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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. Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
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.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.