Why British Airways and the “Avios and Cash Option” is the Place For All of Your Misfit Points

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Any points junkie worth his or her weight will tell you to sign up for any and all loyalty programs that cross your path. They are generally free, and it takes little time and energy to answer a few questions. So if you’re like us you have a member number for every hotel chain, airline frequent flyer program, and car rental company – but not necessarily tens of thousands of points with each. What do you do with all of those misfit points whose current total couldn’t buy you a cup of coffee let alone a free night at a hotel? The Avios and Cash Program might just be the answer.

Unlike most frequent flier programs, British Airways allows you to apply Avios amounts to discount the price of your flight. Suppose you’ve earned $10 worth of Avios. That’s never going to get you a free flight, but you can still get a $10 discount on whatever ticket you do want to purchase. If you’re like us, and a conscious spender, having the option to redeem your rewards — even when you haven’t earned that many — is a valuable feature. And the points can add up!

By taking it a step further, you can convert most major hotel chain points to Avios with rather low minimum requirements, and use them towards discounts that you wouldn’t have available to you otherwise. For example, Accorhotels lets you convert as few as 4,000 points to 2,000 Avios, and Hyatt lets you redeem for as little as 5,000 points which converts to 2,000 Avios too. The conversion rates are not necessarily the best, but if your points are just sitting there without any real value – why not make them work for you. You can use Avios as your consolidator of misfit points that can then be used to discount a flight on British Airways up to $250 per ticket. You can even choose to use them to book American Airlines travel domestically if you book your flight through Avios. And, by taking advantage of BA’s promotions – you may even be able to turn those once small and near worthless points into a free trip by consolidating enough of them.

Here is a list of hotels and the minimum requirements for conversion:

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It makes more sense to convert your hotel points to Avios than consolidating frequent flyer miles.

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Transfer your hotel points to Avios with minimums as low as 2,000 point increments.

How to use the Cash and Avios Program to get a discount on your flights!

To start saving on flights using Avios, you just need to be a Member of their Executive Club. Sign up is free.

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Here’s yet another good way to maximize your Avios. Only with the the British Airways Visa Signature® Card.

British Airways uses a rewards currency called Avios. You’ll earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening, and there are additional bonuses in your first year of membership. You’ll earn 3 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases and 1 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases. It is a slow earn for everyday expenses with this card but you’ll get the most value if you use it for British Airways purchases.

So even if you’re a “yankee” living on this side of the pond, consolidating your hotel points to Avios and British Airways may be the best way to find value in otherwise worthless loyalty currency. You can easily turn them into real savings on flights both abroad and here at home. All you have to do is remember where you put all of those membership cards.

If you have an Avios story to share, or want to comment on this or any other Point Savvy post please do so below. We look forward to hearing from you.

British Airways Visa Signature® Card

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  • 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
  • Every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa card, you’ll earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years.
  • In addition to the bonus Avios, you will also get 3 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases and 1 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad.
  • Chip Technology allows you to use your card for chip based purchases in Europe & beyond, while still giving you the ability to use your card as you do today at home.

Bonus
50,000 Avios

Balance Transfer Fee
N/A

Regular APR
16.24%-23.24% variable

Annual Fee
$95

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Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.