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British Airways launches new Avios subscription plan: Purchase Avios for under 1 cent each

Oct. 10, 2022
5 min read
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British Airways launches new Avios subscription plan: Purchase Avios for under 1 cent each
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British Airways has launched a new offer, allowing you to easily boost your Avios balance every month, at a price.

While the airline sells Avios for fixed (usually high) prices, it offers bonuses from time to time, bringing the price down to a more reasonable level.

This new offer is different. Any Executive Club member can opt to sign up for an Avios subscription plan, paying either monthly or annually (paid upfront).

There are four different levels of the new plan:

  • Voyager: You will receive 1,667 Avios per month (20,000 per year) for 19 pounds ($21) per month or 185 pounds ($205) per year.
  • Traveller: You will receive 4,167 Avios per month (50,000 per year) for 45 pounds ($50) per month or 455 pounds ($504) per year.
  • Explorer: You will receive 8,334 Avios per month (100,000 per year) for 89 pounds ($99) per month or 899 pounds ($996) per year.
  • Adventurer: You will receive 16,667 Avios per month (200,000 per year) for 179 pounds ($198) per month or 1,789 pounds ($1,981) per year.
BRITISHAIRWAYS.COM

The annual cost is about 10 times the monthly cost, so you will receive two months free if you opt to pay annually. If you choose the annual option you will be charged the entire amount upfront, which is nonrefundable if you change your mind. It automatically renews at the end of the year, so you’ll need to opt out if you won’t want to pay for a second year.

The poorest value-per-Avios option is the Voyager plan paid monthly, where you will be paying 1.26 cents per Avios. The best value per Avios is the Adventurer plan paid annually, where the cost per Avios would be reduced to 0.99 cents apiece.

Given TPG currently values Avios at 1.5 cents each in our monthly valuations, that would be a great way to acquire Avios.

One of the best ways to redeem Avios is for short-haul flights to Europe in Euro Traveller economy class, which start from just 4,750 Avios off-peak plus 17.50 pounds ($19) in fixed fees, taxes and surcharges. Likewise, you can use Avios to book domestic U.S. flights on Alaska Airlines and American Airlines for as few as 7,500 Avios one-way, plus $5.60 in taxes and fees.

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For example, a flight from New York's LaGuardia Airport (LGA) to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) near Washington, D.C., falls into the lowest 7,500-Avios pricing tier. If you use the Adventurer tier to buy Avios at under 1 cent apiece, you can purchase the flight for $79.89 after tax. This is a significant discount as one-way economy flights cost $110-plus on most dates through the end of 2022.

BRITISHAIRWAYS.COM

On the other end of the scale, for long-haul business-class redemptions, you could also save by purchasing your Avios upfront like this. We often use London to New York as a good redemption benchmark as it’s usually easy to find availability in business class given the high frequencies on this route.

A return off-peak flight in business class will set you back 100,000 Avios, or $990.50 worth of Avios if purchased as part of the annual Adventurer package.

British Airways currently charges $852.67 per person in fees, taxes and surcharges for this return flight, bringing your total cost to about $1,843.17. Given the cheapest cash fares I can see on nonstop British Airways flights were well over $3,000 on the same dates, this would be considerable savings on the cash fare.

BRITISHAIRWAYS.COM

Remember that redemption fares don’t earn Avios or Tier Points, so consider those when deciding if this offer is right for you.

Related: Suite refresh: A review of British Airways’ Club Suite on the refurbished 777, New York to London

Bottom line

This is an interesting way to boost your Avios balance for two reasons.

The first is that while purchasing Avios, even on sale, is nothing new, this is the lowest price we can remember seeing Avios sold for.

The other is that the Avios are "paid" monthly, meaning you will be drip-fed smaller amounts monthly. If you do need 100,000 extra Avios at short notice, you are going to have to wait for them.

Points and miles such as Avios are generally never worth more in the future than they are right now, as loyalty programs regularly devalue their currencies. That being said, given the rising cost of living right now and the fact that Avios have held their value throughout the pandemic, this could be a way to lock in some cheap travel with relative certainty.

If you’re still sitting on a pandemic-related pile of Avios like I am, you might not be interested in paying more to boost your balance. If you are already earning 1,500 Avios each and every month from the Barclays Avios Rewards program, this offer might also not be a great fit.

However, if you want to buy Avios for the great price of just under 1 cent each, you can sign up for the new Avios subscription plan here.

Featured image by BEN SMITHSON/THE POINTS GUY
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

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  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees