Today I’m sharing some of my favourite FAST ways to earn Avios points.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the programme, Avios points replaced the old AirMiles loyalty scheme. As a traveller, you can collect Avios Points and use them to pay for flights and upgrades, as well as using them towards things like hotel stays and car hire.
Before we start, we all know the best way to earn Avios faster is to open a credit card or bank account that pays Avios. I’m not going to do that. We are in economically uncertain times, and I want to avoid the temptation of more credit.
Where can you go with Avios?
Avios points can be used for more than just flights, of course. But it’s often the BEST way to use them. Here’s an idea of what flights you can buy with Avios:
- 4,500 Avios — a one way flight to European destinations like Berlin, Amsterdam or Copenhagen
- 10,000 Avios – a one way flight to destinations including Cairo, Gran Canaria or Kefalonia
- 16,000 Avios – upgrade your long haul flight from economy to premium economy to most destinations
- 25,000 Avios – upgrade your long haul flight from premium economy to business to long haul destinations
In the past, we’ve used Avios as part-payment for flights and for upgrades, saving ourselves thousands of pounds in travel costs. But without travelling regularly for the past two years, our Avios account is looking VERY sad and depleted.
Why I need FAST ways to earn Avios points
Next summer, I’m planning a BIG trip with my teen to celebrate the end of A-Levels. But after two years of pandemic living, I don’t have a BIG budget.
We’ll be reducing the cost of accommodation by about 90% by booking through a Home Exchange site. But we also want to cut the cost of our flights by using Avios.
Avios can be used to part-pay for flights, or to book free flights (you’ll still need to pay taxes).
In my case, I want to use points to upgrade my flight back to the UK. BA has flat beds in business class, and if I can sleep on a flight, then I feel a lot happier about driving home from London after we land.
To upgrade both of our flights home will take 48,000 Avios. We currently only have 25,000 Avios. This means I have two options. I can upgrade just my seat, and leave Flea in economy. Or I can set myself a mission of earning the 23,000 points we need before I book the flight tickets in January.
Being a good mother means earning an average 1,000 Avios per week for 26 weeks. Phew! That is FAST.
If you want to know to earn Avios points fast, you need to make sure you’re signed up to the BA Executive Club. Do link your account to your partners and children, so you can all earn and pool your points. I’m not proud so I’ve also asked my parents to pool their points with our household account.
We’ve had an Avios account since 2015, and it’s a household account. That means when we fly, Flea can earn Avios points, and share them with me, and I can use those points to book tickets and upgrades for us both. Children can’t otherwise earn or spend Avios points.
I just signed up to Nectar this week, and made sure to download the app to my phone. This means I get notifications of special offers when I’m shopping in-store somewhere, or buying my groceries online.
Five Ways to Collect Avios Points Fast
1 – Groceries
My first fast way to collect Avios points was to identify the money I *have* to spend, and how I can earn Avios from it. So… groceries.
Ordinarily I book online supermarket delivery from Asda, but switching to Sainsburys means that I can earn Nectar points. You can earn 1 Nectar point for every £1 you spend at Sainsburys and then convert your Nectar points to Avios at a rate of 400 Nectar points to 250 Avios. You can increase this further by using Sainsburys to fill up your car, or buying things like travel insurance through the retailer. Finally, if you download the Nectar app, you can get personalised offers of double points on certain products.
If you spend £100 per week at Sainsburys, you’ll earn 2600 Nectar points in six months. This is equivalent to around 1600 Avios.
2 – Petrol
Given the exorbitant amount of cash I spend on petrol these days, and considering buying a second car for Flea, it’s good to know that I can earn Avios points when buying fuel. There are two programmes I think you should be using if you want to earn Avios points fast:
The BPme app gives you one BP point for every litre of fuel you buy (it’s a little more for premium fuel) and for every £1 you spend in forecourt shops, including M&S purchases. If you buy the premium ACTIVE fuel, you’ll get double points. You’ll ALSO receive a bonus 250 points just for registering.
BPme points are worth around 60% of Avios points. You can convert 40 BPme points into 25 Avios.
But here’s a little tip. If you set up your BPme app to automatically convert to Avios each week, you earn bonus Avios points. This month, BA is offering 1200 Avios to customers who set up automatic conversion for the first time.
I probably buy around 60 litres of petrol a week. If I buy exclusively from BP, then this means I can earn 1500 BPme points in six months. This is equivalent to around 930 Avios points.
If BP isn’t convenient, then my fallback option is to use the loyalty app from Esso, which gives 1 Nectar point per litre of fuel, along with a point for every £1 spent on the forecourt. This can then be converted into Avios along with your other Nectar points at the usual 62% rate. Don’t forget Avios are always better earned direct, but Nectar is a useful fallback.
3 – Online Shopping
I don’t know about you, but I buy most of my shopping online these days.
BA has an e-shopping portal called the e-Store, that acts a lot like a cashback site. When you visit a retailers’ website by clicking a link on the e-Store, the retailer pays BA a small commission. And BA shares that commission with you, in the form of Avios.
You can earn Avios on travel sites like booking.com and hotels.com, department stores like Argos and John Lewis, clothing stores like ASOS, and even your Just Eat takeaway order. Actually there are close to 250 retailers where you can earn Avios on pretty much anything you can imagine.
