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’ 30% Bonus On Purchased Avios
Through September 24, 2019, British Airways is offering a 30% bonus on purchased Avios. While past promotions have been tiered, with this promotion you get a 30% bonus no matter how many Avios you buy.
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 260,000 Avios, including the 30% 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 260,000 Avios for $5,523, which is a cost of 2.12 cents per Avios.
As a point of comparison, if you had an EU registered account you could buy 260,000 Avios for 3,601EUR (~3,970USD), so that’s a significantly better deal.
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 significantly better than this promotion. So I wouldn’t buy Avios under this promotion unless you have an immediate use in mind, and the math checks out.
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 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.
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 Signature® Card (review). Through October 1, 2019, Amex is even offering a 40% transfer bonus to British Airways.
British Airways is offering up to a 30% bonus on purchased Avios for the next few weeks. Nowadays British Airways offers these types of promotions fairly often, and the bonuses do get significantly better than 30%, as we saw a 50% bonus just a few months ago.
So if you can wait I’d recommend doing so, or my preferred way to earn Avios continues to be by transferring points from Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, etc.
Do you plan on purchasing British Airways Avios with a 30% bonus?