All hail the November sales...
As a prelude to Singles Day and Black Friday, British Airways has launched a remarkable deal that sees Executive Club members being able to buy Avios at a 50% bonus, while redeeming Economy and Premium Economy Class seats at a 50% discount. Club World (Business Class on British Airways) and First Class seats are also available at a modest 10% discount. This must be done by 21 November, for flights up to 30 April 2020.
I consider British Airways Avios as an exotic currency to most of us here in Singapore, considering that only 2 banks allow conversion of its points to Avios: Citibank and American Express. However, it should not be overlooked considering the sweet spots Avios offers.
British Airways is in the OneWorld alliance, so Avios can be used for well-known Asian carriers like Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines beyond British Airways metal. More on that later, I will be focusing on what this most recent promotion offers.
This one’s rather simple. Just like the sale that Virgin Atlantic is having (which you can check out here), for every 1,000 Avios and above you purchase, you will be getting a 50% bonus. You typically can purchase up to 200,000 Avios every year, so by maxing out this promotion, you will be getting a total of 300,000 Avios for U$5,532.
British Airways operates 3 daily flights from Singapore; two from Singapore to London and a fifth-freedom route from Singapore to Sydney.
For a one-way Singapore-London route on an off-peak date, British Airways charges 22,750 Avios and about $265 in taxes and surcharges. Compared to Singapore Airlines, Singapore Airlines charges 38,000 Krisflyer Miles with about $50 in taxes. The difference in $215 is the surcharges that British Airways passes on to its customers. Unfortunately, when using Avios to fly on British Airways, there’s no way to escape these surcharges.
However, with this recent promotion, the amount of Avios charged for a one-way ticket from Singapore to London is halved, from 22,750 to 11,375. This has helped me to save more than 10,000 Avios for my upcoming trip to London when I tapped on this promotion.
For those who want a little more comfort, Premium Economy rates have dropped from 45,000 Avios to 22,750 Avios, while for those looking to go Down-Under, a one-way Singapore-Sydney route in Economy Class has dropped to 6,500 Avios with about $227 in taxes and surcharges.
Redeeming 50% less Avios for the same flight is always a sweet deal, and coupled with the bonus you can tap on when buying Avios, I can see many people taking advantage of this sale. There’s still a downside on the taxes you have to pay, but I would argue that the Avios you save is significant compared to the usual $1,000 or more to fly round trip to London.
Personally, I wouldn’t be buying Avios as I won’t be flying much on Avios in the next 3 months. I would also advise against just buying the miles because it is a good sale as miles can be devalued overnight and you would not want to find yourself in that position.
If you do find a route that makes it work for you, do remember to book it fast!