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Sweet Spot Sunday: US to Ireland from 13,000 Avios each way

April 17, 2022
8 min read
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Ireland recently lifted all remaining COVID restrictions, meaning American tourists can enter the country without additional documentation. Virtually all tourist sites, restaurants and pubs are open for business, so it's the perfect time to visit Ireland for the first time or revisit some old favorites around the country.

If you’ve been saving up your points and miles for a trip to The Emerald Isle, I’ve got fantastic news: getting there can be as cheap as a domestic award ticket.

In this edition of Sweet Spot Sunday, I’ll cover how you can book a one-way economy class ticket for off-peak travel using just 13,000 British Airways Avios each way when traveling from the East Coast.

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Why it’s special

Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by maydays/Getty Images)

Redeeming 13,000 Avios for a one-way award ticket to Ireland is a bargain, especially considering most reward programs charge the same amount for a domestic ticket.

Other major loyalty programs charge over twice this to fly to Dublin or elsewhere in Europe. For example, United MileagePlus usually charges 30,000 miles for a one-way economy ticket to Europe. Likewise, AAdvantage charges 22,500 miles for a one-way off-peak ticket to Europe.

British Airways award tickets to Ireland are an especially good deal when you consider they don’t incur fuel surcharges, unlike British Airways awards. This is because these flights are operated by the Dublin-based Aer Lingus, which operates flights to Dublin and Shannon from a handful of U.S. airports. The airline doesn't add additional fuel surcharges to its award tickets.

Thankfully, off-peak dates span much of the year, including the entirety of February, March, May, October and November. You can view the Aer Lingus off-peak calendar on its website (PDF link).

Here's a look at how many Avios you'll pay for direct off-peak flights from the U.S. to Ireland with Avios:

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Departure CityRouteFlight miles
(one-way)
Off-peak rate
(economy)
BostonBOS-SNN2,895*13,000*
BostonBOS-DUB2,993*13,000*
HartfordBDL-DUB3,07813,000
New YorkJFK-SNN3,09513,000
New YorkJFK-DUB3,17913,000
NewarkEWR-DUB3,19313,000
PhiladelphiaPHL-DUB3,27213,000
TorontoYYZ-DUB3,27913,000
Washington, DCIAD-DUB3,40413,000
ChicagoORD-DUB3,67413,000
MinneapolisMSP-DUB3,73513,000
OrlandoMCO-DUB4,07216,250
MiamiMIA-DUB4,16516,250
SeattleSEA-DUB4,54016,250
San FranciscoSFO-DUB5,09816,250
Los AngelesLAX-DUB5,18116,250

*Despite the distance falling below 3,000 miles, Aer Lingus prices these routes as though they cover 3,000+ miles

Related: How to fly round-trip to Europe in business class for 88,000 miles

How to book this award

(Photo by Nicky Kelvin/The Points Guy)

Unfortunately, you can't book this deal online — but given the low cost of this award, it's well worth your time.

You have to find space on United.com (United is an Aer Lingus partner), then call British Airways to book the award. Here’s a step-by-step look at how to book a 13,000-Avios sweet spot award using Avios:

Step 1: Go to United.com

Head over to United.com and type in your travel information. Make sure you check off “Book with miles.”

Step 2: Find a nonstop Aer Lingus flight

Look for saver-level nonstop awards on Aer Lingus on the search results page. You'll see "Saver Award" listed underneath the award price and "Aer Lingus" noted as the operating carrier. Make a note of the flight number and continue to the next step.

(Screenshot courtesy of United.com)

Step 3: Call British Airways

After you choose a flight, call British Airways at 1-800-452-1201.

You’ll need your Executive Club membership number on hand. Once on the phone, tell the representative your preferred flight number, travel dates and the route you'd like to fly. This will make it easier for them to narrow down the options and quickly book your flight.

Step 4: Confirm and pay

Once the rep reads back your itinerary and it sounds correct, go ahead and confirm your booking and pay the associated taxes with a card that pays you extra points on flight bookings. Here’s a round-up of the best options:

When you hang up, check your email for a confirmation and ensure that all the information is correct: Your destination, cabin class and flight. People make errors, and it’s best to catch them within a 24-hour window so you can easily fix them.

Related: Fly from the US to Europe, North Africa from 21,500 miles each way

How to earn points for this award

(Photo by The Points Guy)

If you don’t have enough Avios for this award, you can transfer them from four different programs. American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy. Marriott points transfer at a 3:1 ratio, with a 5,000 Avios bonus awarded for every 60,000 Marriott points you transfer.

You can also transfer Citi ThankYou points to Qatar Airways Privilege Club and then move those points to British Airways Executive Club. This is because Qatar Airways also uses Avios as its award currency.

If you need to top up your Avios balance, consider applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. It's currently offering 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. The card earns 3 points per dollar on dining and online grocery delivery, 2 points per dollar on travel and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

You can also apply for the British Airways Visa Signature® Card, which currently offers up to 100,000 Avios. Earn 75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening and earn an additional 25,000 Avios after you spend $20,000 in the the first 12 months of account opening. You could book upwards of four round-trip awards between the East Coast and Ireland with this bonus.

Related: How I earned 20,000+ Avios in the last year without flying British Airways

Bottom line

British Airways Avios aren’t always the easiest to use since the airline prices award tickets by segment and adds high taxes and fuel surcharges when transiting through London. But as we’ve learned through this series, sweet spots are found in even the most challenging programs.

If Ireland is on your bucket list, this sweet spot award can help get you there faster.

Featured image by Getty Images/iStockphoto
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023