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28 Best Ways To Redeem British Airways Avios for Max Value [2024]

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Alex Miller

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If you’ve ever been shopping for international flights, you may have noticed the exorbitant fees and fuel surcharges that accompany a British Airways ticket.

You could end up spending hundreds — or even thousands — of dollars on these additional fees, not to mention any money you already spent on the ticket itself.

Even if you use your British Airways Avios, these charges could negate any value you’d get from redeeming the miles in the first place.

Luckily, you can redeem Avios for reward travel without having to pay these ridiculously high fees. You avoid high taxes and fuel surcharges when you focus on flights operated by British Airways’ airline partners.

Let’s explore the best ways to redeem your British Airways Avios for maximum value!

British Airways Credit Card and Airline Partners

You can earn Avios directly with the British Airways Visa Signature® Card. You earn 3x Avios for all flight purchases through British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and Level, 2x Avios on hotel accommodations purchased directly with the hotel, and 1x Avios for everything else.

British Airways Visa Signature® Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This card is great for British Airways frequent flyers, and traveling couples will find great value in the Travel Together Ticket.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)
This card is great for British Airways frequent flyers, and traveling couples will find great value in the Travel Together Ticket.
Earn 75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
75,000 Avios
$938
$95
21.49%-28.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The British Airways Visa Signature® Card is a stellar option for travelers who regularly travel with the airline. From all of the Avios the card helps you earn, to a 10% discount off cash tickets, and the award flight statement credits, you can get tons of value out of the card each year.

Pros
  • 3x Avios per $1 on British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and LEVEL purchases
  • 2x Avios per $1 on hotel accommodations purchased directly through hotels
  • 1x Avios per $1 on all other purchases
Cons
  • $95 annual fee
  • Does not earn transferable rewards
  • Earn 75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
  • 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.
  • 10% off British Airways flights starting in the US when you book through the website provided in your welcome materials.
  • 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.
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad.
  • Simply tap to pay with your contactless British Airways Visa Signature Card. Just look for the contactless symbol at checkout. It's fast, easy and secure!
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.49%-28.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

British Airways Executive Club

You can also transfer points to British Airways Executive Club from Amex Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One Miles, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.

Several frequent flyer programs use Avios as their currency, so you can transfer British Airways Avios to those programs to book flights, or you can keep them within Executive Club and book BA flights.

You achieve the greatest value when you transfer Avios or use them to book flights operated by partner airlines, including those in the Oneworld alliance. And because British Airways is a member of Oneworld, you earn Avios (if you so choose) when you fly paid tickets with its alliance partners.

Chase Ultimate Rewards Credit Cards

Collecting Ultimate Rewards points by using a Chase credit card is one of the best ways to earn British Airways Avios because Chase Ultimate Rewards points are very easy to earn and British Airways is a Chase transfer partner at a 1:1 ratio.

GREAT STARTER CARD
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A fantastic travel card with a great welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)
A fantastic travel card with a great welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.
60,000 points
$1,200
$95
21.49%-28.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card is one of the best travel rewards cards on the market. Its bonus categories include travel, dining, online grocery purchases, and streaming services, which gives you the opportunity to earn lots of bonus points on these purchases.

Additionally, it offers flexible point redemption options, no foreign transaction fees, and excellent travel insurance coverage including primary car rental insurance. With benefits like these, it’s easy to see why this card is an excellent choice for any traveler.

Pros
  • 5x points on all travel booked via the Chase Travel portal
  • 5x points on select Peloton purchases over $150 (through March 31, 2025)
  • 5x points on Lyft purchases (through March 31, 2025)
Cons
  • $95 annual fee
  • No elite benefits like airport lounge access or hotel elite status
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.
  • Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Travel℠. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.49%-28.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)
A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠
60,000 points
$1,200
$550
22.49%-29.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Excellent (740-850)

If you’re looking for an all-around excellent travel rewards card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the best options out there.

The card combines elite travel benefits and perks like airport lounge access, with excellent point earning and redemption options.  Plus it offers top-notch travel insurance protections to keep you covered whether you’re at home or on the road.

Don’t forget the $300 annual travel credit which really helps to reduce the annual fee!

Pros
  • 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase TravelSM immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually
  • 10x points on Lyft purchases March 31, 2025
  • 10x points on Peloton equipment and accessory purchases over $250 through March 31, 2025
Cons
  • $550 annual fee
  • Does not offer any sort of hotel elite status
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel℠ immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Travel℠. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel.
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 22.49%-29.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Business owner? See our list of the best Chase business credit cards.

American Express Membership Rewards Credit Cards

You can also earn British Airways Avios, since the program is an American Express transfer partner at a 1:1 ratio.

You can consider any of the cards mentioned below to start earning Membership Rewards points and then transfer them.

