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If you’ve been following our Monday posts on how to fly for less, you’ll see that we mention searching for American partner awards like Cathay Pacific or Japan Airlines on British Airways’ site fairly regularly. American website only search for a few partners while British Airway’s site include all the Oneworld Alliance availability for online searches.
It’s so easy to use and it provides a great snapshot of award availability across many carriers. We’ve seen a fair share of questions on how to best use British Airways to search for awards and this will help answer some of those questions.
Go to British Airways. Select your country and language then sign up for a free account. After logging in you’ll see this welcome page (give or take a few miles).
On the dropdown make sure you select “Book with Avios” before you enter the rest of your requested itinerary.
Here we’re searching for one of our favorite uses — an intra-Japan reward flight. As you can see it’ll cost 4,500 Avios for a one way award in economy on Japan Airlines from Tokyo-Haneda to Sapporo-Chitose.
There are several options on how you want to pay for this. If you want to book with Avios, you can book this directly on the site. If you don’t have enough points, you can transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards (250 MR points : 200 Avios) or Chase Ultimate Rewards (1:1). Or, you can call up American Airlines and book with your AAdvantage points. We love the flexibility with Avios and the transfer partners.
Here are a few credit cards that we like that can help pad your Avios balances:
Amex Everyday Card
- Earn 2 points per dollar spent at US supermarkets; 1 point per dollar spent elsewhere
- 20% extra on points earned if you use the card 20 times or more in a month
- No annual fee
British Airways Visa Signature
- Earn 3 Avios per dollar spent on British Airways purchases; 1 Avios per dollar spent elsewhere
- No foreign transaction fees
- $95 annual fee
Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Earn 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining; 1 point per dollar spent elsewhere
- 25% more value when redeeming points through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- No foreign transaction fees
- $95 annual fee, waived in the first year
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