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The best ways to use 100,000 British Airways, Iberia, or Aer Lingus Avios points

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  • Three Chase credit cards are offering new welcome bonuses of 100,000 Avios points.
  • You can redeem Avios on British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, and with dozens of partner airlines.
  • There are sweet spots with cheap award pricing to Ireland, Hawaii, Spain, and more.
  • Read Insider’s guide to the best rewards credit cards.

If you’re new to travel rewards, it might seem strange to consider earning points from a European airline if you don’t have plans to fly there. Avios, the rewards currency of British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus, might not even be on your radar — but they’re useful for much more than flights to Europe.

You can redeem Avios for award flights on partner airlines both within the US and to destinations around the world. British Airways and Iberia are part of the Oneworld alliance, so you can use Avios from these airlines for flights on any other Oneworld member, including American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and Qantas. 

Right now, all three Chase credit cards that earn Avios — the British Airways Visa Signature® Card, Iberia Visa Signature® Card, and Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card — are offering a bonus of 100,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

Read more: The Chase British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus cards are now offering a whopping 100,000 Avios points — and they’re not just good for flights to Europe

In the first year, new cardholders can also earn 5x Avios on flight purchases with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and LEVEL, and 3x Avios on accommodations booked directly with hotels (after the first year, you’ll earn 3x and 2x in these categories, respectively). The cards earn 1x Avios on all other purchases.

All three airlines have slightly different award charts, and numerous redemption options allow you to book flights for fewer miles compared to other programs — even outside of Europe. 

Whether you’re a points and miles beginner or a seasoned award traveler, these redemption ideas for spending 100,000 Avios will be sure to get your wanderlust juices flowing. 

Best ways to use 100,000 Avios

Avios rank in the middle of the pack when it comes to their value at around 1.3 cents per point on average, according to Insider’s points and miles valuations. That means you can expect to get roughly $1,300 worth of flights from 100,000 Avios, although the exact value you’ll get depends on how and when you redeem your rewards.

British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus all use slightly different distance-based award charts. Instead of region-based pricing (where the number of miles required is the same regardless of flight distance between two regions), you’ll pay fewer Avios for shorter flights, and more for longer ones.

Here are some of the best Avios sweet spots.

The US to Ireland with Aer Lingus

Regular APR

15.99% – 22.99% Variable

Credit Score

Good to Excellent

Featured Reward

100,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening

Chevron iconIt indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • Substantial welcome bonus and generous earning rate on Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, and LEVEL purchases
    • Opportunity to earn a companion ticket each calendar year
    Cons
    • Companion ticket requires $30,000 in spending in a calendar year
    • Earn 100,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
    • Earn 5 Avios per $1 spent on purchases with Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, and LEVEL within your first 12 months from account opening, thereafter earn 3 Avios.
    • Earn 3 Avios per $1 spent on hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel within your first 12 months from account opening, thereafter earn 2 Avios. Plus earn 1 Avios per $1 spent on all other purchases.
    • Every calendar year you make purchases of $30,000 on your Aer Lingus Visa Signature Card, you’ll receive a Commercial Companion Ticket good for 12 months
    • You and any authorized users on your account are eligible for Priority Boarding on Aer Lingus flights departing from and returning to the US from Ireland.
    • Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad.
    • Simply tap to pay with your contactless Aer Lingus Visa Signature Card. Just look for the contactless symbol at checkout. It’s fast, easy and secure!

    Redeeming your Avios through the Aer Lingus website for Aer Lingus flights from the US to Ireland is one of the best values you’ll get for flights to Europe.

    From the US East Coast

    Award tickets from the East Coast are a bargain because of the relatively short distance to Ireland. You can fly economy across the Atlantic for just 13,000 Avios one-way (off-peak) or 20,000 Avios (peak). This applies to flights to Dublin from the airline’s Zone 5 region, which includes Boston, Newark, New York-JFK, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, DC, and also Toronto, Canada. The airline’s direct flights from Boston and New York-JFK to Shannon are the same prices. 

