11 ways to earn Avios you might not know about
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Avios are a valuable points currency used by airlines such as British Airways, Iberia, Air Lingus and most recently, Qatar. Building up a balance of Avios is fairly straightforward, especially if you’re a frequent flyer on any of these airlines.
But even if you’ve got the basics down for Avios earning, you might want to boost your balance even further. And it’s actually easier than you might think — some of them don’t even require leaving the house.
Here are 11 ways to earn British Airways Avios you may not be familiar with.
1. Food delivery and pickup
The BA eStore allows you to earn bonus Avios for every pound spent with selected retailers just by going via the eStore portal before ordering as normal from your favourite retailer’s website. This includes a number of restaurants, recipe boxes, gourmet food, coffee, booze and dining partners where you can earn Avios for online orders (some for pickup and some for delivery).
Some of the most popular ones include:
- Just Eat
- Pizza Hut Delivery
- Fortnum & Mason
- Hotel Chocolat
- HelloFresh UK
- Beer Hawk
- Planet Organic
- The Sunday Times Wine Club
- Wiltshire Farm Foods
- Uber Eats UK
2. Online retailers
Earn up to 15 Avios per £1 — and sometimes more — at more than 1,500 retailers via the BA eStore and Avios online shopping portal. Here are a few highlights:
- Apple Store
- Ali Express
- Jo Malone
- TK Maxx
3. Bank accounts
Barclays and Avios have joined forces to offer a banking product for British travellers and Avios collectors: Barclays Avios Rewards. Signing up is an easy way to boost your Avios balance.
If you’re eligible for Barclays Avios Rewards, you can opt in through the Barclays app. Once you’re enrolled, you’ll receive the following perks:
- 25,000 bonus Avios if you are new to Barclays, open a Barclays Premier current account and perform a current account switch from your existing bank to Barclays Premier within 90 days — worth £275 based on our most recent valuations;
- 2,500 bonus Avios if you have already held a Barclays Premier current account, or a Barclays Personal Wealth current account for at least four months — worth about £28 based on our most recent valuations;
- 1,500 Avios each and every month you are enrolled in the Barclays Avios Rewards programme (18,000 Avios per year, worth £198 based on our valuations); and
- A British Airways cabin upgrade voucher at the end of every 12 months you are enrolled in Barclays Avios Rewards. This is valid for moving up by one cabin – from Premium Economy (World Traveller Plus) to Business (Club World) or from World Traveller (economy) to World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy).
Note that the fee for this account is £12 per month. But you’ll still come out on top each year, even if you don’t earn the 25,000-point bonus thanks to the monthly Avios deposit.
4. Non-airline travel, accommodation and tours
It’s not just flights that let you earn Avios.
BA and Avios partner with several major hotel chains and online travel agencies that allow you to earn Avios if booked via the eStore portals.
Usually, booking a hotel stay via a third party (like Hotels.com) means the hotel won’t allow travellers to also earn miles and points in their own loyalty programme (nor honour any benefits should you have status with a hotel chain).
But BA and Avios redirect you to the hotel’s own website (or a special part thereof), so you should earn both Avios as well as loyalty points with the hotel itself, essentially double-dipping when it comes to points and miles earnings.
Here are some of the most popular:
- Disneyland Paris
- Direct Ferries
- Mr and Mrs Smith
- Priority Pass
5. Heathrow Express (HEX)
Heathrow Express is one of the most expensive train journeys (cost per mile) in the world, and whilst it can be super quick, depending on where you are in London, it may not be the fastest way of reaching Heathrow. However, if you are going to use the Heathrow Express, you might as well earn 5 additional Avios per £1 spent.
6. Financial services partners
Nutmeg offers 2,500 Avios for anyone opening an account. The company also runs regular promotions, including earning Avios for transferring an ISA or investing in an ISA — in the last few years, this has been 1 Avios per £1 spent for up to 300,000 Avios.
You don’t have to be an investment expert in order to invest your money in Nutmeg – the company can do it for you. You can set up the account online from home, just tell Nutmeg how much you’d like to invest, what your risk level is and some preferences about how you would like the company to manage your money. Nutmeg will give you an idea of the sort of returns you might get for that investment during the sign-up process.
