How To Redeem British Airways Avios For Finest Worth

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British Airways Govt Membership Avios might be controversial — some individuals swear by them, whereas some individuals suppose they’re ineffective (“Avios” is the identify of British Airways’ factors foreign money). On this publish I needed to take an in depth take a look at the present actuality of redeeming British Airways Avios, and the very best methods to go about doing so.

I do take into account Govt Membership to be one of the crucial helpful frequent flyer applications for redeeming factors, even when this system can be irritating.

Why it’s best to care about British Airways Govt Membership

Merely put, British Airways Govt Membership is among the most helpful frequent flyer applications for redeeming on oneworld airways. This system companions with main transferable factors currencies, and we additionally often see switch bonuses, which may make the maths on these redemptions work nice.

Because of Govt Membership’s distance based mostly award pricing, you’ll typically discover this program to be extra sensible than aspirational. It may be the best program for reserving a brief haul award in financial system, whereas this system won’t be a fantastic worth for a protracted haul award in first-class.

The factor is, it’s essential to grasp what you’re getting your self into with Govt Membership, as this system works a bit in a different way than some US frequent flyer applications.

British Airways Boeing 787

How you can earn British Airways Avios

The nice information is that even when you’re not a British Airways frequent flyer, there are fairly a number of methods to earn Govt Membership Avios, starting from bank cards, to transferable factors currencies, to outright shopping for the rewards.

Get a US Avios bank card

British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Finnair, and Qatar Airways, all use Avios as their factors foreign money. There are three bank cards issued within the US that instantly earn Avios:

Finnair and Qatar Airways don’t but difficulty US bank cards, however I think about that might change sooner or later. Additionally word you could switch Avios between choose currencies, permitting you to maneuver rewards from Iberia to British Airways, for instance.

Don’t underestimate the alternatives that transferring Avios between applications can open up. For instance, this lets you not directly use British Airways to guide Iberia enterprise class for fewer Avios, and even to redeem Avios for JetBlue Mint.

Switch factors from a financial institution foreign money

There are many methods to earn Avios with US bank cards, manner past the above three bank cards.

British Airways Govt Membership is switch companions with Amex Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One, and Chase Final Rewards. Factors switch at a 1:1 ratio, and transfers are typically immediate.

Notice that we often see switch bonuses to British Airways Govt Membership Avios (or one of many different “flavors” of Avios), and that may be an effective way to make your factors stretch even additional. I feel in some circumstances it might even be price making a speculative switch when there’s a bonus accessible, particularly when you often redeem Avios.

Purchase Avios outright

Along with having the ability to earn Avios by way of bank cards, the varied Avios currencies typically additionally promote rewards with a bonus, and in lots of circumstances that could possibly be deal. We generally see bonuses of as much as 50% for buying British Airways Govt Membership Avios, Iberia Plus Avios, and Qatar Airways Privilege Membership Avios.

Iberia Airbus A320

Fundamentals of redeeming British Airways Avios

Let’s first cowl all of the fundamentals of redeeming British Airways Avio, together with the logistics. What’s the Avios expiration coverage, how a lot does it value to cancel award tickets, how a lot do award tickets value, and so on.?

British Airways Avios expiration coverage

In terms of the rewards expiration coverage, British Airways Avios expire after 36 months of inactivity. Any transaction that includes incomes or redeeming Avios would lengthen the expiration of these rewards. I’d take into account that to be a reasonably liberal coverage, since even transferring simply 1,000 factors to British Airways would reset the expiration.

British Airways Avios award cancelation charges

In terms of altering or redepositing awards booked with British Airways Avios, you’ll be able to anticipate that making a change to an award ticket or redepositing the Avios for an award ticket will value you $55 if performed on-line, with an additional $25 price for doing so through the decision middle. Nonetheless, the price varies based mostly on the place on this planet your account is registered. For instance, for the time being you’ll be able to anticipate to pay €42.50 within the European Union, or £35 in the UK.

