One of our favorite miles/points “currencies” is Avios miles from British Airways. You may think these aren’t useful if BA doesn’t service your local airport, but British Airways partners with a number of other airlines so these miles present a great opportunity to fly for less.
What are Avios and Why Should I Care?
- Avios is the award/mileage currency for British Airways and the amount of miles needed to book a flight varies on flight distance (in miles).
- Avios are much easier to accumulate than American Airlines miles.
- Importantly, British Airways is a oneworld alliance member and Avios can be used to book flights on American Airlines if discount award tickets are available. Avios can therefore present significant value in award tickets compared against American Airlines miles.
- Short flights within the continental U.S. or within Europe are a particular sweet spot within the Avios system.
- For a comprehensive look at British Airways partners, Avios ticket award prices, and more, we’ll refer you to MileCards because they did a pretty comprehensive look less than a year ago.
How do I Earn Avios?
- Flying on British Airways (or crediting flights from oneworld partners to your Avios account).
- The British Airways credit card from Chase (please note, we do not receive a commission from this link and there may be other more lucrative offers out there).
- Many credit card and hotel rewards systems allow transfers of points to Avios including: American Express, Citi Thank You, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Hilton Hhonors, IHG Rewards, and Marriott Rewards. For a complete list and transfer rates with , see the British Airways website (Hotels, Flights, Car Rentals,
How Many Avios Will I Need for My Trip?
Admittedly, British Airway’s website is kind of a pain to use because their “calculator” won’t work for American. Once you have a trip in mind but aren’t yet ready to book, I recommend using this calculator from the Wandering Aramean.
Anything Else to Know?
- It’s true, Avios have devalued a bit over the years, but they are still worth looking into in our opinion.
- Beware of flight fuel surcharges and using Avios for intercontinental flights. The taxes and fees can be significant.
- One other thing: unlike miles from many other airlines, British Airways actually allows you to pool your miles with other members of your family. For a family that travels together, this means less time before you are able to use those miles for one or more award tickets.