7. Supermarket shopping
Did you know you can transfer the Nectar points you earn from shopping at Sainbury’s (and other Nectar partners) to Avios?
You can transfer 400 Nectar points to become 250 Avios — or vice versa. Essentially, with this transfer option, you are “buying” Avios for a cost of 0.8p apiece, which isn’t necessarily a bad deal. In fact, that’s better than you will often find with BA’s buy Avios promotions.
Also, note Nectar’s other partnerships. You can earn multiple Nectar points when spending at around 300 different retailers like Ebay, Asos or Booking.com, among others.
Meanwhile, when shopping at Sainsbury’s, you’ll earn 1 Nectar Point for every £1 you spend. However, where the Nectar programme really shines is its promotions. By downloading the Nectar app, you’ll be targeted for promotions to earn bonus Nectar points on your supermarket purchases. For example, we’ve seen up to hundreds of bonus points offered for purchasing select produce at Sainsbury’s.
Before starting your shop, be sure to look through the Nectar app to ensure you’re not missing out on any bonus offers.
It’s also worth noting that Sainsbury’s is also part of the British Airways eStore — currently, you can earn up to 15 Avios per £1 spent on Click and Collect or Home Delivery purchases.
8. Utilities and phones
BT, Sky TV and Virgin Media are utility partners that let you earn Avios via the BA eStore. Vodafone, EE, O2 and Carphone Warehouse are phone partners. While may not be worth changing programmes, if you are looking to sign up as a new customer, make sure to snap up those extra Avios.
9. Convert American Express Membership Rewards points to Avios
American Express Membership Reward points can be converted into Avios, transferring at 1:1 rate. It is worth noting that they are potentially more valuable as MR points, given you have increased flexibility to also transfer them to other partners.
If you need Avios and have a stash of Membership Rewards, transferring can be an easy way to boost your Avios balance, especially if you have a redemption in mind you’d like to snap up.
10. Convert hotel points to Avios
Many hotel programmes such as Marriott, IHG and Hyatt allow members to convert their points into Avios (or other airline mileage programmes). The transfer rates are usually poor — you’ll likely lose plenty of points in the transfer process as Avios are usually worth more than hotel points. However, it’s worth noting that sometimes if there’s a transfer bonus, it may be useful to transfer hotel points, especially if you need to top off your stash of Avios for a redemption.
The trick is to always check out our monthly valuations before moving to Avios as you might get greater value redeeming them for free hotel nights.
11. British Airways co-branded credit cards
Earn Avios for every purchase as well as potentially lucrative spend bonuses by signing up for British Airways credit cards. Currently, these are the co-branded card options BA offers:
- British Airways American Express Accerlating Credit Card: Rewards include 30,000 bonus Avios when you spend £5,000 in your first three months of Cardmembership plus an extra 10,000 Avios for every £20,000 spent, up to 3 times a year for an annual fee of £250 per year;
- British Airways American Express Credit Card: Rewards include 5,000 bonus Avios when you spend £1,000 in the first 3 months of Cardmembership and a Companion Voucher when you spend £12,000 each membership year with no annual fee; and
- British Airways American Express Premium Card: Rewards include 25,000 bonus Avios when you spend £3,000 in the first 3 months of Cardmembership and a Companion Voucher when you spend £10,000 each membership year for an annual fee of £250 per year.
- Barclaycard Avios Mastercard: Rewards include 5,000 bonus Avios after spending £1,000 in the first three months of card membership. You will also earn 1 Avios per £1 spent on the card on everyday purchases and there’s no annual fee.
- Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard: Rewards include 25,000 bonus Avios after spending £3,000 in the first three months of card membership. You will also earn 1.5 Avios per £1 spent on the card on everyday purchases and there’s a monthly (rather than annual) fee of £20.
With thousands of British Airways retail partners, it’s easy to earn additional Avios from regular activities, like ordering your groceries online, shopping for birthday gifts, booking hotels or opening a bank account. This may not make you Avios rich right away, but picking up a small amount of Avios here and there for things you’d be purchasing anyway is an easy way to stockpile your points — and it may just lead to your dream trip over time.
Additional reporting by Lori Zaino.
Featured photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images
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