There may be one attention-grabbing quirk to canceling Avios awards, which is that you just don’t should essentially pay the total cancelation price to redeposit an award ticket booked with Avios. You both should forfeit the taxes and charges or pay the price to get your Avios refunded.

Lastly, word that any modifications or redeposits should happen not less than 24 hours earlier than departure. Inside that timeframe, modifications and cancelations aren’t allowed.

British Airways Avios airline companions

British Airways belongs to the oneworld alliance, which means you’ll be able to redeem your Avios on any oneworld airline. This consists of airways like Alaska, American, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airways, Malaysia Airways, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, Royal Air Maroc, and SriLankan Airways.

On high of that, you can even redeem Avios on Aer Lingus, Fiji Airways, and Vueling.

Qatar Airways Boeing 777

British Airways Avios award surcharges

British Airways is infamous for its service imposed surcharges (typically referred to by individuals as “gasoline surcharges”). Are these due on award tickets? Sure and no:

  • For journey on British Airways, the airline now gives Reward Flight Saver on all routes, whereby you redeem the next variety of Avios, however have diminished surcharges; this is applicable for enterprise, premium financial system, and financial system
  • For journey on companion airways, British Airways typically passes on no matter service imposed surcharges that airline would cost on income tickets; a home US ticket gained’t embrace any service imposed surcharges, whereas a protracted haul ticket will nearly at all times have surcharges

It’s additionally essential to grasp that separate from service imposed surcharges, there’s additionally the UK Air Passenger Responsibility, which applies when you’ve a ticket originating within the UK. This may be actually costly, however applies equally to all airways, and is a authorities tax.

American Boeing 777

British Airways Avios award seat assure

British Airways opens its award calendar 355 days upfront, in order that’s just below 12 months earlier than a specific flight. One factor I respect is that British Airways ensures a certain quantity of award area when the schedule opens:

  • On quick haul flights, you’ll be able to anticipate a complete of not less than 12 award seats per flight, together with 4 enterprise seats and eight financial system seats
  • On lengthy haul flights, you’ll be able to anticipate a complete of not less than 14 award seats per flight, together with 4 enterprise seats, two premium financial system seats, and eight financial system seats

British Airways Avios family accounts

One of many cool issues about British Airways Govt Membership is you could create family accounts, whereby. This lets you pool Avios with as much as six different individuals registered on the identical deal with as you. That is notably superior for much less frequent flyers, because it means you’ll be able to flip your rewards into one thing extra materials by pooling Avios.

Do bear in mind that when you create a family account, then you definately’re restricted when it comes to who you’ll be able to redeem your Avios for, in order that’s the catch to concentrate on. If you wish to freely have the ability to redeem Avios for anybody, don’t hassle with making a family account.

British Airways Airbus A380 first-class

British Airways Avios award prices & greatest offers

British Airways Govt Membership’s award pricing is roughly distance based mostly. Again within the day, Govt Membership used to have one easy award chart for journey on British Airways and its IAG companions, and one easy award chart for journey on companion airways.

Sadly that’s now not the case, as British Airways has in tweaked award pricing for particular routes and airways, clearly to mirror the economics of this system. Meaning British Airways has raised lots of the award prices for flights which are most used, and the place redemption prices are presumably highest for this system.

So let me attempt to break this down as precisely as I can…

Redeeming Avios on British Airways

Under is the Govt Membership award chart, displaying Avios pricing for journey on British Airways.