    Read more: Aer Lingus Visa Signature card review

    If you really want to treat yourself, you can get a one-way flight in Aer Lingus’ business class on the same routes from just 50,000 Avios (off-peak) or 60,000 Avios (peak). In other words, your 100,000 bonus Avios would be enough for a return flight in business class to Ireland on off-peak dates. 

    From the rest of the US

    Aer Lingus also operates direct flights to Dublin from Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, San Francisco, and Seattle. These airports fall into the airline’s Zone 6, meaning the one-way redemption rates are slightly higher for economy at 16,250 Avios (off-peak) and 25,000 Avios (peak) and for business class, you’ll need 62,500 Avios (off-peak) and 75,000 Avios (peak). 

    Read more: The best ways to redeem credit card points and miles for flights to Europe

    It’s worth noting that Aer Lingus (like many other airlines) is still operating a reduced schedule with fewer destinations than pre-pandemic times. Some routes, like Dublin to Miami, will not be returning until December. The industry is still in a state of constant change, so make sure to double-check if your desired route is currently operating before planning a trip.

    Domestic travel on American Airlines (including Hawaii)

    If you’re still not sure about traveling abroad just yet, you can use your Avios to redeem on American and Alaska Airlines flights within the US. Unfortunately, Zone 1 pricing doesn’t apply to flights to, from, or within the US, so the cheapest award tickets cost 9,000 Avios for flights up to 1,151 miles in distance with British Airways’ award chart.

    This can still be a great use of Avios if you’re booking short-haul domestic flights of under 1,151 miles, and taxes are minimal at $5.60 one-way. When looking at similar domestic routes using American Airlines, Delta, or United miles, you’ll often spend less by booking with Avios.

    Read more: The best credit card rewards sweet spots that get you the most from your hard-earned points and miles

    Another fantastic sweet spot is for flights between the West Coast and Hawaii on American or Alaska Airlines. These routes fall into Zone 4 and cost just 13,000 Avios one-way in economy plus $5.60 in taxes and fees. Eligible West Coast airports to Hawaii with this pricing include Los Angeles, Seattle, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, and Anchorage.

    While 9,000 or 13,000 Avios plus a few dollars in taxes and fees is a steal, there are some great cash fares around at the moment too. It’s always worth checking both options and figuring out where the most value is for you personally. A great example of when these cheap Avios fares can save you lots of cash is for last-minute bookings when one-way domestic flights can be hundreds of dollars. 

    US East and West Coast to Spain

    Regular APR

    15.99% – 22.99% Variable

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    100,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening

    Chevron iconIt indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • Substantial welcome bonus and generous earning rate on Iberia, British Airways, Aer Lingus, and LEVEL purchases
    • Opportunity to earn a $1,000 Iberia flight discount voucher each calendar year
    Cons
    • Discount voucher requires $30,000 in spending in a calendar year
    • Earn 100,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
    • Earn 5 Avios per $1 spent on purchases with Iberia, British Airways, Aer Lingus, and LEVEL within your first 12 months from account opening, thereafter earn 3 Avios.
    • Earn 3 Avios per $1 spent on hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel within your first 12 months from account opening, thereafter earn 2 Avios. Plus earn 1 Avios per $1 spent on all other purchases.
    • Save 10% on Iberia flights purchased on iberia.com/Chase10
    • Earn a discount voucher of $1,000 to use toward two tickets on the same flight for each year you make purchases of $30,000 on your card
    • Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad.
    • Simply tap to pay with your contactless Iberia Visa Signature Card. Just look for the contactless symbol at checkout. It’s fast, easy and secure!

    España is always a good idea and getting there using your Avios couldn’t be easier. It could be a great option for spending your 100,000 Avios, especially if you’re traveling as a pair because you would even have Avios left over after redeeming for two round-trip tickets.

    Read more: Iberia Visa Signature card review

    The best value option is via Iberia’s website. For example, a one-way economy award flight from New York-JFK to Madrid on Iberia starts as low as 17,000 Avios plus about $89 in taxes and fees. The same flight booked through BA’s website will cost 20,750 Avios and $233 in taxes and fees. 

