Some links to products and partners on this website will earn an affiliate commission.
I’m rarely a big advocate of buying miles or points. It’s generally poor value, and while I can be persuaded in certain circumstances, it’s only on very rare occasions that I’ll actually do it.
Even when airlines or hotels offer big bonuses on points purchases, you’ll often find that the standard rate is so bad that even a seemingly generous extra chunk free is not enough to make it worthwhile. That’s very arguably the case for the current “up to 35%” bonus that’s being offered on Avios purchases by avios.com although, as we set out below, that doesn’t mean you should rule it out completely.
The offer runs until 26 September, and the bonus is as follows:
At the top (or “best value”) end, you’ll pay £1615 for 135,000 Avios. That’s 1.2p per Avios which, while not extortionate, is not worth shelling out unless you’ve got a really good value option lined up.
(At the other end of the spectrum, you’re paying £31 for 1100 Avios, which is 2.8p per Avios. Buying Avios at 2.8p each would cause me serious psychological trauma.)
Given the terms of the offer, you’ll be unsurprised to note that BA are also letting you buy up to 100,000 Avios in 2016, a substantial increase on the standard limit of 35,000 per year.
What would be a good value option?
Otherwise, and this is a good general rule, if buying miles/points will enable you to top up an account to get enough points to get a genuinely high value redemption, then it’s also worth considering. Let’s say you’re a few thousand Avios short of being able to fly two people First Class long-haul using a British Airways American Express companion (or “241”) voucher. In these circumstances it is probably worth buying the miles, and if you can do so with a bonus – great, they’re even better value.
So give it some thought if you do have an Avios stash that could really take you somewhere with a bit of topping up, but as a broad observation, I do think buying points and miles is a bad habit to get into unless there are compelling reasons for doing it.