- Earn 75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
- Every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa card, you’ll earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years.
- 10% off British Airways flights starting in the US when you book through the website provided in your welcome materials.
- Earn 3 Avios per $1 spent on purchases with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and LEVEL.
- Earn 2 Avios per $1 spent on hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel. Plus earn 1 Avios per $1 spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- $95 annual fee.
The Avios reward chart is now based on how far you want to travel in terms of miles. So what can you do with all those points?
Redeem awards domestically on partner American Airlines. Within the US, it’s usually easiest to find flights on partner American Airlines. There are no fuel surcharges when booking with American. Seating availability will be limited, but if you are flexible there is decent inventory.
- Los Angeles to Honolulu, Hawaii using only 13,000 Avios one-way and 26,000 Avios points roundtrip. I ran a quote and it cost $659 broken down to $621 fare and only $38 in taxes. So in this case you could save $621 in exchange for 26,000 points, which is 2.4 cents per point. This also works from Hawaii to Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle. You can also do JFK to LAX for 25k points roundtrip.
- Shorter-distance flights can be a good deal as well. Roundtrip from Chicago to New York City is only 18,000 Avios points + about $30 in taxes. Charlotte, NC to New York City is only 12,000 Avios roundtrip. Los Angeles to Las Vegas is also 12,000 Avios roundtrip. Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon is 18,000 Avios roundtrip.
Finding partner awards on BA.com is better than is was in the past, so try it first. Type in your to/from cities within the US, choose to book flights with Avios points (“Book” then “Book a flight with Avios”). As usual, it helps to book far ahead (or last-minute) and to be flexible with dates. Here’s a quick screenshot of a one-way flight booking from LAX to HNL for 13,000 points and $5.60 in taxes. Families can take note that there were 7 seats available at this price on the flight when I looked.
Use the American Airlines AA.com website and look the cheapest level awards. Record the exact flight dates and numbers, and then call at British Airways at 1-800-452-1201 to book them. If you can’t find the same flight on BA.com, they should waive the phone book fee (they did for me). Don’t be discouraged if you have to use this method, especially if you aren’t flying nonstop. Also, call back and talk with a different agent if they aren’t helpful initially.
Beware of fuel surcharges on British Airways flights. Don’t use Avios for a economy British Airways flight from USA to Europe, because you’ll still be subject to taxes and fees on award redemptions, which are often half the entire cost of the ticket. I ran a quick search for a random New York City (JFK) to London (LHR) flight that cost $1,050, the taxes and fees alone were $650. You can get the $400 “fare” for 40,000 Avios points, but that’s only 1 cent a point value.
Bottom line. The
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