ will mean that you will often get less than 0.66p 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 the majority of British Airways codeshare flights.

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

  • £6 off for 600 Avios (1p per Avios)
  • £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) – slightly worse than Nectar
  • £78 off for 16,500 Avios (0.47p per Avios) – much worse than Nectar
  • £110 off for 24,600 Avios (0.44p per Avios) – much worse than Nectar

You will NOT be allowed to pay for your entire flight with Avios, although this is due to change during 2024.  In my example above, I was only offered a maximum of a £110 discount on a £230 fare.

Remember that you get 0.66p per Avios by redeeming them via Nectar in Sainsbury’s, in Argos or on eBay.

On this basis, you would be crazy to redeem 16,500 or 24,600 Avios against this booking. You are getting far less than 0.66p for your Avios.

How to use part pay with Avios on British Airways

Using ‘Part Pay With Avios’ on long haul:

Here is an example for a £895 long haul Economy flight on British Airways, showing how you could lose out on £183:

  • £20 off for 2,000 Avios (1p per Avios)
  • £50 off for 7,650 Avios (0.65p per Avios) – worse than Nectar
  • £90 off for 17,500 Avios (0.51p per Avios) – much worse than Nectar
  • £140 off for 31,000 Avios (0.45p per Avios) – much worse than Nectar
  • £190 off for 43,800 Avios (0.43p per Avios) – much worse than Nectar
  • £240 off for 55,500 Avios (0.43p per Avios) – much worse than Nectar
  • £330 off for 77,000 Avios (0.43p per Avios) – much worse than Nectar

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 0.66p per Avios that you get by redeeming via Nectar.

In the last example above, you are £183 worse off by using your Avios for a flight discount. The same 77,000 Avios would convert to Nectar points worth £513.

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.

Is Part Pay With Avios worth it?

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 0.43p per Avios – as you get in some examples above – is a bad deal. You can get 0.66p per Avios via Nectar as a guaranteed return so don’t waste your points accepting less.

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 0.66p per point that Nectar offers.

PS. You can also look at this the other way around

Let’s flip the question. Is it worth converting Nectar points to Avios to part-pay for British Airways flights?

1 Nectar point is worth 0.5p when used in Sainsburys or (based on 400 Nectar points = 250 Avios) can be converted into 0.625 Avios.

[Pulls out calculator ….]

Unless you get more than 0.8p per Avios, you should NOT be converting your Nectar points – and as you can see above, ‘Part Pay With Avios’ will NOT get you 0.8p except when using small quantities.

This means that it is NOT worth converting Nectar points into Avios to use them for ‘Part Pay with Avios’, unless it is for a token 1,000 Avios for £10 off (short haul) or 2,000 Avios for £20 off (long haul).

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 2024)

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

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £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 famous annual 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 £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

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

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable 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

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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 (43)

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

  • James says:

    I took an offer of £52 off for 6500 avios the other day – seemed reasonable plus 3 points per £ for booking on BA Amex plus avios from flight. Ended up being cheap tickets to Riga.

  • Andrew. says:

    Definitely worth it.

    During sale periods, I use PPWA to bring Club Domestic fares down to normal to Domestic Traveller tariffs. That means 80TP instead of 10TP on the journey for the same cash budget.

  • Froggee says:

    Froggee does marginal cost which is like totally correcter.

    I have memories that Rob says this method is far too complex for his readership (he thinks we is all dumbdumbs) but if you is going to do a calculation, you might as well do the right one.

    Oh and if anyone notices that I made a mistake then this isn’t me, it’s an imposter. The bad English is clear evidence of that.

    £6 off for 600 Avios (1p per Avios)
    or £4 more off for 400 more Avios (1p)
    or £8 more off for 980 more Avios (0.82p)
    or £8 more off for 1270 more Avios (0.63p)
    or £16 more off for 3,350 more Avios (0.48p)
    or £36 more off for 9,900 more Avios (0.36p)
    or £32 more off for 8,100 more Avios (0.39p)

    • jj says:

      Thank you, Froggee. I thought of writing a similar post, but it’s been said so many times before that I’m beginning to wonder if it’s Rob who finds the maths too hard.

    • SBIre says:

      Out of interest, why is marginal cost more correct for this? I can see why marginal cost makes sense when trying to decide if it’s worth manufacturing a batch of widgets, but not for helping to decide between these discrete options. Is there an amount (£x off for y avios) that your way would lead you to a different decision to Rob?

      • Erico1875 says:

        I’m with Rob on this one. Marginal cost is overkill to arrive at roughly the same conclusion

      • Froggee says:

        The reason I’d go for marginal cost is that each time you use an additional amount of Avios you are getting a cash saving for using these additional Avios. The overall price you pay is an average made up of these individual savings.

        Really dumb example – if I offered to sell you two ounces of gold for $3,500 then I assume you would be a buyer. Average price of $1,750 compared to market rate of ~$2,000. But if I said you can buy one ounce of gold for $1,000 or two ounces of gold for $3,500 you’d be crazy bonkers to buy two ounces as the marginal cost for the second ounce is $2,500.

        As for decision making, if you were a Sainsbury’s shopper and got all your Avios from converting Nectar points then they cost you 0.8p.

        Using Rob’s numbers you’d be happy enough with the fourth option. I’d be like h3ll no, stick at the third.

        But I’m conscious that I’m a numbers geek and other people have better things to do with their time.

        • SBIre says:

          Sorry, it’s late and maybe I’m missing something, but I do not see why you’d do that? Aren’t you are assuming the cheapest option is the always the best option and your math only works if each later option gets a progressively a little worse until there is a line in the sand? Doesn’t that break down if some of the later options are better value (as they are with short haul RFS?)

          Playing with the numbers a little so there is a better value option a little later

          Rob’s method
          • £6 off for 800 Avios (.75p per Avios)
          • £10 off for 900 Avios (1.11p per Avios)
          • £18 off for 1,600 Avios (1.125 per Avios)

          Your method
          £6 off for 800 Avios (.75p per Avios)
          or £4 more off for 100 more Avios (2.5p)
          or £8 more off for 500 more Avios (1.6p)

          The third option is clearly but barely the best, but I don’t see how to use your method in this case? (sorry in advance if I’ve make a mistake in my numbers!!)

          • Froggee says:

            Indeed for the numbers you showed.

            I don’t assume anything on the pricing. That’s kind of the point. I look at each option! So for the revised numbers you present, I’d firstly wonder what on earth BA were playing at and then take the £18 off. But that would be done in my head as it is kinda obvious to me.

            But if I was doing marginal cost and, say, the final option gets 2p per Avios but the option before it was only 0.5p per Avios I would treat the 0.5p option as a sunk cost that would need to be combined with the 2p option to evaluate.

            Maybe that doesn’t make much sense to you but it takes a couple of minutes with a spreadsheet to ensure that you’re maximising value. And this obviously depends on your personal valuation as well in terms of where you pull the trigger.

          • SBIre says:

            @Froggee I think we have exhausted the max number of nested replies!
            Thanks for getting back to me. As long as your method makes sense to you and works for you, then I’m happy – I want me make sure you maximise your trips so we get more of your great trip reports!

  • SonicStar817 says:

    I guess it depends how you want to use it. Avios availability can be scare at times for normal redemptions. You don’t need avios availability to part pay and you earn back some Avios and Tier points in the process. Whether it makes sense is really down to the individual.

  • w653 says:

    Sometimes I wonder if you write these articles with the specific intention to draw attention to something good, in order to have it removed so you can then cover it in another post!

    • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

      That really is some conspiracy theory!

      This isn’t some back door way to reduce the cost it’s offered by BA itself!

    • zapato1060 says:

      Imagining Rob entering HfP offices, fires up his PC, *looks behind left and right* and logs into this BA Profit Management profile. Password is: theywillneversuspect

  • points_worrier says:

    Do remember taking £10 off for 1000 Avios stops you doing the best price guarantee. For most bookings >£150 or so it will be at least £10 cheaper on an OTA. So you lose the opportunity to get a voucher of at least the amount you are part-paying by using your small amount of avios.

  • Tom says:

    At smaller volumes there is always a guaranteed 1p/point when using 300 Nectar points at Esso garages to get 5p/litre off for up to 60 litres of fuel. Round here we are lucky as the local Esso garage is pretty much always the cheapest as well, equalling or beating all the supermarkets.

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

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