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5 Good Reasons why you might want to transfer British Airways Avios to the ‘other’ Avios

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I love British Airways Avios Miles for short hop trips inside the USA, flying on their Partner American Airines.  They are the cheapest way to travel, and providing that there is American Airlines Saver Award seating available you can book with Avios, with no late booking fees so they are perfect for the last minute getaway.

I love them so much that I have accumulated over 300K worth of them in our Household account (BA allows Household Account Sharing) and now, I am worried… I hate to hold onto miles for any length of time as they inevitably will be devalued by the airline at some point – it is a earn and burn lifestyle we lead.  As such I am always looking for alternative ways to spend my miles, and I stumbled across a very interesting one today, that offers savings by transferring your British Airways Executive Club Avios into… Avios – which has to be the most confusing name for a separate loyalty program that those dastardly Brits could have thought of!

I had heard in the past from a great post here by Brian, The Points Guy that you could save fees on Iberia by transferring your BA Avios to Iberia Avios, which was very useful, and today after exploring I found several more options if you transfer to the other other Avios, called… Avios:

Combine between programs splash

There are 4 programs within the Avios Family, which are all separate and have different redemption possibilities, and associated fees.

 

5 Good Reasons why you Should transfer British Airways Avios to Avios

 

1. Access to new Airline Partners

This is very useful for both UK Based Travelers and those visiting the UK who also want to take a mini trip during their stay, most of these are short, nonstop flights to unusual destinations, such as The Channel Islands (located between the UK and France) and various places in the Mediterranean such as Malta and the Canary Islands.

Monach FlyBe Aurigny Air Malta

 

It is also worth noting that many of these trips qualify for the BA Reward Flight Saver ticket which reduces your Taxes and Fees to a flat rate – the rate is bumping up on July 11th 2013 from 30-35GBP for Coach RT and from 40-45GBP in Business RT, still a great bargain, see below for an example of some Reward Flight Saver tickets:

Reward Flight Saver

These award tickets from BA and Avios.com offer discounted pricing on the Fee portion, which makes them a real bargain for hopping around in the UK and Europe on flights.

 2. Get a lower rate when Renting a Car with Avios

One of the ways you can spend either British Airways Avios or Avios is on Car Rental – For no real reason I can understand, paying for a Car Rental with Avios is cheaper than paying for it with British Airways Avios, as per a couple of scenarios I tested here for a day in London:

Avios Astra Price 6600 per day, same car costs 8950 BA Avios for the same rental

Avios Astra Price 6600 per day, same car costs 8950 BA Avios for the same rental period – you can book cars Worldwide using this plan.

3. Book Train Travel on Eurostar

This is a great alternative to flying, as London is linked directly to Paris, and other European Destinations, the trip time from London-Paris is 2hr15 and would typically cost $112 RT, or you can book it for 9000 Avios, also there are lots of other alternative destinations that you could continue onto, seeing some of Europe by train.  This option would be useful if you wanted to visit the UK but not fly there (therefore avoiding the high taxes and fees you find when exiting the UK as you could open jaw your flights from a cheaper European city).

Paris by Eurostar

Eurostar Tickets can cost $112 RT from London to Paris, or you can book them with just 9000 Avios and NO fees!

There are many more options available too, you could travel through to a number of exciting European Cities by train!

 

Other Locations With Eurostar and Avios

Other Locations With Eurostar and Avios

4. Get tickets to Theme Parks and attractions (UK Address required)

There are lots of options here for Theme Park tickets, such as DisneyLand Paris, for 8500 Avios Adults (Regular Ticket Price 76GBP) and 7500 Avios Childs (Regular Ticket Price 59GBP) one day admission. They also listed a number of key London attractions that are popular with tourists, such as the London Dungeon.  These tickets are mailed out, so you need a person to receive them for you if you plan to use this feature.

Disneyland Paris with Avios

You can pay for Theme Parks and Attractions, including DisneyLand Paris!

5.  Take a Ferry to France (or many other destinations)

You can book a car ferry and take the family to France from the UK from 25,000 Avios (Total) for a Roundtrip journey, with car, 2 adults and a Club Cabin – you can openjaw the route so you can depart back to the UK from a different Port for the same price.

Ferries

Avios allows bookings on a number of Ferry companies, including this one Brittany Ferries, which allows Open Jaws and Cars to come along.

Getting Started for the Transfer of British Airways Avios

Step 1 Set up an Avios.com Account

Avios.com is the home of Avios, and despite listing British Airways Avios all over their site your account won’t work there, you will need to create a new account online.  I did this and it did ask me for a British Zip Code and Phone number, but did not do address verification (I used my US Street Address and changed the Zip to British one, and made up a British phone number number), account set up with no problems.  It is clear that some of the things that can be done with Avios require a UK Address for the mailing of Tickets, and some do not, so if you don’t have a legitimate UK address you might want to think twice about doing this.  For flights and car rentals, they wouldn’t be mailing you a ticket so you should be good to go, and I have heard of non UK based people successfully doing just this. Just remember that its a bit of a grey area.

