Sweet Spot Sunday: US to Ireland from 13,000 Avios each way

On July 19, 2021, Ireland is reopening to international tourists, including Americans. This is exciting news to everyone who has wanted to travel to Ireland this year. If you’ve been saving up your points and miles, I’ve got some fantastic news for you because getting there can be as cheap as a domestic award ticket.

You read that right. Today, I’ll cover how you can book a one-way economy class ticket for off-peak travel using just 13,000 British Airways Avios each way if you’re traveling from the East Coast. West Coast flights are also a solid deal and if you want to travel during peak dates, awards start at just 20,000 Avios each way.

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Departure City Route

Flight miles

(one-way)

Off-peak rate

(economy)

Boston BOS-SNN 2,895* 13,000*
Boston BOS-DUB 2,993* 13,000*
Hartford BDL-DUB 3,078 13,000
New York JFK-SNN 3,095 13,000
New York JFK-DUB 3,179 13,000
Newark EWR-DUB 3,193 13,000
Philadelphia PHL-DUB 3,272 13,000
Toronto YYZ-DUB 3,279 13,000
Washington, DC IAD-DUB 3,404 13,000
Chicago ORD-DUB 3,674 13,000
Minneapolis MSP-DUB 3,735 13,000
Orlando MCO-DUB 4,072 16,250
Miami MIA-DUB 4,165 16,250
Seattle SEA-DUB 4,540 16,250
San Francisco SFO-DUB 5,098 16,250
Los Angeles LAX-DUB 5,181 16,250

*Despite the distance falling below 3,000 miles, Aer Lingus prices these routes as though they cover 3,000+ miles

In This Post

Why it’s special

Redeeming 13,000 Avios for a one-way award ticket to Ireland is a major bargain, considering most reward programs will charge that much for a one-way domestic award ticket. Flights to Europe cost 30,000 miles each way with most programs.

You can book off-peak awards through American AAdvantage for 22,500 miles each way and Flying Blue lets you book one-way economy tickets to Istanbul for as low as 21,5000 miles.

While those are all incredible deals that I’ve personally taken advantage of when I had a large stash of AA and Flying Blue miles saved up, these 13,000-Avios awards are an even better deal. Especially when you consider that they apply to direct flights and don’t incur fuel surcharges.

Related: How to fly round-trip to Europe in business class for 88,000 miles

How to book this award

British Airways used to make it easy to book this sweet spot award online. However, you can’t find award availability online anymore. Nowadays, you have to find award availability through United.com (United is an Aer Lingus partner), then call British Airways to book the award. Here’s a step-by-step look at how to book a 13,000-Avios sweet spot award using Avios:

Step 1: Go to United.com

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UP NEXT

Head over to United.com and type in your travel information. Make sure you check off “Book with miles.”

Step 2: Find a nonstop Aer Lingus flight

On the search results page, you’ll want to look for saver-level nonstop awards on Aer Lingus. Make note of the flight number.

Step 3: Call British Airways

When you have your flight picked out, call British Airways at 1-800-452-1201. You’ll need your Executive Club membership number on hand. To minimize time on the phone, give the rep your preferred flight number along with your travel dates and routes. This will make it easier for them to narrow down the options and quickly book the flight you need.

Step 4: Confirm and pay

Once the rep reads back your itinerary and it sounds correct, go ahead and confirm your booking and pay using a card that pays you extra points on flight bookings. Here’s a round-up of the best options:

  • The Platinum Card® from American Express: 5x on flights purchased directly from the airline or through Amex Travel (on up to $500,000 per calendar year). Terms apply.
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve: 3x on travel (excluding the $300 travel credit), including flights.
  • Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card: 3x on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases each account anniversary year across the categories of travel (including flights); shipping purchases; internet, cable and phone services; and advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines.
  • American Express® Gold Card: 3x on flights purchased directly from the airline or through Amex Travel.
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: 2x on travel, including flights.

When you hang up, make sure to check your email for a confirmation and ensure that all the information is correct: Your destination, cabin class and flight. People make errors and it’s best to catch them within a 24-hour window so you can easily fix them.

Related: Fly from the US to Europe, North Africa from 21,500 miles each way

How to earn points for this award

If you don’t have enough Avios for this award, you can transfer them from four different programs. Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy

Amex Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer to Avios at a 1:1 ratio, Capital One transfers 2:1.5 and Marriott Bonvoy points transfer 3:1. You’ll get a 5,000-Avios bonus for every 60,000 Bonvoy points transferred, so 60,000 Marriott points equal 25,000 Avios.

Another way to earn British Airways Avios is to apply for a new credit card. The British Airways Visa Signature® Card currently offers 100,000 bonus Avios after you spend $5,000 within the first three months from account opening. With this bonus, you could book upwards of four round-trip awards between the East Coast and Ireland.

Related: How I earned 20,000+ Avios in the last year without flying British Airways

Bottom line

British Airways Avios aren’t always the easiest to use since the airline prices awards by segment and adds high taxes and fuel surcharges when transiting through London. However, as we’ve learned through this series, there are sweet spots to be found in even the most challenging programs.

If Ireland is on your bucket list, this sweet spot award can help get you there faster.

Featured image of Skellig Michael in Site, Ireland by MNStudio/Getty Images

SPONSORED: With states reopening, enjoying a meal from a restaurant no longer just means curbside pickup.

And when you do spend on dining, you should use a credit card that will maximize your rewards and potentially even score special discounts. Thanks to temporary card bonuses and changes due to coronavirus, you may even be able to score a meal at your favorite restaurant for free. 

These are the best credit cards for dining out, taking out, and ordering in to maximize every meal purchase.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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