British Airways launches new 50% bonus Avios promotion
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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 March 22, 2020, you can get a 50% bonus when buying British Airways Avios.
With the new 50% bonus, the rate of purchasing Avios falls as low as 1.84 cents per point. The good thing about this promotion is that the 50% 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 drops the price down to as low as 1.84 cents per Avios.
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.
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 300,000 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 50% bonus.
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 1.84 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|
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 “Buy Avios.”
- 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.
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 of account opening.
Even better, this card now offers up to $600 in statement credits toward carrier-imposed fees and taxes on Avios redemptions.
If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to British Airways at a 1:1 ratio. The same goes for American Express Membership Rewards points earned from cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express® Gold Card.
Featured photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images.
Jasmin Baron contributed to this post.
WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.