You are currently viewing 11 Good Uses Of Avios Points

Avios points are not well known, but they can be very valuable and even an alternative to Aeroplan points for many specific flights. With the current record-breaking offers to earn lots of Avios points, let’s look at 11 good uses for 52,000 Avios points (and you can multiply that depending on your card).

The top 5 best credit cards in Canada right now allow you to earn Avios points, either directly (RBC) or by transferring (Amex and HSBC).

Here’s how many Avios points you’d get if you unlocked the welcome bonus for each.

Best credit cards for Avios points WELCOME BONUS
( VALUATION)
Avios
points
American Express Cobalt Card
Card:
Bonus: spend $500/mo for 12 mos. + $3k in 3 mos.
Welcome bonus: $1313
Card Fee: $156
87,500 pts
+ 5X the points
highest-ever bonus
limited time
Platinum Card from American Express
Card:
Bonus: spend $6k in 3 mos.
Welcome bonus: $1490
Card Fee: $699
86,000 pts
+ unlimited lounges
and $200 travel credit
limited time
HSBC World Elite Mastercard (excl. QC)
Card:
Bonus: spend $6k in 6 mos. (see QC offer)
Welcome bonus: $699
Card Fee: $0 $149
43,200 pts
+ no FX fees
and $100 travel credit
limited time
RBC British Airways Visa Infinite Card
Card:
Bonus: spend $6k in 3 mos.
Welcome bonus: $840
Card Fee: $165
56,000 pts
(66k if renewed)
for higher spenders
limited time
American Express Gold Rewards Card
Card:
Bonus: spend $3k in 3 mos.
Welcome bonus: $918
Card Fee: $250
54,500 pts
+ 4 lounge passes
and $100 travel credit
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.
Best credit cards for Avios points
American Express Cobalt® Card American Express Cobalt Card
Card:
Bonus: spend $500/mo for 12 mos. + $3k in 3 mos.
WELCOME BONUS
limited time
Welcome bonus: $1313
Card Fee: $156
Avios points: 87,500 pts + 5X the points
highest-ever bonus
Platinum Card® from American Express Platinum Card from American Express
Card:
Bonus: spend $6k in 3 mos.
WELCOME BONUS
limited time
Welcome bonus: $1490
Card Fee: $699
Avios points: 86,000 pts + unlimited lounges
and $200 travel credit
HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® HSBC World Elite Mastercard (excl. QC)
Card:
Bonus: spend $6k in 6 mos. (see QC offer)
WELCOME BONUS
limited time
Welcome bonus: $699
Card Fee: $0 $149
Avios points: 43,200 pts + no FX fees
and $100 travel credit
RBC® British Airways Visa Infinite RBC British Airways Visa Infinite Card
Card:
Bonus: spend $6k in 3 mos.
WELCOME BONUS
limited time
Welcome bonus: $840
Card Fee: $165
Avios points: 56,000 pts (66k if renewed)
for higher spenders
American Express® Gold Rewards Card American Express Gold Rewards Card
Card:
Bonus: spend $3k in 3 mos.
WELCOME BONUS
Welcome bonus: $918
Card Fee: $250
Avios points: 54,500 pts + 4 lounge passes
and $100 travel credit
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.

 

Since these are all different amounts, our 11 examples for 52,000 points are about what you get with 3 of the cards (but you’ll get 50% more with the first 2 cards).

We have an intro on how the Avios program works at the end, while you wait for our more detailed guide.

 

1st good use of Avios points: 2 roundtrip flights from Toronto/Montreal to Miami

Go relax in Miami for a long weekend to keep your weeks off for actual travel (photo credit: Tuan Nguyen)

 

For 22,000 points, you get a direct roundtrip flight to Miami on American Airlines, and you’d even have points left over. You have to pay taxes (≈$80), but if the cash price of this flight is even slightly high, this is a great use of points for a very popular destination for Canadians.

