How to best maximise a British Airways Companion Voucher with 200,000 Avios

Oct 8, 2019

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If you’ve earned a valuable Companion Voucher via a British Airways cobranded American Express card, you may be scouring route maps, flight times and availability but unsure of how best to use it. The question we are asked more than any other from readers here at TPG UK is: ‘How should I use my Companion Voucher?’

The answer will differ from person to person, based on your travel style, timing, likes and dislikes. But most importantly, how many Avios you have in your account. Someone with 30,000 Avios to burn will have different redemption options than someone with 300,000 Avios. So, we will be doing a regular series on some of the best options, based on different Avios amounts.

You can read our previous guides on the best way to use your voucher if you have either:

Today, we are looking at the best ways to use the Companion Voucher if you have 200,000 Avios to spend.

If you’re lucky enough to have a balance this big, then congratulations. You have plenty of options, and you can potentially obtain thousands of pounds of value from your Voucher. I would recommend focusing on return redemptions in either Club World (business class) or first. With 200,000 Avios, you have enough Avios for a peak return Club World almost anywhere on BA’s long-haul route network.

You can enjoy a lie-flat bed on a long, overnight flight to any of the following destinations, on any date with availability, return and still have Avios left over:

  • Lima Peru (LIM)
  • Bangkok, Thailand (BKK)
  • Mauritius (MRU)
  • Rio De Janiero, Brazil (GIG)
  • Tokyo, Japan (NRT or HND)
  • Seoul, South Korea (ICN)

For some of the farthest destinations BA flies to like Singapore (SIN), Santiago (SCL), Buenos Aires (EZE) and Kuala Lumpur (KUL), you can still redeem your Companion Voucher for a return off-peak Club World redemption — but you’ll need another 10,000 Avios if you want to travel on peak dates each way. Sydney, Australia (SYD), the furthest destination BA flies and arguably the hardest destination to redeem a Companion Voucher on will require 250,000 Avios in total for a return peak Club World redemption.

Image courtesy of Banyan Tree Bangkok’s Facebook page.
Image courtesy of Banyan Tree Bangkok’s Facebook page.

What about if you would prefer a long-haul destination that is not far flung as those cities listed above?

With your healthy Avios balance, you can consider first class each way. Note that you’ll need two award seats to be available to use your Voucher, which for some premium destinations can be hard to score. Should you spend such a large Avios balance all at once on one redemption? Well that’s completely up to you, but if you’ve never flown first class before, this might be a great time to try it out.

There’s a huge range of destinations for which you can redeem your voucher for two first seats return, even on peak dates. Here are some ideas:

  • Barbados (BGI)
  • Beijing (PKX)
  • Cape Town (CPT)
  • Denver (DEN)
  • Las Vegas (LAS)
  • Mahe, Seychelles (SEZ)
  • Mexico City (MEX)
  • Miami (MIA)
  • San Francisco (SFO)
  • San Diego (SAN)
  • St Lucia (UVF)
  • Vancouver (YVR)

As well as these destinations, you can also redeem for anywhere in the Middle East that offers first class, as well as the east coast of North America on peak or off-peak dates and still have plenty of Avios spare.

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Cape Town, South Africa. Photo by Danielle Vito / The Points Guy

If you are looking for two first-class seats and struggling to find availability to popular destinations, consider nearby locations that may be less popular (and therefore have less demand for redemption seats), but from which you can still easily get to your preferred destination. For example, if Los Angeles (LAX) is unavailable, try nearby San Diego (SAN). Instead of Dubai (DXB), try Abu Dhabi (AUH). If you can’t score Singapore (SIN), try Kuala Lumpur (KUL).

A frustrating condition of using a 2-4-1 Companion Voucher is that the booking must be ex-UK on British Airways. This means that in Club World and first, the UK APD Tax kicks in on these destinations, which, combined with BA’s own fees, taxes and fuel surcharges, means you will be hit with a hefty co-payment when using the Voucher — and both passengers are subject to this.

Unfortunately, there is no way around this unless you are willing to begin your journey from Inverness (INV) or Jersey (JER), where the APD does not apply — although these departure points are not convenient for many passengers.

Featured image by Gettys Images

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