DEAL DEAD: An avios.com bug – buy 40,000 Avios for 1p each!

There is an interesting little bug on avios.com at the moment.  Frankly, it is unlikely to last for long after this post goes live, but you should have time to jump on it if you’re interested.

(Edit – this post originally discussed buying at ba.com. However, as avios.com offers a bonus of 5,000 Avios for buying 35,000, and also shows the pricing error, I have rewritten it to focus on that.)

avios.com is currently running what is, on the face of it, a rather dull offer.  Instead of only being able to buy 24,000 overpriced Avios per year, you can (until 31st December) buy 35,000 overpriced Avios per year.  Yippee.

However, they have made a mistake with the website which sells the points ….

24,000 Avios usually cost you £399.  It looks like no-one bothered to give the web designer the price list for 25,000 to 35,000 Avios, so they just bunged in the price for 24,000!

British Airways

So … the pricing currently goes …

  • 24,000 Avios – £399
  • 25,000 Avios – £399
  • 26,000 Avios – £399
  • through to …
  • 35,000 Avios + 5,000 bonus – £399!

This does actually work in practice.  I had an email from someone who bought 35,000 via the BA site over the weekend.  The full 35,000 was added to his BA account, and his credit card is showing a £399 ‘pending’ transaction. Note that the additional 5,000 will post in arrears, not with the original 35,000.

This is not, please be aware, the bargain of the century.  1p per Avios is still more than I value them at, although I am very conservative and have a lot of them already.  However, if you have a definite redemption in mind and can be sure of getting good value for them, then 1p is as good as you will ever get for purchasing them directly.

You need to go to to avios.com, log in, click ‘Collect’ and then select ‘Purchase Avios’. If the price for 35,000 plus the 5,000 bonus is higher than £399 then the deal is already dead!

(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to see our latest articles on earning and spending your points and click here to see our list of current Avios promotions.)

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Comments

  1. i missed it too!

  2. let us know how this ends up please for the unlucky of us who were slow!

  3. I just tried and it showed up at $998 [I am logging in in the USA] so it looks as though it is dead!

  4. Didn’t see the 5000 bonus offer on the BA site. Does the bonus only apply if the 35000 points were bought on the avios.com site (and not if bought on the ba.com site)?

  5. Grr … just had my order cancelled by avios.com:
    “Sorry but we couldn’t complete your Avios order because we were not able to process your order
    We’ve cancelled your order and your credit card hasn’t been charged.”

    Oh well, worth a try I guess but pretty poor they wouldn’t say why.

    • Johnny5a says:

      yeap just received the email

      • I have also had mine cancelled but my partners hasn’t cancelled yet. I wonder if anyone actually managed to get 40k for £399.

        Looks as though the BA lot I also bought are OK although I guess they could still reverse them.

        I did wonder if Avios might cancel these orders when they realised their mistake, I guess it depends upon how they value points when they sell them and if they were prepared to take the hit balanced against annoying or delighting their customers.

  6. Same here. What a swizz!

    PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS EMAIL
    Dear ,
    Sorry but we couldn’t complete your Avios order because we were not able to process your order
    We’ve cancelled your order and your credit card hasn’t been charged.

    Your cancellation summary
    Confirmation number:
    Order date: Dec 09, 2013
    Membership number:
    First name:
    Last name:
    Avios bought: 35,000 + 5,000 Bonus
    Please try ordering your Avios again. Any questions? FAQs.

  7. Looks like they’re wriggling out of it…

    PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS EMAIL
    Dear Aceman,
    Sorry but we couldn’t complete your Avios order because we were not able to process your order
    We’ve cancelled your order and your credit card hasn’t been charged.

    • Looks like we should have gone with BA instead as the miles apparently posted instantly. I shouldn’t have been greedy :).

  8. Robert Waller says:

    I ordered mine this morning and just received the dreaded email as well, went back on the site and they are now £545 for the deal which works out as 1.3625p each

  9. I am somewhat surprized at the level of enthusiasm for this deal, even at 40k avios for £399. I hope you all had specific goals in mind and did the maths first. Given the high taxes/fees on redemptions, alternative options to generate avios and alternative options for redeeming such as 241s and UuAs, I am unconvinced buying them us ever wortwhile, even at this possibly best deal ever. On top of that, it is important not to be blinded by the redemption route, e.g. we have recently had the BA and Iberia flight sales for the Americas, IHG roons as cheap as £25, and no doubt there will be more sales such as Finnair’s £1100is returns in J to Asia. Malasia aitlinez J pricing is usually keen at any time as is forthcoming member Sri Lankan. Before using frequent flyer miles or hotel points a cost/ bebefit analysis of the miles/points option versus the revenue option for the travel goal should always be carried out, especially where purchase of 3xpensivepoints or miles are involved. Recent trends also suggest it would be wise to put emphasis on burning miles at this time.