BEST LOUNGE ACCESS
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.
Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
80,000 points
$1,760
$695
See Pay Over Time APR
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

When it comes to cards that offer top-notch benefits, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better card out there than The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Make no mistake — the Amex Platinum card is a premium card with a premium price tag. With amazing benefits like best-in-class airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and tremendous value in annual statement credits, it can easily prove to be one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet year after year.

Pros
  • The best airport lounge access out of any card (by far) — enjoy access to over 1,400 worldwide lounges, including the luxurious Amex Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, and many more!
  • 5x points per dollar spent on flights purchased directly with the airline or with AmexTravel.com (up to $500,000 per year)
  • 5x points per dollar spent on prepaid hotels booked with AmexTravel.com
Cons
  • $695 annual fee (rates and fees)
  • Airline credit does not cover airfare (only incidentals like checked bags)
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more airport lounge options than any other credit card issuer on the market. As of 03/2023.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Save on eligible delivery fees, shipping, and more with a Walmart+ membership. Use your Platinum Card® to pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership and get up to $12.95 plus applicable taxes back on one membership (excluding Plus Ups) each month.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only. Terms Apply.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: CLEAR® Plus helps to get you to your gate faster at 50+ airports nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Card. CLEARLanes are available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues.
  • Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 year period for TSA PreCheck® application fee for a 5-year plan only (through a TSA PreCheck® official enrollment provider), when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

BEST FOR DINING
American Express® Gold CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
60,000 points
$1,320
$250
See Pay Over Time APR
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The American Express® Gold Card is a game-changer.

With this card, you can earn 4x Membership Rewards points at restaurants and you’ll also earn 4x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x.

There isn’t another card on the market that offers a 1-2 punch like this. Of course, there are several other benefits of the Gold Card as well, including extra monthly dining rewards and more.

Pros
  • 4x points per dollar at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • 4x points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets, up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases; and 1x thereafter
  • 3x points per dollar on flights purchased directly from airlines or at AmexTravel.com
Cons
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Get a $100 experience credit with a minimum two-night stay when you book The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel. Experience credit varies by property.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

If you’re a business owner, see our list of the best Amex business credit cards.

Capital One Miles Credit Cards

Miles earned with Capital One transfer to British Airways at a 1:1 ratio. See our list of the best Capital One credit cards in our guide.

Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points with its co-branded credit cards and transfer those to British Airways at a 3:1 ratio. For every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points that you transfer, you receive a bonus of 5,000 additional Avios.

For more details, you can read our article on transferring Marriott Bonvoy points to partners.

The 28 Best Ways To Redeem Your British Airways Avios

Now it’s time for the fun part: looking at all the best ways to redeem your British Airways Avios for maximum value!

1. U.S. Short-Haul Nonstop Flights for 11,000 Avios (American, Alaska)

American Airlines A319 Taxiing
Use your British Airways Avios to fly short flights within the U.S.! Image Credit: Kunertus via Shutterstock

Nonstop domestic flights within the U.S. under 1,150 miles on American Airlines or Alaska Airlines cost 11,000 Avios. Even better, only a $5.60 tax is added to the flight — quite a bargain!

Flying 1,150 miles gets you halfway across the country. For example, you could fly between the following city pairs and stay within the 1,150-mile threshold:

  • Miami (MIA) and Dallas (DFW)
  • New York (JFK) and Chicago (ORD)
  • Palm Springs (PSP) and Austin (AUS)

The American Airlines AAdvantage program has dynamic pricing, which means fares frequently fluctuate. In some cases, an American AAdvantage award may be less than 11,000 miles, and other times it may be more. So you definitely want to compare BA’s award pricing if you have AAdvantage miles. If you used Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles for these flights, it would cost you 12,500 miles, though that program will begin using its updated award charts in March 2024.

Hot Tip: To maximize U.S. domestic Avios awards, look for nonstop flights from American Airlines and Alaska Airlines hubs in Charlotte (CLT), Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), New York (JFK), Philadelphia (PHL), Phoenix (PHX), and Seattle (SEA).

2. Lie-Flat First: New York to San Francisco or Los Angeles for 64,500 Avios (American)

American Airlines Flagship First Class
Cross the U.S. in style on American Airlines’ transcontinental service. Image Credit: Stephen Au

American Airlines operates specially configured, 3-cabin Airbus A321 aircraft on its most premium domestic routes between New York (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX) and between New York and San Francisco (SFO). Generally, award space is hard to find in first class, and AA has variable award pricing in its own program, which often sends tickets soaring way north of the 64,500 miles required to book a seat through British Airways.

If you can find availability, this celebrity-heavy route would cost you 64,500 Avios. Business class would cost you 42,000 Avios each way.

