British Airways has a new Avios subscription service, and I’m pleasantly surprised by the value proposition.
British Airways’ annual Avios subscription service
British Airways Executive Club has a new Avios subscription service, intended to help people supercharge the Avios they can earn. Members can sign-up for either a monthly or annual plan — the longer you commit and the more Avios you buy, the better the deal.
The price varies depending on where your account is registered. The best deal is for the “Adventurer” subscription, which offers a total of 200,000 Avios, in the form of a monthly deposit of 16,667 Avios.
For example, looking at UK-registered accounts, this would cost £1,789 per year, which is an opportunity to acquire Avios for £0.0089 each.
Looking at US-registered accounts, this would cost $3,069 per year, which is an opportunity to acquire Avios for $0.0153 cents each.
While British Airways often sells Avios with a bonus, the lowest cost you’ll see is typically either £0.0107 or $0.0184. The pricing with this subscription plan is significantly better.
This is how these subscription services should work
Over the years we’ve seen airlines increasingly monetizing their frequent flyer programs. It’s common nowadays to see airlines sell points in a lucrative way. The evolution of that has been these new points subscription services.
The thing is, up until now I’ve found the execution of these subscription services to be awful:
- You’re committing to buying points over a period of one year, so some sort of a discount should be applied to this, to account for the risk you’re taking by buying in advance
- If you ask me, these subscription services should always offer a lower price than the lowest offer you’d ordinarily find during a promotion
Historically these kinds of subscription services have offered higher prices than you’d typically find during a promotion, so you’d be a fool to take advantage of them. In that sense I’m impressed by the new Avios subscription service, since this price is lower than you’ll find when British Airways has a promotion on buying Avios. That’s how it should be.
For those based in the UK, I’d say acquiring Avios for under £0.009 could represent a solid deal. The price is significantly higher for those in the United States, so I’d be less likely to take advantage of the deal here. That’s especially true when you consider all the easy ways to earn Avios.
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 Executive Club has a new Avios subscription service, whereby you can acquire Avios at a reasonable cost if you commit to buying them for a period of 12 months. The pricing here is lower than you’d otherwise find during a promotion on buying Avios, so that’s great.
However, personally I’d only take advantage of this opportunity if I were really engaged in the Executive Club program, and consistently got outsized value with my Avios. There’s otherwise just too much risk to committing to buying Avios over the course of a year, since a lot can change.
Do you plan on taking advantage of this Avios subscription offer?
(Tip of the hat to Head for Points)
I think this is an excellent deal given consideration on that exchange rate between British Pound and US Dollar is virtually on par (1:1).
Subscription is charged as airline spend. I have a European account and my USD charge was 1,972 USD for 200,000 Avios plus 9,860 MR points.
0.94 US-Cents per Avios is decent imho.
Good to know that you can use a US card on a European account and pay European prices. Thanks.
Perhaps this is just a ploy to make money from the economy class masses, before the cost of living crisis bites harder? Many Brits love to travel short haul to Europe for their holidays (which I note often has better award availability, perhaps as a function of their higher frequency), but they won't be doing that if all their finances are used to fund their own survival this winter. So, before their finances are depleted,...
Perhaps this is just a ploy to make money from the economy class masses, before the cost of living crisis bites harder? Many Brits love to travel short haul to Europe for their holidays (which I note often has better award availability, perhaps as a function of their higher frequency), but they won't be doing that if all their finances are used to fund their own survival this winter. So, before their finances are depleted, get them to spend on a subscription plan. Then, come next summer, if they are cutting back on spending by not travelling, it's a win for BA. Even if they do travel, BA will have benefitted from the upfront payments (i.e. time value of money) and will still make sure to monetise the travellers more by asking to pay for all the un-bundled extras. Win-win for BA, or am I being too cynical?
I agree that the value good, at least in theory. However, there’s virtually no F/J availablity post pandemic. So what would you use your avios for? Longhaul Y?
Why have a subscription plan when British Airways makes it so difficult to use the Avios I have? Can’t ever get through to an agent to facilitate flights with partner airlines. And then there’s the ridiculous surcharges and taxes!!!
Good point! Same experience here. No customer service...no availability in premium classes.... crazy surcharges......C product basically a joke......and now this ridiculous subscription "service" with "dynamic" pricing across the globe...
Just FYI, for mainland European registered accounts, the amount is EUR 2,019 for the 200k avios, so even a bit less than the £ UK accounts.
Ridiculous difference between US and UK prices. Definitely in at the UK price, definitely not in at the US price. Would love to hear from someone about how to avoid that difference.
Is the transaction processed by BA or by Avios.com for bonus category considerations?
Major devaluation coming…
My feeling too. It may not happen overnight, but it's coming. My bet is Q2 in 2023. You don't give away something without taking it back, eventually. That's IAG's ethos.
People have been talking about a devaluation for the last three years and despite these speculations, avios continues to maintain its value. Good luck with what you decide to do
Using aquired Avios points is a whole different ballgame, especially in the Premium classes out of LAX. Even with previously 3 flights a day there was nothing to be had for month to come. And now the plan is to sell "unusable" points for cash?
Are the trip report articles posting? Typically they are consecutive days after the intro post, but I haven't seen anything.
Any thoughts on changing my address to UK but paying with a US card?
I'm fairly certain that it either 1: Wouldn't work OR 2: They would be clawed back.
For some reason, it will not let me give you a heart as a thank you, so, thanks for your response.
Just curious, if I register my account in Singapore, which zone do I fall under, UK/US, or should I just pretend I live in the UK during registeration?
Not understanding why the difference is so high, especially concerning the current exchange rate being so close to the USD. But anyways, I'm fairly certain that it either 1: Wouldn't work OR 2: The points would be clawed back at some point.