Step 2 Log into your British Airways account and Make the Transfer to Avios.com Points

Transfer Avios by following the screenshots (I must say I was a little concerned that I would be transferring my entire supply but for the purposes of Science and this post I went through the steps and no transfer will be done until you complete and confirm the exact amounts of the transfer.

Combine Manage my Account

Combine Avios option in Manage my Account from your British Airways screen

 

 

Combine Page

Link you accounts by entering your newly created Avios.com login here

 

 

Combing points

There was a little concern here that I might be sending over all my points!

 

I was a bit worried, because the ‘enter amount button didn’t appear immediately, so I took my life in my hands thinking I might just transfer my entire balance by accident, however not to worry, as it allows you to select any amount you like, after you hit the Radio button to pick the direction of the transfer.

 

Transfer Fixed Amount of Avios

Transfer Fixed Amount of Avios by connecting your two accounts, and wiring over the amount you chose

 

Panic over, I selected an odd number, so as to have enough for a 7 day car rental in the UK, it was good to see that it doesn’t force you to move rounded 1000 amounts too!

 

Confirmation Page

Confirmation Page

 

Step 3 Book Your Desired award from Avios.com

 

10 comments… add one

  • I think it works the other way too. When I bought duty free booze on a BA flight recently the flight attendant asked if I had a BAEC card. I paid with an Amex Avios card and she said I’d get the points just the same

    Reply
    • hmmm not so sure about that one – you would earn points on the Amex Avios anywhere, but whether you get additional for the purchases on BA flights would depend on the rules of the card. Over here we have bonuses like 1 x for regular spend and 2 x for any spend on their airline, so if you have that you are good, but if not then perhaps not…

      Reply
  • Don’t have any Avios yet at all. But I do think they have great advantages. Maybe next churn. One good thing about being new to this is there are still plenty of cards to get. Right now we (well, my other half!) just got approved for our household’s first business card, the Ink Bold, and we’ll work on that spend while we wait a few months to let our credit reports quiet down. I expect Chase probably did at least two pulls – one on the day he applied and one yesterday when he called in to hurry the decision. Other than that, the timing is perfect; I just completed the spends on the cards I got in May and he got in on the 60,000 point offer. Will come back to this post when I get some Avios! Happy weekend!

    Reply
    • Hey Elaine, Avios are great – especially for those short hops on AA flights, we got in on the 100K offer last year which is why we have almost 300K now even after spending a bunch.

      You might have got away without the second pull as sometimes they will just review the old hard pull during the reconsideration call, depends on the agent, but either way probably best to wait it out for the next big offer and work on that spend first.

      If it looks like you aren’t going to make it don’t forget AP or buying Chase Gift Cards as options to boost you up.

      Cheers,

      Matt

      Reply
      • Yeah, totally agree with all you said above. I did briefly consider the Avios deal when it was around but I was too new to the game and there were enough other cards with low minimum spends/waived first year fees for me to decide to include it then. Between all the travel we are doing soon (road trip to the Bay area, and then Israel/Turkey) plus an insurance payment for our home, car and umbrella coverage hitting soon, we should make the Bold spend pretty easily. I can always toss in a few VRs if need be – probably will anyway, to be able to pay our HOA fees using Bluebird. But thanks for the reminder about those Chase gift cards! Good point to remember.

        Reply
  • I’m using my 100K BA Avios for four round-trip flights to Hawaii from the West Coast on Alaska super-saver flights. Normally 40k Alaska miles, will only be 25k round-trip for each.

    Good to know about “other” Avios, especially for international travel. I haven’t started planning my Credit Card churns for any international destinations just yet.

    Reply
  • I would say that transferring BA Avios to Avios to get Eurostar tickets may be more hassle than it’s worth. First, you need a UK address and you must change your address on BA Avios as well to a UK address, which they won’t change back for you for a minimum of 6 months. That might create complications if you want to use your BA Avios for flights during that time. Also, I tried to do this and redeem for Eurostar tickets from Paris to London, and they do not allow that redemption – you can only redeem for specific train rides. It is not worth it – if you reserve Eurostar in advance, the prices are quite reasonable.

    Reply
    • Why would you have to change your BA Avios address? It didn’t ask me to in order to get the transfer? I didn’t know that they wouldn’t route you, it seemed to me that they would allow you to route anywhere there was a Eurostar station, but good to know.

      In fairness, the cost of the ticket vs use of BA Avios for that isn’t a great CPM too, so cash could be better, but if you have a bunch of them it is good to find ways to save your cash.

      Reply
      • They wouldn’t allow the transfer unless the UK addresses matched exactly for both accounts. I don’t know how you were able to get around that. But I did change both addresses in order to buy the tickets. Also, you can’t redeem for Eurostar tickets online – you must call the number provided. They will inform you that not all routes are available to redeem via Avios. I couldn’t redeem for Paris to London (although the other direction is avaiable). So i transferred the Avios back to BA Avios. Now I must wait 6 months to change the address back to my US address.

        Reply
        • That sucks- has it actually stopped you from booking flights here. Or is it just a concern you cannot?

          These things happen when we push the boundaries… Price of the game unfortunately.

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