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 1 – Love it or Hate it: An Introduction to British Airways Avios Points
- Part 2 – What Does a Distance Based Award Chart Mean?
- Part 3 – Taxes and Fees
- Part 4 – What Else Can I do with British Airways Avios Points?
- Part 5 – Using British Airways Avios Points to Upgrade Paid Tickets
- Part 6 – Using Cash and Points
- Part 7 – Household Accounts
- Part 8 – The British Airways Companion Pass
- Part 9 – How to Find Award Availability
- Part 10 – The Best International Awards Using British Airways Avios Points
- Part 11 – The Best Domestic Awards Using British Airways Avios Points
- Part 12 – The Best Short Distance Awards Using British Airways Avios Points
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:
- 1.25 British Airways Avios points per $1 you spend on all purchases with the Chase British Airways card
- Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points from the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Bold, or Chase Ink Plus cards at a 1:1 ratio
- Transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to British Airways Avios points at a 1:1 ratio
Which Airlines Can Be Booked With Avios & Money?
You can only use Avios & Money online on certain airlines:
- American Airlines (international flights)
- US Airways
- Air Berlin
- Iberia (although you may want to check Iberia’s prices first)
- Royal Jordanian
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The price per British Airways Avios point is slightly less on longer coach domestic award tickets.
If you want to book Avios & Money First Class award tickets on US Airways, you’ll pay more for the British Airways Avios points.
And US Airways short-haul domestic First Class award tickets have similar pricing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The price increases 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!
So you’ll usually save money booking an Iberia award ticket through Iberia’s frequent flyer program instead of with British Airways.
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.
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.
Business Class award tickets are much more expensive with Avios & Money.
An international flight, like Santiago, Chile, to Lima, Peru, has different rates for Business Class.
And coach international award ticket rates are even cheaper.
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.
A Business Class award ticket costs 85,000 British Airways Avios points plus ~$72. However, the Avios & Money prices are more expensive.
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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