Video: How to Maximize British Airways Avios

British Airways Avios is one of the most popular loyalty programs in Canada as well as globally, and yet its award redemption structure is one of the most unique in the space, which can sometimes leave first-time users feeling a little lost.

Avios uses two separate distance-based award charts to determine how many miles are required to book a certain flight; combine that with the comprehensive Oneworld route network, and you end up with some pretty interesting sweet spots up for grabs.

With Amex and RBC routinely offering 30% to 50% conversion bonuses to Avios on top of their usual 1:1 transfer ratios, we take a look at the best ways to maximize the value of your Avios, and I provide a step-by-step walkthrough on how you can book the many sweet spots within the program that may not appear obvious at first glance.

Without further ado, you can watch the video below:

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  1. Maxine Chivers

    Thanks Ricky. I travel with my two children. We will fly from Miami to Antigua and then onto Tobago. Then lastly we will fly from Trinidad to Miami. This was arranged with my Avios points. I am upset LAN is leaving One World because I also love South America. I know that you can use Avios to fly from Johannesburg to Mauritus, Victoria Falls or Windhoek. I flew with Easy Jet to Porto and Funchal and then used Avios to come back to the UK. We travelled around the world and the price from LA to London would cost too much. So we flew on Norwegian to Stockholm. My Avios points brought us back to London.

  2. Lise

    Thanks Ricky! I actually booked a return flight YYZ/DUB a few weeks ago With Avios. I checked on United Airlines website and it showed no availability for the dates I wanted. I called BA and asked for the dates I wanted and she found availability for my dates without any problem. Maybe I got very lucky but it might be worth trying and call BA anyway. My flights are for September this year.

  3. Sarah

    Thanks DJ. And I can also confirm one answer i know that start and stop can be different cities. Not sure about the open jaw rule

  4. DJ

    Hi Ricky – Two questions:
    Does a multi-carrier award have to start and finish in the same city?….or if not is that counted as an open jaw
    Does Cathay Pacific & Cathay Dragon count as two separate airlines when building out a multi-carrier award
    Thank you for all your help!!!

    1. Ricky YVR

      I believe it can finish in different cities as long as it’s within the same country? Or region? And won’t count as an open-jaw.

      I would assume CX and KA count as the same airline because otherwise you wouldn’t be able to book mixed CX/KA itineraries online, right?

  5. DJ

    Hi Sarah – I know you asked Ricky, but I have found recently that the redemption is based on the class of travel for the longest leg.

  6. Ahmad

    You can also transfer avios back and forth between IberiaPlus and BA Executive Club. On Iberia side, Iberia flights ends up with less taxes to pay!

    1. Ricky YVR

      Great tip – and something for me to explore in more depth one day!

  7. Sarah T

    Hi Ricky, have you tried the multicarrier chart? Is it true that the redemption Miles are based on the class of travel of the longest leg?

    1. Ricky YVR

      Don’t want to be too obvious about this. Scroll back a few weeks for a post about my Avios multi-carrier experience 🙂

      1. Eric


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