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The natural inclination when redeeming Avios for travel is, rather obviously, to use it for flights. However, there are a number of other travel options available to the Avios collector including ferries, cruises and Eurostar.
As an added incentive, if you use your Avios to buy a Eurostar ticket between now and 15 August 2016, you will receive a 20% discount on the number of Avios required for the journey.
The 20% discount applies to trips to Paris, Lille and Brussels in both Standard and Standard Premier classes, and you need to travel between 1 September and 30 November 2016.
Is this a good deal?
First of all, the 20% off Avios required makes it a 20% better deal than it ordinarily is!
The value you get for your Avios will depend on the ticket you get. Tickets to Paris, Lille and Brussels start at 10,000 Avios return, so 8,000 Avios in the sale. Taking Paris as an example, that’s not bad at all when compared to the cash price (which I was struggling to find for much lower than £90 in September, for example).
However, the Avios pricing on Eurostar works in such a way that when the cheap cash tickets are available, so too are the lower Avios redemption rates of 10k (8k in the sale). As such, when the fares are more expensive, expect to pay substantially more Avios (Paris can be as high as 58,000 Avios return in Standard, but apparently averages at 14,714 Avios – Brussels and Lille average at 12,217 and 13.750 Avios return respectively).
Avios prices in Standard Premier start at 20,000 Avios return to all three destinations.
In short, if you’re planning to use the Eurostar to Paris Lille and Brussels between 1 September and 30 November 2016, then I would have a look at the cash prices available and then check with Avios what the Avios rate would be. You can then make an informed choice as to what is better value. Of course if you’re sitting on a huge stash of Avios, this could be quite an attractive option, particularly given the 20% discount.
To book Avios using Eurostar, note that you need to call them on 0844 49 333 99 to do so.
A small additional bonus is that you will also get 25% off one visit to the Champagne Bar or St Pancras Grand Restaurant per Eurostar booking made through Avios. You just need to show your Avios travel documents to benefit.