British Airways Selling Avios With A 50% Bonus

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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:

CardPoints earned on airfare spend
The Platinum Card® from American Express5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent
Citi Prestige Card5x ThankYou points per dollar spent
American Express® Gold Card3x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent
Chase Sapphire Reserve®3x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent
Citi Premier℠ Card3x ThankYou points per dollar spent
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card2x 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.

Earn Avios

Bottom line

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?

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  1. Can I transfer this Avios to Iberia account?
    Didn’t see the restriction on transferring Avios.
    My assumption is here to get more values out of Avios using iberia for transatlantic for AA and less taxes – am I correct to assume?

  2. I use Avios for flights on American metal. If someone is doing expensive, east coast flights, this could work out well. I just priced an October weekend flight from DCA to CHS in the front of the plane and there is a lot of value to be had.

  3. I have had 500k in Avios from a Diners Club Mastercard points transfer and the BA credit card bonus. I just booked 3 one way tickets from SIN to BNE on Qantas using Avios. The tickets would have cost $1k US$. With around $240 in taxes I would have been better off paying for the ticket, but I don’t see a long term need to hold this as a miles “currency”. Also used for SYD to BNE and that was a cost effective transaction. Qantas is a good way to use IF you can fly direct. Many flights connect though thru MEL or SYD so those would not be as good.

  4. Josh,

    Why would BA or AA make close-in premium TATL seats available when they have excellent load factors at normal fares?

    That is not how the game is played. To get the best value out of any airlines’s miles, you need to be flexible about where and when you fly, or book months ahead.

  5. “Why would BA or AA make close-in premium TATL seats available when they have excellent load factors at normal fares?”

    I take back my comment.

    There is now tons of close-in availability on the JFK-LHR route. I wonder what sparked the change.

    I’ve been at this game for over 25 years – former Premier on BA but sadly only for six of those years – and I never saw such a marked change in availability over a sustained period.

    But, please, tell me all about using FF miles.

    I don’t see AA reviewing their availability since BA pulls from the SAAver award inventory and there are very few seats there. AA has the award space but there is no way to get an AAnytime award via BA or other OneWorld partners.

    Still, an improvement on the BA routes.

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