What is left In North America post-British Airways 4,500 avios award?


Last week, I asserted that British Airways taking award the 4,500 Avios point award in North America was not the end of the world.

I may have been shortsighted. For my  personal travel patterns, this change sucks, but it isn’t the end of the world for me. But, my travel patterns aren’t yours.

Reader Jessica rightly stated that for some, this can be a big hit. I still personally believe that no award chart change or devaluation should be the end of the world, as, your mileage account is not your retirement account (believe me the past few months have seen the market issue big hits in that regard!). That said, Jessica makes a very valid point, in that this change will hurt some-perhaps many-more than others.

So what alternatives exist?

For those who can and do Manufacture Spend, hopefully you weren’t hurt by the demise of RedBird, but as long as you can still MS, then you just scale up (unless of course your chosen method can’t scale further), then you need to open the aperture. The Saverocity Forums level 2 have great options here.

For those that don’t MS as much

Credit card sign ups, I don’t often advocate them, but right now the Chase British Airways card has a 50k offer after $2k spend, and if you can do more, $20k spend will get you a total of 100k Avios points. That’s a lot of spending, but it is even more points. Even at 7,500 points per award, that at least extends your options.

Look at other programs

American Airlines AAdvantage saver awards, I think are 12.5k for contiguous North America.

Southwest, as reader Horace commented, could be an option. You can also get 2 Chase Southwest cards for 106k points after meeting minimum spend and spending another $4k doesn’t seem all that hard for organic spend. Just make sure you don’t earn the bonuses until January, then you get 2 years with a Companion Pass.

As an aside, last year, I got a Southwest Companion Pass without a single credit card application, but that isn’t for everyone.

You could open the aperture even more, let’s say you like Ultimate Rewards Points (and don’t we all love getting 5x points!), well they transfer to United Airlines Mileage Plus for 10-12.5k Saver in the contiguous North America. Or transfer to Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer, for again 12.5k saver awards.

Wrapping Up

So while British Airways takes away a great award, there a handful of other “cheap” options, none as inexpensive as the 4,500 avios point award. That doesn’t take away the sting of British Airways’s decision to remove the 4,500 avios point award. But hopefully these alternatives at least show where the proverbial goal posts now stand.

5 thoughts on “What is left In North America post-British Airways 4,500 avios award?

    • All flights that touch the U.S. are subject to the new pricing. A flight within Mexico or Canada that could be booked with Avios would not be, but none exist.

  1. Hi Trevor!

    Remember to also give some ink to the IB Avios Roundtrips that can price out at either 11,000 AVIOS or 12,000 AVIOS.

    They don’t cover as much distance as the soon to meet its maker 650 miles or less BA Avios, but for some routes, they will work, such as in the NW corridor.

    I know that this is small consolation to some, but the BA Zone 1 really was too good to be true, when the comparable flights on it partner AA were priced @ 12,500 miles, but any savings is a savings, and the IB Avios R/Ts on selected routes takes some of the sting out of the BA increase — just remember that those trips are non-refundable unlike the BA Avios program!

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