British Airways launches new 30% bonus Avios promotion

Dec 19, 2019

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As if there weren’t already plenty of ways to stock up on British Airways Avios, the U.K.-based carrier just gave us one more choice. Now through Jan. 30, you can get a 30% bonus when buying British Airways Avios.

With the new 30% bonus, the rate of purchasing Avios falls as low as 2.12 cents per point. While that’s certainly better than buying Avios without a bonus, it’s not the best that we’ve seen recently. British Airways just ended a 50% bonus promotion in mid-November.

The good thing about this promotion is that the 30% bonus is available at all purchase levels, starting at 1,000 Avios, although British Airways prices its purchase rates in a way that makes it a poor choice at the lower levels.

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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 as low as 2.12 cents per Avios. So, this isn’t a great offer.

That said, the program has a large range of redemption values. We’ve even seen situations where 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 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 Loyalty and Engagement Editor Richard Kerr has scored more than 10 cents of value for flights in the Caribbean.

Related: Maximizing the British Airways distance-based award chart

In fact, we’re 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 that 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 260,000 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, it’s not all that crazy for those who might otherwise pay more than $8,000 for a last-minute business-class round-trip ticket across the Atlantic.

If you’re just shy of a high-value British Airways Avios redemption, it’s likely that topping off your British Airways Avios accounts with American Express Membership Rewards points or Chase Ultimate Rewards points will make more sense than buying Avios, even with a 30% bonus.

Related: How to book award flights with British Airways Avios

And, for just a few more days, there’s a much better way of minting Avios. Now through Dec. 20, you can buy Iberia Avios for just 1.33 cents each through a 50% bonus Avios offer. Iberia Avios transfer to British Airways Avios at a 1:1 ratio, so this is a much better offer for the next couple of days. But even without a bonus, Iberia sells Avios for a cheaper rate than British Airways Avios with a 30% bonus. Just make sure to use the currency trick to save potentially hundreds of dollars.

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 2.12 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
1,000 30% 1,300 $53 4.08
2,000 30% 2,600 $80 3.08
3,000 30% 3,900 $108 2.77
4,000 30% 5,200 $135 2.60
5,000 30% 6,500 $163 2.51
6,000 30% 7,800 $190 2.44
8,000 30% 10,400 $245 2.36
10,000 30% 13,000 $300 2.31
15,000 30% 19,500 $438 2.25
20,000 30% 26,000 $575 2.21
25,000 30% 32,500 $713 2.19
30,000 30% 39,000 $850 2.18
35,000 30% 45,500 $988 2.17
40,000 30% 52,000 $1,125 2.16
45,000 30% 58,500 $1,263 2.16
50,000 30% 65,000 $1,400 2.15
60,000 30% 78,000 $1,675 2.15
70,000 30% 91,000 $1,950 2.14
80,000 30% 104,000 $2,225 2.14
90,000 30% 117,000 $2,500 2.14
100,000 30% 130,000 $2,775 2.13
125,000 30% 162,500 $3,462 2.13
150,000 30% 195,000 $4,149 2.13
175,000 30% 227,500 $4,836 2.13
200,000 30% 260,000 $5,523 2.12

How to buy British Airways Avios

To take advantage of the promotion, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the BA buy Avios page.
  2. To buy Avios for yourself, select “Buy Avios.”
  3. Log in to your account
  4. Select the number of Avios you’d like to buy.
  5. Add your credit card details.
  6. 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.

Alternatives to buying Avios

Buying miles only makes sense for certain travelers, and if you don’t want to actually pay for your points, there are other alternatives to increase your account balance. Earning British Airways Avios for free through travel rewards credit card welcome bonuses might be preferable to many.

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 three months of account opening and an additional 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year.

Related: The best uses of 100,000 British Airways Avios

Even better, this card now offers up to $600 in statement credits toward carrier-imposed fees and taxes on Avios redemptions.

Featured photo by Ben Smithson/The Points Guy.

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*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

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