Avios is the currency of the British Airways Executive Club program. They can be redeemed for flights on British Airways and partners including Qantas and all other Oneworld airlines.
While Avios redemptions are not such great value on long-haul routes, short-haul redemptions on Qantas flights can be great value. For example, it costs just 6,000 Avios in Economy or 12,500 Avios in Business to fly on Qantas from Sydney to Melbourne, or Adelaide to Canberra.
Avios are somewhat difficult to earn in Australia. But you can buy Avios directly from British Airways, and at the moment you can even earn up to 50% bonus Avios on purchases!
How to Buy Avios
You can buy Avios on the British Airways website. There is a minimum purchase amount of 1,000 Avios, and purchases can be made in various increments as specified on the British Airways website. For example, purchases between 10,000 and 50,000 Avios must be in increments of 5,000 Avios. Purchases above 50,000 Avios must be in increments of 10,000 Avios.
There is an annual purchase limit of 200,000 Avios, excluding bonuses.
The price will depend on the number of Avios being purchased and the country that your Executive Club account is registered in. The minimum amount of 1,000 Avios costs around €36 (~AU$57). But if you purchase 10,000 Avios, the price drops to just over €20 (~AU$32) per thousand.
You’ll be eligible to purchase Avios if you’re over 18 years old and already have at least one Avios point in your account. (If you don’t have any Avios in your account yet, an easy way to earn some Avios is to fly with any Oneworld airline or book a hotel with Agoda and credit the points to your British Airways Executive Club account.)
Special Deals on Buying British Airways Avios
British Airways typically runs promotions on buying Avios a few times per year. The current offer is running from 23 June until 10 July 2022 (GMT) and gives a 50% bonus on Avios purchases of any amount over 2,000 Avios. (There is no bonus offered when purchasing only 1,000 Avios during this promo.)
50% is the highest bonus Avios amount typically offered by British Airways.
During this promotion, the maximum amount you could buy is 200,000 Avios. This would cost €3,601 (~AU$5,500) and for this price you would receive a total of 300,000 Avios, including 100,000 bonus Avios.
300,000 Avios would be enough for 24 one-way Qantas Business Class flights up to 650 miles in length (e.g. Sydney-Brisbane), or 18 one-way Business Class flights between 651-1,150 miles (e.g. Brisbane-Adelaide).
Buying Avios from other airlines
British Airways Executive Club is not the only frequent flyer program to use Avios as its currency. Iberia Plus, Aer Lingus AerClub and now Qatar Airways Privilege Club also use Avios, and it is possible to transfer Avios between any of these loyalty program accounts on a 1:1 basis.
Qatar Airways sells Avios for between USD30-35 per thousand depending on the amount purchased. This isn’t better value than buying Avios from British Airways, but there could be some interesting opportunities if Qatar Airways decides to offer discounts when buying Avios from the Privilege Club program.
Redeeming British Airways Avios
As British Airways is part of the Oneworld alliance, you can redeem Avios to fly on any of these Oneworld airlines:
British Airways Executive Club also partners with Aer Lingus and Vueling.
With British Airways Executive Club, most redemptions for long-haul flights are poor value. But short-haul flights under 2,000 miles in length can be good value.
Avios are best used for short-haul flights on Oneworld airlines including Qantas, Japan Airlines and, of course, British Airways. Qantas domestic and short-haul international flights can be especially good value as the cash fares are normally high, but the amount of Avios required is low. Plus, award availability on most Qantas short-haul routes is typically good – even when booking at the last minute.
Here are the award charts for short-haul redemptions on Qantas and some other Oneworld airlines:
|Distance||Avios (Economy)||Avios (Business)|
Routes under 650 miles include:
Routes between 651 and 1,150 miles include:
- Brisbane-Mount Isa
Routes between 1,151 and 2,000 miles include:
- All trans-Tasman routes (except Perth-Auckland)
Unfortunately, British Airways no longer publishes fixed award charts for redemptions on partner airlines, and rates can change without notice. Earlier this month, for example, British Airways increased the cost of some redemptions on Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines.
Most British Airways Executive Club awards can be redeemed on the British Airways website. Award flights are charged on a per-sector basis. So, if there is a connecting flight required, the price will be based on the sum of all individual sectors.
You can discuss this topic on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: British Airways bonuses when buying Avios
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