 

2nd good use of Avios points: 2 roundtrip flights from Toronto to Dublin

Explore beautiful Ireland (photo credit: Aldo De La Paz)

 

For 26,000 points, you can also get a roundtrip flight from Toronto to Ireland on Aer Lingus on off-peak dates (most of the year). Taxes are a bit higher (≈ $150), but this is still often a great redemption. This could soon be possible from Montreal as well, if the newly-announced Aer Lingus route eventually launches post-pandemic.

 

3rd good use of Avios points: 1 roundtrip business class flight from Toronto to Dublin

An example of a business class cabin (photo credit: Aer Lingus)

 

Same as above, except you can choose business class for twice the price, as is the case with most airline program redemptions. Airline reward programs are definitely the way to go if you want to travel in premium cabins (as I did for the first time on a long-distance flight in May) but know that Aeroplan points are often better for business class flights.

 

4th good use of Avios points: 3 roundtrip flights from many Canadian cities to New York/Washington/Chicago/Philadelphia

I loved my weekend trips to all cities, especially Washington during Cherry Blossom time (photo credit: Riddy)

 

For just 15,000 points roundtrip, you get a roundtrip from the Canadian cities served by American Airlines  or Alaska Airlines to the closest hubs, which are major US cities that are perfect for long weekend getaways with just ≈ $80 in taxes to pay per roundtrip flight. From Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal you can go to the above cities, while from Western Canada cities you can fly to Seattle.

 

5th good use of Avios points: 3 roundtrip flights from Miami to the Caribbean and Central America

I loved my free week in Bonaire thanks in part to Avios (photo credit: Flytrippers)

 

For 15,000 points, you can get 3 roundtrip flights from American Airlines’ mega-hub in Miami to almost anywhere in the Caribbean and Central America. This can be very useful given how positioning flights to Miami are often extremely affordable in cash and given how flights to some islands are very expensive in cash.

For 22,000 points, you can go to the rest of the Caribbean like I did and go to Bonaire since it’s a bit farther away from Miami.

 

6th good use of Avios points: 12 one-way flights within Europe

Visit Spain to take advantage of 15 free hotels nights (photo credit: Marco De Hevia)

 

For just 4,000 points, you can get many short-distance flights within Europe on a few airlines, which gives you many many flights. But you should make sure to compare the value with the many cheap cash fares easily available in Europe, often as low as 10 on ultra low-cost carriers (ULCCs).

 

7th good use of Avios points: 8 one-way flights within Asia

Grab one of our frequent deals to Japan for $450 roundtrip then move around (photo credit: Juliana Barquero)

 

For just 7,500 points, you can also get short-distance one-way flights around many hub airports in popular destinations like Hong Kong (HKG) on Cathay Pacific (like flying to Taipei), Tokyo (HND and NRT) on Japan Airlines (like flying to Osaka), and Kuala Lumpur (KUL) on Malaysia Airlines (like flying to Phuket).

 

8th good use of Avios points: 8 one-way flights within Australia

A bucket-list destination for many, Australia is big enough to fly between many cities (photo credit: Jason H)

 

For 7,500 points, you can also get short-distance one-way flights around Australia on Qantas with minimal taxes (like flying from Sydney to Brisbane).

 

9th good use of Avios points: 8 one-way flights within Morocco

We also spot deals to Morocco for $450 very often and you can get 10 free hotel nights there (photo credit: Paul Macallan)

 

For just 7,500 points, you can also get short-distance one-way flights around Morocco on Royal Air Maroc with minimal taxes (like flying from Casablanca to Marrakesh).

 

10th good use of Avios points: 8 one-way flights within Southern Africa

You can also get 15 free nights in South Africa (photo credit: Nico Smit)

 

For just 7,500 points, you can also get short-distance one-way flights around South Africa on Comair with minimal taxes (like flying from Johannesburg to Durban)

 

11th good use of Avios points: 1 roundtrip flight from New York/Boston/Chicago to Madrid

Madrid is a great stop en route to the many hotels in Spain where you can get 15 free nights (photo credit: Jorge Fernández Salas)

 

For just 34,000 points, you can also get a roundtrip flight from those 3 US cities to Spain on Iberia on off-peak dates (most of the year). Or a one-way business class flight if you preferr. If you don’t mind positioning to those cities, that can be a great use of points to get to Spain.