Note that, when you fly in business or first class, you can access American’s priority check-in lanes, which are much quicker than using the self-service kiosks.

Hot Tip: Need help booking? See our step-by-step guide for booking American Airlines first class.

3. New York to Toronto or Montréal for 8,250 Avios (American)

Spending Avios for short-haul international flights is a steal! American Airlines offers multiple daily flights between New York (JFK) and Toronto (YYZ) and between New York and Montréal (YUL).

From the U.S., these are 8,250 Avios plus $5.60 in taxes. The taxes are much higher flying from Canada, so compare the price of cash tickets.

4. Los Angeles to Vancouver for 11,000 Avios (American)

If you’re based on the West Coast, American Airlines offers nonstop flights between Los Angeles (LAX) and Vancouver (YVR). If you’re departing from the U.S., you can score a ticket for 11,000 Avios and $5.60 in taxes and fees.

Hot Tip: Avios award tickets on American give you Priority Access, which offers priority security and boarding privileges. You can also get these with credit cards like CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® or the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®.

5. Miami to the Caribbean From 8,250 Avios (American)

American Airlines operates a large hub in Miami, from which it serves many Caribbean islands. You can book a nonstop ticket to islands the airline serves that are 650 miles or less away from Miami for 8,250 Avios plus $5.60.

For example, you could fly between Miami and the following cities and stay within the 650-mile threshold:

  • Nassau, Bahamas (NAS)
  • Montego Bay, Jamaica (MBJ)
  • Grand Cayman Island (GCM)

Similar to flights departing Canada, flights departing from the Caribbean have higher taxes, so compare prices before you book anything.

6. Miami to Bogotá or Quito for 14,500 Avios (American)

For just 14,500 Avios, you can fly American Airlines from Miami (MIA) to Bogotá, Colombia (BOG), or Quito, Ecuador (UIO) — a pretty great deal, if you ask us! And, for just 1,500 additional Avios, you could get to Lima, Peru (LIM).

7. Dallas to Mexico City for 11,000 Avios (American)

You can spend 11,000 Avios to fly nonstop between Dallas (DFW) and Mexico City (MEX). Alternatively, you can spend 14,500 Avios to fly nonstop to Mexico City from Los Angeles (LAX) and Phoenix (PHX).

Hot Tip: Find out what you can do with 10,000 (or fewer) British Airways Avios

8. U.S. West Coast to Hawaii for 16,000 Avios (American, Alaska)

Spending Avios on a one-way nonstop flight from the West Coast to Hawaii on American Airlines or Alaska Airlines is one of the least expensive ways to get to Hawaii. Because these flights are typically between 2,001 and 3,000 miles in total distance, it only costs 16,000 Avios each way for a seat in economy.

Most of these routes are operated by normally configured aircraft, so don’t expect a lie-flat seat up front. Consider splurging for business class to other destinations instead.

9. Los Angeles to Tokyo From 25,750 Avios (American, Japan Airlines)

Japan Airlines Boeing 777 300ER First Class JAL Suite 2A
Japan Airlines offers a very nice first class experience, and you won’t need to pay excessive taxes and surcharges when you book with British Airways Avios! Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

In general, booking with Avios isn’t the best value for long-haul flights, but the program provides pretty good value on the Los Angeles-to-Tokyo route. Plus, Tokyo is a fantastic destination to cross off your bucket list.

First class from LAX to NRT costs 103,000 Avios each way, with taxes and fees of around $334. The same route in business class is around 77,250 Avios, while economy is just 25,750 Avios each way.

While these aren’t the lowest rates around for first or business class (especially if you want to connect to a further destination because British Airways charges separately for each flight segment), it’s not a bad option if you want to experience Japan Airlines first or business class or American Airlines first or business class.

Hot Tip: Read our in-depth reviews of JAL’s Boeing 777 in business class and first class.

10. Off-Peak U.S. East Coast to Ireland for 13,000 Avios and No Fuel Surcharges (Aer Lingus)

British Airways employs peak and off-peak pricing for Aer Lingus awards. The award costs are the same as they are for British Airways flights, but the peak and off-peak dates are different. And, you save big on fees compared to British Airways flights.

For example, you can fly in economy from the East Coast cities of Boston (BOS), New York (JFK), Philadelphia (PHL), or Washington, D.C. (IAD) to Dublin (DUB) for just 13,000 Avios and $167 in taxes and fees.

You can search for Aer Lingus award availability directly on British Airways’s website, which is arguably the most user-friendly of the various different websites (including Qatar Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus).

11. Off-Peak Florida and U.S. West Coast to Ireland for 16,250 Avios and No Fuel Surcharges (Aer Lingus)

Aer Lingus has a U.S. network that extends to Los Angeles (LAX), Orlando (MCO), and San Francisco (SFO). Off-peak flights from all these cities to Dublin (DUB) cost 16,250 Avios in economy.

