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For folks looking to book short award flights with British Airways Avios points, today is your last chance to book US partner airline award flights under 650 miles at their current prices.
That’s because tomorrow, February 2, 2016, prices for short award flights that start or end in the US are increasing from 4,500 British Airways Avios points each way to 7,500 points.
I’ll explain who should book an award flight today!
What’s Happening With British Airways Award Flights?
In October, I wrote about increased prices for short award flights using British Airways Avios points.
Effective tomorrow, 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.
If your award flight begins or ends in the US (and is under 650 miles), you’ll pay 7,500 British Airways Avios points each way. You can use British Airways points to book flights on partners Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, and TAM.
So if you have a short-haul flight you want to book, today is your chance!
Although keep in mind the Iberia trick to save British Airways Avios points when booking short round-trip flights in the US.
Should You Book If Your Plans Aren’t Firm?
If you need to cancel a British Airways award flight, there’s a trick to get back all of your points for only the cost of taxes.
Award flights within the US usually cost ~$6 1-way in taxes. So it might be worth it to lose ~$6 instead of paying 3,000 more British Airways Avios points for the same flight tomorrow!
Note: Taxes are higher on international routes. If you cancel, you can pay $55 or the cost of taxes – whichever is lower.
With the changes, you’ll effectively pay 7,500 British Airways Avios points for all award flights in the US under 1,150 miles. So if you want to book a flight over 650 miles, but under 1,150 miles, you won’t pay extra.
And keep in mind there are still lots of ways to get Big Travel With Small Money when you fly short distances!
Need More British Airways Avios Points?
If you need to top-off your British Airways account to book an award flight today, remember you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to British Airways instantly at a 1:1 ratio.
You can also transfer your AMEX Membership Rewards points instantly to British Airways. But the transfer ratio is 5:4. Still, it might be worth it if you’re very close to having the points required for an award flight.
If you don’t need more points right away, consider signing-up for the Chase British Airways Visa Signature Card. You’ll earn to earn a total of 100,000 British Airways Avios points after meeting the required tiered spending. Here are the details of the offer.
Starwood points also transfer to British Airways at a 1:1 ratio. And you’ll get 5,000 bonus British Airways Avios points when you transfer 20,000 Starwood points. But the transfers are NOT instant. So this is something to keep in mind for the future.
I’m not happy about paying more points for short award flights. But it’s a reminder to take advantage of good deals for as long as they’re available!