If you’ve ever flown with British Airways or its partner airlines, you’ve probably heard of ‘Avios’ or ‘Avios points’. Perhaps the term came up when you were searching for reward points on credit cards. Or maybe you have simply heard the term in passing and wondered what it means.
In any case, this guide will explain what Avios points are, how to earn them, and how to use them.
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What are Avios points and how do I get them?
Avios are basically the reward currency of British Airways and its sister airlines, AerLingus, Iberia and Vueling. They are reward points that you can earn by spending money on flights with British Airways and its partner airlines, or with hotels, car rentals, fuel, online shopping and other participating partners.
To begin collecting Avios, simply join one of the following frequent flyer programmes and you are ready to go:
- British Airways Executive Program
- Iberia Plus
- Vueling Club
There is no limit to the number of schemes you can join. In fact, joining all four can provide you with more opportunities to earn and redeem Avios. The points have the same value regardless of the programme and can be easily transferred between them.
Once you have your Avios account, there are numerous ways to collect points. You can earn points when you:
- Fly with British Airways or one of its three sister airlines (AerLingus, Iberia, and Vueling)
- Stay at a partner hotel anywhere in the world
- Hire a car with a participating partner
- Book a holiday package with British Airways
- Shop with a wide range of shopping partners like John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Apple through BA’s shopping portal.
- Spend with an Avios credit card, like the British Airways American Express credit cards.
What can I spend Avios points on?
Once you’ve collected a sufficient number of Avios points, you can redeem them for rewards. These include travel-related rewards like flights, hotel stays, upgrades, and car hire.
Avios can also be spent on a wide range of other non-travel rewards, such as beer and wine, and experience days.
More information on how to earn and spend Avios through each of the four different frequent flyer programmes is available on the Avios website.
Could you be rewarded for your everyday spending?
Rewards credit cards include schemes that reward you simply for using your credit card. When you spend money on a rewards card you could earn loyalty points, in-store vouchers airmiles, and more. MyWalletHero makes it easy for you to find a card that matches your spending habits so you can get the most value from your rewards.
What are Avios points worth?
It varies from person to person and depends on what you redeem them for and how much the equivalent purchase or transaction would cost in cash.
According to frequent flyer and travel website Head for Points, their value generally bottoms out at 0.5p per Avios. That is when you spend them on non-flight rewards like hotels, car hire and alcoholic drinks. However, if you are savvy, you can get as much as 1.5p per Avios when you redeem them for flights.
In fact, as a general rule, Avios tend to be worth the most when spent on flights. If redeemed through the BA Executive Club, here’s what your Avios could be worth currently:
- 20,000 Avios – One return flight from London to Athens
- 15,000 Avios – One return flight from London to Barcelona
- 9,000 Avios – One return flight from London to Berlin
Note, however, that your flight might not be completely free, as you might still need to pay taxes and fees.
What is the best way to earn Avios points?
There are numerous ways to earn Avios points, but perhaps the easiest of them all is via credit card bonuses.
For example, when you sign up for the British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card, you will receive 25,000 bonus Avios when you spend £3,000 or more in your first three months of card membership.
Keep in mind, though, that this card has an APR of 74.7% and comes with an annual fee of £195.
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