12. Off-Peak Boston, Chicago, or New York to Madrid for 17,000 Avios (Iberia)

For peak dates, you pay 20,000 Avios each way for economy flights between Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), or New York (JFK) to Madrid (MAD), but you can shave 3,000 Avios off that rate by booking in off-peak dates. Economy tickets add about $98 in total fees. Business class tickets cost 34,000 Avios each way, and you need to pay about $130 in taxes and fees.

13. Off-Peak Miami to Madrid for 21,250 Avios (Iberia)

You pay 25,000 Avios for one-way economy flights between Miami (MIA) and Madrid (MAD), plus around $98 in fees, during peak dates. However, during off-peak dates, you can save 3,750 Avios each way. Business class is 42,500 Avios one-way, with taxes and fees of about $130.

You can log in to your Executive Club account to check for off-peak dates.

14. Intra-Caribbean Flights for as Few as 2,950 Avios (British Airways)

British Airways Boeing 777 200 Club World UVF boarding via steps
Fly between Caribbean islands for just 2,950 British Airways Avios. Image Credit: Daniel Ross

Looking for an affordable way to explore multiple Caribbean islands? British Airways’ short-haul award pricing is an excellent option.

Fly from Nassau (NAS) to Grand Cayman (GCM) or Providenciales (PLS) on British Airways for as low as 2,950 Avios one-way on off-peak dates. If the available flight offers British Airways’ Reward Flight Saver option, you can also choose to spend more Avios in order to reduce your fees, taxes, and surcharges.

You can also book other nonstop flights, such as those between St. Lucia (UVF) and Grenada (GND) or Tobago (TAB). BA also operates nonstop flights from Antigua (ANU) to Aruba (AUA) or St. Kitts (SKB).

Better yet, all of these routes are flown on a wide-body aircraft that features lie-flat seats for those who want to spring for a business-class ticket.

Hot Tip: Check out our in-depth review of British Airways’ Boeing 777-200 Club World from St. Lucia (UVF) to Grenada (GND).

15. Experience the British Airways Concorde Room at London Heathrow for 42,500 Avios (British Airways)

British Airways Concorde Room at LHR
Enjoy the Concorde Room at LHR. Image Credit: British Airways

British Airways’ most exclusive product on the ground is called the Concorde Room, a hush-hush space reserved for first class passengers offering the most serene airport lounge experience the airline offers, complete with white tablecloth dining and waiter service.

Starting from 42,500 Avios during off-peak dates and 50,000 Avios during peak dates, you can book a regional first-class flight on British Airways, as long as the flight distance is not greater than 3,000 miles.

Even though British Airways first class is typically reserved only for long-haul flights, the airline does offer a first class product on a couple of shorter routes, including:

  • London Heathrow (LHR) – Abuja (ABV) 
  • London Heathrow (LHR) – Kuwait City (KWI)

If you’re willing to shell out more Avios for a long-haul flight in first class, here are some routes that range from 3,001 miles to 4,000 miles — meaning they’re bookable for 68,000 Avios during off-peak dates and 80,000 Avios during peak dates:

  • London Heathrow (LHR) – Boston (BOS)
  • London Heathrow (LHR) – Chicago (ORD)
  • London Heathrow (LHR) – Dubai (DXB)
  • London Heathrow (LHR) – Lagos (LOS)
  • London Heathrow (LHR) – Newark (EWR)
  • London Heathrow (LHR) – New York (JFK)
  • London Heathrow (LHR) – Riyadh (RUH)
  • London Heathrow (LHR) – Washington, D.C. (IAD)

If you book one of these flights, be sure to show up at the airport early so you can savor the entirety of the Concorde Room experience!

16. Fly British Airways First Class and Use Travel Together To Save Even More! (British Airways)

Fly British Airways First Class with a companion
Fly British Airways first class with a companion without paying more miles using the Travel Together Ticket earned via spending on its co-branded credit card. Image Credit: Alex Miller

Fuel surcharges are significant if you want to fly British Airways in first class, but using your miles is still a great way to book a ticket that would otherwise cost $5,000 or more one-way.

This is especially true if you can pair your redemption with a Travel Together Ticket, which is earned by spending on a British Airways co-branded credit card.

A one-way award ticket from London (LHR) to Chicago (ORD) costs between 68,000 and 80,000 Avios (depending on whether you travel on peak or off-peak dates). You can expect the fuel surcharges and taxes to be around $700 to $1,000 in each direction.

Now, about that companion ticket. You first need to get the British Airways Visa card and spend $30,000 in a year to earn the Travel Together Ticket, which is good for 2 years.

