I thought it would be worthwhile just to give a little summary of the miles and points redemptions I have made since I started collecting miles and points in the second half of 2012, many of which have started from Heathrow Terminal 5 below.
- LHR – ABZ – LHR = 9,000 Avios
- LHR – EDI – LHR = 9,000 Avios
- 2 x LHR – IAD // JFK – LHR in First = 120,000 Avios plus a BA Amex 2for1 voucher
- ABZ – LHR – GLA = 4,500 Avios
- 2 x GLA – LHR – BHD = 9,000 Avios
- LHR-SIN-SYD-CBR-MEL-DXB-LHR with SIN-SYD in First = 149,000 Avios
- LHR – DUB in CE = 7,500 Avios
- DUB – LHR in CE = 7,500 Avios
- 2 x LHR-NCE-LCY with LHR-NCE in CE = 15,000 Avios + Cash
Total = 330,500 Avios.
Most of the flights have been short haul sectors with the Reward Flight Saver, where you pay 4,500 Avios one way plus a flat fee of £17.50 for the taxes and charges, or 7,500 Avios and £25 for Club Europe. These can often be had at quite short notice when the prices are extortionate; I think the LHR-EDI-LHR for my brother’s stag do would have been about £200 for a cash ticket. The other benefit is that they are flexible so can be changed / refunded for a small fee. The flights to Australia in economy were 109,000 plus the taxes, which saved about £500 on the cash fare with British Airways. The ability to upgrade when availability was found meant that my wife was a very happy lady! In all these cases, the flights were ones that would have been paid for with cash (either on British Airways or another airline), so the Avios spent resulted in a real cash saving.
That leaves the First class trip to the US. This was certainly a trip built around the flying as it was my first 2for1 and my first First flight. We may have taken a holiday at this time, but didn’t have to, so the associated spending on the taxes was an additional cost (albeit less than the price of economy tickets on the same flights!)
- 3 nights at The Williard InterContinenal, Washington DC = 80,000 points + $140 + Barclaycard Free Night certificate
- 5 nights at The Westin Grand Central, New York = 48,000 SPG points
- 2 nights at the Holiday Inn Express, Belfast = 40,000 points
- 1 night at the Crowne Plaza, Bruges = Barclaycard Free Night certificate
- 2 nights at the InterContinental Paris – Le Grand = Ambassador 2for1 certificate
Total = 48,000 SPG points, 120,000 IHG points, 3 x free night certificates
Most of the hotel stays have been used when we decided to go on holiday, rather than having to go somewhere and finding a way to pay, like with some of the flight redemptions.
As I keep saying, the value of these reemptions is solely based on what you value it at.
- The US trip cost me about £1,200 I wouldn’t otherwise have spent, but we had a 9 day holiday flying in First class luxury, staying in 4 and 5* hotels which would have cost upwards of £10,000 if we had paid the cash equivalent for everything. In my eyes, that is a bargain.
- The trip to Bruges was just to use up the voucher, so the Eurostar to get there will be an added cost, but without the certificate, we wouldn’t be going, so it makes cost-effective.
- As I detailed in this post, the Holiday Inn was necessary, so the points helped make a cash saving..
Bottom line – if you are happy with the redemption, then it is probably a good deal for you!