 

Bonus: Many other sweet spots around the world

There are other potential sweet spots around the world, including in Sri Lanka (photo credit: Hendrik Cornelissen)

 

Don’t miss our upcoming guide to the Avios program for even more great redemptions as these are just a tiny portion of the possibilities, especially for many short-distance flights or for flights that are rarely discounted when paid for with cash.

 

Intro to Avios

While you await that detailed guide about the Avios program specifically, here are the highlights of the British Airways Avios rewards program:

  • It’s the rewards program of British Airways, the United Kingdoms’s flag carrier
  • British Airways is part of the oneworld airline alliance
  • Our Flytrippers Valuation of Avios points is ≈ 1.5¢/pt (variable-value rewards
  • Avios has an award chart for oneworld partners and an award chart for the 4 IAG airlines
  • Reward flight prices are distance-based only (not region-based)
  • Each flight segment is charged separately (so it is best for direct flights)
  • Avios sweet spots are mostly around shorter-distance flights
  • The program is officially called British Airways Executive Club (but everyone calls it Avios)

Avios are variable-value rewards because the cost in points for a flight is fixed by an award chart depending on the distance, no matter the cash price (as is the case with most airline rewards programs—and all good airline rewards programs).

Flights on British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, and Vueling have their own award chart with slightly lower prices (those airlines all belong to IAG, British Airways’ parent company), with flights starting at just 4,000 points in Europe, one of the lowest price points in the entire world of travel rewards!

(Also, the IAG chart adds another wrinkle, with off-peak and peak pricing levels instead of one price year-round with the 12 other oneworld airlines.)

The most important thing to know is that Avios charges for each flight leg separately (unlike Aeroplan, which charges based on the total distance) so it is much more valuable for direct routes.

Avios is usually not recommended for flights with a layover as the value is often not interesting at all. Stopovers are technically free since every segment is charged separately, but you end up paying more points than with other programs.

Those rules mean that Avios can be quite lucrative for short-distance flights to/from partner airline hub airports (and other “sweet spots” of the program) but not so much for long-distance flights, unless they are expensive in cash of course. It’s also worth noting that Aeroplan is a much better program for those who want long-distance business class flights.

That is great for those who love to get a good flight deal to travel internationally and then want to move around with Avios points. And also for those who live in one of the 10 Canadian cities served by either American Airlines or Alaska Airlines (Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Quebec City, Halifax, Victoria, Kelowna) who love weekend getaways to the US.

As mentioned, Avios can be used for flights with British Airways, all other airlines in the oneworld alliance (American, Alaska, Iberia, Finnair, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, Qatar, S7 Airlines, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Cathay Pacific, SriLankan, Qantas), and a few non-alliance partners like Aer Lingus and Vueling.

oneworld member airlines (image credit: oneworld)

 

So the worst use of British Airways Avios points is ironically on British Airways itself (just like the worst use of Air Canada Aeroplan points is often on Air Canada)! This is because British Airways charges expensive surcharges on their own flights and taxes are high for flights departing from London, especially long-distance flights and business class flights.

Without getting too far into the details, Avios points also have the particularity of being transferrable to the Iberia Plus Avios program, which despite sharing the name, has slightly different rules. You shouldn’t transfer speculatively, but if you do eventually need to do it, your Iberia Plus Avios account needs to have been open for 90 days, so do that for free now just in case (and use LastPass for account security and management).

 

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Summary

The Avios program is worth exploring!

What would you like to know about Avios? Tell us in the comments below.

 

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Featured image: Florida (photo credit: Ashley Satanosky)

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Andrew D'Amours

Andrew is the co-founder of Flytrippers. He is passionate about traveling the world but also, as a former management consultant, about the travel industry itself. He shares his experiences to help you save money on travel. As a very cost-conscious traveler, he loves finding deals and getting free travel thanks to travel rewards points... to help him visit every country in the world (current count: 62/193 Countries, 46/50 US States & 9/10 Canadian Provinces).

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