Why You Need British Airways Avios in Your Wallet

You probably might ask yourself, why should I ever pick up the British Airways credit card.    Maybe you’ll never consider leaving the country (but I think you should).  Here is a little secret about the British Airways credit card that you may not know about.  It may even encourage you to pick up the card for yourself.

Link: British Airways Visa Signature Card

British Airways Award Chart

British Airways’ frequent flyer program is a distance-based award system.  This is a unique way for them to theoretically control the costs of your award ticket.  The Wandering Aramean has created an incredible tool to visually show you how powerful the Avios can be for you. Check out this tool NOW!

Here are the brackets based upon nonstop flights only.  Each zone reflects a specific distance (based on direct miles flown) from one airport to the next.

Avios Award Chart

This new chart takes effect April 28th 2015.

British Airways’ Avios in Action

The glorious thing about this award chart is the fact that the close airports will only run you 4000 or 4500 miles each direction for an award ticket. Let’s just see how something like this works for people who live in Phoenix, AZ.
British Airways Award Ticket

Los Angeles to where?

british airways award ticket

See Where You Can Go From LAX

Hmmm. Maybe SLC?

british airways award travel

This is what SLC looks like

How about Portland?

alaska airlines award ticket

Portland ROCKS with all of the Alaskan Airlines locations

The Good and Bad of British Airways’ Avios Program

Let’s summarize where the British Airways Avios are terrible:

  • Anything other than a direct flight.  Example: when you’re trying to fly from SLC-DFW-JFK-CDG.
  • If you live in an area that isn’t serviced by American, USAirways, or Alaska Airlines
  • When you’re trying to fly a huge distance

How about when you really need to start loading up some Avios?

  • When you live in a hub for American, USAirways, or Alaska Airlines these guys are unbeatable!
  • When you’re looking for single flights (without connections)
  • When you’re flying to somewhere close to home.  Example: SLC-PHX, or SLC-LAX are great examples of the HUGE value with British Airways

Awesome Examples of British Airways’ Avios Usage

Case #1- The Southernmost City in the World

Tyler was trying to fly from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Ushuaia, Argentina.  Because Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world, and hardly has any flights his one-way flight was going to cost him $600.  Yuck!

He looked up the flight with British Airways and it told him that it was going to cost him 10,000 Avios.  He was STOKED knowing that he was going to save himself $600 on a flight by using his Avios instead of paying with dollars!!

Case #2- Climbing Machu Picchu

Umm.  Definitely on the bucket list.  My wife even had this on the bucket list before we met, so this will happen in my lifetime for sure!

Flying a quick flight from Lima to Cusco round trip is gonna run you about $500.  Because it fits within the first tier with Avios you’re going to use 4500 Avios each way to make this flight happen.  Saving my wife and $1000 and paying a measly 18,000 Avios sounds MUCH better!

Case #3- Disneyland

If you’ve always wanted to take your kids on a  plane, but it’s impossible because you have 4 of them, and the cost of the flights would choke you like an ex-husband.  You need to pick up some Avios.  LAX is a big hub for American, so they have direct flights from tons of locations, and many of them might only be 4500 miles each direction per person.

This gives you the chance to put your kids on a plane and help them to visit the not-so-happiest place on Earth!

Summary of the British Airways Avios Benefits

This shouldn’t be the only program you use, but you definitely need to have some of these in your back pocket.

What’s your story?  Have you used Avios?  Do you like them?

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4 Responses to Why You Need British Airways Avios in Your Wallet

  1. Lance says:

    Hey, great post. I was going to get the SW card(s) specifically for SLC to LAX flights, but this AVIOS card looks like a good alternative. Is there an easy way to tell what the taxes and any other fees (checked bags?) would be on a flight between SLC & LAX? SW charges $5 and gives 2 free checked bags, but their card has a $69-$99 fee. Just trying to make an out-of-pocket comparison. Thanks!

    • Sheldon says:

      Lance- Taxes are no big deal. They should be minimal. Checked bags will have fees, so that is definitely something to consider. You could always try carrying on a bag instead.

  2. Chris Cooper says:

    This is awesome. I got approved last night next month we’ll sign my wife up too! Thanks Sheldon, you rock as always.

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