It’s not an upgrade voucher but rather a buy-one-get-one-free award ticket. Once earned, the Travel Together Ticket allows you to take a companion on any British Airways, Iberia, or Aer Lingus flight originating anywhere in the world that you’ve booked with Avios. The companion is booked in the same class as the original ticket (yes, even first!) and will only need to pay taxes, fees, and carrier charges.

Don’t have a travel companion? You can also use the Travel Together Ticket as a solo traveler to pay 50% of the Avios fare!

Need help booking? Read our in-depth guide on booking British Airways first class or business class using points.

17. Hop Around Europe From 6,000 Avios (Finnair)

Short-haul, nonstop flights up to 650 miles on Finnair flights from Helsinki (HEL) cost 6,000 Avios each. Taxes and fees on Finnair flights are reasonable — for example, a nonstop flight from Helsinki (HEL) to Copenhagen (CPH) is 6,000 Avios plus $35.80. However, don’t forget to compare cash prices, as it may be better to save your Avios and pay cash on some routes.

Flights between 651 and 1,151 miles, which covers much of Europe, are 9,000 Avios.

18. Helsinki to Tokyo for 25,750 Avios (Finnair, Japan Airlines)

Both Finnair and Japan Airlines fly between Helsinki (HEL) and Tokyo (HND, NRT), and you can book an economy ticket for 25,750 Avios each way. Taxes and fees are much lower if you can find Finnair availability — $175 on Finnair vs. $300 on Japan Airlines.

19. Off-Peak Madrid to Cairo for 11,000 Avios (Iberia)

You can fly between Madrid (MAD) and Cairo (CAI) on Iberia Express for 11,000 Avios off-peak or 12,500 Avios throughout the rest of the year.

20. Off-Peak Madrid to Dakar, Senegal, for 10,000 Avios (Iberia)

A flight between Madrid (MAD) to Dakar (DSS) on Iberia costs 10,000 Avios off-peak and 11,000 Avios throughout the rest of the year. Africa flights can be really expensive, so this can be a fantastic value.

21. Qsuites From the US to Doha for 70,000 Avios (Qatar)

Qatar Qsuites A350 Seat View
Qatar Airways Qsuites. Image Credit: Alex Miller

Qatar Airways’ Qsuites is arguably the best business class around, with the experience even outshining some other airlines’ first class products. One-way flights between the U.S. and Doha can be booked for 70,000 Avios and about $100 in taxes and fees.

If you’re looking for a simple nonstop flight to Doha in Qsuites, using British Airways is a great option. However, if you need to connect onward, the airline tacks on more miles and taxes and fees for a connection.

22. Experience the Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge for 21,000 Avios (Qatar)

Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Class Lounge at DOH
Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge at DOH. Image Credit: Qatar Airways

One of the many things we love about Qatar Airways is that short-haul flights are booked as first class tickets instead of business-class tickets, enabling you to access the Al Safwa First Lounge without booking a long-haul flight.

Note that Avios award tickets are not eligible for the 96-hour free Qatar transit program, since an eligible ticket must be issued directly by Qatar Airways. Regardless, many citizens of many countries are eligible for a Qatari visa on arrival if they want to visit Doha.

23. Hop Around the Middle East From 7,000 Avios (Royal Jordanian, Qatar)

Short-haul flights from Amman, Jordan, or Doha, Qatar, to many Middle East destinations start at 7,000 Avios in economy nonstop. Taxes and fees are usually around $100 or less.

Here are some sample redemptions:

  • Doha (DOH) to Dubai (DXB) for 7,000 Avios
  • Doha (DOH) to Muscat (MCT) for 8,000 Avios
  • Amman (AMM) to Kuwait City (KWI) for 9,000 Avios

Hot Tip: Mixing Royal Jordanian and Qatar on the same ticket can be expensive because of multicarrier pricing. Instead, book separate Avios tickets for each.

24. Experience Cathay Pacific’s The Wing Business Class Lounge for 20,800 Avios (Cathay Pacific)

You can get a seat at the Noodle Bar in The Wing, Business Lounge in Hong Kong (HKG), by redeeming your Avios for a business class flight on Cathay Pacific.

One-way business class flights that are 650 miles or less, such as Hong Kong (HKG) to Taipei (TPE), cost 20,800 Avios.

Hot Tip: Need help booking? See our step-by-step guide for booking Cathay Pacific business class.

25. Hop Around Southeast Asia From 6,000 Avios (Malaysia Airlines)

Nonstops on Malaysia Airlines start at 6,000 Avios in economy, and taxes and fees are usually small. The cheapest flights are domestic flights within Malaysia.

Malaysia does not have the kind of fantastic lounges that are a destination in and of themselves, so business or first for short flights may not be worth the extra cost here.

