A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us a question on Facebook about how there could be any value in buying British Airways Avios?
You can access our piece for the latest BA Avios sale here.
Here’s the message from the reader:
Can you explain what value there is in the purchase of Avios when it’s possible to purchase 30,000 for £495 , and currently get a bonus of 9000, if when reserving seats for a charge of £160 you debit 29,100 Avios from my account? It really doesn’t seem to be good value to me!
The reader must have sent this message to BA too because obviously we are not deducting anything from anyone’s account!
As is the case with buying any airline miles or hotel loyalty program points, you have to be very strategic in using them or otherwise it just doesn’t make sense.
Using British Airways Avios make sense:
1. Reward Flight Saver
You can use BA Avios for one-way or return flights with fixed fees within Europe on BA flights. These are great value and often available on short notice when paid tickets are very expensive.
2. Business Class
Business class redemptions within Europe are reasonable too and fees are capped. Good value and often available when paid prices are throughout the roof.
3. Partner Awards
You can book partner awards online (many other programs won’t allow) and some with low fuel/carrier surcharges are good value (JAL, Cathay Pacific, LATAM etc).
One-way tickets are often priced at a ridiculous surcharge. Using miles often make sense.
5. 2-4-1 & Upgrade Vouchers
Executive Club members in some markets can get 2-4-1 vouchers for having affiliated credit cards and hitting certain spend requirements (can redeem for 2 when paying for 1) and also have upgrade vouchers that can be used even for award tickets.
You always should check the paid prices. Considering the very high fuel surcharge (nowadays called carrier surcharge) that BA collects on its flights, it often make very little sense to redeem even for long-haul business when you can just buy the same flights for little more than the cash component on BA award.
BA Avios are very good value on short-haul flights between expensive city pairs. Redeeming them without those 2-4-1 and/or upgrade vouchers for long-haul BA flights in Premiun Cabins can make very little sense considering the cash component.
Merely buying miles/points and using them for flights/stays makes very little sense. You need to alternate between miles/points and cash when it makes sense.