Mexico has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It’s no wonder why it has always been a top destination for beach vacations. Along with the popularity comes higher airfares, especially during peak travel times. With a little planning, I’m going to show you how to fly to Mexico using British Airways Avios points using another redemption sweet spot.
Next summer our family is planning an adults trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico over a long weekend. Cabo is definitely a popular destination during the summer time so flights can be very expensive. When I searched for flights from Phoenix for the weekend we’re going, they were over $600 round trip. Luckily, using British Airways Avios points I was able to book the flights for only 18,000 points per person plus taxes.
Avios Sweet Spot To Mexico
If you don’t have a Southwest Companion Pass, the next best option for flying to Mexico is to use your Avios points. Just like the sweet spot to Hawaii, these great redemptions exist because British Airways uses a distance-based award chart. And because they are part of the OneWorld Alliance you can redeem your Avios points for flights on American Airlines.
British Airways prices their award flights on a per segment basis, so this redemption only works on nonstop flights to Mexico. If you live near an American Airlines hub in the southern part of the country, this redemption option is perfect for you.
To redeem your points using the lowest number of miles required, the flights need to be less than 1,151 miles. However, nonstop flights that are longer than this might still be a better redemption with Avios than using your American miles. Here are a few examples of routes that fall right into this sweet spot:
- Los Angeles (LAX) to Cabo San Lucas (SJD) are only 9,000 BA points each way.
- Phoenix (PHX) to Cabo, Guadalajara (GDL), Puerto Vallarta (PVR) and Mazatlan (MZT) are all 9,000 BA points each way.
- Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to Cancun (CUN) Cabo and Mexico City (MEX) are all just 9,000 BA points each way.
- Charlotte (CLT) to Cancun are just 9,000 BA points each way.
- Miami (MIA) to Cancun are only 7,500 points each way.
Here are screen shots of the flights I was looking at when planning our trip to Cabo next summer. You can see the nonstop flight we wanted to take from Phoenix to Cabo San Lucas was over $600 if we wanted the main cabin option where we can make sure we sit next to each other on the flight.
I found the exact same flights on American while searching for award space using British Airways. Instead of paying over $600 for those flights, I spent just 18,000 Avios points per person plus taxes.
Finding Award Availability
In order to search for award availability to use your Avios points to fly to Mexico, you’ll need a British Airways account. If you don’t have one, it’s free to sign up and only takes a few minutes set it up. Once you’re logged in, you can start searching for your flights. British Airways will show both nonstop and connecting flights when you’re searching for award availability. Remember, because they charge per segment, you will only want to look at the nonstop flights.
If you don’t see availability, you can always double check for flights on American’s website. You’ll want to look for nonstop flights that are available under the saver award category. If you happen to find some there, give British Airways a call with the flights you found and they should be able to help you book the award flight. They do charge to book award flights over the phone but if you kindly tell them the flight wasn’t available on the website, they will typically waive the fee.
How To Earn Avios Points
I’m sure reading about these great award redemptions already has you planning your next beach vacation. However, what if you don’t have enough Avios points to book your trip today? Don’t worry, Avios points are one of the easiest point currencies to earn. They are a transfer partner with both Chase and American Express, so there are several options to earn the points you need. Keep in mind that each of the Chase cards mentioned below is subject to the infamous 5/24 rule.
The easiest way to get Avios points into your account is by transferring them from a credit card that partners with British Airways. Both Chase and American Express allow you to transfer your points at a 1:1 ratio. My favorite Chase card that has transferable points is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card. New card members will earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within the first 3 months of opening their account. If you’re a frequent traveler, I also like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card.
Another option to consider is the American Express Gold card. You will earn membership rewards points with each purchase that can also be transferred to British Airways at a 1:1 ratio. If you’re considering this card, new card members will earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 within 6 months of their account being opened. You can learn how to apply for the card here.
The last option is the British Airways Visa Signature card that allows you to earn Avios points with every purchase. If you live near an American Airlines hub and travel with them frequently, this could also be a good option. Right now, new card members will earn 50,000 Avios points after spending $3,000 within the first three months of opening their account.
Flying to Mexico using British Airways Avios points is great sweet spot for award travel. Using these points can easily save you hundreds of dollars of flights. If you plan ahead, you can even use your points to fly during busy times like Spring Break or over a holiday weekend. If you have any questions about how to redeem your Avios points for flights on American, leave me a comment below or contact me any time.