The best uses of 100,000 British Airways Avios

Apr 25, 2020

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British Airways Avios is a popular points currency in the U.K. for many reasons — the points are easy to earn whether you’re in the air, on the ground or online. And the earning side isn’t the only easy part. There are so many ways to redeem Avios to help you maximise your travel — whether it’s flying with British Airways or its partner airlines. We think the best value you’ll get from your Avios is redeeming them for flights, versus redemptions like hotels or gift vouchers.

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While you won’t be redeeming for flights right now in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, it’s a good time to get to planning for your dream trip for when this is all over.

If your Executive Club balance is in the six-figure range, congratulations — you have plenty of great options to use them as a U.K.-based traveller.

Related: The ultimate guide to British Airways Avios

In This Post

British Airways 2-4-1 Companion Vouchers

We write a lot about the British Airways Companion Voucher. That’s because it’s the single most valuable perk you can earn in the U.K. miles and points world. It allows you to book a second redemption seat on any British Airways return fare, in any class on any date (with redemption availability for two people) and you will only pay the fees and taxes for the second passenger, not the Avios.

If you have 100,000 Avios and are looking to really maximise your travel, you can really do so if you have a Companion Voucher to use as well, as a second person can travel with you on one return redemption operated by British Airways for no additional Avios.

Related:

Even if you don’t have a Companion Voucher, here are some amazing ways you can use 100,000 British Airways Avios.

Up to 12 return flights to Europe

You’ll usually get the best value from your Avios by redeeming them for premium cabin flights, though the exception for this is for very short-haul flights. British Airways has its fantastic Reward Flight Saver option for short-haul flights to Europe where you can book an off-peak, one-way flight of up to 600 miles in length for just 4,000 Avios + £17.50 in fees and taxes.

What destinations are included for just 4,000 miles? Here’s some of them for inspiration:

  • Amsterdam (AMS)
  • Bordeaux (BOD)
  • Copenhagen (CPH)
  • Innsbruck (INN)
  • Munich (MUC)
  • Nice (NCE)
  • Zurich (ZRH)

That means for your 100,000 Avios, you could book 12 return trips (so 24 flights for one person). Or if you’re a family of four, you could still book three return trips for all four of you.

That could be the flights for three European holidays for your whole family, which could save you thousands.

Related: Guide to British Airways’ Reward Flight Saver redemptions

Market square of Old town of Innsbruck, Austria
Market square of Old town of Innsbruck, Austria. (Photo by Gettys Images)

Around the world in economy with partner airlines

Who doesn’t love the idea of an around-the-world holiday? While British Airways doesn’t fly all the way around the world itself, its partner airlines can fill the gaps. The secret is the Muilti-Carrier Award chart where you can fly up to 20,000 miles in economy for 100,000 Avios plus fees and taxes. You can have a play around with the distances on a tool like gcmap.com, but an example itinerary of what would fall within the 20,000-mile total limit:

  • London (LHR) – Bangkok (BKK) with British Airways
  • Bangkok (BKK) – Tokyo (NRT/HND) with Japan Airlines
  • Tokyo (NRT/HND) – Los Angeles (LAX) with Japan Airlines
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – London (LHR) with American Airlines

At 19,752 flown miles, this would cost you 100,000 Avios in economy for a true around-the-world trip.

Related:

Club World/Club Suite return to the US East Coast or the Middle East

This is a real sweet spot in the Avios award chart. For Zone 5 flights from 3,001 to 4,000 miles in length, off-peak in Club World is exactly 100,000 Avios return. From the U.K., this includes most of the East Coast of North America as well as the Middle East, with popular destinations like:

  • Abu Dhabi (AUH)
  • Bahrain (BAH)
  • Bermuda (BDA)
  • Boston (BOS)
  • Chicago (ORD)
  • Dubai (DXB)
  • Montreal (YUL)
  • New York (JFK/EWR)
  • Philadelphia (PHL)
  • Toronto (YYZ)
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD)

Even better, Dubai and Toronto — and some New York flights with the retrofitted 777 — feature British Airways’ new Club Suite product on the A350 aircraft.

