Avios is the currency of the British Airways Executive Club program. With Avios, short-haul redemptions on Qantas are exceptional value. For example, it costs just 4,500 Avios in Economy or 9,000 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. From time to time, bonuses are even offered. 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.
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. There is currently an excellent promotion offering 50% bonus Avios on all purchases. This is combined with an increased annual purchase limit of 200,000 Avios (excluding bonuses). This offer expires on 24 February 2019.
If you were to purchase the maximum 200,000 Avios during the February 2019 promotion, you would receive 300,000 Avios for a cost of USD5,523 (~$7,764). 300,000 Avios is enough for 33 one-way Qantas Business class flights between Sydney and Melbourne. This works out to be a cost of $235 (plus taxes) per Business Class flight – which compares very favourably to the $800 one-way cash fare!
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 also partners with Aer Lingus, Air Italy and Alaska Airlines.
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