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How Does British Airways Reward Flight Saver Pricing Work?

Reward Flight Saver pricing on British Airways flights booked with Avios gives you the option to pay more in Avios and less in cash.

Written by T.J. Dunn

On 2023-09-19

Read time 19 mins

British Airways Executive Club is one of the most accessible loyalty programs in the Oneworld ecosystem. However, when it comes to redeeming Avios for flights with British Airways, the taxes, fees, and carrier-imposed surcharges are often prohibitively high.

As a way to encourage travellers to redeem Avios for British Airways flights, the program features Reward Flight Saver pricing for short- and long-haul British Airways flights, which lets you pay more in Avios and less in taxes, fees, and surcharges.

What Is British Airways Reward Flight Saver Pricing?

Reward Flight Saver pricing is a feature available through British Airways Executive Club, whereby you can choose to redeem more Avios and pay less in taxes, fees, and surcharges on British Airways flights.

This feature can be useful if you’d like to make a redemption for a British Airways flight, but you don’t want to incur the high prices that typically come with doing so.

For example, the standard cost for an off-peak one-way flight in business class with British Airways from Toronto to London is 50,000 Avios plus $865 (CAD) in taxes, fees, and surcharges.

However, with Reward Flight Saver pricing, the same flight prices out at 80,000 Avios plus $350 (CAD) in taxes and fees.

In other words, Reward Flight Saver pricing lets you pay an extra 30,000 Avios to save over $500 (CAD) in taxes and fees.

Pay more in Avios and less in taxes and fees with British Airways Reward Flight Saver pricing

It’s worth noting that you can still choose to pay the standard rate for the flight, since you can customize the amount of Avios you’d like to apply towards a booking on the check-out page.

If Reward Flight Saver pricing is available on your flight, it shows up as the default option, which we’ll explore in depth below.

Reward Flight Saver pricing was introduced to long-haul flights with British Airways in late 2022; however, it’s been available on short-haul flights within Europe, and on British Airways’s short-haul fifth-freedom routes, for quite some time.

Reward Flight Saver pricing can apply to all long- and short-haul routes operated by British Airways in economy, premium economy, and business class, which British Airways refers to as World Traveller, World Traveller Plus, and Club World, respectively.

Unfortunately, Reward Flight Saver pricing isn’t available for flights in British Airways First Class.

To be eligible for Reward Flight Saver pricing, you must have collected at least one Avios in the past 12 months. Otherwise, there aren’t any other requirements to unlock the feature.

Reward Flight Saver pricing isn’t available for redemptions with partner airlines, and it only applies to flights with British Airways booked through British Airways Executive Club.

The following chart summarizes round-trip British Airways Reward Flight Saver pricing for flights from London to destinations around the world, with prices in pounds and US dollars. One-way flights price out at exactly half in terms of Avios and cash.

How to Book British Airways Reward Flight Saver Flights

The process of booking a Reward Flight Saver flight follows the same workflow for making any other Avios booking on the British Airways Executive Club website.

After signing into your Executive Club account, select “Book a flight with Avios” from the menu.

From there, simply search for your desired flights. If Reward Flight Saver pricing is available, you’ll see the blue Reward Flight Saver symbol displayed clearly in the results, right above the flight number.

After selecting the cabin class, the total price shown has the Reward Flight Saver pricing pre-selected. From there, simply proceed with your booking as per usual.

It’s worth noting that Reward Flight Saver pricing is optional, and if you wish, you can choose a different combination of Avios and cash by selecting “More pricing options” during the booking process.

How to Maximize British Airways Reward Flight Saver Pricing

While Reward Flight Saver pricing presents you with an option to pay more with Avios and less in taxes and fees for British Airways flights, there are a few optimizations you can make to stretch your Avios even further.

Generally speaking, Reward Flight Saver pricing is most advantageous for last-minute bookings or travel during peak season, when revenue fares for flights are higher.

