British Airways Avios have the best value when used for flights with British Airways and oneworld partners. Avios can also be used for upgrades, hotels, and car rentals.
How To Earn Avios
The best way to earn British Airways Avios is through intro bonuses and everyday credit card spending across British Airways credit cards and partner credit cards. British Airways Avios can be earned using all major U.S. credit card rewards programs as well as through the Iberia Plus and Qatar Privilege Club.
Listed below are just a few of the best programs and credit card offers for earning lots of British Airways Avios.
Avios Credit Cards
The most straightforward way to earn Avios is by using the British Airways Visa Signature® Card which features a 100,000 Avios intro bonus. You can also earn the same bonus in the Iberia Plus program with the Iberia Visa Signature® Card and transfer those points directly to your British Airways Executive Club account.
|Credit Card||Intro Bonus||Annual Fee|
Best For Intro Bonus
|Earn up to 100,000 Avios. Earn 75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Earn an additional 25,000 Avios after spending $20,000 within the first 12 months of account opening.||$95|
Best For Intro Bonus
|Earn up to 100,000 Avios. Earn 75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Earn an additional 25,000 Avios after spending $20,000 within the first 12 months of account opening. $95 annual fee.||$95|
American Express Membership Rewards
American Express Membership Rewards points can be transferred to British Airways at a 1:1 ratio meaning that every 1,000 points you transfer will give you 1,000 Avios. AMEX credit cards offer high intro bonuses and very good earning rates across popular categories.
Here's a few of the best credit card offers for earning Membership Rewards points:
|Credit Card||Intro Bonus||Annual Fee|
Best For Lounge Access & Luxury Travel
|Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.||$695|
Best For Restaurants & U.S. Supermarkets
|Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.||$250|
Best For Lounge Access & Luxury Business Travel
|Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.||$695|
Best For Business Rewards
|Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.||$295|
Best For Small Business & Miscellaneous Purchases
|Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.||$0|
Citi ThankYou Rewards
Citi isn't a direct transfer partner of British Airways, but it is a direct transfer partner of Qatar Privilege Club and since Qatar Avios can be transferred to British Airways Avios at a 1:1 ratio, earning ThankYou Rewards points is another option for building up your Avios.
The Citi Premier® Card is the only available premium card in Citi's line-up that allows you to transfer ThankYou points to Qatar and other partners. So you'll need it if you plan on transfering points.
Here are the credit cards you can use to earn ThankYou points:
|Credit Card||Intro Bonus||Annual Fee|
Best For Everyday Spending & Travel
|For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.||$95|
Best For 2% Back
|For a limited time, earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.||$0|
Best For Automatically Maximizing Rewards
|Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.||$0|
Best For 10% Point Rebate
|Earn 20,000 bonus points after you spend $1,500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $200 in gift cards at thankyou.com.||$0|
How much are British Airways Avios worth in dollars?
Avios are worth around 1 cent each for economy flights, but you can get as much as 2 cents or more for business class flights. This means 10,000 Avios can be worth anywhere from $100 to $200 on average depending on how you use them.
British Airways Avios value
|Redemption option||Redemption value in cents|
|Business and first class flights with British Airways and oneworld partners||1.8 - 2.2|
|Standard flight redemptions with British Airways and oneworld partners||0.8 - 1.2|
|Redeeming points for hotels and car rentals||0.6 - 0.7|
Redeeming Avios for Reward Flights
Avios will have the best value when redeemed for reward flights with British Airways and oneworld partners. Your standard economy flights will get you anywhere from 0.8 to 1.2 cents per Avios on average while business class flights will be around 2 cents each.
Listed below are a few of the best ways to get the most value out of your flight redemptions.
One of the best way to use British Airways Avios is for short-haul flights on British Airways and partner flights. This is due to British Airways having a distance-based award chart.
Short-haul one-way flights of up to 651 miles to, from, or within North America will cost you 7,500 Avios while the same flights everywhere else will cost you at 6,000 Avios.
You can also fly a farther distance of between 651 and 1,151 miles for 9,000 Avios.
Since American Airlines and Alaska Airlines are oneworld partners, you can use the British Airways website to book short-haul flights with these airlines.
In the U.S., for example, you can fly from Seattle to San Francisco using Alaska Airlines for 9,000 Avios.
Or from New York (JFK) to Boston (BOS) for 7,500 Avios.
It's also useful for bouncing around Oneworld hubs in other places around the world. For example, you can fly from Hong Kong (HKG) to Taipei (TPE) on Cathay Pacific Airways, a oneworld partner, for 7,500 Avios plus taxes/fees.
West Coast flights to Hawaii
If you're on the West Coast of the United States, you can fly from major West Coast cities to the Hawaiian Islands for 13,000 Avios one-way. This is due to the Avios distance-based chart and both American Airlines and Alaska being a oneworld partner.
