Often buying miles can represent a great value, especially for first and business class award redemptions, where redeeming miles represents a disproportionately good value.
So for those who like to buy miles, another airline has just rolled out a promotion on purchased miles.
British Airways offering a 50% bonus on purchased Avios
Through Sunday, February 24, 2019, British Airways is offering a 50% bonus on purchased Avios.
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 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 point 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 300,000 Avios for $5,523, which is a cost of 1.84 cents per Avios.
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. For some inspiration on the best ways to redeem Avios, see this post.
With which credit card should you buy Avios?
British Airways processes points purchases directly, which means the purchase of Avios should qualify as airfare spend. Therefore you’ll want to consider using one of the following cards for your purchase, since they offer the following bonus miles for airfare spend:
|Card||Points earned on airfare spend|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent|
|Citi Prestige Card||5x ThankYou points per dollar spent|
|American Express® Gold Card||3x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||3x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent|
|Citi Premier℠ Card||3x ThankYou points per dollar spent|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||2x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent|
Since I value many of those points at 1.7 cents each, you can earn up to an 8.5% return thanks to being able to earn 5x points on some those cards for these purchases.
There are 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, and British Airways is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Typically a 50% bonus is as good as it gets when it comes to buying Avios, and in this case they’ve even doubled the maximum number of Avios you can purchase. We don’t see these kinds of offers from British Airways very often.
While this is as good as it gets, I wouldn’t exactly consider this a bargain. British Airways has never been that aggressive about selling points, and I’d much rather transfer points from Amex Membership Rewards, 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?