Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forums Frequent flyer programs British Airways Executive Club Is it always better to pay with least avios most cash option?

  • kristofremedios 13 posts

    It seems on my searches for short haul the avios value is the best in the option with least avios more cash, this seems to be the case even with the 241 Amex BA voucher. Is this right?

    LHR-JTR BA Business
    Total Price (Including all taxes, fees, and carrier charges)

    51500 Avios + £ 1.00
    More pricing options
    You can select when paying

    50000 Avios + £ 9
    39000 Avios + £ 35
    36100 Avios + £ 50
    28000 Avios + £ 120
    21500 Avios + £ 168.00

    From these options it appears that even with the 241 voucher the most cash least avios option gives the most value per avios for 2 people

    kristofremedios 13 posts

    The cash fare for comparison was £816 PP

    HfP Staff
    2,170 posts

    Easiest option is to treat an Avios as being worth 1p and do the sums for each option.

    If you’re using a 241 voucher then the ‘most Avios’ option will be best because you get 241 on that bit whereas you don’t get 241 on the cash element.

    If this is a business trip and you’re not using a 241, the ‘least Avios’ will be best because the cash element is tax deductible.

    For a normal leisure trip without a 241 you can use the 1p method above but usually the £50 option (ie the old school option) is best, and £35 is best in Economy.

    kristofremedios 13 posts

    Thanks Rob that make’s sense.

    For the above example if I go with the cash fare being £816
    51500 Avios + £ 1.00 = means each avios is worth 1.58p

    50000 Avios + £ 9 = means each avios is worth 1.61p
    39000 Avios + £ 35 = each avios is 2.0p
    36100 Avios + £ 50 = each avios is 2.1p
    28000 Avios + £ 120 = each avios is 2.5p
    21500 Avios + £ 168.00 = each avios is 3.0p

    Is this normal that the lower amount of avios used usually means a higher value per avios

    Froggee 840 posts

    Hello – this mistake you are making here is wedding yourself to the cash fare of £816. This is clearly a very high fare and you are receiving an outsized redemption value as a result.

    BA will sell you Avios at not much over 1p via their Avios subscription or will currently let you “boost” them for just over 0.8p. So each Avios isn’t “worth” 3p, it is just a quirk of the calculation.

    If you would be willing to pay £816 for this flight and you could consistently redeem £816 flights at these rates then, sure, it makes sense but this amount of value is rare. Most people here will use Avios when we get more than 1p of value from them.

    So as his Robness suggested, punch in 1p per Avios and the various fares come in thusly:

    51500 Avios + £ 1.00 = £516
    50000 Avios + £ 9 = £509
    39000 Avios + £ 35 = £425
    36100 Avios + £ 50 = £411
    28000 Avios + £ 120 = £400
    21500 Avios + £ 168.00 = £383

    Some people might use 0.8p, some might use 0.67p (what you can get at Sainsburys). If you consistently get 3p per Avios then use 3p. But Rob has a big spreadsheet where he tracks his tens of millions of Avios and from memory has historically managed to get about 1.2p of value on his so you won’t go far wrong with using a penny.

    I use a penny and still have well over a million Avios in my household account. If I’d been able to consistently get a penny or more the account would be empty!

    yonasl 928 posts

    Hi @kristofremedios

    There are two ways to look at this i
    – If you NEED to take that flight that is £800 regardless then the choice is do you have tons of avios or £168 at hand. If the cash is no problem and you want to maximize the Avios value your math is right
    – But if you have tons of Avios from work (free to gain) maybe you prefer to spend less of your cash and go for the first option instead (which also would reduce the cost of cancelation to just £9)

    I use my Avios a lot to fly to Spain on the dates I want so compare the cash price to the Avios options the same way you have done.

    kristofremedios 13 posts

    Thank you all! That makes perfect sense now! I need to do the maths as an avios being worth 1p, because I won’t always get the high values as per this calculation

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