    From Los Angeles, you’ll only pay a few thousand more at 21,250 Avios and around $101 in taxes and fees for an off-peak one-way award ticket in economy. Through BA’s website, you’ll pay the same amount of Avios but higher taxes and fees.

    Read more: I used credit card points to fly round-trip from the US to Spain in business class for only $232, thanks to an under-the-radar strategy

    This example is a great reminder to cross-check several websites before making a redemption to make sure you’re getting the best value possible. 

    First-class flights

    Regular APR

    15.99% – 22.99% Variable

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    100,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening

    Chevron iconIt indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • 3 Avios per dollar on British Airways purchases is a generous earning rate
    • You can receive up to $600 in statement credits per year when you book an award flight to London and pay the taxes and fees with this card
    Cons
    • Not the most rewarding card for non-British Airways purchases
    • Earn 100,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
    • Earn 5 Avios per $1 spent on purchases with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and LEVEL within your first 12 months from account opening, thereafter earn 3 Avios.
    • Earn 3 Avios per $1 spent on hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel within your first 12 months from account opening, thereafter earn 2 Avios. Plus earn 1 Avios per $1 spent on all other purchases.
    • 10% off British Airways flights starting in the US when you book through the website provided in your welcome materials.
    • Every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa card, you’ll earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years.
    • Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad.
    • Simply tap to pay with your contactless British Airways Visa Signature Card. Just look for the contactless symbol at checkout. It’s fast, easy and secure!


    Read Our Review
    Read Our ReviewA looong arrow, pointing right

    British Airways First

    Historically, the US has been one of British Airways’ most served destinations from London Heathrow. However, the pandemic has caused a drastic reduction in the number of destinations served and the number of routes that offer BA’s First service. The cities mentioned in this example are in line with BA’s current UK-US route network which offers its First product.

    Read more: British Airways Visa Signature card review

    Flying first class is the most luxurious, and therefore most costly way to travel. But, thanks to Avios, it’s well within reach even with just 100,000 Avios. Redemption rates are grouped into two regions for the US. 

    From Boston, New York, Chicago, and Washington, DC, you can expect to pay 68,000 Avios (off-peak) and 80,000 Avios (peak) for a one-way first-class redemption across the Atlantic to London. 

    A little further south and west, first-class award flights from Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle cost slightly more at 85,000 Avios for off-peak and 100,000 for peak dates.

    Taxes and fees can still amount to several hundreds of dollars when redeeming through BA’s website. However, when considering that the average cost of a round-trip from San Francisco to London can be anywhere from $7,000 to $12,000, redeeming with Avios has the potential to save you thousands if you’d otherwise pay cash for a ticket.

    Read more: How to earn, redeem, and maximize British Airways Avios points

    Hot tip: I’d recommend finishing your trip to the UK in style by booking your return leg to the US in first class so you can make the most of the experience. This is because flights returning from Europe to the US are usually day flights, whereas those heading in the reverse direction are nearly always overnight flights where you’d likely miss out by sleeping.

    Premium cabins on other Oneworld airlines

    You’re not just limited to spending your 100,000 Avios with Aer Lingus, British Airways, or Iberia. Over two dozen partner airlines are available for redemptions, making Avios one of the most versatile airline currencies around. Within the group are carriers with some of the best business- and first-class cabins in the skies, including Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways, and Japan Airlines. 

    Below is a table showing the Avios redemption rates for other airlines when booked through British Airways. While 100,000 Avios isn’t quite enough for an international one-way in first class from the US, there are some great business-class options. 

    Flying from Los Angeles or San Diego to Tokyo with Japan Airlines would set you back 77,250 Avios for a one-way ticket in business class. First class is 103,000 Avios, which is a little more than the welcome bonus from the British Airways Visa Signature® Card, Iberia Visa Signature® Card, or Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card, but remember you’ll earn at least 5,000 Avios from meeting the minimum spending requirements on these cards. =

    Another great option would be Qatar Airways from New York-JFK to Doha — you’d get 14 hours in the airline’s famed QSuite for a very reasonable 108,250 Avios. Again, this is a touch more than our round number of 100,000, but definitely attainable.

