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Just days after British Airways teamed up with American Express to launch a 40% transfer bonus from Membership Rewards points to Avios, British Airways is launching another promotion: up to 45% bonus when buying Avios.
When buying with the maximum 45% bonus, the rate to purchase Avios falls as low as 1.9 cents each. The trouble is, you’re going to have to buy a lot of Avios to get this rate. The 45% bonus isn’t achieved unless you buy at least 100,000 Avios, and the optimum 1.9 cent per Avios rate requires buying 200,000 Avios.
Thankfully there are other options if you need more Avios:
Alternatives to Buying Avios
Before we move on to the details of this offer, let’s get one thing out of the way: Buying miles makes sense only for certain travelers. It’s obviously much better to earn British Airways Avios for free through credit card sign-up bonuses.
If you’re looking to earn Avios directly, the British Airways Visa Signature Card is offering up to a 100,000 Avios sign-up bonus — but you’ll have to spend a lot to get this bonus. You’ll earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening and an additional 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year.
And, as we mentioned above, if you’re just shy of a high-value British Airways Avios redemption, it’s likely that topping off your British Airways, Iberia or Aer Lingus Avios accounts with Membership Rewards points will make more sense than buying Avios — especially during the 40% transfer bonus that’s running now through October 1.
When Does Buying Avios Make Sense?
In TPG’s latest valuations, British Airways Avios are worth 1.5 cents each. This promotion only drops the price down to 1.9 cents per Avios. That said, no program has a larger range in redemption values. If you use Avios on British Airways economy awards across the Atlantic, the value of Avios can actually go negative:
But by taking advantage of the mileage-based sweet spots in the Avios redemption program, I’ve gotten more than 12 cents per Avios in value on Iberia premium economy flights, and have gotten more than 6 cents per Avios from short-haul intra-Europe flights. A TPG reader got almost 9 cents per Avios in value on American Airlines flights. TPG’s Senior Points and Miles Contributor Richard Kerr has scored more than 10 cents of value for flights in the Caribbean.
We are so passionate about the potential value of Avios that we wrote a piece on Why You Should Care About British Airways Avios — including the types of redemptions are best and which to avoid.
Due to the structure of this buy points promotion, it’s best for travelers who simply can’t generate enough British Airways Avios for their frequent high-value premium-cabin Avios redemptions. Since this promotion allows members to purchase up to 290,000 Avios in one fell swoop, this is an easy way of stocking up on Avios. While the $5,523 cost for those Avios might seem crazy to many travelers, that’s cheap for those who might otherwise pay more than $8,000 for a last-minute business class round-trip ticket across the Atlantic.
If you want to pick up smaller amounts of Avios — but don’t have American Express Membership Rewards points or Chase Ultimate Rewards points to transfer — there’s a potentially better option. Even without a bonus, Iberia sells Avios for a cheaper rate than British Airways Avios at some of the purchase levels below.
Details of this Promotion
The regular price for buying British Airways Avios ranges between 5.3 and 2.76 cents per Avios. By maximizing this promotion, you can drop this cost to just 1.9 cents per Avios. However, the purchase rate varies depending on how many Avios you buy. To save you the math, here are all of your options for buying points with this promotion:
|Purchase Rate||Bonus Rate||Total Avios||Cost||Cents Per BA Avios||Cost to buy Iberia Avios||Cost in USD||Cents Per Iberia Avios|
How to Buy British Airways Avios
To take advantage of the promotion, follow these steps:
- Visit the BA buy Avios page.
- To buy Avios for yourself, select “Treat Yourself.”
- Log in to your account
- Select the number of Avios you’d like to buy.
- Add your credit card details.
- Review the information, check the box to agree to the Terms and Conditions and click Pay Now to finalize the purchase.
There’s historically been a limit of 100,000 purchased Avios per calendar year, per account. However, this limit was elevated to a maximum of 200,000 Avios per calendar year during a recent promotion and has been maintained since. Bonus Avios don’t count toward this maximum purchase amount.
This is The Points Guy’s permanent page about British Airways’ “buy points” promotions, so you can bookmark it and check back regularly for the latest offer. Keep in mind you may see some reader comments referring to older deals below.
Know before you go.
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