My Huge 12.6 Cents Per Point Avios Redemption! Proof of Why It Can Be Such a Great Currency!

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avios value redemption

My 12.6 Cent Per Point Green Bay Packers Redemption!

Next month I am speaking at the Chicago Seminars where I will be talking about cruise loyalty programs and more. My talk is on Saturday afternoon and while looking at the schedule awhile back I noticed that my beloved Green Bay Packers will be playing at home on Sunday. Green Bay and Chicago aren’t too far away from each other, so I figured it could make an interesting side trip.

Getting the Hotel

avios value redemption
This property can be as cheap as $70 on normal days, however it was over $200 because of the game. I gladly spent 28,000 Club Carlson points for a free night.

After coming up with this idea a couple of months ago, I started to look at hotel options in the area on points. While Hyatt does have a property in Green Bay, it is sold out for the Sunday night of the game. As a Diamond I could have booked guaranteed space there, but for $350 a night I decided to pass. Thankfully though I did find an award night at the Country Inn & Suites. I’m glad I still had some Club Carlson points lying around.

I have had that hotel reservation for a couple of months now and it finally became time to see if this diversion to Green Bay was going to happen. I had searched flight options on American Airlines using Avios awhile back, but the flight times didn’t work out for what I needed. Then this morning I looked again and found the perfect itinerary!

One of the Best Avios Redemptions Evar!

For 9,000 Avios plus $11, I was able to book a flight that departs Chicago on Sunday morning and arrives in Green Bay about 5 hours before kickoff. This will give me time to drop off my stuff at the hotel and then head to the stadium for some tailgating. Then on Monday, I will have the opportunity to spend some time in Green Bay before flying back to Chicago in the evening.

The thing about Green Bay’s airport is it is small and there is a huge demand for people to fly there when the Packers are playing. In this case the game is at 3:25PM, so I imagine a lot of people are coming in the morning of the game instead of the night before like they would for an earlier game. For that reason I was surprised there was award space, but what was even more surprising was the cost of these flights in cash!

avios value redemption

You aren’t reading that wrong. It isn’t a typo. For a short ~200 mile flight on a regional jet from Chicago to Green Bay, the ticket cost $1,146.20 roundtrip. Wow! But perhaps you are thinking there is a cheaper option on another airline. Nope. Not really.

avios value redemption

United is a whole $10 cheaper for the nonstop flight. While there is a mixed United/Delta ticket for $954, it requires two connections and takes over 8 hours to get to Green Bay. No thank you!

Calculating the Value

avios value redemption

This is by far the best value I have ever received for an Avios booking. Since I did have to pay $11.20 in fees, I paid 9,000 Avios to save $1,137. That amounts to a redemption value of about 12.6 cents per point!

Alternatives

If I couldn’t find the flights, my backup plan was to either not go or to rent a car and drive up. I really didn’t want to do that since without traffic the two cities are 3 hours away from each other, plus tolls and gas add up as well. Green Bay has Uber and free public transport on game days, so the car really wouldn’t be of any use to me. I am so glad it worked out this way!

Conclusion

Would I have paid $1,147 to fly from ORD-GRB? Of course not. The point is that by diversifying my points I was in the position where I didn’t even have to think about it. The scenario laid out here is why I love miles & points so much. They really do open up so many possibilities. Now I just need to get my ticket to the game!


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19 COMMENTS

  1. We all try not to get too caught up in getting the perfect redemption every time. But looks like you did this time! Amazing that there was award availability for a football weekend in Green Bay.

  2. How many avios would it cost for a 1 – way ticket out of chicago for Jay Cutler? No matter the amount it would be my best redemption ever!

  3. Am I doing something wrong with my Avios points. I can never find flights except from Miami. I am closest to West Palm airport and I can seem to find any flights loaded into the BA system should I check American and then call BA for flights or pbi to Jfk

    • Well the only BA partner that really operates out of Florida is American Airlines and they have a hub in Miami. The truth is that is where your flights are going to be from. On the West Coast they also partner with Alaska who has hubs in Seattle and Portland (with a couple of smaller hubs too), but American is the primary partner in the US.

  4. I think saying that this was a 12.6 cent redemption is dubious at best.

    a) Getting to the airport 90 minutes early, flying for 63 minutes and probably at least 30 minutes in green bay from landing to getting a taxi and you have the three hours that a car rental would have been. Sure, you might have traffic on the way, but you might have maintenance or weather delays with your flight also. You are also way more flexible with a car as to when you can go and leave.

    b) redemming 9k avios plus $11 is equivalent to probably around $140-$150. A car rental for 2 days with gas, tolls, and parking would surely not exceed that.