Related:

British Airways A350 Club Suite. (Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy)

Aer Lingus business class From Ireland to the US for cheaper surcharges

British Airways imposes high surcharges for flights it operates itself — especially on itineraries from the U.K. On a return Club World redemption to New York (JFK), for example, you can expect to pay around £600 per person in total fees, taxes and fuel surcharges. If you still want to fly to the East Coast of the U.S., consider flying from Ireland with Aer Lingus instead. You can fly from Dublin (DUB) and in some cases also Shannon (SNN) to places like Boston (BOS), New York (JFK), Chicago (ORD) and Washington (IAD) for 100,000 Avios return in business class with Aer Lingus and expect the fees and taxes to be less than a quarter of what you would pay for flying with British Airways from the U.K.

You will still need to make your own way between the U.K. and Ireland to start and finish your journey, but the huge savings could be well worth the hassle.

Related: Pot of gold: A review of Aer Lingus on the A321neo in business class from Dublin to Philadelphia

12 hours in the world’s best business class

TPG Awards selected Qatar Airways Qsuite as the world’s best business class for the past two years. Qatar operates the product to the U.K., but unfortunately, 100,000 Avios won’t be enough for a return flight to Doha (DOH) — you’ll need 124,000 Avios for this. But what you can do is book a slightly shorter flight one-way from mainland Europe that falls under 3,000 miles in length for 38,750 Avios, one-way in Qsuite and then back from Doha (DOH) to the U.K. in Qsuite for 62,000 Avios for a grand total of 100,750 Avios for the return journey. You’ll also save on fees and taxes as you won’t pay the U.K. APD tax if you are departing from mainland Europe rather than the U.K. in a premium cabin.

You’ll want to pick a mainland Europe city that is less than 3,000 miles from Doha (DOH) and, most importantly, one that Qatar operates its Qsuite to — though its previous-generation business-class product is also excellent. At the time of publication (outside coronavirus route reductions), the following cities satisfy these three requirements:

  • Berlin (TXL)
  • Copenhagen (CPH)
  • Frankfurt (FRA)
  • Milan (MXP)
  • Munich (MUC)
  • Stockholm (ARN)
  • Zurich (ZRH)

With the two flights combined, you’ll be looking at just over 12 hours in the world’s best business class.

(QSuite. Photo by Zach Honig/TPG)
(Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)

Related:

A return upgrade from Club World to First, anywhere

If you have a paid Club World ticket and 100,000 Avios to burn, then there’s good news. You can use them to upgrade to First both directions, where First is offered on the flight, and there is award availability.

100,000 Avios is enough for a return upgrade anywhere British Airways flies, even all the way to Sydney (SYD) on peak dates.

Related: How to upgrade your next flight with British Airways Avios

First class one-way to almost anywhere

Never flown in First?  Here is your chance. While there are a handful of destinations like Saudi Arabia you could use your 100,000 Avios for a return redemption in First, these are pretty short flights. If you really want to experience First properly, consider a one-way redemption on some of British Airways‘ longest flights. This will give you plenty of time to enjoy the vintage Champagne, the multi-course dine-on-demand menu and time for a good sleep on the White Company Bedding.

While some of British Airways’ very farthest routes will cost you more than 100,000 Avios, you can still look at these long-haul destinations on off-peak and peak dates:

  • Barbados (BGI)
  • Cape Town (CPT)
  • Costa Rica (LIR)
  • Denver (DEN)
  • Johannesburg (JNB)
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • Mahe (Seychelles) (SEZ)
  • Miami (MIA)
  • New Orleans (MSY)
  • San Francisco (SFO)
  • Trinidad and Tobago (POS)
  • Vancouver (YVR)

Related:

Bottom Line

100,000 Avios is a great balance to redeem, as there are plenty of options. You can go from saving regularly on short hops across to Europe through to that bucket list trip-of-a-lifetime in proper long-haul first class. Get to planning your next redemption now.

Featured image by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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