Official Guide to British Airways Avios: The 4 Best Ways to Use Avios Points

By Paul Riegler on 12 August 2019
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It’s no secret that our staff loves the British Airways Executive Club’s Avios currency.

Avios is the frequent flyer currency of British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Vueling, and Flybe. Until November 2011, they were known as Air Miles.

It’s easy to accumulate Avios even if one doesn’t regularly fly on British Airways or Iberia, yet many people don’t get the best possible use out of their points balances.  The program offers exceptional bonuses from time to time, such as 50,000 for credit-card signups and, quite recently, a 30,000-point bonus for hosting one’s first stay on Airbnb (the bonus has since been reduced to 8,000 points). In addition, American Express regularly offers bonuses ranging from 30% to 50% for transfers of Membership Rewards points into a British Airways Executive Club Account.


Another benefit is that, while you will lose your relatively small cash fee, you can cancel flights prior to 24 hours before departure and your Avios points will be re-deposited to your account.

Here are our four tips for getting exceptional value out of your Avios.

American Airlines: Short- and mid-haul flights within the United States and to the Caribbean

While award availability isn’t always great, American Airlines short-haul flights are generally a bargain when purchased with Avios.  Short flights, such as New York (JFK) to Washington, D.C. (DCA), are available with some degree of advance planning for 7,500 Avios and a $5.60 fee for a coach seat each way.  Similarly, one-way fare from New York (JFK) to Chicago (ORD) is 9,000 Avios and a $5.60 fee.  First class to Chicago (BA refers to it as “business class”) would cost 16,500 Avios plus $5.60.

Click here to continue to Page 2BA Short-Haul, Aer Lingus, and Qantas Flights

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