Since there’s a fixed number of Avios and a set price for taxes and fees required for Avios redemptions, the value you get from Avios will be the highest during such times.

Leverage transfer bonuses

One of the best ways to maximize British Airways Reward Flight Saver pricing is by moving transferable points into your British Airways Executive Club account during a transfer bonus event.

In Canada, you can transfer American Express Membership Rewards, HSBC Rewards, or RBC Avion points to British Airways Executive Club.

In the US, you can transfer American Express US Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One Miles, and Chase Ultimate Rewards to British Airways Executive Club.

Many programs put on transfer bonus events throughout the year, typically with a 30% bonus. However, there have also been transfer bonuses of 50% in the past.

By converting points to your Executive Club account during a transfer bonus, you’re effectively reducing the number of points required for any given booking.

For example, a one-way, off-peak flight in business class from Montreal to London costs 80,000 Avios.

By transferring points during a 30% bonus event, the effective cost for that flight is around 62,000 points, since most points convert to British Airways Avios at a 1:1 ratio.

That’s not much more than the standard off-peak price of 50,000 Avios, and to sweeten the deal even more, you’ll only pay $350 (CAD) in taxes and fees with a Reward Flight Saver booking, versus the $865 (CAD) you’d pay with standard pricing.

Offset costs with fixed-value points

While Reward Flight Saver pricing reduces the otherwise burdensome amount of taxes and fees levied on British Airways flights, it’s still more than what other programs might charge, especially in cabins other than economy.

To help offset the cost, you’ll want to make sure you’re paying for your booking with the right credit card.

If you’re looking to reduce your out-of-pocket costs as much as possible, consider paying the taxes and fees with a card that has points you can use for a statement credit.

Use fixed-value points to offset the cost of taxes and fees on British Airways flights

For example, Scene+ points and HSBC Rewards are flexible fixed-value points currencies in Canada.

You can charge the taxes and fees for a Reward Flight Saver booking on your credit card, and then use points to offset the cost after the fact.

However, you’ll want to be mindful of which cards cover travel insurance on award bookings, or make sure that you have a separate policy in case your travels are disrupted.

Alternatively, you should use a credit card that provides a good category multiplier on travel to get the best return on your spending.

Book on off-peak days

Flights with British Airways booked through Executive Club are subject to peak and off-peak pricing. You’ll pay more to travel on a peak day, than you will on an off-peak day, and this difference also applies to Reward Flight Saver flights.

For example, on peak days, you’d pay the following amount in Avios for a Reward Flight Saver booking between Toronto and London:

  • Economy: 30,000 Avios + $100 (CAD)
  • Premium economy: 60,000 Avios + $280 (CAD)
  • Business class: 90,000 Avios + $350 (CAD)

By contrast, you’d pay the following amount in Avios on off-peak days for the same flight:

  • Economy: 25,000 Avios + $100 (CAD)
  • Premium economy: 42,500 Avios + $280 (CAD)
  • Business class: 80,000 Avios + $350 (CAD)

Therefore, by combining a Reward Flight Saver flight with travel on an off-peak date, you’ll save on the number of Avios required in any class of service.

Save on cancellation fees for short-haul flights

For short-haul Reward Flight Saver flights, which are typically available in Europe but also on some British Airways fifth freedom routes, it’s possible to save on cancellation fees if your plans change.

Recall that for award flights booked through British Airways Executive Club, if you need to cancel, you’ll typically have to pay $55 (USD) or $58 (CAD), which is usually just subtracted from the refund of your taxes and fees.

However, if your taxes and fees are less than $55 (USD) or $58 (CAD), then you’ll just forfeit whatever that amount is.

With Reward Flight Saver bookings, the taxes and fees on short-haul flights can be as low as $1. Therefore, if you need to cancel your flight, you’ll simply forfeit the $1 paid.

For example, a one-way off-peak Reward Flight Saver flight in business class between Buenos Aires and Rio de Janiero costs 24,250 Avios plus $1 in taxes and fees.

Should your plans change and you need to cancel, you’ll get all of your Avios back, and you’ll only have lost $1.

The same holds true for short-haul Reward Flight Saver bookings made between London and destinations across Europe.

Stack with a British Airways Companion Award eVoucher

In Canada, RBC British Airways Visa Infinite cardholders can earn a Companion Award eVoucher by spending $30,000 (CAD) in a calendar year.

With a Companion Award eVoucher, the number of Avios required for a solo booking is cut in half, or for a couple, the second passenger isn’t charged any Avios.

This means that an off-peak, round-trip Avios redemption between Vancouver and London in business class would cost a solo traveller 90,000 Avios plus $900 (CAD) in taxes and fees, whereas a couple would pay 180,000 Avios plus $1,800 (CAD) in taxes and fees total.

While the taxes and fees certainly add up, especially in the case of a couple, stacking Reward Flight Saver flights with a Companion Award eVoucher can certainly stretch your Avios to the fullest, and reduce the amount of taxes and fees required versus standard pricing.

Is British Airways Reward Flight Saver Pricing a Good Deal?

Reward Flight Saver pricing can offer great value in some circumstances, and since it’s available on both short- and long-haul flights, it’s something you should be aware of if you’re considering a British Airways flight.

When it comes to short-haul flights in Europe, or on British Airways’s fifth freedom routes in the Caribbean or South America, Reward Flight Saver flights are a great deal in any class of service:

However, when it comes to long-haul flights, the value of Reward Flight Saver pricing is less clear-cut, since it depends on a variety of factors.

If you acquire Avios during a transfer bonus promotion, or if you have a large balance to begin with, then you might be fine with paying more in Avios to save on out-of-pocket expenses.

On the other hand, if you’re someone who likes to maximize the value of your points, you’ll want to crunch the numbers to make sure you’re comfortable with the value offered through Reward Flight Saver pricing.

For example, the standard cost for a one-way off-peak flight from Vancouver to London is broken down as follows:

  • Economy: 16,250 + $440 (CAD)
  • Premium economy: 32,500 Avios + $525 (CAD)
  • Business class: 62,500 Avios + $850 (CAD)

By contrast, Reward Flight Saver pricing for the same flight is as follows:

  • Economy: 30,000 Avios + $150 (CAD)
  • Premium economy: 47,500 Avios + $330 (CAD)
  • Business class: 90,000 Avios + $450 (CAD)

In economy, you’d spend an extra 13,750 Avios to save a total of $290 (CAD) in taxes and fees, which works out to a value of 2.1 cents per Avios.

In premium economy, you’d spend an extra 15,000 Avios to save a total of $195 (CAD) in taxes and fees, which works out to 1.3 cents per Avios.

In business class, you’d spend an extra 27,500 Avios to save a total of $400 (CAD) in taxes and fees, which works out to 1.45 cents per Avios.

The value you get with Reward Flight Saver pricing depends on the class of service

We value British Airways Avios at 2 cents per point (CAD).

In this example, you’d get just above our target value with the economy flight, but less in premium economy and business class.

However, if you’re able to acquire Avios during a transfer bonus promotion, the value per Avios would be increased accordingly.

Keep in mind that British Airways releases a minimum of 14 award seats on every flight: eight seats in economy, two in premium economy, and four in business class.

If you’re unable to find award seats at competitive prices with other programs, or if you value direct long-haul flights, then Reward Flight Saver pricing can offer great value. 

In exchange for access to a reliable number of award seats on every flight, you might just have to pay more than you otherwise would for taxes and fees.

Conclusion

British Airways Reward Flight Saver pricing offers Executive Club members the choice of paying more in Avios and less in taxes, fees, and surcharges on British Airways flights.

Reward Flight Saver pricing is available for both short- and long-haul flights, and can provide great value in some situations.

Keep an eye out for the Reward Flight Saver logo the next time you’re searching for a redemption with British Airways, and then be sure to compare what’s available with other options to stretch your points the furthest.

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