Below I will show you how you can get the most out of your Avios and a really cool deal to UAE only for £50 and few Avios.Avios are really not free, unless you receive a promotion or something that will really give you free Avios. Other than this, you have most likely purchased something and received Avios, so you have really “paid” for them.I pay for my Avios in one way or the other, unless someone wants to gift me some, definitely welcome. 🙂 But because I am most likely going to pay for them, I want to make the most out of them. Avios can be worth from £1 to £50 and more depending on how, where and when you use them.
If for example you have some Tesco vouchers and you spend them in store for face value you are not really getting much. But if you wait for an offer on Tesco to Avios conversion and then you want a flight in peak season you are most likely getting better value for them. Usually you get most value out of your Avios if you already book a flight and upgrade to the next cabin with Avios or as you will see below.So for example:Insha Allah during the last 10nights of Ramadan we wanted to spend it in Abu Dhabi so we enjoy some Islamic environment. I know it will be hot but I hope I will survive :). We wanted to book a flight in business and from our Local airport this would cost us £2000 and 40,000 Avios. To put it into perspective the same flights in Business to pay cash would be about £5000. Again depending on personal preferences you might find this to be a cheap price or too expensive. I really didn’t want to spend this much on a flight though as I always try to stick to my budget and find the best deal.
BA charges a lot of tax for redemption which makes sometimes Avios redemptions in economy not really worth it, unless they are in peak season. However they are part of oneworld alliances a combination of airlines coming together. You can earn miles on partners and redeem miles with them. This is what makes Avios great.
Airberlin, one of their partner and partly owned by Etihad Airways,and it doesn’t charge this many taxes. For some destinations it is worth booking with them even if you have to fly to Berlin, treat it as a transit. Abu Dhabi is one such great example of Avios redemption on Airberlin, and especially great for Muslim travellers.
Abu Dhabi from Berlin is 25,000 Avios in Economy and £50 & 50,000 Avios in Business class with £69 taxes to pay. This certainly makes it a great deal especially for those you want to travel in business. From UK to fly to Berlin will be about 9000 Avios and £35 in tax.
Now this looks like a very good deal but we need to calculate how much is really costing us in Avios. Is it really worth 25,000 Avios to go to Abu Dhabi especially when you have to fly to Berlin first? The same flight from UK will cost you 40,000 Avios and about £333 in taxes in economy and 80,000Avios and £500 in taxes in business. A flight in cash will cost anything from £400-£700 economy. You can see that Avios redemption with BA in economy is not really that much of a bargain.
Here are few things to consider before making your mind up about using Avios:
- Are you happy to pay the cash price?
- How many Avios do you earn a year and what do you save them for?
- Do you have a family that you would like to take with you?
- Are you flexible ?
- Do you mind making your way to Berlin or any other destination?
- How much do you pay for your tickets and what class do you usually fly?
Majority of families might not be able to afford to ever fly business or even take their family to Abu Dhabi as it is very costly and Avios gives them this opportunity. I know many Muslims would like to visit the Middle East and this is by far the cheapest way especially in business class or for a family in economy. There is one more which I will share with you later.
The Avios redemption in Airberlin to Abu Dhabi in economy looks something like below. You can see the price you will pay in cash and the Avios required.
So you could for example use only 8,000Avios and pay cash £170.40, effectively Avios is selling you the Avios needed in cash. Though still a good price for a return flight to Abu Dhabi, or not?
How to calculate Avios
It took me ages to find how to calculate the worth of an Avios because many people do this per 1 Avios. For me this is quite hard to put into perspective so I found the easiest way on moneysavingexpert.com where they calculate Avios in 1,000s. Now I have a clearer picture of what my Avios costs.
I created an excel with the formula so I do not have to add them up every time. 🙂 This way I can instantly calculate if the deal I found is worth my time. I always calculate to find the optimum cash/Avios.
Below you can find the calculations I did for my Abu Dhabi trip. Per 1000 Avios I can make them worth from £11 to £47!!! Depending on which cash/Avios route I go. Quite good as some people value them at £7.50.
Once you know your Avios worth then it is up to you to make up your mind. If you are Avios rich and cash poor then makes sense to use your Avios, but if you can afford to pay the £960 then you go down this root and save your Avios for more travels.I really hope this was beneficial and you can now go and start collecting and spending some Avios. I cannot wait for Ramadan in Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque inshaAllah. I hope to see you there. :)Any questions? Drop me a line in the comment box. 🙂
Update: Since writing this article the amount of Avios required from Berlin has been increased however the calculations of how to do it is still valid.