It’s been well over a year since I took a look at one of the best, but often-ignored perks of British Airways Gold status – Gold Priority Rewards.
A Gold Priority Reward allows a BA Gold member to book an Avios ticket on any BA flight – irrespective of whether there are Avios seats available – by paying double the amount of miles.
If you don’t have BA Gold status there’s no need to click away. Gold members can book Gold Priority Rewards flights for other people through their account. If you have a family member/colleague/friend with BA Gold status, you can still make excellent use of this feature.
Plus, BA is currently trialling something similar – available to all Executive Club members – which also allows you to redeem Avios at a premium, although it is more restrictive.
When are Gold Priority Reward bookings worth it?
If used cleverly, a Gold Priority Reward booking can save you huge money. Here are some examples of when booking one is a good idea.
Popular destinations/peak travel periods
Santorini is a pretty popular destination, especially in the summer months. With limited alternatives for direct flights from the UK, BA flights can get very pricey.
Here’s the price for a long weekend in June 2020:
Alternatively, Santorini is priced at 17,000 Avios return (off-peak). So a double Avioss booking would cost 34,000 Avios.
Worst case, even if you bought those Avios at ~1.1p each in one of BA’s 50% off Avios sales, you’d still save £125+ per ticket.
Peak event pricing
The Monaco Grand Prix is a prime example of this. Race weekend tends to do silly things to flight prices from the UK and 2020 looks to be no exception.
Here’s the current cost of direct flights flying out on Saturday afternoon and returning after the race on Sunday.
Alternatively, Nice costs 9,000 Avios return during peak times or 18,000 Avios if paying double Avios. Based on the cash price above, a Gold Priority Reward booking would give you more than 5p of value per Avios – superb!
Again, even if you bought the Avios in a BA Avios sale at 1.1p each, you’d still be making an enormous saving.
How to book a Gold Priority Reward?
Gold Priority Reward bookings must be made at least 30 days in advance.
They cannot be booked online and must be made on the phone via the BA service centre.
You can find a list of contact numbers on this page.
Other things to bear in mind:
- To book a Gold Priority Reward, the flight you’re after must still have (cash) seats for sale in the desired cabin of travel.
- They can’t be used in conjunction with Avios & Money, Gold Upgrade for Two or American Express 2-4-1 companion vouchers.
- You can only book a Gold Priority Reward on BA flights (excluding, in most cases, London CityFlyer services).
There are no cancellation/change fees for Gold Priority Rewards.
This is a key benefit. It means you can lock in a double Avios booking, and monitor to see whether standard availability opens up. If it does, simply cancel your existing double Avios ticket and rebook at the normal price – at no additional cost.
All in all, Gold Priority Rewards are a pretty underestimated benefit of BA Gold status. The best value will be utilising them on expensive, short-haul flights.
Long-haul flights, especially in a premium cabin are a different story. Unless you would otherwise stump up the cash price, paying double Avios for longer flights often makes less sense. What’s certain is that the ability to redeem Avios, even at a premium, is a definite plus.
Don’t overlook this method because you don’t have BA Gold status – remember, a BA Gold member can use their account to make bookings for others.