Launched yesterday, British Airways Executive Club has taken a note from Air Canada and launched their own up to 50% off all reward flights sale! With this promotion members of BAEC can book World Traveller, World Traveller Plus, Club World or First cabins for only 50% of the normal amount of Avios required and Euro Traveller or Club Europe cabins for 25% off. The offer only runs for one week (must be booked by October 13) for flights until June 30, 2021 and those flights have to be on British Airways operated flights.
This promotion while looking good on the cover is being touted as a so-so offer for Canadians if you are looking to redeem for flights between Canada and the U.K.. The reason being is that British Airways imposes some hefty carrier surcharges on their award flights between North America and the UK or Europe and most everywhere else. There are options where countries regulate those surcharges where you wouldn’t be spending as much cash on those award flights but given the current worldly travel situation it may be difficult to get onto some of those flights by next June. Some of the places that regulate surcharges include Hong Kong, Brazil, and Japan so you could look at departures from these regions to the U.K.
That being said, the value proposition for flying from Canada to the U.K. in Business Class isn’t a terrible thing. Yes those surcharges suck the big…. you know what… but when you compare such a redemption to the cash price of a ticket and if Executive Club is your main program (where you don’t have tons of Aeroplan miles or other travel reward currencies) this sale is something to consider. For example here is a business class flights between Toronto and London Heathrow in March:
50,000 Avios (normally it would be 100,000) and $1,454.24 in fees and taxes. Yikes! Yes those fees and taxes are pretty insane but here is the same flight when paying cash:
So those 50,000 Avios are saving you $3,416.97! That’s a return of 6.8 cents per Avios which for many of us are earned via credit card spend. For example the American Express Gold Rewards Card‘s 2 points per dollar on travel, groceries, gas and drug stores would equate to a 13.6% return for this flight, the Platinum Card‘s 3 points on dining makes it a whopping 20.4% return. Think about it you would have only have had to spend as little as $16,667 in credit card spending to get this flight. And some will compare to Aeroplan – saying that as of November 8 you’ll won’t pay those carrier surcharges but in most cases would have to redeem 120,000 to 320,000 Aeroplan Points:
So let’s look at the math if we compare credit card spending at the best possible rate which is the 3 Aeroplan Points or BAEC Avios with the Platinum Card’s dining accelerator. The above British Airways redemption would require $16,667 in card spending and the $1454.24 in award flight fees and taxes. Total is $18,121,24. With Aeroplan you would need to spend $40,000 alone on the Platinum card not including the little bit of fees that would be on that award ticket. Based on this methodology even paying those $1454 in fees on BA makes this sale worth it. Even if you look at credit card sign up bonuses. Say you have earned 100,000 American Express Membership Rewards Points you could redeem for two round trip business class flights on BA versus not even one with Air Canada’s Aeroplan (based on published rates of course) Of course every single person has different reward aspirations for their miles and points but don’t be dissuaded by those out there saying you shouldn’t redeem for this BA sale because of those high fees. Yes they are a bane to all of us and yes they shouldn’t be charged but the reality is many programs do and you need to look at the whole big picture of how you have earned those points and miles and how you redeem them and make the comparisons as to what redemption works best for you.
Looking to earn more Avios? Right now one of the best options is with HSBC World Elite Mastercard with it 100,000 point welcome bonus with no annual fee in the first year. That’s 40,000 Avios not including your spend on the card to get the bonus.
Here are some more BAEC bonuses to check out: