50% Buy Avios Bonus From BA (Avios for ~1p Each)

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British Airways is offering a 50% bonus if you buy Avios from them before 29th September 2017.

The bonus applies to any purchase of 1,000+ Avios as you can see below, but because BA ordinarily charges £31 for the first 1,000 Avios and £16 for each additional 1,000, you get slightly better value the more Avios you buy.

If you bought the maximum 100,000 Avios (+ 50,000 bonus Avios), you would be charged £1,615 in total, which works out at 1.076p per Avios.

Good deal?

It really depends, but it could be.

It’s worth considering that many people still transfer TopCashback credit to Avios without even really thinking about it – which is the equivalent of buying Avios at about 0.95p each – so this isn’t hugely different.

There are frequently slightly cheaper ways to buy Avios, but they usually require a bit of messing about, whereas this is instant and couldn’t really be any easier – particularly if you want to purchase a relatively significant amount in one go.

We tend to value Avios at about 1p each, but that’s really just a loose average and there are plenty of specific examples where you could extract a much higher value.

My favourite use for Avios is to transfer them to Iberia Plus and redeem for off-peak Business Class flights. A one-way from Madrid to Chicago, for example, is just 34,000 Avios plus ~ £100 in taxes/fees. If you bought all the Avios for that with the current 50% bonus, you’re looking at one-way transatlantic Business Class for £450-500 total, which many people would see as an attractive price.

Other examples where you could definitely end up with more than 1p of value per Avios include redeeming Avios for expensive last-minute BA flights within Europe; if you require a flexible (cheap to cancel) ticket; or happen to have an Amex BA Premium Plus 241 Certificate burning a hole in your pocket, etc.

As a general rule though, I don’t recommend buying Miles unless you have a clear use for them already in mind, unless the price is extremely low. There will be other opportunities to buy Avios at ~1p  so there’s no need to tie up cash unnecessarily.

Anything else?

I just spotted that the terms state you need to have a BA American Express card to get the bonus:

“This promotion is only open to Eligible Participants. An Eligible Participant is a British Airways American Express® Cardmember aged 18 or over and is a British Airways Executive Club (‘BAEC’) Member”.

I’ve no idea whether that is actually the case or just a mistake though – I didn’t see anything about it until I got to the terms, which seems a bit odd.

Bottom line

Good to see BA selling Avios directly for a more sensible price than usual. I’m still not a buyer myself, but it could be worth considering in some circumstances. Hopefully the offer is available to all –  let me know in the comments!


  1. Craig Sowerby says

    I would dispute the last comment “Good to see BA selling Avios directly for a more sensible price than usual”. Of course if you’re desperate for some Avios to use right away then it’s great.

    But when airlines and hotel chains reduce the price of their loyalty currency, though, that’s a pretty clear sign that a devaluation is coming. I would much rather have expensive miles and a reasonable reward chart than a cheap mile and hundreds of thousands needed for a free flight.

    • Joe Deeney says

      Well Sir, I would dispute your dispute! 🙂 While I would (clearly) never rule out a devaluation when we’re talking about IAG, I don’t think an Avios sale selling them for ~1p is going to cause it. Remember, the vast majority of bought Avios are bought by credit card issuers (particularly US ones) for 1p or less already – and that’s been the case for ages.

      Groupon and Vent Privee regularly sell Avios for similar amounts (or less), and BA have long made it possible to effectively purchase Avios for under 1p on Economy Points+Cash bookings.

      That said, if there was genuine reduction in price/increase in issuance, I would broadly agree – depending on how the change impacted your personal net earn/spend ratio.

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