Obviously for most people this isn’t the time to buy points speculatively. However, for those who have good award redemptions in mind, it could make sense to buy points at a discount. That’s why I’ll keep covering deals to buy points as they arise.
Often buying points can represent a great deal, especially for first and business class award redemptions, where there’s the most value to be had.
British Airways currently has a promotion on purchased Avios, which offers the lowest cost I ever recall seeing on BA Avios. If you’ve been considering this promotion but haven’t yet made a purchase, this is a reminder that the promotion ends tomorrow.
British Airways’ 50-75% Bonus On Buying Avios
Through Monday, May 18, 2020 (tomorrow), British Airways Executive Club is offering a bonus on purchased Avios:
- All members are eligible for a 50% bonus
- Those with a British Airways credit card are eligible for a 75% bonus
Ordinarily you can purchase at most 100,000 Avios (pre-bonus) per calendar year, though during this promotion British Airways has increased the cap to 200,000 Avios, meaning that you could purchase up to 300,000-350,000 Avios, including the 50-75% 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 point varies depending on what country your account is registered in, and therefore based on what currency you pay in.
The price to purchase Avios will be different depending on whether you’re paying in EUR, GBP, or USD.
For example, for US registered accounts you can expect to pay:
- $5,523 for 300,000 Avios with the 50% bonus, which is 1.84 cents per Avios
- $5,523 for 350,000 Avios with the 75% bonus, which is 1.58 cents per Avios
As a point of comparison, if you had an EU registered account you could buy 300,000-350,000 Avios for 3,601EUR (~3,907USD), so that’s a significantly better deal.
Personally I value British Airways Avios at 1.3 cents each, though there are ways to get outsized value thanks to their distance-based award chart. For some inspiration on the best ways to redeem Avios, see this post.
There are lots of great partner redemptions with Avios
Buying Iberia Avios Is Sometimes A Better Deal
While it’s not being offered at the moment, I’d note that buying Iberia Avios is potentially a better value when they’re offering a 50% bonus on purchased Avios.
In theory the pricing is the same, but there’s one major advantage to buying Iberia Avios — with Iberia even if your account is based in the US, you can buy Avios at the much lower cost in EUR, which brings down the cost to about 1.3 cents per Avios.
With British Airways you can only buy Avios in the currency for the country your account is registered in, while with Iberia it’s based on what country’s website you’re on. In other words, if you’re based in the US you could buy Iberia Avios with a 50% bonus for 1.3 cents each, while you can only buy British Airways Avios with a 50% bonus for 1.84 cents each.
You can transfer Avios between British Airways and Iberia, assuming you’ve had both accounts open for at least 90 days, and the accounts have some activity.
Buying Iberia Avios often represents a better value
Which Credit Card Should You Buy Avios With?
British Airways Avios purchases are processed by points.com, meaning they don’t count as an airfare purchase for the purposes of credit card spending.
Therefore I’d recommend using a card on which you’re trying to reach a minimum spending requirement, or otherwise, a credit card that maximizes your return on everyday spending. Generally my favorite cards for everyday spending are the Chase Freedom Unlimited® (review) or Citi® Double Cash Card (review), though these cards also have foreign transaction fees.
See this post for the best credit cards for buying points.
Other Ways To Earn Avios
While I think there’s a lot of value to be had with British Airways Avios, personally I wouldn’t buy them at this price because I have access to US credit cards.
British Airways Executive Club is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards, and in addition to that you can earn Avios with the British Airways Visa Signature® Card (review), which has some fantastic benefits.
There are lots of great ways to earn British Airways Avios
British Airways is offering a 50% bonus on purchased Avios for all members, and a 75% bonus for those with their co-branded credit card. While the 50% bonus is offered a few times per year, this is the first time I recall seeing a 75% bonus.
Personally my preferred way to acquire Avios continues to be to earn them through Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, etc. However, if you don’t have access to US credit cards, some might consider this to be worthwhile.
If you’ve been considering this promotion but haven’t yet made a purchase, you have until tomorrow to do so.
Do you plan on purchasing British Airways Avios with this promo?