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British Airways, a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card point transfer partner, changed its frequent flyer program last week to the new ‘Avios’ system.
While using British Airways Avios miles for complex long international trips is a lot less attractive now, which burned people who hoped to use them on those big trips, they have become a lot more attractive for use on basic non-stop trips less than 2,000 miles using American Airlines and Alaska Airlines. That includes vacation hot spots like Mexico and the Caribbean.
Why? They now charge the miles based on 1) the distance of the flight, and 2) multiply that by the number of segments in your trip. The result is short-mid range no-connection flights (less than about 2,000 miles) are priced cheaper than they used to be.
American Airlines and Alaska Airlines flights are eligible for booking with British Airways miles as they are partners.
The point costs for flights work out as follows:
Basically, if American Airlines or Alaska Airlines serves your destination non-stop in the U.S., Canada, or Mexico/Caribbean, you will pay the same or fewer miles using British Airways points rather than American Airlines or Alaska Airlines miles for the trips.
Here are some examples of good deals…
A lot of these were trips where using miles didn’t make much sense (low value per mile spent). For example, that NY-Orlando would typically cost $300 cash. Before when you had to pay 25,000 miles for that you were getting just over a 1% return on your points. Now, it’s over 2%, a healthy return that beats any cash back credit card.
You can use this online calculator to see how many miles a trip will cost. Just note, it doesn’t recognize Alaska Airlines routes, so you’ll have to trust our basic guidelines above for a general idea. Remember, though — non-stop flights are needed for these deals. If you have a connection, you get charged for each segment’s distance.
You can also call British Airways’ U.S. hotline on 800-452-1201 for details.
The best part of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card…you can wait to transfer your points into British Airways until you’re ready to book your flight. So you can check for options on United/Continental (the other big airline partner of the Chase Sapphire Preferred) for the best deal as well.
Once you decide, you can transfer points instantly, online.
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