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Avios Points Boosting guide discussion

edited 27 February 2012 at 2:48PM in Flights, Currency & Car Hire
398 replies 223.5K views
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  • thelawnetthelawnet Forumite
    2.5K posts
    Pretty good guide.

    A few points:
    "How much is an Avios worth?

    Depending on how you spend them, 1,000 Avios points could be worth anything from £1 to £20."

    They could be worth more than £20. But that's not a helpful comment really.

    Later you say ' 1,000 Avios are typically only worth £8-£10'

    Which is a more useful guide, really.

    "Think twice before spending Avios points on hotels or car hire. In our research we found these gave poor value for points - you'll usually be better off redeeming on other rewards."

    There is a fixed 1,000 Avios = £6 value on this (1 Avios = 0.6p). Which is actually not that bad. The base hotel price is usually competitive, sometimes better than available from other sources, sometimes worse.

    With 1p Tesco currently = 4 avios, this means that £10 of vouchers = £24 in a hotel. Compared to other holiday rewards such as £10 for £30 of Cosmos vouchers, which is only valid against the full brochure price, £10 for £24 is quite attractive.

    It's not that easy to redeem Avios on flights - for long-haul you are wasting your time unless you want to fly Club/First, which is going to cost you hundred of pounds more than economy, and has very bad availability to many destinations, and for families needing to travel in the school holidays, they can pretty much forget it. The short-haul flights are easier to work with but if you don't take that many flights, you still might find your Avios hanging round a long time. The 1 Avios = 0.6p rate is reasonable enough.

    OTOH, I'm fully agreed that Avis is a bad deal on Avios, you are stuck with one brand, you won't get their best rates, and on top of that 1 Avios to 0.6p is not a great deal.

    "Avios says the main Avios scheme's better for irregular travellers and the BA Executive Club's best for frequent flyers, offering benefits such as free airport lounge access."

    The point here is that if you book a BA/Iberia/AA/Cathay/OneWorld member airline flight for cash, you need to book the miles to BAEC. Don't credit them to Avios, there's no point at all. Having a BAEC membership is basically essential, even if you are an Avios member on a miles booking, because you get recognised in their system and get slightly better treatment.

    Re Shell, it might be worth mentioning the 'V power Club'. Though it's not a justication for buying V Power fuel, and it still doesn't beat Tesco, if you already do buy V Power, then joining the V Power Club will give you double points.

    "The points aren't cheap, at £31 per 1,000."

    Not so, it is £16 per 1,000 PLUS a flat £15 charge.

    And you've not really explained the flexible ticket issue and the fact that upgrades are significantly better than redemptions.

    If you book in Economy, you can only upgrade to World Traveller Plus. Which is a waste of time, because the upgradeable economy ticket costs double the cheapest economy ticket, and World Traveller is not that great anyway.

    OTOH, ALL World Traveller Plus tickets are available, even the cheapest. So you can use https://www.britishairways.com/travel/low-price-finder/execclub/_gf/en_gb the low price finder and the given price for WT+ is upgradeable to CW - IF there is availability for redemptions in CW.

    Generally speaking if you can get a redemption in CW, there will be a ticket available for sale in WT+. So instead of redeeming in CW, buy the ticket in WT+, and upgrade at the time of sale to CW.

    Why? Because the miles cost is reduced by 75%, you also earn miles, and you earn Tier Points towards BA status.

    For example, a WT+ ticket to Antigua costs from £1000. To upgrade to CW is 25,000 miles. But you will earn 10,218 miles, and 180 Tier Points (300 points needed for BA status). So net cost just 15,000 miles (much less if you have BA status).

    On the other hand, to redeem in Club World will cost £468 plus 100,000 miles. You earn no Tier Points and no miles.

    So the straight ticket costs £532 more, but it is 85,000 miles cheaper, which is a pretty good deal. More cash, much fewer miles, plus if you are booking flights regularly (at least two long-haul round-trips per year), you will get status. Always compare the overall cost of a straight redemption with a miles-for-upgrade.

    "Earn via BA & Iberia flights

    Avios members can still earn points in the same way when flying on BA and its partner airline Iberia. So remember to collect if you were flying on those airlines anyway."

    You can earn Avios on Cathay Pacific, Finnair, JAL, LAN, Malev, Qantas, S7, Royal Jordanian, Alaska, Aer Lingus, Air Berlin, Kingfisher, and Openskies in fact.
  • post-itpost-it Forumite
    5 posts
    One of the great ways to build up avios very quickly is by getting either a BA amex card or a charge card.
    The platinum card normally comes with a 40k points bonus that can be transferred to Avios. a referral gives you 42k (an extra 2k:j). The card costs £300 annually but you get free travel insurance for 2 people, free car hire insurance and various lounge access (including BA) and hotel upgrades.
    The BA black card normally comes with a 18k avios bonus. a referral gives you 19k (an extra 1k:j). The card costs £150 annually but you get a companion voucher so you can bogof on points used for flights.

    PM me if you need a referral
  • edited 7 March 2012 at 7:00PM
    kippermankipperman Forumite
    153 posts
    Part of the Furniture
    edited 7 March 2012 at 7:00PM
    post-it wrote: »
    One of the great ways to build up avios very quickly is by getting either a BA amex card or a charge card.
    The platinum card normally comes with a 40k points bonus that can be transferred to Avios. a referral gives you 42k (an extra 2k:j). The card costs £300 annually but you get free travel insurance for 2 people, free car hire insurance and various lounge access (including BA) and hotel upgrades.
    The BA black card normally comes with a 18k avios bonus. a referral gives you 19k (an extra 1k:j). The card costs £150 annually but you get a companion voucher so you can bogof on points used for flights.

