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 has just launched its first promotion of 2021 on purchased Avios, and it’s one of the best promotions we’ve seen from the program in a long time.
British Airways selling Avios with 50% bonus
Through Sunday, April 11, 2021, British Airways Executive Club has launched a 50% bonus on purchased Avios. With this promotion you get a flat 50% bonus on purchased Avios, no matter how many you buy.
For context, the last promotion we saw from British Airways was in late 2020, and that offered a 30% bonus, so this is significantly better.
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 pre-bonus.
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 US registered accounts you can expect to pay $5,523 for 300,000 Avios with the 50% bonus, which is a cost of 1.84 cents per Avios
- For EU registered accounts you can expect to pay 3,601EUR (~$4,241) for 300,000 Avios with the 50% bonus, which is a cost of 1.41 cents per Avios (in USD)
Personally I value British Airways Avios at 1.3 cents each, though there are ways to get outsized value thanks to the 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
Note that Iberia Plus sometimes (though unfortunately not right now) offers a 50% bonus on purchased Avios, and that can represent a much better deal for US-registered accounts.
In theory the pricing between the programs 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 considerably.
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 at the lower EU cost.
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. 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 Avios, do keep in mind that there are quite a few ways to earn Avios with US credit cards. British Airways Executive Club is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards.
On top of that, there are three credit cards issued in the US that earn Avios:
- Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card (review)
- British Airways Visa Signature® Card (review)
- Iberia Visa Signature® Card (review)
There are lots of great ways to earn British Airways Avios
British Airways is offering a 50% bonus on purchased Avios. This is the first promotion on purchased Avios for 2021, and the best promotion we’ve seen in quite a while from the program.
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. That’s especially true for those in the EU, where you benefit from better pricing.
Do you plan on purchasing Avios with this promotion?