If you’ve been saving up your points and miles for a trip to the Emerald Isle, there’s good news: Getting there can be as cheap as a domestic award ticket.
In this edition of Sweet Spot Sunday, we’ll discuss how to redeem 13,000 Avios — plus $231 for taxes, fees and carrier-imposed surcharges — for a one-way economy ticket for off-peak travel between the eastern U.S. and Ireland.
Here’s what you need to know about this transatlantic award travel option.
Why it’s special
Redeeming 13,000 Avios for a one-way award ticket to Ireland is a bargain. Major programs like United MileagePlus and American Airlines AAdvantage usually charge over twice that amount for a one-way economy ticket to Europe.
Booking through British Airways offers a particularly good deal for flights to Ireland since there are no fuel surcharges. However, British Airways does add a carrier-imposed charge on these award tickets, which was as high as $200 for a one-way award in our most recent searches.
Thankfully, you can find off-peak dates through much of the year.
Here’s a look at how many Avios you’ll pay for the following off-peak flights from the U.S. to Ireland.
|Departure City||Route||Flight miles
*Despite the distance falling below 3,000 miles, these routes price as though they cover 3,000 miles or more.
How to book this award
After signing into your account, enter your desired criteria (if you haven’t already) and search. After declining the stopover option, you’ll find award flight options on the next screen. Be sure to look for the nonstop flights operated by Aer Lingus.
From there, booking your flight is straightforward.
As always, we recommend paying the taxes and fees with one of the best cards for airfare purchases. Doing so will let you earn bonus rewards on your purchase and may also provide travel protections for your flight, such as trip delay reimbursement and delayed baggage protection.
How to earn Avios for this award
If you don’t have enough British Airways Avios to book this award, you can transfer earnings from American Express Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One and Chase Ultimate Rewards at a 1:1 ratio. You can also transfer Marriott Bonvoy points at a 3:1 ratio, with a 5,000 Avios bonus awarded for every 60,000 Marriott points you transfer.
Additionally, you can move Avios from other programs that use Avios to British Airways Executive Club, if needed. Since you can transfer Citi ThankYou points to Qatar Airways Privilege Club — and Qatar Airways also uses Avios as its award currency — you can also effectively get British Airways Avios if you have Citi ThankYou points.
If you need to earn more Avios for future redemptions, consider adding one or more cards that earn transferrable rewards to your wallet. Popular options include the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, The Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express® Gold Card.
You could also apply for the British Airways Visa Signature Card, the Aer Lingus Visa Signature Card or the Iberia Visa Signature Card, all of which currently offer 75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.
While British Airways Avios can be tricky to use due to their added fees when transiting through London, there are still valuable redemption options.
The award option discussed in this story can be appealing if Ireland is on your travel bucket list, you can travel on off-peak dates that have award availability and you aren’t deterred by the carrier-imposed charge.
Additional reporting by Kyle Olsen.