The Avios travel loyalty programme - previously known as AirMiles in the UK - has launched its first international Avios Travel Rewards Programme in South Africa, allowing travellers to collect Avios points for every-day spending in South Africa and then use those points for British Airways flights within South Africa, Europe and other countries. This article is copyright 2013 The Best Customer Guide.

Avios launched its South African version of the programme with a ZAR100 million integrated multi-partner marketing campaign including TV, radio, print, outdoor, direct mail, in-store, PR and social media. The TV advertising was based on the already-successful UK TV advertising theme, 'Anything Can Fly'. At the same time, the Avios website has also developed an international currency facility that allows consumers in the UK or South Africa to choose their country and currency preference.

Members of the programme within South Africa can earn loyalty points (called 'Avios') at the national supermarket chain Pick'n'Pay (when using their smart shopper loyalty card), by filling up with fuel at BP petrol stations, by using the new Avios credit card from ABSA bank, or for Avis car rentals, British Airways flights, or even for selling property through Lew Geffen Sotheby's International Realty. This applies equally to both the existing British Airways Executive Club's members as well as new Avios Travel Rewards Programme members in South Africa.

When redeeming points, award flights start from 4,500 Avios plus R350, one way, from Johannesburg to Durban. All British Airways domestic and regional flights in South Africa have up to 50% lower taxes, fees and carrier charges than most rewards programmes because, with Avios, these fees are capped at R700 for a return flight. British Airways Executive Club members also enjoy these benefits.

"With South Africa's new Avios programme, members can collect points for things they buy every day, so it doesn't require them to spend money on things they wouldn't normally buy. It's free to join and Avios points don't expire, as long as you collect or redeem within three years," said Nick Pilbeam, director of new markets and business development for Avios Group.