Update: These offers for The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express and the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express have expired. Learn more about the current offers here.
Through Friday, June 30, 2017, British Airways is offering a 50% bonus on purchased Avios. You can purchase at most 100,000 Avios (pre-bonus) through this promotion, for a total of 150,000 Avios including the 50% bonus.
The bonus applies regardless of how many Avios you purchase. One of the things that makes buying Avios unique is that the cost per purchased mile varies depending on what country your account is registered in, and therefore based on what currency you pay in. So the price to purchase Avios will be different depending on whether you’re paying in EUR, GBP, or USD.
In the case of my account (which is registered in the US), I’m given the option of purchasing up to 150,000 Avios for $2,775, which is a cost of 1.85 cents per Avios.
As a point of comparison, many accounts registered in Europe can buy 150,000 Avios for 1,800EUR, which is a much better deal.
Personally I value British Airways Avios at 1.3 cents each, though there are certainly ways to get outsized value thanks to their distance based award chart (though keep in mind awards within North America start in Zone 2 rather than Zone 1). In general Avios are extremely valuable for shorthaul awards, while longhaul awards are quite expensive.
However, there are a lot of ways to earn Avios, so in general it’s not a currency I’d buy at that price:
- You can transfer Starpoints (earned with cards like the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express or Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express) to Avios at a 1:1 ratio, with a 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 points transferred
- You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points (earned on cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, etc.) to Avios at a 1:1 ratio
- You can transfer Amex Membership Rewards points (earned on cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum® Card from American Express, Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN, etc.) to Avios, though it’s only at a 250:200 ratio
Lastly, keep in mind that through June 30, Starwood is offering a discount on purchased Starpoints, with the opportunity to purchase Starpoints for just 2.275 cents each, and potentially purchase airline miles for 1.82 cents each (that’s because you can convert Starpoints into many mileage currencies at a 1:1 ratio, with a 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 points transferred).
This is one of the better deals we’ve seen on the purchase of Avios, but even so, I wouldn’t exactly consider this to be a bargain. British Airways has never been that aggressive about selling points, and I’d much rather transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards, etc.
Still, some people will certainly find this to be valuable.
Do you plan on purchasing British Airways Avios with a 50% bonus?