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Update: Beginning February 2, 2016, British Airways will no longer offer 1-way, short-haul (under 650 miles) coach award tickets on partner airlines in North America for 4,500 British Airways Avios points. Instead these flights will cost 7,500 British Airways Avios points.
That’s because you can use them for award flights on oneworld partner airlines like American Airlines and Air Berlin, or other partners like Aer Lingus or Alaska Airlines!
Let’s look at all the ways to earn British Airways Avios points!
All the Ways to Earn British Airways Avios Points!
One of my favorite things about British Airways Avios points is they’re easy to earn and use!
You can earn British Airways points directly from flying on British Airways or their partner airlines, or from the sign-up bonus and spending on the Chase British Airways Visa Signature Card.
A better way to use British Airways Avios points is for short-distance domestic flights on partner airlines like American Airlines or Alaska Airlines. Or for cheap flights from the West Coast to Hawaii (only 25,000 British Airways Avios points round-trip in coach!).
And they’re excellent for trips to Europe on partners like Aer Lingus and Air Berlin for fewer miles (and minimal surcharges) compared to other airline programs, like United Airlines or American Airlines.
Here are my favorite ways to earn British Airways Avios points!
1. 100,000 British Airways Avios Points
Now’s a great time to think about collecting British Airways Avios points, because the sign-up bonus on the Chase British Airways card was just increased to a total of 100,000 British Airways Avios points after you complete the minimum spending.
You’ll have to spend $20,000 on purchases in the 1st year of opening your account to earn the full bonus. But consider what you could get with 100,000 British Airways Avios points!
- 4 round-trip coach tickets on Alaska Airlines or American Airlines from the West Coast to Hawaii (25,000 British Airways Avios points each)
- 22 one-way, short haul (under 650 miles) coach tickets on British Airways or their partner airlines (4,500 British Airways Avios points each)
- 4 round-trip coach tickets between Boston and Dublin on Aer Lingus (25,000 British Airways Avios points each)
That’s a huge amount of travel from 1 credit card sign-up bonus!
2. Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
Link: Chase Freedom
Link: Chase Ink Plus
Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred
You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to British Airways at a 1:1 ratio.
If you own a small business (or are just starting 1!), consider the Chase Ink Cash and Chase Ink Plus small business cards. Both cards currently have a limited-time increased sign-up bonus when you complete the minimum spending.
You’ll earn 30,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the 1st 3 months of opening a Chase Ink Cash account.
And with the Chase Ink Plus, you’ll earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the 1st 3 months of account opening.
Check out my full review of both cards!
Keep in mind, Chase Ultimate Rewards cards have great spending category bonuses!
So you can quickly earn lots of points by purchasing gift cards to other merchants. Or buy PIN-enabled gift cards and load the to your AMEX prepaid account to pay bills you can’t normally pay with a credit card, like rent, loans, or utilities.
3. Transfer Starwood Points
You can also transfer Starwood points to British Airways at a 1:1 ratio.
Starwood points aren’t as easy to earn as other transferable points, so many folks prefer transferring points to British Airways from other programs. But if you like British Airways and won’t use your Starwood points for hotel stays, this is a good option!
These cards are an excellent choice for regular spending in categories that don’t earn bonus points, like car repairs, insurance, or dentist visits.
You can effectively earn 1.25 airline miles per $1 you spend! That’s because when you transfer 20,000 Starwood points to airlines like British Airways, you’ll earn a 5,000 mile bonus.
So you’ll earn more British Airways Avios points for regular spending on this card than you would with the Chase British Airways card!
4. Transfer American Express Membership Rewards Points
American Express Membership Rewards points can currently be transferred to British Airways at a 1:1 ratio. But that’s changing on October 1, 2015.
From that date, the ratio decreases to 5:4. So it won’t be as good a deal as it was.
That said, there are sometimes transfer bonuses.
This is still a great option for earning British Airways Avios points, because there are so many ways to earn American Express Membership Rewards points!
Keep in mind, having American Express cards means you’re eligible for other terrific deals, like AMEX Offers, complimentary ShopRunner membership (free shipping!), and Small Business Saturday statement credits!
5. The “Hard” Way – Flying!
Of course, you’ll earn British Airways Avios points when you fly British Airways. But did you know you can earn British Airways Avios points when you fly certain other airlines?
And you can earn British Airways Avios points on their other partner airlines too, like Aer Lingus and Alaska Airlines.
Say you’re traveling to Helsinki on Finnair (a oneworld partner airline) en route to Oulu for the Air Guitar World Championships (yes, it’s a thing!). But you don’t usually fly Finnair and won’t likely use Finnair miles in the future.
When you book your ticket, you can select British Airways as your frequent flyer program. And you’ll collect British Airways Avios points for the miles flown!
If you’ve already booked a ticket (or forget to enter your frequent flyer details), you can always call the airline to have your British Airways account number added to your reservation. Or ask an airport agent when you depart.
6. Hotels & Car Rentals
British Airways has partnerships with a number of hotel chains, which means you can collect British Airways Avios points for paid stays (instead of earning hotel points).
You can choose to earn British Airways Avios points at hotels including:
Note: You must book directly through the hotel (and not 3rd party sites like Orbitz) to earn British Airways Avios points for hotel stays!
You can also convert hotel points from the same chains to British Airways Avios points. But the transfer ratios are NOT very good. So I’d only do this if you have no other use for the hotel points!
New Rocketmiles users can earn 2,000 British Airways Avios points on their 1st booking.
And when you rent a car, you can earn 500+ British Airways Avios points per Avis car rental. And if you use your Chase British Airways card, you’ll get an additional 250 British Airways Avios points!
There are lots of ways to get British Airways Avios points! And they’re easy to use for Big Travel with Small Money!
It’s a perfect time to think about earning them, because the sign-up bonus on the Chase British Airways card has been increased to a total of 100,000 British Airways Avios points after you complete the minimum spending.
You can also transfer points from flexible points programs like American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, or Starwood Preferred Guest to British Airways. Or transfer hotel points from partner hotel chains (though that’s not a very good deal).
Or earn more British Airways Avios points the old-fashioned way – from flying! You can credit miles flown on oneworld and other partner airlines to British Airways.
What’s your favorite way to earn (and use!) British Airways Avios points?