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How I Earned 250,000 Avios in the Past Year (UK)

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Why I care about Avios

The best use of Avios is purchasing flights. I won’t go in details here but instead write a separate post specifically about spending Avios.

What this post is about

There are many ways to earn Avios. The Internet is full of articles listing ways to collect, boost or max Avios points. Some are more practical than others and it can take a while to figure out what is worth your time and effort. To add to the confusion, some ways to earn only apply only to US residents or the amounts vary substantially between the US and UK.

So instead of explaining the theory, which you can find on the BA site or other travel sites, I’ll actually show you exactly how I’ve earned 250,000 Avios in the past 12 months.

The numbers

  • 104,000 BA business travel
  • 101,000 Amex card (details in this post)
  • 33,000 Barclaycard Avios Plus card (includes bonus)
  • 10,000 Avios eStore “cashback”
  • 1,500 personal travel
  • 750 Uber and Deliveroo

It’s easy to notice that the bulk of points comes from business travel with BA and reward credit cards. To be clear, by business travel I don’t mean business class, but travelling for business reasons. If business travel is an option, it helps to build your status with British Airways. BA Gold members receive up to 5x more points than Blue members. BA has an easy to use Avios calculator where you can check the points earned for any combination of airports, airline, status and booking class.

Second and third on the list are reward cards. The points here are somewhat inflated because they both include the hefty sign-up bonus. Fingers crossed for a retention offer from Amex. There’s a separate post with more details.

When it comes to cashback, my go-to place is TopCashback. But occasionally BA’s Avios eStore has an offer not available somewhere else like these 5,000 Avios for booking a holiday via Sunweb. This puts the Avios eStore on the 4th place.

The remaining two items on the list fall under the “rounding error” category.

What’s not here

It might be initially surprising that I earned virtually no Avios on personal travel. But that makes total sense. First, I booked most BA personal travel with Avios. These bookings don’t earn Avios. Second, I booked some flights with low cost carries, either because BA was not flying to that destination or I was flying with a group of friends and the low cost carrier was very cost-effective.

Another thing that’s not on the list is hotels. While you can earn Avios from hotel bookings, for example 2 Avios/$1 at Marriott hotels, the better option is to keep the hotel chain’s own points for future bookings. A good guide for making the most of hotel stays is this Marriott Bonvoy vs. article.

Nectar/supermarket/high-street store cards. I do most of my shopping online with retailers that don’t directly partner with Avios.

Buying Avios. Nowadays you can buy Avios at under 1p/point using BA’s Avios subscription service. There is a catch, to get the best price you have to pay upfront and get the Avios over the course of a year. I would still consider this if my Avios expenses increased. For example if I were to book all my personal flights in Business class or I had to book for a family of 4. Buying the extra Avios is typically still cheaper than buying tickets with money.

How did you earn Avios?

Leave a comment with the breakdown of your Avios earned in the past year. You can get the list of Avios transactions by looking for the “View all transactions” link in your BA account or directly follow this link.


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