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Can I pay for British Airways buy on board food and drink catering with Avios points?

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Today I want to answer the question over whether you can pay for British Airways buy on board food and drink using Avios points?

In 2017 British Airways chose to scrap complimentary food and drinks on its short-haul flights in economy, opting for a buy-on-board offering instead.  This was initially offered in partnership with premium British supermarket chain Marks and Spencer, but the deal ended in 2021.

There is now a two tier system in place.

Can I pay for British Airways buy on board food and drink catering with Avios points?

All passengers in Economy receive a free bottle of water and very light snack, such as a mini flapjack.

If you want more, you can pre-order food and drink via the website.  This gives you access to a wide range of products, including some from Tom Kerridge.  Your pre-paid food will be brought to you on the aircraft by the crew.

A small range of products – mainly hot and cold drinks and ambient snacks (nothing fresh) – can be purchased on board without pre-ordering.

If you do not want to spend your hard earned cash, British Airways lets you pay for food and drinks with Avios.  This is possible both for pre-orders via and for purchases onboard.

In general, you are looking at a valuation of 0.7p per Avios – not the worst, by a long way, but you can do better. It is a better choice than using your Avios to book hotels, car hire or to pay for seat selection or extra baggage, where you will usually only get 0.5p per point.

You should target 1p per Avios if you redeem them for premium cabin flights. You can read more about how much we believe an Avios is worth here.

(This article is part of our ‘BA Q&A’ series which explains how British Airways Executive Club works.  You can see all of our ‘BA Q&A’ articles here. )

(Head for Points is the UK’s biggest frequent flyer website with 2.5 million monthly page views.  Want to learn more about earning and spending Avios?  Click here to read our latest news stories and click here to join the mailing list for our weekly or daily email newsletters.)

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (April 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

Huge 30,000 points bonus until 12th May 2024 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 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.

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