British Airways Avios can be converted to Qatar Airways Avios at a 1:1 ratio which opens up all of the best options for Qatar Airways. This can be done by linking your British Airways Executive Club and Qatar Privilege Club accounts through the Combine my Avios option under Manage My Account.
Qatar doesn't have the best redemption options, but there are a few sweet spots in the program if you're looking to fly first or business class with Qatar.
- Qatar: U.S. to Doha, 70,000 Avios in Business Class, one-way
- Qatar: Europe to Doha, 64,500 Avios in First Class, one-way
You can also use Qatar Avios to fly first and business class with partner airlines, though it will cost you astronomical amounts of Avios. For example, there's a few select routes you can use to fly in Qantas First Class to Australia starting at 225,000 Avios.
British Airways Avios can be converted to Iberia Avios at a 1:1 ratio through the Combine my Avios option. This isn't necessarily a top-tier option, but it's worth mentioning if you find a good award redemption through Iberia Plus.
Upgrading flights with Avios
British Airways Avios can be used to upgrade a cash booking to the next cabin whenever there's availability. This can be done on British Airways, Iberia, and American Airline flights.
You can upgrade an existing booking or upgrade at the time of booking and it doesn't matter if it's a one-way or roundtrip.
The cost of the upgrade will vary, but it will be based on the Avios costs for reward flights in the cabins you are upgrading from and to. It will also depend on whether your flight is scheduled on a peak or off-peak date.
You can search your flight and look at the cost in Avios between the class you're in and the one you'll be upgraded to. That will give you an idea (if not the exact) cost of the upgrade.
Using Avios as part payment
When making a cash booking with British Airways, you'll be given the chance to use your Avios to reduce the price of your flight. This can be done on all British Airways flights, American Airlines flights between the UK and North America, and on British Airways codeshare flights with the following airlines:
- Air Baltic
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- Bangkok Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- China Eastern
- China Southern
- Fiji Airways
- Japan Airlines
When booking your cash flight, you'll be able to choose the option you want (assuming you have enough Avios). The value you get out of this option will vary, but you will typically get more value when you choose to redeem less Avios.
Redeeming Avios for hotels and cars
British Airways Avios can be used to book hotels and rent cars through the British Airways Hotels and Cars Portal. Hotels will give your British Airways Avios around 0.6 cents in value while car rentals average out around 0.7 cents each.
When selecting a hotel through the portal, you'll be shown the average cost per night in Avios for the hotel along with a bunch of Avios & Money options. The majority of the Avios & Money options seem to give a lower value.
Some options that I tested gave me as low as 0.1 cents per Avios which is quite terrible, but I was also able to find some that gave value as high as 0.7 cents per Avios and actually came out better than paying all Avios.
If you plan on using your British Airways Avios to book a hotel stay and you want the best value, you'll want to calculate the value of each option because you never know which one could be a winner.
Renting cars through the portal will behave the same as booking hotels. After doing a search, you'll be shown the cost of the rental in all Avios as well as be given several Avios & Money options to choose from.
With the car rental options, I found the Avios & Money options to still give around the same value as paying all Avios.
Still... you'll want to calculate the value of the Avios & Money options one-by-one if you want to make sure you're getting a great deal.
You can use the Avios & Money Calculator to calculate the cash value you'll get out of these redemptions.
Convert British Airways Avios to dollars
Use the Avios Value Calculator to determine the average dollar value of British Airways Avios when used for flights, hotels, and car rentals. This will give you an idea of how much your Avios are worth.
|Redemption options||Average dollar value|
|Business and first class flights with British Airways and oneworld partners||$0 - $0|
|Standard flight redemptions with British Airways and oneworld partners||$0 - $0|
|Redeeming points for hotels and car rentals||$0 - $0|
Avios & Money Calculator
When redeeming Avios for hotel, car rental, and flight options, you're given the option to pay with a mix of Avios and cash. Depending on the redemption, you'll usually get a better option when paying Avios & Money compared to paying all Avios.
If you know the full cost of the redemption in cash (including fees/taxes), you can enter in the Avios & Money amounts in the table and it will output the value of your Avios. This will help you easily calculate which redemption gives you the best value.
How much are Avios points worth?
Avios points have an average value of 1 cent each for standard economy flight redemptions, but can be worth as much as 2 cents or more for First and Business class flights.
What's the best use of British Airways Avios?
Avios are best used for short-haul trips due to the British Airways flight chart being distance based.
Can you use British Airways Avios for car rentals or hotels?
Yes. You can rent cars and book hotels through the British Airways Hotels and Cars portal.
How much are 250 Avios points worth?
250 Avios are worth about $2.50 for economy flights and $5 for First and Business class flights.
How much are 1,000 Avios points worth?
1,000 Avios are worth about $10 for economy flights and $20 for First and Business class flights.
How much are 15,000 Avios points worth?
15,000 Avios points are worth about $150 towards economy flights and $300 towards First and Business class flights.
How much are 20,000 Avios points worth?
20,000 Avios points are worth about $200 towards economy flights and $400 towards First and Business class flights.