Book British Airways Award Flights Like a Pro: Part 6 – Cash and Points

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I get a lot of questions on British Airways Avios points, and started a series on how to use British Airways Avios points 2 years ago and finally finished writing it.

You can use a combination of British Airways Avios points and cash to pay for an award ticket.  This could be a good option if you’re running low on British Airways Avios points, or if you value British Airways Avios at a higher price than the cash co-pay.

With Avios & Money, you are effectively replacing British Airways Avios points with cash within an award ticket booking.  The cash rate is different for each booking, but is usually cheaper on coach tickets and more expensive for Business Class and First Class.

Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 6 Cash And Points

Don’t Have Enough British Airways Avios Points for an Award Ticket? You Can Book With Fewer British Airways Avios Points and a Cash Co-Pay

Book British Airways Award Flights Like a Pro:

How Does It Work?

Avios & Money tickets do NOT earn British Airways Avios points and there has to be award seats available.  Also, you can NOT make changes to the routing or airline with an Avios & Money ticket.  Although, you can cancel your ticket and redeem a new 1 if you have to make changes.

If you cancel an Avios & Money booking, you’ll get a refund of the cash co-pay (minus any cancellation charges), so you can NOT use this method to buy British Airways Avios points for the future.

As always, you should do what’s best for you.

If you’re short on British Airways Avios points, there are many options to earn British Airways Avios points:

Which Airlines Can Be Booked With Avios & Money?

You can only use Avios & Money online on certain airlines:

I’ll show you why Avios & Money is sometimes a good deal for coach tickets, but usually NOT a good deal for Business Class and First Class.

1.   American Airlines (International Flights)

You can only use Avios & Money on international American Airlines flights (no domestic award tickets, including Hawaii).  The cash rate is lower in coach.

Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 6 Cash And Points

You Can Book International American Airlines Award Tickets With Avios & Money, Like Miami to Sao Paulo, Brazil

For example, a 1-way coach award ticket from Miami to Sao Paulo, Brazil costs 25,000 British Airways Avios points plus ~$6.  But you can “purchase” British Airways Avios points for 1.14 cents to 1.5 cents per point.

Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 6 Cash And Points

An Avios & Money Award Ticket in Coach From Miami to Sao Paulo, Brazil Costs 1.14 to 1.5 Cents per British Airways Avios Point

However, the price goes up if you redeem for Business Class seats.  The normal price is 50,000 British Airways Avios points plus ~$6 for a 1-way award ticket.  You can replace British Airways Avios points with cash for 2.8 to 2.9 cents each, which is NOT a good value.

Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 6 Cash And Points

You’ll Pay More for British Airways Avios Points in Business Class Between Miami and Sao Paulo, Brazil

Oddly, the cash rates are lower for a First Class award ticket than for Business Class.  The normal price for a 1-way First Class award ticket from Miami to Sao Paulo, Brazil is 75,000 British Airways Avios points plus ~$6.  You can replace British Airways Avios points with cash for 2.07 to 2.1 cents each, which is still NOT a good value.

Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 6 Cash And Points

You’ll Pay Slightly Less for British Airways Avios Points on a First Class Award Ticket, but It’s Still NOT a Good Value

US Airways

Unlike American Airlines, you CAN use Avios & Money for US Airways domestic flights!

If you book a short-haul domestic award ticket in coach, the cash price for British Airways Avios points is 1.67 to 2.08 cents each.

Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 6 Cash And Points

An Avios & Money Short-Haul Domestic Award Ticket Costs 1.67 to 2.08 Cents per British Airways Avios Points

The price per British Airways Avios point is slightly less on longer coach domestic award tickets.

Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 6 Cash And Points

Longer Haul Domestic Award Tickets Cost Slightly Fewer British Airways Avios Points

If you want to book Avios & Money First Class award tickets on US Airways, you’ll pay more for the British Airways Avios points.

Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 6 Cash And Points

Avios & Money First Class Award Tickets Cost 1.92 to 2.16 Cents per British Airways Avios Point

And US Airways short-haul domestic First Class award tickets have similar pricing.

Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 6 Cash And Points

You’ll Pay About the Same Prices for Short-Haul First Class Award Tickets

3.   Air Berlin

A 1-way coach ticket from New York to Dusseldorf, Germany, on Air Berlin costs 20,000 British Airways Avios points plus ~$6.  

Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 6 Cash And Points

You Can Book an Award Flight From New York to Dusseldorf, Germany, on Air Berlin Using Avios & Money

Using Avios & Money, the price ranges from 1.1 cents to 1.4 cents per point.  This may be worth it if you are short on British Airways Avios points.

Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 6 Cash And Points

Coach Avios & Money Prices on Air Berlin

However, the cash co-pay drastically increases if you book Air Berlin Business Class award tickets.  You’ll pay 40,000 British Airways Avios points plus ~$6 each way in Business Class to fly from New York to Dusseldorf, Germany.  But the price of the co-pay increases to between 2.8 and 3.1 cents per British Airways Avios point.  This is generally NOT a good value.

Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 6 Cash And Points

The Cash Price Goes Up Drastically for Air Berlin Business Class Award Tickets

4.   Iberia

While you can book Iberia flights through British Airways, you should transfer your British Airways Avios points to your Iberia Plus account to take advantage of lower fuel surcharges.  You can only do this if your Iberia account is at least 90 days old.

You can use Avios & Money when booking through Iberia.  As with British Airways, coach award tickets have lower rates for British Airways Avios points than Business Class.

Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 6 Cash And Points

Avios & Money Options for a 1-Way New York to Madrid, Spain, Coach Class Award Ticket, Booked Through Iberia

The price increases for Business Class award tickets.

Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 6 Cash And Points

Avios & Money Rates Are Higher for Business Class Award Tickets

If you book Iberia award tickets through Iberia, you’ll pay a slightly higher rate to buy British Airways Avios points with Avios & Money than booking through British Airways.  But it’s worth it because you’ll pay far less in fuel surcharges!

Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 6 Cash And Points

If You Want to Fly Iberia to Madrid, Spain, You’ll Pay Less in Fuel Surcharges for Award Tickets Booked Through Iberia

So you’ll usually save money booking an Iberia award ticket through Iberia’s frequent flyer program instead of with British Airways.

5.   LAN

You can use Avios & Money for award tickets on LAN.  There are some Business Class routes where the cash rate for British Airways Avios points is relatively low, as well as some coach routes where the cash rate is rather high.  If you plan to do Avios & Money with LAN, check 1st if the cash rate is worth it for you.

For example, from Santiago to Easter Island, you can book 1-way coach for 12,500 British Airways Avios points, or Business Class for 25,000 British Airways Avios points.

Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 6 Cash And Points

You Can Fly LAN to Easter Island 1-Way Coach From Santiago, Chile, for 12,500 British Airways Avios Points or 25,000 British Airways Avios Points in Business Class

This is technically a domestic flight within Chile (a pretty long domestic flight!).  Coach British Airways Avios points cost between 1.12 and 1.6 cents per point.

Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 6 Cash And Points

Avios & Money Rates for Domestic Coach Class on LAN Are Relatively Low

Business Class award tickets are much more expensive with Avios & Money.

Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 6 Cash And Points

You’ll Pay Much More for Business Class Award Tickets Booked With Avios & Money

An international flight, like Santiago, Chile, to Lima, Peru, has different rates for Business Class.

Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 6 Cash And Points

Business Class Avios & Money Rates Are Cheaper on International Routes

And coach international award ticket rates are even cheaper.

Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 6 Cash And Points

You’ll Pay Even Less for Coach Award Tickets

6.   Royal Jordanian

You can also use Avios & Money on Royal Jordanian award tickets, like between the US and India via Amman, Jordan.  For coach award tickets, it’s possible to replace British Airways Avios points for as low as 1.14 cents each, so it might be worth it for some folks.

A 1-way coach award ticket from Delhi, India, to New York via Amman, Jordan, normally costs 42,500 British Airways Avios points plus ~$72.  But you can replace British Airways Avios points with cash at rates between 1.14 and 1.41 cents each.

Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 6 Cash And Points

Coach Avios & Money Rates Are Relatively Cheap on Royal Jordanian

A Business Class award ticket costs 85,000 British Airways Avios points plus ~$72.  However, the Avios & Money prices are more expensive.

Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 6 Cash And Points

You’ll Pay 2.8 to 3.18 Cents per Point for Business Class Avios & Money Award Tickets

Bottom Line

On certain British Airways Avios award tickets, you can use Avios & Money if you want to pay fewer British Airways Avios points.  The price depends on the route and class of service.  Not all British Airways partners can be booked with Avios & Money.

Avios & Money award tickets are sometimes a good value in coach, but generally NOT so good on most Business and First Class awards tickets.

Have you ever booked with Avios & Money?  Tell me about your experience!

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4 responses to “Book British Airways Award Flights Like a Pro: Part 6 – Cash and Points

  1. Great summary of this topic, thanks. Didn’t realize you can only use Cash/Points on AA intl.

  2. How do you use cash+points for US Airways? I saw that you could do that when they initially joined Oneworld, but I haven’t seen that option for several months.

  3. I’m not understanding how to login or use Avios on the AA website. Is there something I have to do to my AA account or a particular path to follow through the site? Thanks for the reply.

  4. is there any way to avoid the ba tax when booking trough aa.com?