    I’m not advocating hoarding avios because that would make them worthless, but you kind of have to value them compared to the alternative available. In this case, the car rental and not the $1100 pie in the sky quote from AA. To truly “maximize” the value you have to look at flights like Miami to Providenciales (Turks and Caicos). AFAIK, there is no viable alternative route (by land or sea) to get there so the quoted price from BA and AA is the real reference for your avios.

    • I very clearly stated the alternative of being able to drive in the post. As I stated, I never would have paid $1,000+ to fly to Green Bay, but that was my preferred way to get there. The real point of the post is to show people how Avios unlocked a scenario where I could fly which is what I wanted to do.

      On the flip side, having done this a long time, it is really not accurate to say the Avios were redeemed for $150 because I could drive for that price. Driving and flying are two different things. The true value lies somewhere in between. Either way, the real jewel here is that Avios (or miles/points in general) put me in a situation where I could make it all work in a much better way for a fantastic price.

  5. You only get $1000 value for your avios in theory… You don’t have to fly. It’s only 3 hours drive. You could rent a luxury vehicle for less than a $100 and probably get there faster and more comfortably.

    • To sort of repeat my response to Marko, I wasn’t advocating that Avios saved me $1,000. In the post I clearly stated the alternative of driving, however after researching everything, that wasn’t my preferred method to travel.

      Here is the reality. I wanted to fly. In a non-miles/points world I wouldn’t have flown because of the cost. In my world I am able to fly because of the Avios. I really don’t know how to assign a value to that, but it is higher than the value of simply renting a car, but definitely lower than the retail value of the flight.

  6. Yet the title of the blog is “Over 12 cents per value”….even though you now state the value to you is a lot less than $1000.

    I dont begrudge you for spending the avios, it s a cool redemption and I understand your point. (kind of) If you had redeemed it for a 500 mile flight, it would have been a better example. I just think insisting that a flight is the best way to travel is kind of weak

    • Driving into Green Bay on a game day is not the best idea from my research. Flying is a much better way to go from everything I have read. If I wanted to drive, then I would have drove. Driving is not the best option here.

      The truth is the redemption is worth 12.6 cents per point. That is the monetary value. What I meant by my last comment is the value to me. Of course I wouldn’t have spent over $1,000, so if I look at what I saved or what that redemption meant in terms of value in my wallet then it is less.

      The title is quite literal and I am still amazed that I could redeem 9,000 points for a flight that costs $1,100. If you look at what I wrote, the entirety of my words, then you can see I am advocating how points give us the flexibility that we either can’t afford or aren’t willing to pay for.

  7. Its always absolutely comical to see discussions related to the accuracy of “redemption theory” and accusations of an incorrect blog post titles. Seriously. Thank you for the fun comments.

    Its clear people dont invest much here. If you did, you would understand the ultimate subjective nature of this game and you should take posts like these at face value as a learning tool and apply accordingly to your own travel needs.

    Any financial adviser would first assess your risk tolerance level and your appetite for complex investment vehicles. So one “opportunity” or “alternative” for one may not be that great for others and you cant assume shit.

    Comments about a renting a vehicle and getting there faster and more comfortably or whatever other flight options are totally ridiculous. So are you married? Do you have kids? You do? How come?! If you were single, you would have so much more time and money! That would be a much better alternative! Youre wasting your life away! Get a divorce and dump your kids ASAP! Youre savings would be $1000/Day + Avios Miles! Life would be so much better! And that would make more financial sense!

    • The same can be said of your post. Your comparison is way more “out there” then comparing costs of two modes of travel.

      This is kind of the danger of miles and points. It is very similar to the tricks that retailers use with their sales. Getting an overpriced flight at about 90% off is very similar to getting a sweater (at hugely inflated prices) for 80% off at the Macy’s clearance rack.

    • Seriously. Shawn, at some point you really need to stop responding to these people. If you won the Powerball they’d be on here telling you how much you actually “lost” bc of taxes …

  8. Shawn that’s an awesome example. I fly avios 650 mile trips every 2 months. The points value is amazing. I can fly my family round trip to see grandparents for about 200-300 in manufactured spend where the tickets would be over 1k.

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