Have you ever flown with British Airways or its partner airlines? If so, you’ve probably heard of Avios points. But what are they? And how do they benefit you? Well, here’s a look at how Avios points work and what you can spend them on.
What are Avios points?
Avios points are a type of reward currency used by British Airways and its sister airlines, AerLingus, Iberia and Vueling.
You can earn Avios in many ways, such as by buying flights and hiring cars. Once you’ve earned enough Avios, you can use them to get money off flights or other discounts. And if you save up enough points, you could even get flights for free!
Avios points and Tier points: what’s the difference?
Avios points and Tier points from British Airways are commonly confused. But they’re actually quite different.
Avios are points you can spend. You can trade them in exchange for rewards such as discounted flights.
Tier points, on the other hand, are cumulative and you can’t spend them. Instead, you build them up over time. The more Tier points you have, the more rewards you can enjoy from the British Airways Executive Club.
How do Avios points work?
Think of Avios as a kind of reward scheme. You collect Avios points when you spend money on certain goods and services, such as British Airways flights. Once you’ve earned enough Avios, you can exchange them for benefits, such as flights or hotel upgrades.
The points don’t expire, but you should collect or receive at least one point every 36 months. If you’re short on points, you can always purchase extra from British Airways.
How do you get Avios points?
Now that you’ve learned what they are, here’s how to start gaining Avios points.
1. Join an applicable frequent flyer programme
To be eligible for Avios, join one or more of the following frequent flyer programmes:
- British Airways Executive Club
- Iberia Plus
- Vueling Club
2. Start earning Avios points
You can start earning Avios points by:
- Spending with an Avios credit card
- Flying with British Airways or a sister airline (Aer Lingus, Iberia or Vueling)
- Staying at a partner hotel
- Booking a British Airways package holiday
- Hiring a vehicle from a partner company
- Shopping with retailers such as Apple and John Lewis through the British Airways eStore
Visit the British Airways eStore to see a list of the airline’s current shopping partners as it’s subject to change.
What are Avios points worth?
On average, Avios are each worth around £0.45. However, the value of Avios depends on how you choose to spend them.
For example, when you spend Avios on non-flight rewards, they could be worth less. On the other hand, they could be worth more when used to buy flights.
Even when you buy flights, though, the value of Avios fluctuates depending on factors such as the airline, your chosen destination and the price of your ticket (e.g. economy or business class).
Also note that your flight might not be completely free when you use Avios points, as you might still need to pay taxes and fees.
What can you spend Avios points on?
Once you collect enough Avios points, you can use them to access a range of rewards, including:
- Hotel accommodation
- Hotel upgrades
- Car hire
- Experience days
- In-flight products, like wine, beer and spirits
Can you use a combination of Avios and cash to buy flights?
Yes. You can pay for part of your flight using Avios and pay the rest in cash.
Not all bookings are eligible for Avios part payment, though. Always refer to the Avios Terms & Conditions before booking your flight.
What is the best way to earn Avios points?
One of the best ways to earn Avios points is through an Avios credit card.
For example, the British Airways American Express Credit Card gives you 10,000 bonus points if you spend over £1,000 during the first three months of card membership. What’s more, you’ll get one Avios point for every £1 spent, which adds up over time.
If you’re ready to apply for a credit card, check out a range of cards on offer – they all come with different interest rates and benefits, and an Avios card may not be right for you.
Is an Avios card the best credit card for you?
Well, as with any rewards credit card, it all depends on your lifestyle.
If you fly frequently, you might benefit from an Avios credit card. Some travellers prefer a regular travel credit card, though – it just depends on your personal preferences.
If you don’t fly much, you might apply for a different type of rewards card altogether, such as a cashback credit card.
The bottom line? When choosing a credit card, consider your spending habits and your lifestyle. You might find another type of credit card that better suits your needs.
Check out our full list of top-rated rewards credit cards in the UK to determine which is right for you.