    • >> am somewhat surprized at the level of enthusiasm for this deal, even at 40k avios for £399. I hope you all had specific goals in mind and did the maths first. Given the high taxes/fees on redemptions, alternative options to generate avios and alternative options for redeeming such as 241s and UuAs, I am unconvinced buying them us ever wortwhile, even at this possibly best deal ever.<<

      Two F tickets to Singapore using an Amex 241 is 210,000 plus taxes. I do this twice a year with one in a few onto SYD.

      How much would you value the miles at?

      😉

      • If the maths works it works but I suspect many don’t do it. In any case your deal was 210k plus tax plus fees plus whatever you spent buying avios us whatever you may or may not have spent obtaining avios fromother sources such as tesco instore preorders. I still believe you that it worked in your favour but probably as a result of the 241.

        I currently value avios for purchase at 0.0p as my flights for 2014 to Hong Kong, Japan, India and Thailand are already booked. Have a sum total of 1550 BA avios, 3500 avios, 83k AAdvantage miles at moment. About a £1k clubcard points and 60k MR points should see me through 2015 also barring major devaluations. So personally I’m sitting quite happily gathering freebies from 3V, credit cards etc.

  10. I did both but have just received the cancellation email from Avios.

    Any lawyers here?
    Anybody good with Twitter?
    If people can get RGN mistake fares honored, we should be able to get Avios to honour their mistake too.

    I actually have a transcript from a web chat that I did, straight after making the purchase, where the Avios representative said the miles would be posting in the next 72 hours.

    He said everything was fine and never mentioned any problems with my order.

    I would say that in cancelling our orders and then raising the price, Avios.com has acted in bad faith.

    • Avios UK are on Facebook with their silly Suitcase, if my order is reversed I will be posting and complaining there and suggest everyone that lost out do likewise.

  11. My friend has his post, and he bought his an hour after mine… Grrr

  12. Not had my avios post but not had the cancellation either. I would say an order is an order. The deal was there, we bought in good faith it should be honored. The £399 hit my AmEx Gold Card as a pending transaction from Avios by Points almost right away this morning and in fact is still showing as pending as I write. If BA can honour them, as it seems they have, then so too should Avios

  13. I too was rejected by Avios.com.

    Long call with Avios this morning. They have agreed to honour the original deal and are “putting it through manually”.

    35,000 will hit account today with the bonus 5000 hitting w/c 6th Jan.

    Cost of £399

    • Nice work! What resistance did they try on you, and what was your response?

      • To be fair, they didn’t fight it at all – just kept me on hold for a long time whilst they sorted it out. I was reasonably firm about it being their issue rather than mine…and that I had acted in good faith. They didn’t give any reason as to why it hadn’t gone through yesterday, so it could be a genuine glitch…or it could be they can’t justify the decision that was taken.

        Either way, a good outcome.

        • sent them an email today, wish I’d read this first since I got a little firm with them!

      • I contacted Avios via Chat. this morning. They admitted there were problems on their side. I was told to email, asking for the original price to be honoured.

        I’ll be sure to report back once I receive a follow up.

  14. Great news … well done.

    Still not received any rejection email yet. Strange, Anyone else not received it?

    • Mine was rejected yesterday and my partners has still not been rejected. I have emailed via avois.com asking from mine to reinstated.

      What email address have others user to contact them?

  15. 100th comment…any bonus Avios for that Raffles? 😉

    Called Avios and spoke with a nice lady a couple of hours ago. Now, just received this email:

    PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS EMAIL
    Your order confirmation
    Dear Ralph,
    Thanks for buying Avios – your order’s now complete.
    Check out our website for ideas on how to spend them.

    Your order details
    Confirmation number:
    Order date: Dec 09, 2013
    First name: Ralph
    Last name:
    Membership number:
    Avios bought: 35,000 + 5,000 Bonus
    Total cost: £399.00
    Thanks again for your order.

    Result and I of course hope that Avios honors everyone’s purchase.

