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One of my favorite uses for British Airways Avios is booking domestic American Airlines award flights. When possible, booking with Avios instead of AAdvantage miles can save you miles and money.
What’s the Advantage of Doing This?
American Airlines and British Airways are both part of the oneworld alliance, which means they have access to each other’s award flight availability and you can book flights with each other’s miles or points. Most of the time when American Airlines has “MileSAAver” availability you can book the same award flight on ba.com using Avios. Also, if your booking is within 21 days, you don’t have to pay the $75 late booking fee!
Booking a Flight with Avios
Step 1: Search for an Award Seat
Head over to aa.com and complete your search by entering your destination and preferred travel dates. Make sure to check the “Redeem Miles” Box.
STEP 2: Look For “MileSAAver” Availability
Check your preferred dates for MileSAAver availability. If your preferred dates are not available, but your travel dates are flexible try surrounding dates.
STEP 3: Go to British Airways Website and Input Travel Information
You must have an Avios account to search for availability on ba.com, either sign in with your credentials or sign up here. Once you are logged in, click “Spend Avios“, then click book a reward flight and enter your preferred travel information that has MileSAAver availability.
STEP 4: Select Flights and Proceed with Booking
Select the specific flights you would like to fly and proceed with the booking.
Booking this sample flight with American Airlines would cost you 25,000 miles + $11.20, whereas booking the flight with British Airways would cost you 15,000 Avios and the same $11.20.
Using British Airways Avios would have saved you 10,000 miles! This is easily worth the extra 5 minutes.
Don’t have Avios? How to Earn More Miles and Points!
If you need more Avios or AAdvantage Miles, consider applying for a new credit card.
With the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card, you can earn 50,000 American AAdvantage miles after spending $5,000 within the first three months. Besides the bonus, you also get full access to American Airlines Admirals Clubs, one free checked bag, and a $100 statement credit towards Global Entry or TSA Precheck.
With the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can earn 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within the first three months. Ultimate Rewards transfer to British Airways at a 1:1 ratio and you can get great value out of UR points when transferring to British Airways.
For a limited time with the Business Platinum American Express card, you can earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points after spending a total of $15,000 within the first three months of card membership. You earn 50,000 points after spending $5,000 and an additional 50,000 points after spending another $10,000.
If you’d like to apply for any of these cards, we appreciate it when you use our referral links for Travel Rewards Credit Cards.
The Bald Thoughts
Booking American Airlines flights with Avios is super simple! It is worth checking out both the American Airlines and British Airways website before completing a booking, spending an extra five minutes can save you thousands of miles. Situations like this is why we recommend having points and miles in both programs, as you can’t combine (or transfer between) Avios and AAdvantage miles.
The fastest way to complete the process is to check for MileSAAver availability on aa.com and then make your way over to ba.com to finish the booking.
Does anyone else book American Airlines flights using Avios?