My first tip for making the most of this earning potential is to ALWAYS look for special offers and rates and compare to get the best deal. For example, I found the same £60 drip coffee machine at Argos, Very and John Lewis. But while Argos pays 4 Avios per £1 and John Lewis pays 1 Avios per £1, this month, Very is paying up to 11 Avios per £1. NO BRAINER.
Second, it’s SO EASY to forget to click through the BA e-store, and just buy something when it’s in your head. So I printed off the retailer list and stuck it to my fridge. I’m hoping this means I’m less likely to forget to check the site when I’m online shopping.
Third, and most important: BA has a relatively new feature where you can link your credit and debit cards and even your PayPal account with your executive club account. This means if you buy from a partner retailer OFFLINE, your transaction will be tracked and rewarded, just as it would normally be via the e-Store with online purchases. You can earn points through PayPal and Apple Pay using this trick, too.
If you can’t earn Avios from an online purchase then your fallback option should be Nectar points, which you can earn from more than 300 different retailers. Always try for Avios first (they’re worth more). But Nectar does have a really handy browser extension that pops up every time you land on a site where you can earn points, making it hard to forget. Also, you get 100 bonus Nectar points for installing the browser toolbar.
4 – Surveys
There are a bunch of sites you can sign up for that will pay you Avios or Nectar points for taking surveys. Honestly, these are not a GREAT way to earn Avios points fast. Because you’ll probably only be accepted for a small proportion of surveys, and they pay between 20 and 100 points.
But… signing up for surveys is a little more lucrative.
Sign up for and complete one survey on the Avios Rewards for Thoughts website and you’ll earn 600 Avios. Meanwhile, Nectar offers 100 points if you sign up for its market research platform, Nectar Canvass, and the chance to be entered into a quarterly prize draw to win up to 100,000 points.
Basically I would suggest signing up for each platform and completing one survey, then moving on. You should receive any Nectar points 28 days later, while Avios research points are awarded instantly.
5 – eBay
Retailers really like you to link your account to your loyalty account because it means you’re way more likely to shop with them in future. So it is with eBay, which offers a range of incentives designed to persuade you to link your Nectar card and your eBay account. Currently, if you link your accounts, you’ll earn 200 bonus Nectar points.
Once linked, you will earn Nectar points every time you buy on eBay – you’ll earn 1 point per £1 spent up to 300 points per item. However, keep an eye on your Nectar and eBay accounts because a couple of times a year eBay runs a double and triple points promotion so you could earn 3 points per £1 spent.
What’s not to love?
Month One: How many Avios points did I earn?
By taking advantage of all of the offers above, I’ve managed to stack up a decent number of Avios points in my first month. Here’s how they added up:
- Shopping at Sainsbury’s — 450 Nectar points (250 Avios)
- Adding Chrome search bar — 100 Nectar points (66 Avios)
- Linked my eBay/Nectar — 200 Nectar points (130 Avios)
- Linked my Avios/Nectar – 1200 Avios
- Nectar surveys x 1 — 184 Nectar points (121 Avios)
- Avios surveys x 3 – 900 Avios including sign-up bonus
- Very shopping – 800 Avios (10 Avios per £1)
- The Range shopping – 120 Avios for buying holiday supplies online (5 Avios per £1)
- Gardening Direct – 760 Avios for buying garden compost online (10 avios per £1)
- Just Eat – 130 Avios for a family takeaway (1 avios per £1)
- Petrol – 950 avios
- H&M – 204 avios
In total, this month I’ve collected 5988 Avios Points towards my target of 24,000 points. Just 18 ,012 to go! The important thing is that I didn’t spend a penny more than I would have spent otherwise.
- Shopping through the BA e-store portal has been a big win – earning me just over 2,000 Avios in a month. My top tip here is to look for the retailer offering the BEST avios rate for the product you want to buy. Buying compost this month, I’d have earned 76 avios if I bought through B&Q but by choosing Gardening Direct, I earned 760 avios.
- The Avios for Thoughts programme is far more rewarding than the Nectar survey platform – for the odd 10 minutes here and there, I’ve managed to earn 900 avios in a month. If I can do that every month, that’s a big chunk of my target for very little effort.
- Buying petrol and groceries is also a good way to rack up avios. I’ve earned around 1400 avios this month through those purchase. The BPme app seems to regularly offer me ‘bonus’ BPme points for shopping on the forecourt, and you only need to spend £1 to qualify for a 150 point bonus. I got four of these offers this month, allowing me to bump up my total quite a bit.
What can I spend Avios points on?
Of course, not every week will include this many sign-up bonuses! I have a long way to go, but I think it’s an encouraging start. I definitely think you can earn Avios points fast if you have a little time to look for the right tricks and bonuses.
Having said that, you don’t need to have a big goal like mine to make collecting Avios worthwhile. My week’s total of 3,450 Avios points is only 800 points off the cost of an off-peak one way ticket to Amsterdam! I reckon with a month or two’s effort, you could easily earn the points to book a round trip ticket to a European destination.
If you have tips on boosting Avios points and earning Nectar points fast then I’d love to hear about them!