There is currently a promotion that awards a 30% bonus when RBC Avion cardholders convert at least 10,000 RBC Rewards points to British Airways Avios points until July 31. These points can be used to book flights with airline partners of British Airways. From Halifax, that means you can use them for flights on American Airlines. Here are a few AA flight redemption examples along with a couple of ways you can earn some additional Avios points.
The number of Avios required is based on the distance of each segment. The fewest number of points required for flights to, from or within the United States is 7500 one-way. The American Airlines flight Halifax to Philadelphia fits in this category so it’s 15,000 points for a return trip. First check the American Airlines website to see AAdvantage Award availability at the “Economy MileSAAver” level. Unlike the British Airways site, it has a “Dates Flexible” feature and the availability seems to line up at least part of the time. (Warning: award availability is not great). Then do your search on the British Airways website. Here are a few examples of flights available along with the Avios and cash fare on those dates:
Halifax to Philadelphia 15,000 + $65 (Nov. 22-26, $630)
Halifax to Orlando 30,000 + $73 (Jan. 14-22, $484)
Halifax to Charleston 30,000 + $73 (Jan. 9-16, $460)
Halifax to Phoenix 40,000 + $73 (Jan. 7-16, $629)
If you book a one-way flight from the U.S. to Halifax you will notice very low taxes & fees. For example:
Philadelphia to Halifax 7500 + $7 (Oct. 5, $356)
Orlando to Halifax 15,000 + $7 (Mar. 29, $275)
If you don’t have quite enough Avios points to book a flight they also offer a part payment option. Otherwise, here are a few ways you can acquire some additional points:
Join e-Rewards and do some surveys to earn e-Rewards dollars and redeem them for Avios. Invitation e-mails to join e-Rewards are occasionally sent out by loyalty programs along with sign-up bonus offers. However, you can also find sign-up links on the internet by doing a search. One thing to remember, if you sign-up through a hotel program you might only be able to redeem your e-Rewards dollars for that hotel program. For example, I signed up through an IHG link. I can redeem my e-Rewards dollars for various types of airline miles, including Avios, but if it’s hotel points I want, I must choose IHG. So, if you want some flexibility for redeeming for hotel points, sign-up through an airline link. The Avios sign-up link mentions earning “Opinion Points” instead of “Dollars” so I believe that may be a UK version. However, e-Rewards dollars may be redeemed for Iberia Plus Avios which may be transferred to British Airways Avios. (BA and Iberia Plus accounts must be at least 90 days old)
When you collect hotel points there is usually an option to collect airline frequent flyer miles instead. You just need to change the settings in your account. But, if you need a larger number of miles and have a hotel stay coming up there is another way. Book through a site like Rocketmiles, Kaligo or Pointshound. Rocketmiles has a frequently recurring promotion where you can earn 3000 bonus miles of your choice on your first booking. For example, if you want to book a stay at the Alt Hotel at the Halifax Airport, make your booking through the promotion link and you’d earn 1000 + 3000 Avios. (On the random date I checked, the rate on Rocketmiles was the same as the hotel’s own booking site and third party sites like Expedia, but always check to make sure)
If you’d like to read the Economist for a year, sign up before Aug. 31 through this promotion and get 13,200 Avios for $190 CAD + HST. These points are deposited in an Iberia Plus account but they can later be transferred to your British Airways Avios account.
So, if you’re an RBC Avion cardholder you might want to consider a conversion to Avios during this promotion if you think it might work for you.