Flights in Southeast Asia are often so cheap that you always want to shop around, especially if there’s a nonstop flight you can take advantage of instead of connecting on Malaysia Airlines.

Once the flight crosses a distance threshold of 650 miles, the cost increases to 9,000 Avios. For example, a nonstop flight from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Jakarta (CGK) is 9,000 Avios.

26. Sri Lanka to the Maldives for 6,000 Avios (SriLankan)

St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort Marriott
St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort. Image Credit: Marriott

Flights between Colombo (CMB) and Malé (MLE) in the Maldives cost 6,000 Avios plus $160 in taxes and fees for economy class flights. There are plenty of cheap tickets from around the world to Colombo, and from there it’s just a short hop to the Maldives on Sri Lankan Airlines.

The lounge at Colombo is not fancy, but if you were to book business class, it’d cost 12,500 Avios and $160 in taxes and fees.

27. Experience Qantas Domestic Lounges and Business Class for 12,500 Avios (Qantas)

Qantas Business Lounge Sydney
Qantas Business Lounge Sydney. Image Credit: Greg Stone

Domestic business class on Qantas is among the best in the world, and you often get a full meal service even on relatively short flights! Additionally, Qantas lounges are in many Australian cities, and they rival the best international business lounges.

A business class flight between Sydney (SYD) and Melbourne (MEL) will cost you just 12,500 Avios and about $30 in taxes and fees.

28. Qantas Domestic Lie-Flat for 22,000 Avios (Qantas)

Nonstop flights between Melbourne (MEL) and Perth (PER) on Qantas are around 4 hours in duration and often see Airbus A330 or Boeing 787-9 aircraft operating the route, meaning there are lie-flat seats in business class.

You can book one of these seats for 22,000 Avios each way, while economy costs 11,000 Avios.

Be sure to select a flight with one of these plane types, as some flights are operated by Boeing 737s. Be aware that equipment swaps can happen to meet operational needs, and Qantas doesn’t have to put you on the plane type you booked, though it may help out if you contact customer service.

Guide to Spending Avios on British Airways and Partners

Now that we’ve listed the best ways to use Avios, let’s talk about some other details. British Airways Executive Club is significantly different from other airline frequent flyer programs. By learning how spending Avios works, you can have fantastic travel experiences!

Traditional airline award charts priced by geographic region have become a rarity, as many airline loyalty programs have scrapped them in favor of dynamic pricing. With dynamic pricing, award rates can vary based on distance, peak or off-peak dates, and the flight’s cash price.

British Airways has long had distance- and segment-based award charts, however, they no longer publish award charts, which can make it difficult to determine the value you are getting from flight awards.

Though the specific redemption rates are not published, each Avios award still is priced by distance for each segment of a trip, so prices add up fast if you are not flying nonstop.

List of Alliance and Other Airline Partners

British Airways partners with many different airline frequent flyer programs — the following table details the members of the Oneworld alliance, and BA also has partner Aer Lingus outside of any alliance.

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Oneworld Partners
Alaska AirlinesMalaysia Airlines
American AirlinesOman Air (joining in 2024)
British AirwaysQantas
Cathay PacificQatar Airways
Fiji Airways (Oneworld Connect Partner)Royal Air Maroc
FinnairRoyal Jordanian
IberiaS7 Airlines (temporarily suspended)
Japan AirlinesSriLankan Airlines

First vs. Business Class

Not all airlines or flights have all classes of service.

Beware of domestic “first class” flights that are not worth the price! Compared to 7,500 Avios in economy, for example, 33,000 Avios for a short American Airlines flight in first class is certainly not worth it for what is mostly just a marginally better product.

In contrast, some of the coolest Avios awards are for short first or business class flights that grant you access to incredible airline lounges.

For example, this may be the cheapest way to experience Cathay Pacific’s The Wing in Hong Kong or the Qantas International First Lounge in Sydney.

Multicarrier Award Flights

“Multicarrier” means a combination of 2 or more Oneworld airlines besides British Airways on a single ticket. These awards have their own chart.

These awards are expensive, and you’ll most likely do better by booking separate airlines on separate tickets. However, if you’re looking to put together an around-the-world itinerary, using the multicarrier award chart may save you Avios compared to separate bookings.

The multicarrier Avios price is the same regardless of connections, one-way or round-trip: Only total distance matters. However, taxes, fees, and carrier charges vary widely, so beware!

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As a general rule, premium economy costs 1.5 times the economy price. Business costs 2 times economy, and first class costs 3 times economy.

What Is Reward Flight Saver?

The British Airways Reward Flight Saver can help you lower your out-of-pocket costs for Avios redemptions. With Reward Flight Saver, redemptions on British Airways-operated flights are reduced, flat fees instead of other taxes and surcharges. Your account must have earned Avios in the past 12 months to be eligible for Reward Flight Saver.

