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Redeem your British Airways Avios for less with 50% off flights to and from London

Nov. 07, 2019
5 min read
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British Airways just launched a great promotion for those looking to redeem their British Airways Avios for a free flight. For flights booked through Nov. 21, you'll receive up to 50% off the redemption rate, depending on which cabin you book.

  • Business and first class fares: 10% off
  • Economy and premium fares: 50% off

This promotion is only available on flights booked and operated through British Airways to or from London Heathrow or London Gatwick — it does not include partner awards. It's valid on one-way or roundtrip flights as well as Avios and Money bookings, but only the Avios will receive the 50% discount (the cash amount will stay the same).

While you must book your flight within the next two weeks, you can fly through April 30, 2020.

Related: Best Way to Earn British Airways Avios

When to take advantage of this promotion

One huge flaw of using your British Airways Avios on British Airways-operated metal is that the taxes, fees and surcharges you pay on flights to and from London can be quite outrageous. Even with a 50% discount on the number of miles you use, you might find that paying for your flight outright is in fact cheaper.

For example, a round-trip standard economy flight between Boston (BOS) and London Heathrow (LHR) on an off-peak award will cost you 26,000 Avios + $355.20 in taxes and fees.

If you were to forgo using points and just buy your flight outright, that same exact flight only costs $456.12. If you wanted to save even more money, you could purchase an Economy Basic flight for $90 less, which would mean the total flight would be about the same as the taxes, fees and surcharges you'll pay on the award redemption. And the benefit of paying for your flight is that you'd still earn British Airways Avios to put towards a future redemption.

But some award redemptions truly do make sense. For example, let's say you just need a one-way flight to London. You can fly from Boston to Heathrow on an off-peak award for 13,000 Avios + $93.70. While the taxes and fees are still more expensive than flying to London on some other carriers, they're much less expensive when you are flying into London versus departing London.

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Of course, the value really depends on your specific travel dates and routing. Before you jump on this deal, I recommend comparing the total price (including taxes and fees) to the cost of paying for a flight directly, whether it's on British Airways or another carrier.

Also, if you are short some Avios, you can stack discounts by purchasing Avios with the current 50% bonus offer and then redeem them with this 50% off redemption offer. Combining these two promotions could ultimately mean you're purchasing points with a 300% bonus.

Related: Maximizing the British Airways Distance-Based Award Chart

Here are some other examples on the number of points required with the 50% off promotion:

Combine with the Travel Together Ticket

If you have a British Airways Travel Together Ticket sitting in your account, this might be the perfect opportunity to put it to good use. This voucher is earned by spending $30,000 on your British Airways Visa Signature Card within a calendar year. Unfortunately, if your voucher is not already set to hit your account within the next few weeks, you're probably too late in trying to speed up earning the voucher, as it takes four to six weeks to be issued.

Keep in mind that the voucher does come with many restrictions, such as having to book a round-trip flight originating in the United States. And while you won't have to pay any additional Avios for your companion, you're on the hook to pay the taxes, fees and surcharges associated with both tickets, which can sometimes be quite high.

Bottom line

This is definitely an offer worth looking into, especially for people who have already been considering redeeming their British Airways Avios for a trip to or from London. Or if London wasn't initially on your radar, you can fly into London and then take a low-cost carrier to another destination within Europe. Just make sure to compare the cost of redeeming your miles versus a paid ticket, as you might be surprised that using your Avios, even with this promotion, isn't always the best option.

Featured image by Alberto Riva
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