British Airways Devalues Pay With Avios Option
Update: British Airways has now removed the Euro Traveller and Club Europe part payment with Avios options mentioned below.
Back in July, British Airways changed its "Part Payment" program to allow travelers to save between $15 (for 1,250 Avios) and $250 (for 35,000 Avios). This provided a value between 1.20 and 0.71 cents per Avios, respectively. Just a few months later, British Airways has now overhauled the Part Payment program yet again — simultaneously complicating and devaluing the program further.
Rather than providing a simple redemption rate for your Avios, there's now a different six-tier redemption chart for each cabin you can book (Euro Traveller, Club Europe, World Traveller, World Traveller Plus, Club World and First).
The best redemption rates can be found in economy (Euro Traveller and World Traveller), where you can cash out Avios at up to 0.96 cents each. But, it drops quickly from there, bottoming out at 0.67 cents per point.
|Savings toward paid fare||$12||$24||$48||$72||$110||$184|
|Cents per Avios||0.96||0.80||0.87||0.85||0.79||0.67|
|Savings toward paid fare||$24||$36||$60||$98||$134||$220|
|Cents per Avios||0.96||0.90||0.86||0.85||0.79||0.67|
The next-best rates are in business class, which is called Club Europe for intra-Europe flights and Club World for long-haul flights. While it might seem nice to save $306 off of a long-haul flight, you'll be giving up a ton of Avios to accomplish this.
|Savings toward paid fare||$36||$60||$86||$122||$172||$244|
|Cents per Avios||0.90||0.86||0.86||0.81||0.75||0.67|
|Savings toward paid fare||$72||$98||$134||$172||$220||$306|
|Cents per Avios||0.90||0.89||0.84||0.80||0.76||0.67|
Generally, the lowest rates are for World Traveller Plus — which is British Airway's premium economy cabin — and for first class. The only obvious benefit of these charts is that you can burn through a lot of Avios quickly (if that's something you're trying to do).
|World Traveller Plus|
|Savings toward paid fare||$48||$72||$98||$134||$184||$270|
|Cents per Avios||0.87||0.85||0.85||0.81||0.77||0.68|
|Savings toward paid fare||$98||$122||$158||$208||$270||$368|
|Cents per Avios||0.89||0.87||0.85||0.82||0.76||0.67|
In his latest valuation of British Airways Avios, TPG pegs them at 1.5 cents each. None of these redemptions come close to reaching this valuation.
British Airways has offered much better Part Payment rates in the past. For limited times, you've been able to get 1.5 cents per Avios and sometimes up to 2.55 cents per Avios. Considering this new program maxes out at just 0.96 cents per Avios — and there are much better uses of Avios — the new Part Payment program should be a "hard pass" for everyone but those most desperate to cash out Avios.