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One of the most popular destinations to fly using Avios Points is New York, the Big Apple. With Broadway, Central Park, the Empire State Building, and boutique shopping along 5th Avenue, there is simply no city like it. Although Avios Points to New York can change year on year, we have updated this guide for 2022 to show the very latest Avios Points required.
It is possible to redeem Avios Points to New York in standard Economy, Premium Economy, Business Class, and First, so the Avios needed differs depending on the cabin you wish to fly, or of course how many Avios Points you have.
26,000 Avios Points are required to fly to New York and return in Economy. 52,000 Avios Points are required to fly for Premium Economy. 100,000 Avios Points are required to fly in Business Class and 126,000 Avios Points are needed for First. These Avios rates are based on flying during off-peak season.
There is an average 20% – 35% increase in Avios needed to fly during peak season. Unfortunately, when making any Avios redemption booking, this only covers the cost of the flight. The taxes and airport fees are still payable. The best and most valuable use of Avios is to fly Business or First.
In this article we will look at all costs involved when booking an Avios Point flight to New York in all cabins, how to find the best seats available, the Avios required flying both peak and off-peak and how to make your Avios go further.
Avios Points Needed to Fly New York in Economy
It’s possible to fly return to New York from just 26,000 Avios Points. Considering this is almost the equivalent number of Avios Points as the welcome bonus on the premium Avios Amex and Avios Barclaycard credit cards (considering the minimum £3,000 spent in 90 days is met) this is a relatively easy amount for Avios to collect.
If you want to fly return to New York during peak time the cost will increase by 55% to 40,000 Avios, so it is certainly worthwhile to fly off-peak if possible as your Avios Points will have more value. Unfortunately, a lot of the cost of a standard economy seat is made up of taxes and fees, which are still payable despite using Avios Points.
Here is an example of an off-peak return flight in September using Avios including fees and the standard price, and also a peak time comparison in October:
|Cabin Class||Season||Standard Fare||Avios plus Fees|
|Economy||Off-Peak||£478.26||26,000 + £100.00|
|Economy||Peak||£983.26||40,000 + £100.00|
As the taxes and fees make up 21% of the overall off-peak price, it means each Avios Point is worth 1.4p. This represents a very good value per Avios Point! On the other hand, flying in Premium Economy using Avios actually costs more per Avios in terms of relative worth.
Avios Points Needed to Fly to New York in Premium Economy
A larger seat, bigger seat pitch, separate intimate cabin, and better food can be very welcome during a long 7 to 8-hour flight to New York. Seats in Premium Economy to New York can be purchased from 52,000 Avios Points return if you fly off-peak.
Although this increases by 55% to 80,000 Avios Points if you need to fly during peak time. To collect this number of Avios you will likely have taken out one of the Avios premium credit cards, plus fly often or use the BA Shopping Portal to make regular purchases.
If you travel on business and can book your own hotel rooms, booking with Hotels .com, Booking .com or major hotel chains can significantly boost your Avios. Staying one night in a hotel every two weeks at an average cost of £100 per night can earn you 50,000 Avios in a single year!
Here is an example of the same flights we looked at with the economy example with an off-peak return flight in September using Avios including fees and the standard price, and also a peak time comparison in October:
|Cabin Class||Season||Standard Fare||Avios plus Fees|
|Premium Economy||Off-Peak||£745.26||52,000 + £534.38|
|Premium Economy||Peak||£1,214.26||80,000 + £534.38|
Here we see taxes and fees make up 71% of the overall off-peak fare price, so your Avios are worth 0.4p each, and a significant decrease in value than redeeming in the economy. Flying Business Class (Club World) can see much higher Avios value returns.
Avios Points Needed to Fly to New York in Business Class
Flying Business Class is a real treat. A lay flat bed, use of the BA Airport Lounges before and after you fly, dedicated check-in, fast track through security, and much better food and drink choices on board. What’s not to love. Return flights to New York in Business Class start from 100,000 Avios Points when flying off-peak.
This redemption rate increases by 20% when flying peak time, which is a significantly smaller percentage increase than when redeeming for a peak flight in the economy or premium economy classes. It is possible to collect 100,000 Avios Points in a single year. Our How to Collect 100,000 Avios Points guide explains how!
Using the same off-peak and peak time return flights we used in the economy and premium economy examples, here is how many Avios Points are needed and the fees compared to a standard fare price:
|Cabin Class||Season||Standard Fare||Avios plus Fees|
|Business||Off-Peak||£2,026.26||100,000 + £844.38|
|Business||Peak||£3,758.26||120,000 + £844.38|
With taxes and fees accounting for a smaller percentage of the overall off-peak fare price compared to Premium Economy it means each of your Avios Points are worth more at 1.1p each. The biggest reward redemption and overall savings are made flying First.
