Having been more than disappointed by the packet of crisps thrown at me on my last economy flight from Zurich to London Heathrow, I decided to upgrade my latest British Airways flight to Club Europe. In fact, I spent double the Avios air miles that I would have spent on an economy ticket.
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My most recent use of Avios was to buy three one-way tickets from London to Nice in Club Europe with British Airways. The tickets were for my October trip to the lively Monte Carlo next year. These tickets tend to go for around £250 one way if you are paying with cash.
When buying the flight, I might choose to spend 8500 Avios and £25 GBP. The cost of this flight in cash is currently around £250 one way. This means that by spending my 8,500 Avios instead of £225 GBP, I am getting £0.026 of value out of each Avios, doubling my target value.
I could alternatively spend 11,750 Avios + £12.50 GBP on this flight. By spending more Avios and less cash, I get a worse deal. So 11,750 Avios instead of £238.5 means I am getting £0.020 of value per Avios, which is not such a great deal.
Another option is spending 6,500 Avios + £42.50 GBP on this flight. I get an even better deal by spending fewer Avios and more cash. I get a value for my 6,500 Avios of £207.5, which means I am getting £0.031 of value per Avios.
What if I spend 5,250 Avios + £62.50 GBP for the same flight? I get an even better deal by spending fewer Avios and more cash. I get a value for my 5,250 Avios of £187.50, which means I am getting £0.036 of value per Avios.
So if I choose the maximum spend booking an Avios Club Europe flight, I get significantly better value for my Avios. £0.036 is outstanding!
Another way of looking at this is that if I make a purchase through the British Airways Estore and get 10 Avios per £1 spend (e.g., Molton Brown currently offers this cashback), then by collecting these Avios and using them on Club Europe, I am getting 30% return in Avios which is outstanding.
Equally, if you have the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card (contact us for a referral for extra points), you get 1.5X Avios on purchases for every £1 spent and 3X Avios on purchases made with British Airways or BA Holidays for every £1 spent.
If you can squeeze the value of your Avios to £0.03 GBP, then you get Avios value of 6% back on every purchase. The % worth of the Avios will dictate the value of the % that you get back when you spend on your card.
If you want a 9,000 extra bonus Avios when you apply for the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card, contact us for a referral for extra points.
The deal is not as great if you are booking Economy within Europe.
An Economy ticket from London to Nice with luggage comes in around £75 a year from now. When buying the flight, if I chose to spend 4750 Avios and £17.50 GBP. The cost of this flight in cash minus the £17.50 fee is currently around £57.50 one way. This means that I get an Avios valuation of £0.0121, which is good but not great.
Let’s look at the 3700 Avios + £32.50 GBP option. The cost of this flight in cash minus the £32.50 fee is currently around £42.50 one way. This means that I get an Avios valuation of £0.0114, which is good but not great and a worse deal than the 4750 Avios and £17.50 GBP
How about the 2950 Avios + £42.50 GBP option? The cost of this flight in cash minus the £42.50 fee is currently around £32.50 one way. This means that I get an Avios valuation of £0.0110, which is good but not great and a worse deal than either of the above options.
So it looks like the most effective way to monetize Avios within Europe is to book Club Europe using the lowest possible number of Avios and the highest spend for the Club Europe flight.
When travelling in Economy, the opposite is true. You actually get a better deal when you spend more Avios and less cash. The deal seems to be better.
Of course by redeeming Avios means you don’t collect Tier Points towards Bronze, Silver or Gold status with British Airways. Hence, it is worth taking advantage of bargain Club Class Fares when they are on sale.
Advantages of traveling British Airways Club Europe from Heathrow Terminal 5
The most notable advantages of traveling in Club Europe are:
- Quicker Club Class check-in desks when you arrive in Terminal 5, which have less of a queue than economy
- Fast Track security which speeds your trip to the airport lounge
- Priority boarding
- You can take two bags with you on board – one full-sized cabin bag plus a laptop (I take this economy and have never had a problem)
- You can check in up to two bags into the hold
- You also have complimentary access to the two very good Galleries Club Lounges in Terminal 5 which I have reviewed
- That you don’t have to pay for your food
I have reviewed my most recent Club Class in-flight experience on board separately.
So in answer to the question “Is it worth spending your Avios air miles on British Airways Club Europe?”; the answer is a resounding yes!
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