Zone // Distance

Economic system Off Peak // Peak

Premium Economic system Off Peak // Peak

Enterprise Off Peak // Peak

First Off Peak // Peak

Zone 1
1-650 miles*
*Not accessible in North America

4,000 // 4,500

5.750 // 6,750

7,750 // 9,000

15,500 // 18,000

Zone 2
651-1150 miles

6,500 // 7,500

9,500 // 11,250

12,750 // 15,000

25,500 // 30,000

Zone 3
1151-2000 miles

8,500 // 10,000

12,750 // 15,000

17,000 // 20,000

34,000 // 40,000

Zone 4
2001-3000 miles

10,000 // 12,500

20,000 // 25,000

31,250 // 37,500

42,500 // 50,000

Zone 5
3001-4000 miles

13,000 // 20,000

26,000 // 40,000

50,000 // 60,000

68,000 // 80,000

Zone 6
4001-5500 miles

16,250 // 25,000

32,500 // 50,000

62,500 // 75,000

85,000 // 100,000

Zone 7
5501-6500 miles

19,500 // 30,000

39,000 // 60,000

75,000 // 90,000

102,000 // 120,000

Zone 8
6501-7000 miles

22,750 // 35,000

45,500 // 75,000

87,500 // 105,000

119,000 // 140,000

Zone 9
7001+ miles

32,500 // 50,000

65,000 // 100,000

125,000 // 150,000

170,000 // 200,000

British Airways Govt Membership Award Chart

There are some essential issues to grasp:

  • British Airways has each peak and off-peak award pricing, in order that pricing varies based mostly on the day that you just’re touring
  • Pricing is per section, so it doesn’t matter what kind of award you guide, you’ll pay individually for every section
  • That is the usual award chart, although British Airways additionally has the Reward Flight Saver scheme, whereby you’ll be able to redeem extra Avios however pay decrease charges

Let me emphasize that the explanation this pricing is sort of a moot level is due to Reward Flight Saver, which doesn’t include an award chart. For instance, say you’re flying off-peak from New York to London. Previously, that may have value 50,000 Avios, plus roughly $1,000 in taxes and service imposed surcharges.

Now this can value 80,000 Avios, plus a extra cheap $350 in taxes and service imposed surcharges.

British Airways Reward Flight Saver choice

In nearly any state of affairs, Reward Flight Saver is a greater deal than what was beforehand accessible. In any case, I’d slightly pay an additional 30,000 Avios than paying an additional $650. Nonetheless, this additionally signifies that there’s no clear chart I can level you to with award pricing.

Redeeming Avios for brief haul journey inside Europe can be a fantastic deal. For instance, off-peak enterprise class from Geneva to London prices 15,000 Avios plus simply $1.

British Airways Reward Flight Saver choice

So to summarize, I feel British Airways redemptions are a a lot better deal throughout the board than they was once, because of Reward Flight Saver. Quick haul awards are constantly a fantastic deal, among the many lowest priced awards you’ll discover with any program.

In the meantime lengthy haul awards are a greater worth than they was once, although odds are nonetheless good you could get extra worth by way of different applications. For instance, I’d nonetheless slightly guide a transatlantic enterprise class award by way of Air France-KLM Flying Blue, the place I might pay simply 50,000 miles, plus the surcharges are decrease.

British Airways Boeing 777 enterprise class

Redeeming Avios on companion airways

British Airways has separate award pricing for journey on companion airways, which you will discover beneath (type of). This pricing is per section, and one-way.

Zone // Flight Distance

Economic system

Premium Economic system



Zone 1
1-650 miles*
*Not accessible in North America





Zone 2
651-1150 miles





Zone 3
1151-2000 miles





Zone 4
2001-3000 miles





Zone 5
3001-4000 miles





Zone 6
4001-5500 miles





Zone 7
5501-6500 miles





Zone 8
6501-7000 miles





Zone 9
7001+ miles





British Airways Govt Membership Award Chart for Companion Airways

For journey on companion airways, there’s not peak and off-peak pricing, however slightly there’s standardized pricing… type of. Whereas pricing for a specific flight will at all times be the identical, assuming there’s award availability, completely different companions have completely different pricing.