Qualifying itineraries show the Reward Flight Saver icon on the page that displays flight options when you’re booking.

What Is Avios and Cash?

British Airways and some partner flights may have several payment options that allow you to use a combination of Avios and cash.

If you want to use fewer Avios or don’t have enough, you can choose an option that includes more cash.

Here are the Avios and cash options for a flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to London (LHR) for 2 passengers in British Airways first class as an example:

Screenshot 2024 01 08 at 7.45.34 PM
British Airways Avios and cash gives you options to save Avios or save cash. Image Credit: British Airways

Where To Search for British Airways Avios Award Flights

You can search for British Airways flights and its many airline partners on British Airways’ website. British Airways does not have a calendar view for partner awards, so it may be helpful to search the American Airlines website first for award availability using its calendar and then plug in your dates to BA.com to confirm availability with Avios.

Hot Tip: Be cautious when searching for awards directly on partner airline websites. Some awards may only be available to their own members, not to partners. For American Airlines, you often can only use Avios to book what American shows as its lowest-level awards.

Start 355 Days in Advance

Awards are available up to 355 days before departure, and there are no award holds or waitlists. With British Airways, you can access awards 25 days before American Airlines members can!

How To Book a British Airways Reward Flight

Log in to My Executive Club and search using Book a flight with Avios.

If the search screen says You can break your journey with stopovers, select No, I want to continue without stopovers.

This will search partner flights in addition to British Airways flights.

Stopovers BA
When searching British Airways reward flights, opt for no stopover unless you want to visit London. Image Credit: British Airways

Flights may not be displayed on British Airways’ website for various reasons:

  • Route unavailable means the website is not programmed for that route
  • Multiconnection flight options are not searched

Online Booking Problems? Call and Waive the Fee

Even if you can’t find an award on the website, you can call to have British Airways agents book it if it’s indeed available.

Ask the agent to waive the $25 phone booking fee since the flight is unavailable online. They will usually do so if you ask.

Bottom Line: Many award flights are available online. If not, call to book and ask to waive the $25 booking fee since it is not available online!

How To Get a Free London Stopover

When flying British Airways, you have the option of a free stopover in London.

When the award search screen says, You can break your journey with stopovers, select I want to break my journey and choose my stopovers.

LAX LHR CPT BA stopover
Your London stopover can be a few days or even several months. Image Credit: British Airways

Free stopover pricing is different from other Avios awards. The whole stopover trip is priced by the distance as if it were 1 flight rather than pricing each segment separately.

Bottom Line: To minimize fees, the best London stopover value is between 2 U.K. or European cities near London rather than long-haul flights.

Beware of Surcharges on British Airways Flights

Extremely high fees are added to the Avios award price of many British Airways flights. Exceptions are flights within Europe that qualify for Reward Flight Saver.

It is not unheard of for the cash component of a British Airways award redemption to be as much as directly buying a cash ticket!

The fees on transatlantic flights are especially shocking when you fly on British Airways. Consider Aer Lingus or transfer your Avios to Iberia Plus and book Iberia flights.

Bottom Line: As a general rule of thumb, short-distance, nonstop flights on partner airlines offer the best value for your Avios.

Use British Airways Executive Club Household Accounts To Pool Avios

You can form a British Airways Executive Club Household Account. This means you and up to 6 people at the same address can register with BA as a household to pool Avios.

Awards are deducted proportionally from the household common pool of Avios, and each household member earns Avios and British Airways status on their own.

BA Household Accounts
A British Airways Executive Club Household Account is useful for families to pool their Avios. Image Credit: British Airways

The key limitation is that once you are in a household, you can only redeem Avios for members of the household (same address) or up to 5 family and friends (different addresses).

Family and friends have their own Avios that are not pooled with the household. Any individual must stay on the family and friends list for at least 6 months.

Without a household account, British Airways charges a flat fee of $50 per transaction to transfer Avios to another member (Gold members can transfer for free). The maximum you can transfer in a year is 200,000 Avios, and it’s capped at 60,000 Avios per transaction.

Low Cancellation Fees Equals Flexibility

Avios award tickets have some of the lowest booking fees among major airlines.

There are no last-minute ticketing fees with Executive Club. In contrast, some frequent flyer programs like United MileagePlus and Delta SkyMiles charge higher redemption prices on last-minute tickets.

Change or cancellation fees are relatively low at $55. If the cash portion of your Avios award ticket is less than $55, then you only forfeit the cash amount you paid. You don’t pay the full $55 unless your ticket’s fees are $55 or more.

Note that if you don’t change or cancel online and do it with a phone agent instead, the phone fee is an extra $25.

