Man do I love British Airways Avios! I’ve had a love affair with them for quite some time now but it just keeps getting better and better. If you refer back to my previous post discussing why British Airways Avios points can be so valuable and used to book short-haul flights for very low mileage, you will note the many different ways you can use Avios points to book short-haul flights in the US, Europe, and Australia. I really like Avios points mostly for the shorter trips that tend to cost only 4,500 points (Ex. New York-Boston) or 7,500 points (Ex. New York-Miami) each way on American Airlines depending on the distance flown. On other airlines, such as United, US Airways, and American Airlines, these flights can run you up to 25,000 points roundtrip and charge fees of up to $80 (United charges $80 when you book a roundtrip award ticket within 3 weeks of your flight, while British Airways only charges $5 for a roundtrip) in addition to the points redeemed.
US Airways Flights Now Available with Avios
As of today, March 31, 2014, US Airways is now the newest partner in the oneworld alliance and can now be booked airlines within the alliance network. US Airways has hubs in Charlotte, Phoenix, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. Ronald Reagan. I took a look at some direct flights from these hubs and come across some great availability to a number of cities in the US.
As you can see, there is plenty of availability from both American Airlines and US Airways through British Airways’ website. I haven’t seen as much availability on international flights as of yet, but I’m sure those will continue to open up as time progresses. Some bloggers have found limited availability for flights from Philadelphia to Tel Aviv that are only costing 60,000 Avios point roundtrip in economy and 120,000 in business. Flights from the US-Israel on other airlines run around 80-85,000 points roundtrip in economy and up to 180,000 points or more roundtrip in business/first.
How to Earn British Airways Avios Points
There are many great credit card options to start earning British Airways Avios points today. You can transfer points from any of the three major reward programs: Chase Ultimate Reward, American Express Membership Rewards, and American Express Starwood Preferred Guest program. UR points transfer at a 1:1 ratio and points can be earned with a Chase Sapphire Preferred card, Chase Ink Bold, or Chase Ink Plus card. Amex MR points transfer at a 1:1 ratio as well but often run promotions that give you an additional 20-30% bonus when you transfer to British Airways and sometimes more. Earn Amex MR points with the American Express Green Card, Premier Rewards Gold Card, and Platinum Card, as well as the all new EveryDay Preferred and no annual fee cards. Read my post about the best cards from American Express and learn all about the all-new EveryDay cards. SPG points transfer at a 1:1 ratio as well but for every 20,000 points you transfer, you will receive 5,000 bonus points free! The American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Card transfers to dozens of airlines including British Airways and is by far one of the best travel credit cards on the market for its flexible usage.
And last but not least, the Chase British Airways Signature Visa Card has a 50,000 point signup bonus and can send you well on your way towards 12 free short-haul flights after you complete your spend. If you spend $30,000 in a year, you;ll receive a free travel companion ticket good for 2 years for a free ticket to travel anywhere with a companion. For more details, visit ba.com/traveltogetherticket. There have also been frequent offers as of late for an additional 25,000 points when you spend $10,000 and another 25,000 points when you spend another $10,000 for a total of 120,000 points when spending $20,000 in a calendar year. There is a $95 annual fee but no foreign transaction fees. Earn 2.5 points per dollar spent on British Airways and 1.25 for ever dollar spent on any purchases.
Things are happening fast in the world of miles, so start earning and following now for all of the latest updates!