British Airways Avios Devaluation
Today British Airways announced
changes to a devaluation of their Executive Club program. Among the changes are a tiered award chart for flying on British Airways and alterations to miles earning on paid flights.
Why This Announcement Is Good
While it is never good to see a program devalue, those types of business decisions are inevitable. Thankfully I am happy with today’s announcement for a couple of reasons and you probably should be to.
The sweet spot of the British Airways Avios program for the past couple of years has been short haul redemptions on partner carriers such as Alaska Airlines, US Airways & American Airlines. Flights from 1-650 miles cost only 4,500 Avios and from 651-1,151 miles cost only 7,500 Avios. Those redemption rates are staying the same. That is HUGE!
In fact, economy redemptions on partner airlines are staying the same across the board. It is true that premium cabin redemptions are increasing in cost, which is a bummer, but British Airways already charged 3x the points for domestic first class travel in the U.S., which was never a good deal. (It is going to be 4x the economy price now!)
The American Express Transfer Bonus
One of the main reasons I am so happy with this announcement is that it takes the guesswork out of transferring Membership Rewards points over to Avios for the 40% bonus. I now know what the program will look like for the next couple of years and can better gauge how many points to transfer.
99% of my Avios redemptions involve those short haul economy flights in the United States. Since the cost of those flights is thankfully not increasing, I am now planning to transfer over a lot of my points.
Many many people expressed concern to me about an Avios devaluation over the past couple of weeks when contemplating taking advantage of the Amex bonus. Now they have the information they need before making the decision to transfer. I am happy this announcement came today and not next week after the transfer bonus offer ends.
While the list of changes to the British Airways Executive Club involves mostly negatives, U.S. based flyers who redeem Avios accumulated from credit card points really got a win in my opinion.
Sure there are a few exceptions, but for the most part this is a good day for us and a bad day for people who pay to fly on the airline. You can find a full list of the changes here and View From the Wing has a full breakdown and analysis.