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Through Monday, December 5, 2016, British Airways is offering a 50% bonus on purchased Avios. While you’re usually capped at purchasing 35,000 Avios per year, for this promotion the limit has been increased to 100,000 Avios pre-bonus (150,000 factoring in the bonus).
The bonus applies regardless of how many Avios you purchase. What’s strange about Avios is that the cost to purchase points is different depending on the country in which your account is registered. You have to pay in the local currency, though the price in USD and GBP and EUR doesn’t actually convert.
In the case of my account (which is registered in the US), I’m given the option of purchasing up to 150,000 Avios at a cost of $2,775, which is a cost of 1.85 cents per Avios.
Personally I value British Airways Avios at 1.3 cents each, though there are certainly ways to get outsized value thanks to their distance based award chart (though keep in mind awards within North America start in Zone 2 rather than Zone 1). In general Avios are extremely valuable for shorthaul awards, while longhaul awards are quite expensive.
However, there are a lot of ways to earn Avios, so in general it’s not a currency I’d buy at that price:
- You can transfer Starpoints (earned with cards like the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express or Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express) to Avios at a 1:1 ratio, with a 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 points transferred
- You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points (earned on cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, etc.) to Avios at a 1:1 ratio
- You can transfer Amex Membership Rewards points (earned on cards like The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN, etc.) to Avios at a 250:200 ratio; at the moment there’s even a 50% bonus when transferring to Iberia Avios, which can then be converted into British Airways Avios
Lastly, keep in mind that at the moment Starwood is selling Starpoints at a discount, and most accounts are targeted for 25-50% off. This is potentially an opportunity to indirectly buy British Airways Avios for even less, though you’ll want to check your SPG account to see which offer you’re targeted for.
This is one of the better deals we’ve seen on the purchase of Avios, but even so, I wouldn’t exactly consider this to be a bargain. British Airways has never been that aggressive about selling points, and I’d much rather transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards, etc.
Still, some people will certainly find this to be valuable.
Do you plan on purchasing British Airways Avios with a 50% bonus?