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Avios: Our best tips for earning and maximizing redemption with British Airways Executive Club

To the point British Airways Executive Club Avios can save you a lot of money, provided you use them wisely! Here are the "sweetspots" and our best tips for making the most of your Avios.
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This post is also available in: FR

With Avios, award redemption opportunities extend far beyond British Airways flights to the entire Oneworld alliance network. With 11 member airlines, Avios can be used to travel anywhere in the world.

Discover the best Avios redemptions available around the world, how to quickly earn Avios, and set your strategy for your next trip.

Earn Avios

While it is possible to earn Avios by converting points, the most direct and efficient way to earn Avios is to subscribe to the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite card and meet the conditions for the welcome offer. What’s more, this card gives you access to a host of other benefits:

With this exceptional welcome offer for the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite Card, you can earn up to 60,000 Avios!

With this card, you get a Companion Award eVoucher (when you spend $30,000 or more in any calendar year). And you can enjoy a 10% discount on British Airways flights when you book with your RBC British Airways Visa Infinite Card.

You earn 2 Avios for every dollar you spend with British Airways and 1 Avios for every dollar you spend on all other purchases.

And you benefit from a wide range of insurance coverages:

  • Out-of-Province/Country Emergency Medical Insurance
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Flight delay and essential items insurance
  • Hotel or motel burglary insurance
  • Collision and damage insurance for rental vehicles

Here are the steps you need to take to get the bonus:

  • Step 1: Earn 15,000 Avios as welcome bonus once your application has been approved
  • Step 2: Earn 35,000 bonus Avios if you spend CAD 6,000 in the first three months
  • Step 3: Get another 10,000 Avios bonus when you renew your card after your first year

Sweetspots with Avios

Since award pricing is based on the distance in miles flown, and varies from airline to airline, we’ve tracked down some of the best sweetspot deals for you. All the examples presented in this article are one-way economy class tickets.

Short-haul flights

Avios are often best used on short-haul flights of 650 miles or less. For a trip where you need to maximize your time, this is a great way to see several cities in a short time. Many itineraries are available for less than 10,000 Avios.

For example, go from Amsterdam to London on your next European trip for 9250 Avios, rather than paying $294 :

avios-sweetspots-ams-lhr-fr

Continue your journey by exploring Scandinavian countries like Finland for just 9,000 Avios and $81.70 in fees and taxes with this award flight from London to Helsinki :

avios-sweetspots-lhr-hel-fr

On a trip to the other side of the world, every second counts. Maximize your time in Australia with this flight from Melbourne to Brisbane for 9,000 Avios and $40.80 :

avios-sweetspots-mel-bne-fr

When visiting Japan, save on transportation from Tokyo to Osaka for 10,500 Avios and no fees or taxes:

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The Caribbean

Thanks to American Airlines, a member of Oneworld, you can end the winter in the warmth of the Caribbean for a few Avios.

For example, go from Miami to San Juan, Puerto Rico for only 9,000 Avios and $7.70 in fees and taxes:

avios-sweetspots-mia-sju-fr

What’s more, it’s easy to get from one island to another thanks to British Airways’ fifth freedom flights. Go island hopping from Antigua to Saint Kitts and Nevis for 9250 Avios and $1 in fees and taxes:

avios-sweetspots-anu-skb-fr

Domestic flights in the United States

Continuing with American Airlines, good deals are available for domestic flights in the USA, for very little fees and taxes.

Take this example of a flight from New York to Miami, available for 16,500 Avios and $7.70 in fees and taxes:

avios-sweetspots-lga-mia-fr

West coast to Hawaii

Alaska Airlines, also a member of Oneworld, makes it easy for us to fly from the West American coast to Hawaii for just a few Avios.

For example, to get from San Francisco to Honolulu, you’ll need just 13,000 Avios and $7.70 :

avios-sweetspots-sfo-hnl-fr

Ireland from Toronto

Of course, Europe is accessible with Avios, but prices can vary greatly depending on your destination. A good tip for maximizing Avios redemption for award flights is to find the cheapest routes to the old continent.

Travelling to Ireland from Toronto becomes very accessible when it’s off-peak dates (i.e. almost eight months a year). As shown here, you can fly from Toronto to Dublin for as little as 13,000 Avios (or 26,000 for a round trip).

avios-sweetspots-yyz-dub-fr

London from Montreal

With flight prices to Europe getting more and more expensive, it’s easy to save by paying just $100 and 25,000 Avios to fly to London from Montreal:

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Other alternatives and benefits

Companion voucher

If your next destination isn’t one of these suggested flights, you can still take advantage of other benefits offered by the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite card that will help you maximize your Avios earning and redemption strategies:

The companion voucher offered after $30,000 in card spending will allow you to enjoy either of these options:

  • Travel with a companion and receive a second seat for free when booking a British Airways reward flight in Avios + carrier fees, taxes and charges.
  • Pay 50% of the British Airways Executive Club Avios fare when travelling solo + carrier fees, taxes and charges

In other words, a more expensive flight in Avios will become much more affordable with the companion voucher. This is particularly interesting for long-haul flights, where you can make huge savings in Avios.

10% discount on British Airways

The RBC British Airways Visa Infinite Card allows you to save 10% on your flights with British Airways when you book with the card on ba.com/RBC10 and enter the promotion code CARDOFFERC. In addition to this discount, paying for your British Airways flights with this card can help you :

  • Reaching the minimum spending threshold to qualify for the welcome offer
  • Earn Avios once the flight is completed
  • Earn 2 Avios per dollar spent on purchase

Points purchases and redemptions

If your travel plans are more ambitious in terms of the number of Avios required (we’re thinking of Qatar Airways’ Qsuite, for example), it’s possible to take advantage of special offers at key times to fill up your Avios bank and book those coveted award tickets:

These special offers are often of limited duration, so make the most of them when they are available.

Bottom Line

With these tips, you can now maximize the use of your Avios, whether with the best “sweetspots” or to collect the Avios you need for your dream destination with the help of the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite Card.

For trips and experiences that require more Avios, a strategy combining the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite Card bonus with other special purchase or points conversion offers will help you reach your goals. From long-haul flights to the Qatar Airways Qsuite, the possibilities are endless with Avios; not to mention that you can now combine them, between the British Airways Executive Club and the Qatar Airways Privilege Club.

This post is also available in: FR

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