8   +   9   =  

File this under: extremely helpful.

There are a few ways to book British Airways flights using points, which you assuredly already know about. The most common: British Airways Avios points. But there’s another option which will save you both miles and cash, compared to using any of the most common points and miles programs. Worried you might not have the points you’ll need? Fear not. You can use your Amex, Citi or SPG points to create these magic points instantly, making it a program worth knowing about…

No Avios

If you have a British Airways American Express card, this trick is no good to you, unless you have  a non airline Amex too. If however you have an Amex Green, Gold or Platinum card – you’re good to go. A Citi ThankYou card will also work and so will SPG points. Basically, you need transferrable points which can be instantly converted into AsiaMiles. We’ll explain.

AsiaMiles

Cathay Pacific launched AsiaMiles over the last few years. The loyalty program can be used to book flights on British Airways, American, Qantas, Cathay, Qatar and more. But if you specifically want to use it for British Airways, you’ll require fewer miles and less cash to book the exact same flights, as you would using the British Airways Executive Club or Avios.

Example

AsiaMiles charges 45,000 points for a one way business class flight with a distance up to 5,000 actual miles. London to New York (or vice versa) is about 3,457 miles – for reference. That’s instantly 5,000 points less than British Airways charges for the same route off peak. On top of that, AsiaMiles charges $2065 HKD, which equates to $250 or £185 from JFK to LHR. British Airways charges £362 or $512 for the same flight! That’s up to a $250 cash savings.

Another Example

Let’s take London to Mumbai. British Airways charges 75,000 Avios and £360 during peak season for a one way business class ticket. AsiaMiles charges 45,000 miles and slightly less cash for the same exact ticket, on the same exact dates. That’s a savings of 30,000 miles per person, each way. It’s nearly as good as a British Airways 2 for 1 Amex voucher!

Making It Work

Holding transferrable points, rather than points tied to just one airline is the best way forward. By holding Amex points you reserve the right to transfer them to more than 15 different airlines, without having to worry about devaluation. One airline may have the best rates for one trip, while another completely separate program may have the best rates for another. If you’re in the UK, this credit card combination would yield perfect results. If you’re in the US – Citi Prestige and Amex Platinum would be a brutally good combination.

Booking With AsiaMiles

If you’ve got AsiaMiles, Amex Points, Citi Points or SPG Points you’re pretty much ready to roll. You just need to create a free AsiaMiles account. Once you have, you can search all Cathay Pacific flights and other partners using points as well – for routes all over the world. Find some availability in the cabin you’d like to book and then immediately transfer your points over from one of the sources above to book your flights. Brilliant stuff, indeed!

Thanks to MonkeyMiles for reminding us how valuable this route is in their post this week.