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The offer on the British Airways Visa Signature® Card has me thinking a lot about Avios. Besides the sign-up offer and lucrative BA award chart, there are some other reasons why the Avios loyalty program is super valuable. Let me break them down.
TIP: you can book any airline in the OneWorld alliance with your British Airways Avios. This includes American Airlines, and Alaska Airlines!
British Airways Avios Household Accounts
British Airways Avios Household accounts allows you the ability to combine and redeem your Avios easily with friends or family. My wife and I have a household account and it makes it extremely easy to book our British Airways Avios awards together.
Also, this can be a good way to get family members to sign up for an account who wouldn’t normally. They may be intimidated about managing their own miles, but wouldn’t be if they knew they didn’t have to manage the account.
For example, say we have some family who probably aren’t going to be getting the British Airways card because they don’t know how to redeem Avios. But we all want to take a trip to Mexico, and the new offer is more than enough to take the whole family there.
So, I add them to our household account, they apply for the British Airways Visa Signature® Card and start earning Avios. I would then be able to book the whole family on a trip through the household account. Plus, they probably wouldn’t care if I dipped into the BA account if I needed to. ;-)
Here are the terms on British Airways household accounts:
- All members of the household account have to have the same address listed on their Executive Club account (doesn’t have to be actual home address).
- There is one Head of Household member assigned who needs to have an existing membership to apply for the household account. He or she gets to add or remove members and change the address on the account.
- The address can be changed at no charge, but only once every six months, and a business address won’t work.
- The other members don’t have to already be members and can sign up as part of the household account application process.
- All members will be able to access their Avios at all times.
- Redeemed Avios are taken out of each member’s balance proportionally.
- You can have up to 7 members in your household account. If you need to book a flight for someone outside of the household account, you will need to add them to the “family & friends” list.
- See the full term and conditions here.
No Close-In Booking Fees on British Airways Awards
Another nice perk of the British Airways Avios program is that there’s no close-in booking fee! Close-in booking fees are some of the most annoying fees. But you know the airlines love to nickel and dime us. It hurts to pay United’s $75 close-in booking fee for an award flight that’s within 21 days of departure (even though there are some tricks to avoiding it).
The nice thing is, you don’t have to worry about these fees with British Airways bookings. I’m always booking last minute BA Avios awards, so this is a big perk. In most cases, a close-in fee negates the whole value of using miles in the first place, especially on short hops.
British Airways Avios also has a nice award cancellation policy. There’s supposed to be a $55 cancellation fee, but you will only be responsible for the taxes and fees (if there’s no fuel surcharges) if you cancel 24 hrs before your departure, and you will get your Avios re-deposited.
I have had to call in before to get my Avios re-deposited, but not usually. This means that canceling the above award would only cost $5. No brainer.
Easy to Top Off Your British Airways Avios Account
British Airways Avios are just so darn easy to accumulate.
Of course, there’s the British Airways Visa Signature® Card that currently has an offer where you can earn Avios.
But you can also transfer in Chase Ultimate Rewards earned from the Ink Plus business card and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Ultimate Rewards transfers are instant and done at a 1:1 ratio.
American Express Membership Rewards points transfer to British Airways Avios. A transfer of 250 Amex MR points will net you 200 Avios. Amex MR will sometimes have transfer bonus opportunities, so that’s when you should transfer your MR points out to BA. Otherwise it’s a bad deal.
At the end of the day, I prefer to keep my transferrable points for premium cabin flights or hotels. Although I will transfer a handful out to BA if I need to for a short haul flight.
In addition to the British Airways Avios award chart and the offer on the British Airways Visa Signature® Card, you can find value in the Avios program with household accounts, no close-in booking fees, and by transferring in other points. Love it!
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