New Avios Use for My Fellow Houston Friends

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I’ve made no secret about the fact that I really like British Airways Avios as a secondary mileage program.  United is my primary program mainly due to my location and the excellent redemption options on Star Alliance partners using United miles.  However, Avios are incredibly helpful and valuable for some other short distance hops that can be done on British Airways partners such as American Airlines and Alaska Airlines.  You can read about my favorite uses for Avios here, but now you can add one more good use for my friends who live in the Houston area.

American Airlines has announced a few new routes, including nonstop service between Houston Bush Intercontinental and JFK in New York City.  Since Avios are by far the most valuable on nonstop routes, as they charge per segment, this is great news!  It is also great news because sometimes it can be tough to get a good fare between Houston and one of the NYC airports – especially for very short trips. This will also allow for inexpensive positioning flights if you wish to depart on an international journey from one of the New York area airports and can’t get there using points on your international trip.

You should be able to book this new route beginning today (12/23/12) for service starting on 4/2/13.  While there isn’t an easy to read official Avios award chart, this route comes in at 10,000 Avios each way, or 20,000 round trip.

That makes it a less expensive points option than American Airlines, Delta, United, etc. that would all typically cost at least 25,000 points/miles round trip for an award ticket.  What makes it an even better deal is that there are periodic transfer bonuses from American Express Membership Rewards to British Airways Avios.  I transferred a bunch of my Membership Reward points to British Airways during a 50% transfer bonus earlier this year, so that means that a round trip from Houston to JFK would effectively just cost me a little under 14,000 Membership Reward points.

It is good to stay on top of new routes to/from your home airport as new routes can open up award options that might not have been there before.  You can read about some of the other newly announced routes on American here.  If you want to take advantage of this or another Avios opportunity, remember that there is currently a 30% transfer bonus from Membership Rewards to British Airways Avios that is available from accounts such as the Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card or Amex Mercedes Benz Platinum card until 1/14/13.  There is also a sign-up offer for the British Airways Visa (now expired) available that offers up to 100,000 Avios (the first 50,000 points come easily after just $1,000 in spending, but the second 50,000 to require significantly more spending).

I’m sure I will take advantage of this points option at some point in the future – always great to have more options.

Disclosure: I do receive a commission if you are approved for a credit card using one of my affiliate links.  Some of the cards mentioned in this post are my links.  As always, thanks for your support!

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. Thanks for mentioning above the one way AND roundtrip fare in points.
    So many bloggers tease their readers with ‘low’ point redemptions. At first, the reader thinks it’s roundtrip. The blogger doesn’t say what the roundtrip cost.
    The casual reader gets excited, then disappointed when they figure it out.

    I wish that all bloggers would mention the one way, and roundtrip cost. Kudos MP.

  2. This was a good reminder this morning. I had a AA oneway saver award booked to MCO for 12,500. After I read your post I rebooked on BA for 7500 Avios and $2.50 instead. Correct me if I am wrong but if there is AA saver space available then there is typically availability using Avios? I used expertflyer to let me know when the saver space opened up on AA.

    • @perry, yay! Much better redemption! Yes, the space should correlate with AA Saver space – though I do hear of issues every now and then.

  3. Quick Question.

    I have 90,000 American Express Membership points and I am thinking about turning some of them in BA Avios Points. Are the Avios points good only on American Airlines flight at the Miler Saver level or can they also be used on the Anytime rewards?

    P.S. I love the Club Carlson deals almost as much as you.

    • Eric, great question and sorry I wasn’t clear. Their availability should match the saver level on AA. Gotta love Avios and Club Carlson. 😉

  4. bringer, those Amex applications are a finicky bunch that seem to not like some browsers/cookies. It also didn’t like my typical browser, but was fine when I tried from another browser. Sorry that app is temperamental, but it does work…just takes more messing around with than I wish it did. Thanks for letting me know!

  5. Quick question for Mommy points. I’m going to be in Houston for the first time after Christmas. I have about 3 days. Is there anything to see/do of a must see variety? I’m thinking of doing the space center and possibly museum district, not sure which are the best museums. Is there any type of observatory for taking pictures? Thanks!

  6. Every time I try and use Avios to book a U.S. Domestic flight I get an error message saying BA doesn’t have rights to fly in the U.S. How do I get it to pull flights within the OneWorld Alliance?

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