Related post (Read this first!): Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About British Airways Avios: Tips, Tricks, And Advice You Need To Know To Maximize Your Avios
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British Airways Avios are one of the most useful mileage currencies for short-haul travel. With domestic free flights on American or USAirways for just 4,500 points plus $5.60 that don’t have any close-in booking fees and that can be cancelled for just $5.60, the program is an easy way to rapidly accumulate free travel. I’ve used 9,000 Avios for last minute round-trips that would have otherwise cost more than $1,000, so the value of their points can be stratospheric.
Effective 04/30 the Chase British Airways card will go down from earning 1.25 Avios per dollar spent to 1 per dollar spent. As a consolation prize, purchases on British Airways will now earn 3 Avios per dollar, but there are other cards that earn 3 points per dollar on airfare.
There are still cards that you can use to earn more than 1 Avios per dollar spent on everyday purchases.
You can transfer points from Starwood, Membership Rewards, or Ultimate Rewards to British Airways Avios.
-The Starwood Consumer AMEX and the Starwood Business AMEX earn 1 Starpoint per dollar, but when you transfer 20K points into airline miles you get a 25% bonus, effectively making the earn rate 1.25 miles per dollar spent. There are dozens of airlines to choose from, including British Airways.
–The Amex EveryDay Preferred Card earns 1.5 Membership Rewards points per dollar everywhere, 3 points per dollar on gas and Uber, and 4.5 points per dollar on groceries when you make at least 30 transactions per month.
–The Amex EveryDay Card has no annual fee and earns 1.2 Membership Rewards points per dollar everywhere and 2.4 points per dollar on groceries and Uber when you make at least 20 transactions per month.
-The AMEX Premier Rewards Gold Charge Card and the AMEX Business Gold Rewards Charge Card offer 3 Membership Rewards points per dollar on airfare from all airlines, not just British Airways. The Premier Rewards card also gives double points on gas and groceries and will give double points on dining effective 06/01. It will also give a $100 airline fee credit and have no foreign transaction fee effective 06/01.
Several reports confirm that the Premier Rewards Gold card is also still giving 15K points for spending $30K in 2015. That means you can earn up to 1.5 points per dollar everywhere, 3 points per dollar on gas, groceries, and dining, and 4.5 points per dollar on airfare if you can reach the $30K hurdle in 2015.
Membership Rewards points from all of those cards can transfer to 16 airlines, including British Airways. However AMEX also runs occasional transfer promotions to British Airways that range between 20-50%. A 40% promotion ran earlier this year. People who earned 1.2 or 1.5 points per dollar on everyday purchases with the everyday cards who transferred points into Avios during the 40% bonus transfer period effectively earned 1.7 or 2.1 Avios per dollar everywhere.
Of course once you start looking into categories besides everyday spend there are more opportunities. Chase cards like Ink Plus and Ink Cash earn 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar at office supply stores and on wireless, landline, and cable bills. Freedom earns 5 or 5.5 points per dollar in rotating categories. And Sapphire Preferred earns 2 points per dollar on all dining and travel spending.
In summary, there are lots of great cards to use to rack up those Avios. The Chase British Airways card offers a sweet 50K signup bonus with the annual fee waived for the first year for a limited time, but with the upcoming card downgrade they’ve taken away the incentive to use the card on everyday spend.