A Beginner’s Guide to Redeeming Avios

You can use your British Airways Avios to book flights, pay for upgrades or reserve a hotel room or rental car.

Natasha GabrielleDecember 18, 2020
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British Airways' rewards program, the British Airways Executive Club, gives frequent flyers the chance to earn and collect points, called Avios. These points can be redeemed in various ways depending on each traveler’s needs and goals.

This guide will help you learn how to redeem Avios when you're ready to put them to use.

Valuable ways to redeem Avios points from British Airways

Book rewards flights

One of the most favored ways to redeem Avios points is for rewards flights. You can redeem your Avios points to fly either British Airways or one of its many partner airlines, such as Iberia or American Airlines. This flexibility gives you many possibilities for travel destinations.

Use British Airways' rewards flight finder to find available options to book. Once you select a specific journey, you’ll see the total amount of Avios points needed to book the flight, plus the cash total for taxes, fees and carrier charges.

Upgrade your flight experience

Another way to redeem Avios points is to pay for a seat upgrade, pending availability on a specific flight. This perk is available both at the time of booking and as an upgrade to an existing flight.

This redemption offers an easy way to make a regular travel experience even better. If you have yet to experience business or first class, this is a great way to check that item off your travel to-do list.

Note: You have the option to upgrade to the next cabin only on British Airways, Iberia and American Airlines flights.

Make a partial payment for a British Airways flight

Redeem Avios points as a partial payment when booking a British Airways flight, reducing your flight’s cash price — while still earning more Avios and Tier Points toward Executive Club status. Example redemption options include $24 off with 2,000 Avios, $58 off with 7,300 Avios and $104 off with 15,350 Avios.

All you need to do is search for a British Airways flight and you’ll be presented with options for decreasing your flight’s cash price with points.

Pay for seat selection and baggage upcharges

Use Avios points to pay for seats and baggage when you book a basic ticket. You can also pay excess baggage fees with Avios points if you’ve exceeded your baggage allowance and want to bring extra bags. You’ll find all payment options, including how to redeem your Avios points for these perks, in the Manage My Booking tool.

Book hotel stays and rental cars

You can use Avios on great deals worldwide at over 100,000 hotels or for car rentals. To see the options for booking with points, log in to your British Airways account, go to the travel booking tool and select your destination and travel dates.

How to maximize your Avios points

Here's how to get as much value as possible out of your Avios points:

  • Pay attention to fees. British Airways is known for charging high fees and fuel surcharges. Take note of these fees before you redeem points. To cut down on these fees, consider redeeming your Avios to fly with a partner airline.

  • When booking rewards flights, look for Reward Flight Savers. These deals offer travelers the best value for return trips in Europe and southern Africa. Travelers pay for the flight with Avios and the taxes, fees and carrier charges as a flat fee in cash.

  • Book shorter-distance trips for rewards flights. If you plan to redeem your Avios for rewards flights, use the rewards flight finder to play around with shorter trip options. You’ll notice that longer trips tend to require a lot more Avios.

  • Work toward elite status. You’ll earn more perks as you work your way up the British Airways Executive Club membership tiers, including the chance to collect even more bonus Avios per flight. Continue to work on your elite status strategy so that you can maximize your points and earn more to redeem.

The bottom line

British Airways offers a lot of different ways for travelers to redeem their Avios points. Whether you prefer to redeem them for a flight, upgrade your seat or book a rental car or hotel, there are many available options. Be sure to consider all the choices and take proper steps to maximize the value of your Avios redemptions.

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