Are Avios as garbage as they look to be...

Old Sep 30, 19, 4:20 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2019
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Are Avios as garbage as they look to be...

.. or am I completely missing something?

So I have about 60K AMEX rewards points, and the 40% Platinum bonus for transfer to Avios ends tonight. I thought I'd take a look at some travel options with Avios, based out of Orlando travelling to interesting places in Europe.

MCO to LGW 1/15-1/20/20 cash price with BA $440, Economy. "Rewards" ticket on the same flight is 32,500 Avios + $308.50. This translates to a value of 0.4 cents per point. Even with the 1.4 multiple from AMEX its only 0.57 cents per point. I'd get better value using points to pay for Amazon purchases.

What am I missing here? Looked at from an objective, pure numbers perspective this is a terrible use of my AMEX points.
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Old Sep 30, 19, 4:22 pm
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Originally Posted by Mick Davidson View Post
.. or am I completely missing something?

So I have about 60K AMEX rewards points, and the 40% Platinum bonus for transfer to Avios ends tonight. I thought I'd take a look at some travel options with Avios, based out of Orlando travelling to interesting places in Europe.

MCO to LGW 1/15-1/20/20 cash price with BA $440, Economy. "Rewards" ticket on the same flight is 32,500 Avios + $308.50. This translates to a value of 0.4 cents per point. Even with the 1.4 multiple from AMEX its only 0.57 cents per point. I'd get better value using points to pay for Amazon purchases.

What am I missing here? Looked at from an objective, pure numbers perspective this is a terrible use of my AMEX points.
Premium cabins is where the sweet spot is. But yeah, the fees suck.
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Old Sep 30, 19, 4:23 pm
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I moved over 300k to BA on this bonus. not garbage at all. booked a lot of domestic as flights In first . booked three business class flights from lax to lhr and a bunch of in europe flights for super cheap. . best bonus ever
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Old Sep 30, 19, 4:24 pm
  #4  
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Economy long haul is a poor use of avios, and even more so exUS where carrier surcharges are quite high. There are much better was to use avios out there, you have just stumbled on the worse way.
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Old Sep 30, 19, 4:26 pm
  #5  
 
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Agree with the OP. I use them for the occasional short haul flight. Especially now they've dropped the cost to 1 plus a few extra points I find it a good way to use them when the price is already climbing. That said, just picked up a couple of cheap flights to AGP for next year and it wasn't worth using points.

What's the offer of 40% ? I don't see it. I guess I don't have the right Amex card colour?
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Old Sep 30, 19, 4:31 pm
  #6  
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Hello Mick Davidson and welcome to Flyertalk. There's also a very useful guide in the dashboard that you may find here:

Your guide to spending Avios | 2019 edition

While economy tickets are not the best use of Avios they can be useful as one-way refundable options which would be considerably more expensive if booked with cash.
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Old Sep 30, 19, 4:32 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by PAL62V View Post
What's the offer of 40% ? I don't see it. I guess I don't have the right Amex card colour?
There's currently a bonus offer in the USA.
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Old Sep 30, 19, 4:34 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by PAL62V View Post
Agree with the OP. I use them for the occasional short haul flight. Especially now they've dropped the cost to 1 plus a few extra points I find it a good way to use them when the price is already climbing. That said, just picked up a couple of cheap flights to AGP for next year and it wasn't worth using points.

What's the offer of 40% ? I don't see it. I guess I don't have the right Amex card colour?
It's a Platinum offer.
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Old Sep 30, 19, 4:35 pm
  #9  
 
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I only use Avios for US domestic flights on AA. BA metal triggers the exorbitant carrier surcharge, so I usually end up doing cash purchase. Now crediting miles to AA, so that I can use them on EY
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Old Sep 30, 19, 4:37 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Mick Davidson View Post
It's a Platinum offer.
I don't think it's limited to Platinum.
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Old Sep 30, 19, 4:40 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by golfmad View Post
Hello Mick Davidson and welcome to Flyertalk. There's also a very useful guide in the dashboard that you may find here:



While economy tickets are not the best use of Avios they can be useful as one-way refundable options which would be considerably more expensive if booked with cash.
Cheers, mate. I took a look at the sticky, and it pretty much confirms my suspicion. US Domestic travel is already so incredibly cheap on budget airlines like Spirit that I can hardly justify burning rewards points. Heck, I even fly to Costa Rica and back (based in Orlando) for under $200.

I'd hoped that a British rewards programme would award actual tickets to Britain instead of the right to pay fees almost equal to the fare. Here's the best part. If I want to pay "Avios + cash" for the same flight as above, they'll let me squander 16,300 Avios for the right to pay $70 *more* for the ticket than booking it with cash.
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Old Sep 30, 19, 4:47 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Mick Davidson View Post
I'd hoped that a British rewards programme would award actual tickets to Britain instead of the right to pay fees almost equal to the fare.
As has been said, your mistake is to try to redeem for long-haul economy. It's got nothing to do with destination.

Every frequent flyer scheme has its sweet spots and its duff ones. You've been looking at the worst. Don't do it; just don't do it. There are much better uses for your Avios.
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Old Sep 30, 19, 4:50 pm
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There are sweetspots in premium cabins. For example, I got Mex-Lhr return. Booked WTP for around 1150 usd cash plus 50k points and 40 usd in extra fees and that means 1200 return in business class. Typical fare in business on the route is 3000 usd, so a much bigger ratio in terms of value.

I'd encourage you to look for some WTP flights to Europe and find availability (www.rewardflightfinder.com) and use your points to enjoy a return trip in Club
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Old Sep 30, 19, 4:56 pm
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Originally Posted by TTmex View Post
There are sweetspots in premium cabins. For example, I got Mex-Lhr return. Booked WTP for around 1150 usd cash plus 50k points and 40 usd in extra fees and that means 1200 return in business class. Typical fare in business on the route is 3000 usd, so a much bigger ratio in terms of value.

I'd encourage you to look for some WTP flights to Europe and find availability (rewardflightfinder) and use your points to enjoy a return trip in Club
Actually did use that to look up days that fit my rather peculiar schedule that actually had flights. It grates a bit using rewards for nothing more than cabin upgrades. My innate Midwestern US frugality says "No, you should be getting free travel with these, not a nicer version of the same itinerary." Then I start calculating the value of the free travel, and (as mentioned by several) it doesnt add up to much. That sort of begs the question of what BAEC really is.
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Old Sep 30, 19, 5:05 pm
  #15  
 
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Avios are worthless on long haul but i get good value out of using them on short hops within Asia on CX / JL. Flights under 600 miles (or is it 550 or 650?) are 6,000 points. For sometimes expensive Japan domestic flights that can be a steal. Last year I did a HKG-HAN round trip for 9,000 Avios plus $77 in tax/fees. The 6,000 point award was 4,500 until recently.
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