Avios Points Needed to Fly to New York in First
Flying British Airways First to New York is almost considered the pinnacle of flying, and the most sought-after flight. One of the most exclusive and luxurious experiences in the sky. First is notoriously expensive and incredibly difficult to get into using Avios Points as only one or two seats per flight are made available for Avios redemption, and so these usually go quickly.
Fortunately, as British Airways fly to New York so often there is usually a better chance of grabbing a First flight using Avios to New York than almost any other destination on the BA route map. You will need a minimum of 126,000 for a return flight to New York in First during an off-peak flight, which increases by 25% to 160,000 Avios when flying peak time.
We will again use the same off-peak and peak flights we used as examples in the previous cabins, and compare Avios redemption plus fee rate versus the standard fare price:
|Cabin||Season||Standard Fare||Avios plus Fees|
|First||Off-Peak||£3,981.26||126,000 + £844.38|
|First||Peak||£4,581.26||160,000 + £844.38|
As taxes and fees make up just 21% of the overall off-peak purchase price, and with the much higher standard fare, it by far gives the most value from each Avios Point in your account than all the other classes at 2.4p per Avios.
Upgrade to Business Class to New York for Free
If 100,000 Avios Points seems an almost impossible up-hill task, there are ways to get into Business Class without having to collect so many Avios or pay full fare. Some are free, and some will incur a fee, but all will get you into British Airways Business Class when flying to New York for cheaper than the standard fare.
Cabin Upgrade Voucher
There are now two main ways of collecting a free cabin upgrade voucher. These upgrade vouchers allow one person to upgrade both outbound and inbound flights to the next cabin class or allow two people a one-way upgrade to the next cabin class.
It is worth noting there are some caveats when using the cabin upgrade vouchers. Cabin upgrade vouchers can only be redeemed during the booking of the flight, not after, and only when the original booking is made with Avios.
Cash bookings are not eligible to use the voucher. Also, it’s not possible to upgrade from Business Class to First using the vouchers. Upgrades are possible though between economy to premium economy and premium economy into business class.
The ways of collecting a cabin upgrade voucher are:
- Barclays Premier Bank Account with Avios Rewards
- Barclaycard Avios Plus credit card and minimum spend of £10,000 in a 12-month period
Barclays Premier Bank Account
To be eligible to open a Barclays Premier Bank Account you will need an income of £75,000 or more, and the additional Avios Rewards comes at a further £12 per month cost. The £12 per month charge gives rewards of 18,000 Avios per year, as well as a BA cabin, upgrade every 12 months the account is active.
Barclaycard Avios Plus Credit Card
This recently launched credit card, which competes with the BA Amex Premium credit card, has a BA cabin upgrade voucher reward if £10,000 is spent on the card within 12 months of opening. Each year additional cabin upgrade vouchers can be collected if the £10,000 minimum amount is spent.
There is a £12 per month fee to earn this reward.
2 for 1 Companion Flight Voucher
The BA Amex Premium Credit Card comes with a reward, just as the Barclaycard Avios Plus credit card does, but the BA Amex card provides a 2-for-1 Companion Flight Voucher. This doesn’t sound like a free upgrade, but I recently found on a recent booking using the 2-for-1 companion voucher that two people were able to fly Business Class return for the same price as two people flying standard economy!
There is an eye-watering £250 annual fee for having the BA Amex Premium Credit Card, but if this allows two people to fly for the price of one in all cabin classes, this can represent significantly good value! Like most upgrades with British Airways though, there are many terms and conditions to navigate and caveats to watch out for.
The 2-for-1 companion voucher can only be redeemed if the flight booking is made using Avios Points. It’s not possible to use the voucher with a cash booking. The thing I do like with this voucher is that it’s possible to use in First, which is usually exempt from many cabin upgrades and special offers.
How Many Avios Points for a Flight to New York – The Insider’s Notes
New York is an amazing city to visit, full of quirky charm and so many famous locations to visit. With so many BA flights to New York per day, it keeps New York one of the easiest and most available destinations to redeem Avios Points on.
The lowest number of Avios required for a return flight is 26,000 for economy off-peak, up to 160,000 Avios for First during peak time. Taxes and fees are payable in cash on each cabin class redemption, although the percentage of the taxes and fee charges against the standard fare price is significantly lower the higher the cabin flown.
It’s possible to use a cabin upgrade voucher to upgrade to Business Class for free, but the right bank account or credit card is required.