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British Airways Adjusts Avios Part Payment Program

July 18, 2016
3 min read
British Airways Adjusts Avios Part Payment Program
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Through the Avios Part Payment program, British Airways allows its members to use Avios to reduce the price of a paid fare. Generally, the rate has yielded a savings of about 1 cent per Avios, but BA has run promotions to raise the redemption rate as high as 2.55 cents for certain deals. A couple of months ago, British Airways temporarily raised the rate to 1.5 cents per Avios, which is a fairly good rate for reducing the cost of a paid fare.

Over the weekend, we were initially excited to see what seemed like improvements to the British Airways Avios Part Payment program. However, while there are some improvements, these changes aren't anything to get too excited about.

Improvements

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The updates to the Avios Part Payment page highlight the positive changes.

For low-end redemptions, the rate has slightly improved. Instead of having to apply 1,500 Avios to save $15, you only need 1,250 Avios. Don't go spending all those 250 saved Avios in one place!

Also, you're able to apply more Avios to a booking than before. Before this weekend's changes, you could only apply 7,500 Avios to save $75 off a British Airways booking. You can now apply up to 35,000 Avios to a booking in order to save up to $250 off your flight.

Downsides

Instead of having a set value of 1 cent per Avios for all redemption levels, British Airways has added variable rates at different levels. Unfortunately, the more Avios you redeem, the lower the rate.

Avios NeededDiscount ReceivedRedemption Rate
(cents per Avios)
35,000$2500.71
17,000$1300.76
12,000$1000.83
7,500$650.87
3,500$351.00
1,250$151.20

At the maximum 35,000 Avios redemption level, you'll only save $250 — representing a savings of just 0.71 cents per Avios. This is less than half of TPG's current valuation of 1.5 cents per Avios.

Bottom Line

These changes aren't anything to get excited about. For those with small Avios balances, you can get a slightly better rate than before the changes. Those with large Avios balances and a lack of decent redemption options might cheer the ability to use more Avios than before — even if it's at a poor rate. However, most of the revised Avios Part Payment program options now offer a rather poor value.

Featured image by Save on British Airway redemptions from London. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.