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Avios “budget” and annual rate of “spending” Avios

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  • Jasdev

    Something I was thinking of earlier as I played around with the tools on the British Airways website.

    Regardless of how many Avios and American Express Member Rewards points you have saved up right now, does it make any sense whatsoever to only use up as many Avios as you earn a year, every year, on average?

    So for example you save up 70,000 Avios (or equivalent convertible scheme points) but that’s over 2 years.
    Would it then make sense to only plan to use 35,000 Avios on cabin upgrades, Avios and Money, etc. per membership year?
    Since you’d earn that back on average within a year if nothing else in your spending habits changes, and always maintain a floor of 35,000 Avios in the account.

    I could look at using my balance of Avios earned to date on somewhere juicy but then I might find myself waiting another two years until I’ve earned back that same Avios balance, whereas I could use my Avios every single year on a less juicy trip without completely emptying my account.

    Froggee

    Nah. If you can find a decent value redemption then spend the Avios.

    Unless you sometimes need them for E.g lastminute LHR-EDI flights in which case it may be worth holding some back.

    The fact I used to be able to upgrade EDI-SFO from a cash WT+ fare to J using 25,000 Avios return compared to much more than that now says it all.

    memesweeper

    When I started the hobby I decided to leave all the collected points alone for a first few years — and take driving holidays largely — while collecting a decent stash.

    Now the kids are grown up I spend as fast as I can on anything I fancy, provided value is decent enough. Devaluations are always a risk, and there’s no interest payable from the Bank of IAG.

    marks7389

    Earn and burn is a good mantra to apply. If you’re not earning at a pace that you can spend them there are usually other options with a bit of effort and/or cost to acquire. If you’re likely to want to travel to the US and Caribbean, Virgin Atlantic and credit card are also worth a look.

    With the new long haul RFS pricing, using more Avios generally gets better value. E.g. £350+160K Avios to New York vs £850+100K with a 2for1 voucher means you’re saving 1.67p/Avios by doing the former.

    Since you can buy Avios for less when you need them, even directly from BA at full price if you have to, in that case it simply doesn’t make sense to sit on the extra Avios if you have them.

    Finally, these schemes do periodally change (as does redemption availability and the routes on offer), sometimes without warning. You may find you can no longer do what you’d planned by sitting on them so that’s worth bearing in mind.

    Definitely make them go as far as possible though through things like the Amex 2for1 vouchers which also open up better availability. If you’ve never had a BA Amex, the current 70K Avios sign-up deal is definitely worth looking at. A 2for1 will normally get you much better value than cabin upgrades (although upgrading flights on a decent BA Holidays deal may sometimes be more attractive).

    Jasdev

    Thank you all for your responses!
    Devaluation is certainly something I should have considered, it’s been mentioned on the main HfP site but wasn’t really at the forefront of my mind.

    I have the Preferred Rewards Gold card and recently signed up for the BA Premium Plus based on the 70,000 bonus Avios offer. I likely won’t keep both cards as I don’t spend enough per year to earn both the Companion Voucher and the bonus Member Rewards points I’d get from spending up to £25,000 per year with the PRG card.

    The changes to the Companion Voucher are what make it valuable for a solo traveller like me. Before that change, the BAPP just didn’t seem like an attractive offer.

    Just a question regarding whether to transfer all my MR points into Avios now, or to apply for the free Rewards Credit Card and keep the option of convertible MR points for longer.

    memesweeper

    Rob is very keen on convertible points over single scheme ones, and I completely with him on that. Transfer out to Marriott isn’t a bad hedge if you want to start a membership rewards ‘fallow’ period in order to (maybe) qualify for a MR sign up bonus many years from now. Otherwise the free ARCC is the way to go in order to maintain MR.

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