British Airways 25% Bonus on Purchased Points: Good Deal?

by on January 17, 2012 · 11 comments

in British Airways

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British Airways is running a 25% bonus when you purchase Avios points until February 29, 2012. The maximum amount of points you can purchase per account every year is 24,000 and with this promotion you can get 24,000 + 25% bonus for a total of $685, or 2.3 cents per mile.
So is this a good deal?

In general, I don’t think so. However, the new Avios program is great for short and mid-haul travel and if you fly any expensive routes, especially on partners like American Airlines or LAN, this could make sense. For example NYC to Toronto is only 9,000 Avios points roundtrip, or $207. Do most New York flights to Toronto cost more than $207? I’d say most likely.

Another good redemption is upgrading Premium Economy to Business class, which for a Los Angeles to London flight is only 12,5000 miles each way. Would you pay $287.50 to upgrade to business class? I think many people would.

However, if you really want to purchase British Airways points, it would be cheaper to go via American Express Membership Rewards. You can buy Amex points for 2.5 cents a piece (you have to call and have used all of your points in order to be able to buy them). There’s a 30% bonus currently, so you are actually buy them for 1.9 cents a piece.

Chase Ultimate Rewards points can also be transferred to British Airways and you can purchase up to 5,000 a month for 2.5 cents each with no other taxes or fees. It looks like British Airways charges 2.7 cents a point and has a transaction fee of around $25, so 1,000 miles will cost $53 if purchasing through British Airways or only $25 through Chase.
For more information on how to maximize the British Airways Avios program, check out this post. Overall, values do exist, but I don’t see this promotion making sense for a lot of people.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • YahooRocks

    Are you saying there’s a 30% bonus for Buying MR pts or are you referring to the MR>BA transfer bonus?

  • Anonymous

    MR to BA transfer bonus that ends Jan 31

  • Yyz_traveller

    Avios will be great for short haul redemption on the YYZ-JFK , YYZ-LGA or YYZ -ORD route on AA since those fares usually run at about > $350 return . I havent seen sub $250 fares in recent years. Taxes in Canada are ridiculous!!

  • Raj B

    Unfortunately, the taxes still come up on Avios & other airline redemptions. LGA-YYZ is 9K Avios + $56.85. Still not a bad deal, but sucks to pay that much in taxes.

  • Anonymous

    Yea- those are taxes that you will pay on any airline award or ticket purchase. I meant that BA does not impose steep fuel surcharges on American Airlines flights that don’t go to Europe, or LAN flights to South America.

  • Anonymous

    Received an email today from United offering a similar promotion (15-25% off purchasing Miles). If you buy 20,000+ miles (max of 100,000) the cost is about 2.8 cents per mile. Even though United miles are pretty valuable I’m assuming this is still not a good deal.

  • Mike

    I agree “The new Avios program is great for short and mid-haul travel”- especially some AA flts I’ve booked.

    It’s so good, in fact, I wonder if it will last -as BA members take away inventory from AA’s customers?

  • Coleman

    You may wish to buy YYZ-NYC/ORD and redeem miles for the return flight. The return flight incurs only $2.50 in fees.

  • Anonymous

    Any idea what the taxes and fees would be on YYZ to a new York airport? I looked earlier this week and they were over 40,000 plus $600 Canadian for YYZ-LON. Which is crazy stupid. I can get a flight to London from Toronto for $600-$800 without using points! Am I crazy?

  • Anonymous

    To NYC around $60. All avios redemptions to Europe have huge fuel surcharges. Best to use them to pretty much anywhere but Europe and Australia

  • Steven S

    I actually wrote about this on MilePoint. Just went to get my ticket. They had more flight options for Business Class over coach. In the end, we got two RT Business Class tkts, LGA to YYZ, for a total of 18,000 miles + about $340. Could have done 36,000 miles and $130 but this seemed to be a better deal for me. AA wanted 100,000 for these seats. I would have been very happy to get the coach seats for this short flight but for a short vacation, leaving LGA at either 6 AM or 4 PM didn’t work!

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