    • Better than that, have just checked my Avios account and the 35,000 Avios + 5,000 bonus Avios for a total of 40,000 Avios have been posted at once! Has this happened to anyone else?

      • Well done Ralph. I ordered on Mondya morning, and got teh cancellation email at 8.30pm on Monday. Just spoke to someone who advised emailing the accounts team to try and resolve. They seem to be honouring the original price so hopefully I will get my 40k avios.

        • Good luck Karfa, I even got a follow up call from an Avios Customer Service person this afternoon apologising for my inconvenience so it should be with you calling and chatting to them too

  16. I have not had a reply to my email and my partner has not had a cancellation email for hers, neither of us has any points allocated to our accounts though.

  17. I’m on the phone to Avios as I type, and the message I’m getting is that it was a targetted promotion, and that several people had been affected. Regardless, the agent said she will try to resolve it. Whilst on the line I received this message:

    “Hi Tim,

    Avios Membership Number:
    Case Reference:

    Thanks for contacting us about your recent Buy Avios transaction.
    We’re aware of an issue that has affected a small number of transactions
    and we’re already investigating this with our supplier.
    We’ll be in touch with you again within 7 days. Thanks for your patience at
    this time.
    Kind regards,

    [first name] [last name]
    Avios Customer Account Management

    • Yup, just got the same email in response to my query. Which bit are they suggesting is targeted? The 5k bonus is still there, so I assume that’s not targeted.

      • I got the same mail, I just checked my partners account and she has now been allocated the full 40k but she never did get the cancellation email.

        • Just checked my account and, unfortunately, no avios. However … I can buy the 35k + 5k for £399 … whereas my partner’s account still shows the full price of £575. Looks like they may have given some of us the offer?

          • I bought on Monday from avios.com but got a rejected email later on Monday. Sent an email on Wednesday – spoke to an agent first who suggested doing that. Had a call today from avios (London number) checking that I still wanted to take advantage and apologising for the problems – no mention of a website offer or any attempt to wriggle out by her. She said I will get the avios on Monday.

            However, as Al noted, have just gone on avios.com and it shows the deal again of £399 for 35k + 5k. Should I try and buy them again?

          • It’s Monday …. did they show up? Received the call for two accounts … but ours still haven’t showed … and both our accounts show full price for purchase. Guess we’ll wait another day or two and message them again …….

            Anyone else waiting?

          • Thanks Al, I just tried my account and found the same, I purchased 35k+5k and they posted immediately.

          • Well, not yet. No sign of the manually added points so far. However, as Al noted the 40k for £399 did seems to re-appear on Friday so I basically bought them on Friday and the 40k posted straight away – have since moved them across to my BAEC account. Not sure whether avios have noted this and will not now manually apply the points again, or whether they may even give me another 40k at £399 – will wait and see.

            On my cc the original £399 from last Monday showed as pending but has since been deleted,. Friday’s purchase is now showing as pending.

          • Just received the following by email:

            Following our call on Friday, your original payment for Buy Avios has been
            cancelled. We asked our supplier to process the payment through again, but
            for card security purposes, they don’t store all the information needed to
            debit your card again. This means we’ve been unable to award any Avios yet.

            I’m pleased to tell you that your account has been set up to enable you to
            purchase the Avios again at the offer price of £399 for 35,000 Avios plus a
            5,000 Avios bonus. This has been enabled until 23.59 on Thursday. After
            that, it will revert to the regular price, so we’d ask that you make the
            purchase again if you’d still like to take advantage of this offer.

            This explains why I and a few others could see the 40k for £399 thing again at the end of last week. Seems you should just be able to redo the rejected transaction now and get your 40k avios – I did on Friday and they posted straight away.

          • Yes, I received the same email. The problem is that it still shows the higher price. P*ss up and brewery!

          • ….. just to update if anyone else is “in the same boat” and waitng ….. the price is (for us at least ….) is updated on Avios and our last tranch of 80k miles bought for £800. 150k now for BA + Avios …

      • The part about being targetted isn’t in the email, it’s what was mentioned over the phone.

  18. Doesn’t really matter. The standard “buy miles” page open to all had the offer. Not a hidden page. On the landing page -,if it were a targeted offer – should have been warnings and/or access only from the personalised email link. T shouldn’t be possible to buy a genuine well managed targeted offer. They simply were incompetent and all wriggles should be rebuffed.

    They may have intended this to be personalised but it was open to all.. They even had a confirmation page, when you completed the transaction.