For three days only, British Airways is offering up to a 40% bonus when you purchase Avios.
Through 11:59PM GMT on Friday, December 4, British Airways is offering a 40% bonus when you purchase at least 10,000 Avios. You can purchase up to 35,000 Avios per account per calendar year, though the bonus Avios don’t count towards that limit.
The cost per purchased Avios varies based on how many you buy and also where your account is registered, with the cost going down the more you purchase.
Just to give an example, for a UK registered account if you max out the bonus you could purchase 35,000 Avios and get a bonus of 14,000 Avios, for a total of 49,000. That would cost you 575GBP, which is ~$864. Buying 49,000 Avios for $864 represents a cost of ~1.76 cents per Avios.
Meanwhile for a US registered account, those same 35,000 Avios plus the 14,000 Avios bonus would cost you $988. That’s a cost of ~2.01 cents per Avios.
British Airways Avios are unique since British Airways has a distance based award chart, whereby the cost of an award varies based on the distance you fly. As a result, Avios can be extremely lucrative for travel within the US, as one way awards start at just 4,500 Avios. They partner with both American and Alaska, giving you extensive coverage all over the US.
However, as of February 2, 2016, British Airways is adjusting the number of Avios required for shorthaul travel within North America. As of that date, the cost of shorthaul awards within North America will be as follows:
- 7,500 Avios for a one-way economy flight of 1-1,151 miles
- 10,000 Avios for a one-way economy flight of 1,152-2,000 miles
That’s still quite a good deal, much better than what many other airlines offer. But it does eliminate the 4,500 Avios shorthaul award, which was one of my favorite uses of Avios.
Personally I value Avios at ~1.5 cents each, so I wouldn’t buy them for significantly more than that. Still, with a specific use in mind they could be worth much more than that.
There are certainly instances under which it could make sense to purchase Avios for 1.76-2.01 cents each. If you can redeem before February 2, that’s like paying ~$80-90 for a one-way ticket of under 651 miles, which is a fantastic deal, given how expensive shorthaul tickets can often be.
But the reason I probably wouldn’t buy Avios through this offer is because of how easy they are to accrue. British Airways Executive Club is transfer partners with American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest, so there are lots of ways to earn those points.
Do you plan on purchasing Avios with a 40% bonus?