Hot Tip: A U.S. domestic nonstop flight on American Airlines comes with taxes and fees of just $5.60. If you cancel down the line, you only lose $5.60 — a small price to pay for flexibility!

Combine My Avios

Iberia and Qatar Airways also use Avios as rewards currency, and the Avios from those airlines can be combined with the Avios from British Airways at a 1:1 ratio.

For example, if you want to transfer Avios from BA to Iberia, sign up for an Iberia Plus account. To transfer, your Iberia account must be at least 90 days old and must have had points activity.

Try to transfer too soon and you’ll get this error:

British Airways Combine My Points Unsuccessful
Your Iberia Plus account must be 3 months old and have earned Avios to make a successful transfer from British Airways. Image Credit: British Airways

Qatar does not have the 90-day requirement, but you must first link your accounts here.

In order to combine Avios, log in to your British Airways Executive Club account and go to My Executive Club under the Manage tab. Then click on Combine my Avios from the drop-down menu under Executive Club.

From there, you can select Iberia Plus or Qatar Airways Privilege Club from the available programs.

If you’re short on Avios in your accounts, you can also transfer points from the flexible programs, such as American Express Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards, to one airline and then combine them with your Avios from another airline.

Please note that redemption restrictions are subject to change. We’ll continue to update this article periodically to reflect changes to British Airways redemptions.

Final Thoughts

Now you know some of the best ways to use British Airways Avios. To get the best value out of British Airways Avios, look into redeeming them with British Airways’ partner airlines.

Short-haul flights in the U.S. on American and Alaska tend to be some of the best redemptions available.

Luxury travelers can experience the world’s premier airline lounges, such as Cathay Pacific and Qantas, for low prices.

Finally, another reason to book flights on partner airlines is to avoid the ridiculously high taxes and fuel surcharges British Airways charges on its own flights.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where does British Airways fly?

British Airways and partner airlines fly all over the world. To explore specific locations, use the interactive map.

Does British Airways have a branded credit card?

You can get the British Airways Visa card to earn more Avios (3x per dollar on BA, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and Level flights) and some additional benefits to make your experience even better.

The British Airways Visa card has an especially great benefit: a companion ticket to be used for your significant other or friend to take a trip with you for free!

What other credit cards can I use to earn Avios?

British Airways partners with several different reward points programs: Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One Miles, Bilt Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.

Any of the travel rewards cards that earn points in these programs will be able to transfer points to BA, although at different rates.

The recommended cards to use would be the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or the Amex Gold card.

Note that you need to have one of the Chase travel rewards cards (Chase Sapphire Preferred card, Chase Sapphire Reserve card, or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card) in order to transfer points to BA.

How do I contact British Airways?

You can contact British Airways by dialing 800-452-1201 from within the U.S. between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. Eastern time.

What is British Airways' frequent flyer program?

British Airways’ frequent flyer program is called Executive Club, which uses a currency called “Avios.”

What are British Airways Tier points?

BA Executive Club Tier points allow people to reach Executive Club membership tiers that offer greater benefits. They are earned on British Airways flights, subsidiaries, and Oneworld airline partners.

What is British Airways World Traveller class?

World Traveller class is the name for British Airways’ full-service economy class seats on flights outside Europe.

World Traveller Plus is the airline’s premium economy service that offers a few extra bonuses like wider seats and more legroom.

Which alliance is British Airways a part of?

British Airways is a part of the Oneworld alliance.

Are British Airways and Qantas partners?

Yes. Both British Airways and Qantas are part of the Oneworld alliance. Qantas is sometimes a great site to find award availability on Qantas or other partner airlines since the British Airways site does not always show partner award availability.

Are British Airways and American Airlines partners?

Yes, American Airlines and British Airways are part of the Oneworld alliance. American Airlines is another option if you’re searching for award tickets to book with Avios.

Are British Airways and United Airlines partners?

No. United Airlines is a part of the Star Alliance, and British Airways is a part of the Oneworld alliance.

Are British Airways flights refundable?

Reserved seats on British Airways flights are refundable for any of the following reasons:

  • The aircraft is changed, or the flight is disrupted, and British Airways cannot find you a seat on this new aircraft you’re happy with.
  • You cannot sit in an exit row because of safety regulations (you must contact British Airways and notify them about this at least 48 hours before your flight).
  • You pay to upgrade your seat but do not wish to pay for seat selection in the cabin to which you upgrade.

Refunds are not given if you cancel your flight voluntarily, British Airways upgrades you, you select the exit row seat and are not eligible to sit there, you cannot find an equivalent seat on a flight to which you change, or you booked on another carrier and changed your flight.

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About Alex Miller

Founder and CEO of Upgraded Points, Alex is a leader in the industry and has earned and redeemed millions of points and miles. He frequently discusses the award travel industry with CNBC, Fox Business, The New York Times, and more.

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