Often buying miles can represent a great value, especially for first and business class award redemptions, where redeeming miles represents a disproportionately good value.
While it’s not the most exciting promotion ever, British Airways has just rolled out a promotion on purchased Avios.
British Airways offering 45% bonus on purchased Avios
Through August 18, 2019, British Airways is offering up to a 45% bonus on purchased Avios. The promotion is tiered, and you get a bigger bonus the more Avios you buy, as follows:
- Buy 1,000+ Avios, get a 20% bonus
- Buy 20,000+ Avios, get a 30% bonus
- Buy 40,000+ Avios, get a 35% bonus
- Buy 100,000+ Avios, get a 45% 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 290,000 Avios, including the 45% 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 290,000 Avios for $5,523, which is a cost of 1.9 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.
As a point of comparison, this spring British Airways offered up to a 50% bonus on purchased Avios, so that was marginally better than this promotion.
With which credit card should you buy Avios?
British Airways Avios purchases are processed by points.com, meaning they don’t count as an airfare purchase for the purposes of credit card spend.
Therefore I’d recommend using a card on which you’re trying to reach a minimum spend, or otherwise, a credit card that maximizes your return on everyday spend, like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® or Citi® Double Cash Card. See this post for the best credit cards for buying points.
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.
British Airways Executive Club is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards, so there are lots of ways to earn Avios beyond just the British Airways Visa Card (review). Through October 1, 2019, Amex is even offering a 40% transfer bonus to British Airways.
British Airways is offering up to a 45% bonus on purchased Avios for the next couple of weeks.
While promotions on purchased Avios don’t get much better than this, 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 Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, etc.
Still, some people will find this to be valuable.
Do you plan on purchasing British Airways Avios with a 45% bonus?