Buying airline points strategically can make a lot of sense, especially for first and business class redemptions, where redeeming points represents a disproportionately good deal. British Airways Executive Club has just launched a bonus on purchased points, which some people might find to be worthwhile.
Promotion on purchased British Airways Avios
Through 11:59PM BST on Wednesday, September 20, 2023, British Airways Executive Club is offering a 40% bonus on purchased Avios. With this promotion, you can receive a 40% bonus as long as you purchase at least 2,000 Avios in one transaction (pre-bonus).
How much does it cost to purchase British Airways Avios?
Back in April 2023, British Airways adjusted the cost to buy Avios. With British Airways Executive Club, the cost to purchase Avios varies based on how many you buy, even without any promotions — the more Avios you buy, the lower the cost per Avios. Furthermore, the cost varies based on where your account is registered. With this 40% bonus offer, you can expect to pay the following to max out this promotion:
- If you bought 280,000 Avios (including the bonus) in USD you’d pay $4,599; that’s a cost of 1.64 cents (in USD) per Avios
- If you bought 280,000 Avios (including the bonus) in EUR you’d pay €4,245, which is $4,556; that’s a cost of 1.63 cents (in USD) per Avios
- If you bought 280,000 Avios (including the bonus) in GBP you’d pay £3,539, which is $4,418; that’s a cost of 1.58 cents (in USD) per Avios
The differences aren’t huge, but you’ll get a slightly better price in GBP than you do in USD or EUR. However, it’s all based on where your account is registered, so it’s not like you have a choice in the matter.
While British Airways has historically offered up to a 50% bonus on purchased Avios, so far this year the program has only offered bonuses of up to 40%, so it seems like that may be the new standard offer for the program.
How many British Airways Avios can you purchase?
Ordinarily British Airways Executive Club lets members purchase up to 100,000 Avios per account per calendar year, before factoring in any bonuses. However, during a promotion, that cap is often increased, as is the case now. Currently you can buy up to 200,000 Avios before any bonuses.
Which credit card should you buy British Airways 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 minimum spending, or otherwise, a credit card that maximizes your return on everyday spending.
In this case the best option is the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (review) (Rates & Fees), which offers 2x miles and has no foreign transaction fees. Usually the Chase Freedom Unlimited® (review) or Citi® Double Cash Card (review) would also be good options for maximizing everyday spending, but the cards have foreign transaction fees, so wouldn’t be ideal in this case.
- Earn 3% Cash Back on Dining
- Earn 3% Cash Back at Drugstores
- Earn 1.5% Cash Back On All Other Purchases
Is buying British Airways Avios worth it?
British Airways Executive Club can be a polarizing frequent flyer program, given its unconventional distance based award chart. There’s a lot to love about British Airways Avios, including the ability to redeem them for great value on short haul flights with oneworld carriers, like Alaska and American.
That being said, there are hefty fuel surcharges when redeeming Avios for travel on British Airways, which many members find to be frustrating. There’s definitely value to be had with the program, though in general I’d prefer to acquire Avios with methods other than outright buying points.
How much are British Airways Avios worth?
Everyone will value points currencies differently, but personally I value British Airways Avios at ~1.3 cents each, based on the ways to get outsized value with the distance based award chart. However, I tend to value points pretty conservatively, and there are many ways to get way more value from British Airways Avios than that.
Do British Airways Avios expire?
British Airways Avios expire after 36 months of inactivity. Any earning or redeeming of Avios will reset the expiration of your balance.
What other ways can you earn British Airways 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 partners with a few transferable points currencies, including Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One, 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)
British Airways is offering a 40% bonus on purchased Avios. While not quite as good as some of the past offers we’ve see from British Airways Executive Club, it’s better than nothing, and there’s potentially value to be had.
Personally my preferred way to acquire Avios continues to be to earn them through Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One, Chase Ultimate Rewards, etc. However, if you don’t have access to US credit cards, some might consider this to be worthwhile.
Do you plan on purchasing Avios with this promotion?