British Airways Cash & Avios Option Quietly Got Much Better! (Now As Cheap As 1.1 Cents per Avios)

This blog contains links to our affiliates. Below are credit card products that we recommend from our advertising partners.

I have already written the ultimate guide to Cash & Avios redemptions.

The gist is that on some, but not all, British Airways Avios redemptions you are given a menu of prices like this:

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 2.59.45 AMYou can spend the full price in Avios (plus government taxes and fuel surcharges on some partners) or you can pay fewer Avios and make up the difference by paying more cash directly to British Airways.

Not all awards offer Cash & Avios options–for instance American Airlines domestic flights don’t–and the “price” of Avios varies widely on Cash & Avios awards.

The pattern generally was that on economy awards, you could save your Avios by paying about 1.3 cents per Avios saved. On business awards, the price was almost 2.6 cents per Avios saved. First class awards were in the middle at about 1.9 cents per Avios saved.

Since I value one Avios at around 1.7 cents, I generally recommended maximizing Cash & Avios awards on economy awards by paying with the minimum number of Avios and maximum amount of cash. But since the “price” was too high on business and first class awards, I recommended not availing oneself of the Cash & Avios options on premium awards.

Now things have improved for the better!

  • How cheap are Cash & Avios awards now?
  • What is the best cabin for a Cash & Avios award?
  • On which Avios partners can you get the best Cash & Avios awards?

As I noted in my posts on US Airways joining oneworld and TAM joining oneworld, some Avios awards now offer Cash & Avios options that “price” the Avios you save at only 1.1 cents each.

Another big improvement is that you used to have to put up 50% of the full Avios price on Cash & Avios awards. Now you sometimes need as little as 30% of the full price.

This has led to 4,000 Avios + $97 awards from Phoenix to Hawaii and from Miami to Brazil.

I found a few other Avios partners whose economy flights are following this new trend of requiring only 30% of the full Avios price and selling the rest for 1.1 cents.

airberlin

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 2.59.54 AM

This airberlin roundtrip from New York to Berlin costs 40k Avios + $107. Or you can pay only 12k Avios + $427 for the transatlantic roundtrip. That’s 1.14 cents per Avios saved.

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 2.59.45 AM

Qantas

Similarly, you can pay 25,000 Avios + $27 for a roundtrip from Sydney to Perth, Australia.

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 3.33.32 AM

Or you can pay 8,000 Avios + $217. That’s only 1.12 cents per Avios saved.

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 3.33.27 AM

LAN

Between Santiago and Easter Island, Chile, you can pay 25,000 Avios + $24.

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 3.36.49 AM

Or you can pay 8,000 Avios and $214. That’s only 1.12 cents per Avios saved.

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 3.36.44 AM

TAM and US Airways

The 12,500 Avios + $2.50 awards on US Airways and TAM are also offered for 4,000 Avios + $97.50, which is only 1.12 cents per Avios saved.

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 5.12.43 PM Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 5.12.49 PM

Recap

Avios are now more valuable because of beneficial changes to Cash & Avios awards. On some economy awards, you now need only 30% of the full Avios price, and you can make up the other 70% by spending only 1.12 cents per Avios saved.

These awards produce some absurdly cheap tickets like 8,000 Avios + $195 roundtrip from Phoenix to Hawaii or 8,000 Avios + $214 from Santiago to Easter Island.

The best use of Avios is short, direct, economy awards. Those are the very same awards that were just improved by these Cash & Avios changes. When your best awards get better, your miles go up in value. Now is a good time to have some Avios.

Have you found any other partners on which British Airways is allowing these 30%-and-1.1-cent Cash & Avios awards?

————————————————————————————————————

Never miss a post again! Follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook. And sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts!



Powered By Credit Karma

9 Responses to British Airways Cash & Avios Option Quietly Got Much Better! (Now As Cheap As 1.1 Cents per Avios)

  1. Scott, do you earn miles when flying cash & Avios? If not, does this factor into your calculations?

  2. Diamond Vargas

    Scott, when you pointed out:
    “But since the “price” was too high on business and first class awards, I recommended not availing oneself of the Cash & Avios options on premium awards. Now things have improved for the better!”
    I expected that the value of using cash + points for premium awards would have improved. However, the remainder of the post does not suggest anything has changed in terms of premium awards. Just to clarify, is the improvement limited to economy awards?

    • The improvement is limited to economy awards. Note the paragraph break between those two quoted sentences.

  3. Nice. My last tranche of 25k Avios from the match to the 100k offer should be credited in a couple of weeks.

  4. This is great if you can find space available on the dates you need. Not having any luck with that.

  5. Pingback: 5 Ways Avios Have Gotten More Valuable | milevalue.com

  6. Pingback: SriLankan Airlines Joins oneworld, Searchable on BA.com | milevalue.com

  7. Pingback: Chase Ink Bold and Ink Plus Now Offering 60k Point Sign Up Bonuses | milevalue.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>