How to use my Avios - ex-UK to South America

Discussion in 'British Airways | Executive Club' started by cinereus, Sep 8, 2019.

  1. cinereus

    cinereus Member

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    I stupidly put most of my Amex points in Avios so now I can't redeem them for anything actually useful.

    I currently have 40k in Amex and 40k between Iberia and BA.

    I'm going to LIM or EZE for 2-3 months over winter and the next big trip probably won't be until NYE 2020.

    The issue is there's no good value way to redeem for these flights if I want to and I can't get it back out of Avios to spend on something better value like Amazon.

    Looking at flights I can get a return on Norwegian for £500-£600. Whereas it's obviously no go out of UK using Avios. I prefer to go to Argentina cos of the low peso but one advantage of doing Peru is that I'd have to connect anyway so I can try to redeem on ex-MAD flights.

    But that's still really bad value. e.g. MAD-LIM is £89 plus 35k points and 62k points for business. That 30k points would be worth £150 at Amazon and there's no way the perks of Business class over Economy are close to being worth £150 even on a 12h flight.

    I've looked at wine and car rental too and the £/Avios is atrocious, much worse than the already shitty Amazon rate. How else can I use these Avios?
     
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  2. CraigS

    CraigS Member

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    Have you checked award space on Iberia Plus to fly on Iberia? A one-way in Business Class on an off-peak date should cost you 42,500 Avios for Madrid to Lima or 51,000 Avios for Madrid to Buenos Aires / Santiago / Montevideo.

    You could pay for a one-way on Norwegian or Level and use miles for a one-way in Business Class...
     
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  3. JoeD

    JoeD Well-Known Member

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    It might be worth looking at redeeming Avios in South America on LATAM, if you fancy doing a bit of travelling once over there.

    Alternatively, I would give serious consideration to flying Business one-way (whichever works out cheapest overall, or has the less comfortable timing). £150 in Amazon credit is nice, but effectively paying less than £15 per hour for better food/drink and (crucially) the ability to lie down on a long flight, will feel like an absolute bargain after 8+ hours in Economy.
     
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  4. cinereus

    cinereus Member

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    Of course.

    MAD-LIM:

    35000 + £89 Economy
    43750 + £89 Premium Economy
    62500 + £98 Business

    MAD-EZE:

    30000 + £77 Economy
    42000 + £77 Premium Economy
    75000 + £86 Business

    MAD-MVD:

    25500 + £77 Economy
    33250 + £77 Premium Economy
    51000 + £86 Business

    These were the prices for available dates. Now even if EZE and SCL were the same price as MVD, that's still 51k points. Plugging into my OP:

    That was my point. It's still the case even if I only have to go via EU in one direction.
     
  5. cinereus

    cinereus Member

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    Thanks. I think this will be my best bet. In general in SA I prefer to travel by bus but it might be worth flying to Ushuaia.

    I guess that's where we don't agree at all. I don't mind Economy at all. I just pop a valium and watch movies or nap. I can also get myself a decent bottle of scotch and a few meals of far superior quality food to bring with my for about £50. Which leaves me £100 to go hit up some of the best restaurants in the world.

    Give me £100 at Maido or Boroago over this any day of the week:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. CraigS

    CraigS Member

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    You are looking at mostly peak dates, which is why it appears so expensive (except MVD)...

    To be frank, if you truly prefer Economy in order to have more money to spend on the ground, then you will never find decent value from miles, and should simply be spending on a cashback credit card...
     
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  7. JoeD

    JoeD Well-Known Member

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    Haha, yeah fair point on food in the air (with a few, usually First Class, exceptions). I do find fast-track, lounge access, better service, better booze, and a lie down well worth it on long flights though. That said, I wouldn't spend thousands, but an extra few hundred return definitely.

    As Craig suggested, have you had a look at the cashback credit cards? I get 0.5% on my (free) MBNA cashback card, and the Amex cashback cards offer up to 1.25% (depending on how much you spend and whether you pay £25 fee or not).
     
  8. cinereus

    cinereus Member

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    Any luck linking MBNA to Curve and just cycling? PM if necessary.
     
  9. cinereus

    cinereus Member

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    The one exception I'm looking at for the mo is ANA to Tokyo. I have a few months to hit the 120k points which, if some of my MS discoveries work, should be doable. Just a shame about availability from UK again, will probably have to position to go ex-EU (maybe worth it for saving taxes and getting better departure lounges anyway ).
     
  10. JoeD

    JoeD Well-Known Member

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    I think MBNA stopped working, but haven't tried it personally in a long time so could well be wrong
     
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  11. JoeD

    JoeD Well-Known Member

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    ~40k a month in MS is impressive. If you're looking at doing it primarily via Curve, remember they do impose monthly limits. I'd love to hear more though about what you've got in mind - as you say, PM is probably best.
     
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  12. cinereus

    cinereus Member

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    New Curve limits are £1.45m/year so should be doable...
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
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  13. JoeD

    JoeD Well-Known Member

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    Any idea what the new monthly limit is? And is that 'standard' limit, or do you need to request it?
     
  14. cinereus

    cinereus Member

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    You have to request. I think it will take at least a couple of bumps to get to £1.4m.

    Give the starting limits are £5k/month and £10kpa I think you'd have about £700k/m on top limits.
     
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