For instance, Govt Membership expenses the next variety of Avios for awards on American and Alaska:

  • Flights of as much as 650 miles value 8,250 Avios in financial system or 16,500 Avios in enterprise
  • Flights of 651-1,150 miles value 11,000 Avios in financial system or 20,500 Avios in enterprise
  • Flights of 1,151-2,000 miles value 14,500 Avios in financial system or 29,000 Avios in enterprise
  • Flights of two,001-3,000 miles value 16,000 Avios in financial system or 42,000 Avios in enterprise

I’d say there are some actual candy spot award alternatives right here. That’s very true if you think about how simple Govt Membership Avios are to earn, and the way there are sometimes switch bonuses.

For instance, having the ability to redeem simply 8,250 Avios for a brief haul award from Miami to the Caribbean on American is a superb deal, given how a lot these tickets will typically value when paying money.

However across the globe there are offers available. Govt Membership is my go-to program fro quick haul Qantas awards in Australia, quick haul Qatar Airways awards within the Center East, quick haul Cathay Pacific awards in Asia, and so on.

American Boeing 737 enterprise class

Redeem Avios for a multi-carrier award

As you’ll be able to see, all of the above award pricing is per section. British Airways does have one different award choice that’s not talked about a lot, which is the multi-carrier award chart. Let me begin by simply sharing that chart, which exhibits financial system pricing (premium financial system prices 1.5x as a lot, enterprise class prices 2x as a lot, and first-class prices 3x as a lot).

British Airways multi-carrier award chart

This chart applies when flying with two or extra oneworld airways, and these awards must be booked by cellphone. You’ll be able to embrace as much as eight segments, and may have limitless stopovers.

Let me simply lower to the chase — I don’t wish to fully dismiss this as a redemption choice, however I simply suppose the juice isn’t definitely worth the squeeze right here. The Avios charges really sound fairly good — you would fly as much as 25,000 miles in enterprise class for 240,000 Avios.

Nonetheless, the surcharges can be excessive, and the logistics are sophisticated as properly, when it comes to discovering award availability, reserving, and lack of flexibility. For those who’re an enormous planner and like an journey, this might symbolize deal. However for many of us, I simply don’t suppose that is price it, given that the majority applications enable one-way awards these days, so you’ll be able to simply piece collectively your individual around the world journey.

What about redeeming Avios for motels, automotive leases, and extra?

As is the case with most frequent flyer applications, there are methods to redeem British Airways Avios that don’t embrace flights. You’ll be able to redeem British Airways Avios for the whole lot from automotive leases, to motels, to merchandise.

Nonetheless, it’s nearly by no means deal. Utilizing these redemption choices, you’ll fairly constantly get beneath one cent of worth per Avios, which I wouldn’t take into account to be excellent (personally I worth Avios at ~1.3 cents every).

Simply to present one instance, for an evening subsequent weekend you’ll be able to guide the Sheraton Instances Sq. New York for 20,650 Avios, which exhibits as being diminished from 30,250 Avios.

Avios resort redemptions aren’t deal

The paid price for that evening, together with all taxes and charges, is at most $174.

Avios resort redemptions aren’t deal

That’s only one instance, however you’ll discover a related sample with most redemptions. Whereas redeeming for non-travel experiences is likely to be a great way to attenuate charges, it’s not a great way to maximise your Avios in any other case.

Backside line

British Airways Govt Membership Avios are a helpful foreign money. Not solely are Avios simple to earn, however there are additionally typically switch bonuses, which may stretch your rewards additional.

Avios aren’t simply helpful for journey on British Airways, however redemptions on companion airways also can symbolize deal. Particularly, many discover worth in redeeming Avios for brief haul journey to and from america, when flying with American or Alaska.

Whereas British Airways Govt Membership Avios aren’t my favourite rewards foreign money, I do take into account them to be among the many most typically helpful, and I feel they’re a part of a properly thought out factors technique.

What are your favourite makes use of of British Airways Avios?

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