British Airways recently let us know that they were modifying their award chart, but unfortunately left us in the dark with the actual changes. The changes are pretty much on par as expected and while it is in fact devaluation it is not too massive. The British Airways Avios award chart changes affect partner redemptions — American Airlines, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, etc.
For comparison sake, let’s take a look at the old chart vs. the new British Airways Avios award chart:
Comparing the Two
For starters, Zone 1 flights to/from the United States did NOT change. That is great for those who use their British Airways Avios flights for short-haul flights within the US. I am happy to see that redemption not change. Everything else unfortunately devalued…
For those that typically fly Economy class, you’ll notice that the pricing only increased by 1,000 to 1,500 British Airways Avios per one-way segment. While Premium Economy, Business, and First Class tickets has more of a spread now, the largest increase is for Zone 9 business class seats at 6,000 Avios. For the majority, prices increases were primarily between 1,500-3,000 Avios.
While no devaluation is ever well received, this is really not nearly as bad as it could have been. We’ve seen significantly worse devaluation in the past with other loyalty program. I personally value British Airways Avios at around 2 cents per point, so a 1,000 to 1,500 point increase will “cost” you anther $20 to $30 in points. While this can definitely sting for a family looking to book multiple tickets roundtrip, it should not be a deal breaker.
Remember, you can still transfer your Chase Ultimate Reward points from cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Ink Preferred to British Airways Avios with a 30% bonus. Despite the devaluation, this is a great transfer option for your Ultimate Reward points.
And you can always transfer your British Airways Avios to Iberia Avios at a 1:1 transfer ratio where you might be able to redeem your points for less for the exact same route.
What are your thoughts on these changes?