    PM me if you need a referral

    Sorry, but not the case. There is no credit card as far as I am aware that will give you access to BA lounges . Only for those on CE/Club World/First or Silver/Gold BA Exec club holders.

    I believe that the American Express Platinum card comes with a Priority Pass membership - but these lounges are not BA lounges.
  • edited 8 March 2012 at 1:57PM
    post-itpost-it Forumite
    5 posts
    edited 8 March 2012 at 1:57PM
    kipperman wrote: »
    Sorry, but not the case. There is no credit card as far as I am aware that will give you access to BA lounges . Only for those on CE/Club World/First or Silver/Gold BA Exec club holders.

    I believe that the American Express Platinum card comes with a Priority Pass membership - but these lounges are not BA lounges.

    One of the current benefits of the platinum card is a Cathay Pacificic (CX) gold card for 1 year. This card is a one world card and is equivalent to BA silver. If travelling One world you are allowed access to BA business lounges aswell is free seat booking and business class check in. The priority pass is a seperate benefit to this one.
  • pollypennypollypenny Forumite
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    Thanks for long post, lawnet. OH and I fly to Tampa twice a year, not always BA, though.

    Is it easy to upgrade from WT using points? We are going at the end of the month and have 75,000. (flight already booked)
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
  • malkie76malkie76 Forumite
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    pollypenny wrote: »
    Is it easy to upgrade from WT using points? We are going at the end of the month and have 75,000. (flight already booked)

    Yes it's easy, and you can do it only, but only if you have booked a Y, B or H class economy ticket. These are the more expensive ticket buckets, so if you bought the cheapest available you won't be able to upgrade.
    Legal team on standby
  • pollypennypollypenny Forumite
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    Oh-oh! Booked the cheapest! Have to really, we are retired and want to see first grandchild in the USA as often as possible.

    It is my dream to travel First class home - just once in my life!

    Not heard the terms Y, B & H for tickets before. I assume they refer to flexible tickets.
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
  • kaz0705kaz0705 Forumite
    240 posts
    Hi,

    I'm starting to investigate Avios points, having never used airmiles or anything before.

    I have about £70 to convert from Tesco. One question I had has already been asked here but no real conclusive answer: to get the bonus points (6k points), I need to have earned a point elsewhere. I am happy to buy something in their shop (mother's day seems convenient) but, presumably, I will have to wait til the points are credited before I then transfer my tesco points?

    As Tesco have the offer til the end of the month with the extra 400 points... I *think*, if i decide to get into this scheme, it would be better to transfer the majority before 31st march, right?

    I figure I have about 28 vouchers to exchange which is currently 28000 points. If I wait til the eshop points are credited, and its after 31st, id only get 600 which translates to 16800 points.

    Am I thinking right?! Its so confusing!!

    Finally, the £27 europe fees say you need to have been a member for a year. IS there anywhere I can find out what they charge for fees otherwise? Because I'm not sure its worth it if even europe flights will cost me a fortune in fees!

    Sorry, hope this all makes sense! Just have saved up tesco points with a view of using them towards a holiday and now I'm not sure the best way forward!!

    Thanks in advance!

    Kaz
    LBM: January 2010
    DFD: August 27th 2012
  • thelawnetthelawnet Forumite
    2.5K posts
    pollypenny wrote: »
    Thanks for long post, lawnet. OH and I fly to Tampa twice a year, not always BA, though.

    Is it easy to upgrade from WT using points? We are going at the end of the month and have 75,000. (flight already booked)

    Not in the slightest.

    We flew to Tampa in December, I think the fare was £400 in WT, £800 in WT+. From the £400 fare, however, you could not upgrade, but the £800 fare (WT+), as I mentioned in my post, is fully upgradeable.

    So basically £400 is economy, £800 +25,000 miles is Club World. It's still an extra £400 plus miles, but it's much cheaper than paying the full fare (which to TPA is £1500+)

    Your miles are useless for this fare, but you can possibly upgrade for cash, but only probably to WT+, which is not really worth it.
  • DoshwasterDoshwaster Forumite
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    pollypenny wrote: »
    Oh-oh! Booked the cheapest! Have to really, we are retired and want to see first grandchild in the USA as often as possible.

    It is my dream to travel First class home - just once in my life!

    Not heard the terms Y, B & H for tickets before. I assume they refer to flexible tickets.

    The letters refer to the Fare Code
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IATA_class_codes

    Y means a fully flexible i.e. expensive economy ticket. B and H will have some restrictions in terms of ability to change or get a full refund.

    Under the BA rules only the most expensive (ie. Y) tickets can be upgraded to World Traveller Plus (WTP) which means that it's usually cheaper just to buy a discounted WTP ticket in the first place. However, the beauty of the BA rules is that *ALL* WTP tickets are upgradable to Club World. That means you can buy the cheapest ticket you can and use miles/points to upgrade. At the going rate of 12,500 per sector there are few better ways of using your points - especially if you are a BA Executive Club member as you get credited extra miles for flying in CW so the actual cost is lower and sometimes almost self-sustaining.
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