    Travel around Australia and New Zealand 

    Hear me out with this one. 

    I know heading on a trip Down Under is looking out of the question for a good while given both Australia and New Zealand’s super strict COVID-19 era international travel policies. However, when planning a future trip, getting around using British Airways Avios is a great value to consider.

    Qantas is Australia’s national airline, which, like BA, is part of the Oneworld alliance, so you can redeem your Avios on Qantas flights.

    Here’s what you can expect to pay — and save — on a selection of routes around the continent.

    The key is to always double-check the cash cost of a flight and compare it to the value of the Avios plus tax option to make sure you’re getting the best deal. You might find that a mix of paying cash (which would also earn you Avios) and redeeming Avios would be your best option with a trip around Australia. 

    British Airways upgrades 

    Upgrading a cabin class with British Airways can often be a great use of Avios. The best times to do so are when there are really good cash fares in either World Traveller Plus (premium economy) or Club World (business class) and then using Avios to upgrade. 

    Working out the amount of Avios to upgrade is easy. Simply deduct the Avios amount for your original cabin class from the cabin class you’d like to upgrade to.

    Here’s an example: An off-peak World Traveller Plus (premium economy) ticket from the East Coast to London is 26,000 Avios. Subtract that from the 50,000 Avios that it would cost on the same flight but in Club World (business class) and you’ll get 24,000 Avios. That’s the amount you’d pay for an upgrade whether you paid in cash or points for your original ticket (plus the difference in taxes). 

    Read more: I flew business class for the first time on British Airways’ new A350, and the cocoon-like privacy impressed me far more than the food or the lounge

    Upgrading from a cash World Traveller Plus to Club World often gets you the most value. If you can find a round-trip fare from the East Coast to London in World Traveller Plus for around $800-$1,000 or less and then upgrade using Avios, you could save thousands on the cost of what a round-trip in business would be in cash.

    You can also do the same from Club World to First and from World Traveller (economy) to World Traveller Plus. Due to ridiculous fees, the latter will provide you with the least value and I wouldn’t recommend using your Avios to upgrade in this way.

    To upgrade you’ll need to check there’s availability in your preferred cabin through the BA website then call the airline to make the desired changes. 

    Business class to South America with American Airlines

    We can use the same redemption zone grid as above for flights to South America with American Airlines. 

    For example, a one-way business-class award flight with AA from Miami or New York to Rio de Janeiro, or from Dallas to Santiago, will set you back 77,250 Avios. 

    Remember, there will always be additional taxes and fees to pay on top of the Avios. This varies depending on airline and route, and should always be factored in when budgeting for a trip. 

    Other ways to earn Avios

    Regular APR

    15.99%-22.99% Variable

    Chevron iconIt indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • High sign-up bonus starts you off with lots of points
    • Strong travel coverage
    Cons
    • Doesn’t offer a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit
    • Best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
    • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
    • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward travel.
    • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
    • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
    • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
    • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.


    Read Our Review
    Read Our ReviewA looong arrow, pointing right

    British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus are all Chase Ultimate Rewards and Amex Membership Rewards transfer partners. This means you can convert the points you earn from cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express
    to Avios at a 1:1 ratio, which is especially helpful if you’re short on Avios for an award flight.

    Capital One recently added British Airways to its list of transfer partners, but the transfer ratio isn’t as good (2 Capital One miles to 1.5 British Airways Avios). You can also transfer Marriott Bonvoy points at a 3:1 ratio, with a 5,000-Avios bonus for every 60,000 points transferred. 

    Featured credit cards from our partners

    Featured Reward

    100,000 points

    Credit Needed

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    3 Free Nights (valued up to 50,000 points each) after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, plus 10x total points per $1 spent on up to $2,500 in combined purchases in select categories within your first 6 months

    Credit Needed

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    $200 after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening

    Credit Needed

    Good to Excellent

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