Avios is the currency of the British Airways Executive Club program. With Avios, short-haul redemptions on Qantas are great value. For example, it costs just 6,000 Avios in Economy or 12,500 Avios in Business to fly from Sydney to Melbourne.
Avios are somewhat difficult to earn in Australia. But you can buy Avios directly from British Airways. Currently, you can even earn up to 45% bonus Avios on purchases. Buying Avios can be a clever way to save significant money on Qantas Business Class flights.
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 normally an annual purchase limit of 100,000 Avios, excluding bonuses – but this is being increased to 200,000 Avios during the current August 2019 promotion.
The price will depend on the number of Avios being purchased. The minimum amount of 1,000 Avios costs USD53 (~$72). But if you purchase 10,000 Avios, the price drops to USD30 (~$41) 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 credit any Oneworld airline flight or an Agoda hotel stay 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 5 until 18 August 2019 (BST) and offers up to 45% bonus Avios on purchases. The bonus amount increases as you buy more Avios, as follows:
- Buy 1,000 to 15,000 Avios and receive 20% bonus Avios
- Buy 20,000 to 35,000 Avios and receive 30% bonus Avios
- Buy 40,000 to 90,000 Avios and receive 35% bonus Avios
- Buy 100,000 to 200,000 Avios and receive 45% bonus Avios
If you were to purchase the maximum 200,000 Avios during this promotion, you would receive 290,000 Avios at a cost of USD5,523. That’s enough Avios for 48 one-way Economy flights or 23 Business class flights between Sydney-Melbourne, Brisbane-Sydney or Canberra-Adelaide.
This deal is not quite as good as the previous offer of 50% bonus Avios on all purchases, which ran during May 2019. 50% is the maximum bonus that British Airways Executive Club has offered in the past.
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, Air Italy, Alaska Airlines and Vueling.
With British Airways Executive Club, most redemptions for long-haul flights are terrible 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 other Oneworld airlines:
|Distance||Avios (Economy)||Avios (Business)|
Routes under 650 miles include:
Routes between 651 and 1,151 miles include:
- Brisbane-Mount Isa
Routes between 1,152 and 2,000 miles include:
- All trans-Tasman routes (except Perth-Auckland)
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 the British Airways Executive Club program on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: British Airways Executive Club
Want to learn more about buying points for cheap premium cabin flights?
Frequent Flyer Solutions offers a comprehensive training program which includes an entire course on buying and redeeming points for discounted premium travel! This course covers 7 frequent flyer programs in detail, including British Airways Executive Club. View course →