Wobbles in Crawley? Unprecedented 50% bonus for buying Avios launches tomorrow

British Airways will launch a 50% bonus tomorrow for anyone who buys Avios points.

50% is an unprecedented discount as a quick search through the last three years of Head for Points will show you.

It still isn’t a fantastic deal, of course.

The maximum number of Avios you can buy per year is 35,000 which during this promotion will increase to 52,500.  These will cost you £575 which is 1.09p per point.  You will pay more for smaller quantities.

As I showed in my article on Friday on my own Avios redemptions over the past year, the average value I got from redeeming over 1 million points was 1.0p.  I am certainly not a buyer at 1.09p.

On the other hand, consider these factors:

They are ‘easy’ Avios.  Pull out the credit card and you’re done.  No Tesco trip required, no flying, no credit card to apply for or spend target to hit.

If you are only topping up your account before a big redemption, it doesn’t much matter hat you pay for the final few thousand you need.

By buying Avios for cash, you could use your American Express Membership Rewards points or Tesco Clubcard points for another redemption which may get you better value than 1.09p.

As the cost of long-haul redemptions in premium classes goes up by 25% to 50% on April 28th, you could argue that the cost of points should come down in price!  It isn’t that simple, of course, since Eurotraveller / World Traveller redemptions actually get cheaper on off-peak dates.

Is Avios starting to worry about the impact of the changes?

The Avios changes have an unintended consequence for BA:

Bonus Avios 2

Anyone who does not read Head for Points – and so is not clued up on how to get the best deals – and who collects Avios purely from Tesco, credit cards and other partners will be considering whether they should continue after April 28th.  This is especially true if they live in the regions and no longer get free domestic connections on short-haul.  Many people will – not illogically – decide that other credit cards and other Tesco Clubcard deals now offer better value given their circumstances.

And yet …

Avios is reliant on Tesco, American Express etc for its ‘real’ revenue.  BA may make an internal transfer to pretend that it is paying Avios Group for the points generated from flying.  In reality, it is only moving money from one IAG bank account to another.  It needs third-party partner revenue.  I was told recently that Tesco brings in £4m per year.

The odds look better than they have for a while that we will see a Tesco Clubcard and / or an American Express Membership Rewards conversion bonus over the next few months.

(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.)

2,015 Virgin Flying Club miles for a Hertz rental
Got Amex Gold? Get 3,000 free MR points by adding the Gold credit card
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.

Comments

  1. I had been intending to blow most of my Avios at some point on two or three first class returns somewhere making use of a 2-4-1 voucher. I have spent also Avios along the way on European trips every year whilst saving the bulk up for a fancy first class trip.

    However the more I’ve thought about biting the bullet and blowing all my airmiles on some premium long haul flights before April 28th, the more I’ve come to realise how much I actually value using Avios for european redemptions. Pretty often when I’ve used avios rather than paying for European flights I’ve been doing so at fairly last minute prices. So whilst its true that I could have flown from x-y with Ryanair if I’d booked the flights 3 months earlier for the same as I’d pay in the RFS fee with Avios, the fact is those same flights when I book them are well over £100 and even as much as £300 each. Then the few Avios plus £35 / £50 saves me an absolute fortune.
    Just yesterday my parents & I have an urgent need (not life threatening or anything) to visit family in Dublin. We can go in a couple of days time for 9,000Avios + £35 each whereas Ryanair is currently costing £100 each (from a far less convenient airport). Infact we had dates we initiually HAD to fly on to be there for a specific time & date (not just ASAP) and those initial dateswere over £270 EACH on the losest cost airlines at the time (Ryanair & Aer Lingus) !! With Avios again being just the RFS charge. So if that need hadn’t changed we’d have been paying £105 for three flights using Avios instead of a shocking £810. That’s a bloody good saving and a cracking Avios value, so its not only premium cabin long-haul which can prove incredible value.
    As someone who is pretty poor at planning little breaks way in advance I do find the RFS routes an absolute bargain.

    Therefore I’m thinking that I’m going to let the ‘dream’ of flying around the world in BA’s First Class for £500 pretty much die off and keep enjoying the ability to save hundreds & hundreds on short-haul last minute flights. Besides, having flown BA club world to a few places with work and Emirates business class (A380s mostly) when paying my own money I think that Emirates club class looks the same, if not better, than BA’s first class hard product. Sure food & wine might be a bit better but in terms of comfort it doesn’t look to me like BA F is any better than EK J.
    Of course I haven’t actually flown BA F !! And there will be people who disagree.
    But when I look at Emirates business class with 4 seats across an A380 and compare it to BA’s F its very, very similar. It certainly is far better than BA’s J at 8 seats across !!!!!!!!!!!

    So I’m happy paying for EK J when I want long haul luxury and burning avios for short-haul last minute flights, which are an absolute bargain & save hundreds.

    When I want a BA first class long haul flight, I’ll pay for an Emirates business class flight & get 95% of the service for a fraction of the price :-)

    Let the arguments commence :-)

    • Agree with you, except for the bit about BA’s food and wine being a bit better…

    • Not a massive difference between Emirates J and BA First – in fact I flew that exact combination last Easter down to Dubai and back. For a solo traveller the single seats in BA First make a difference as does the privacy and quiet of the smaller cabin. Emirates has far better IFE, bigger screens, food is on a par and of course they have their bar on the A380’s.

      If Emirates would get a decent lounge at Heathrow all would be perfect ….

  2. thesaver79 says:

    Am I right to say that that I would get much more than 1p per Avios if I use the Lloyds upgrade voucher?

    • Not necessarily. Let’s take New York as an example. At peak times after April 28th, Club World is 120k return and World Traveller Plus is 80k. The voucher lets you travel in CW for the WTP price of 80,000 Avios + £500 taxes.

      Valuing an Avios at 1p gets you to £1,300. In a sale, especially if you weren’t bothered who you fly with, you can get business class to New York for £1,300. £1,500 would get you BA in a sale. That is 1p / 1.2p even with the Lloyds voucher.

      Without the Lloyds voucher, Club World to New York would get you under 1p per Avios on peak dates after April 28th.

  3. I am going to get 2 lots of the maximum for me and the Mrs,as that’s 105k odd points for £1125, Makes collecting the other 75k for GTW – BGI in 1st to use with our yearly 2-4-1 easier and means we can fly 1st again for round about £2500 spend with much less effort than other years

    Anyone know if it shows as BA spend (ie. 3x on the BAPP card…)

  4. Raffles thanks for your suggestions regarding using LH miles and the fact they don’t expire for 3 years.

    My FB Silver status lapses end of March and I think this means by miles expire forthwith. I’ve got 36k to use. Any good suggestions? I’d probably bite on a 50% EU redemption in J class but the o/w J awards are a pain cos I wouldn’t be able to get back cost effectively. I know you don’t bother with FB for obvious reasons so perhaps anyone can give me some tips.

    Cheers to all.

  5. Slightly off topic and no doubt many are aware but qatar have a few bargains on. Amsterdam to bangkok via Doha business is €1275/£935 with 560 tier points and 15,000 miles (skyscanner shows Eva £720, ba £850 both Econ and £2500 business). I booked in August. Note the return has a long layer over in Doha. Happy hunting

  6. David Taylor says:

    if you buy say £300 worth of avois on a BA platinum amex will you then get the bonus points on your amex spend at 4 per £1 I think isn’t it?

    • No it’s just the normal pts you get per £ whichever card you use. It’s points.com, so a normal shop.

  7. According to the thread on FT, the equivalent Euro cost is £489, which I’d be happy to go for and spend straight away. But where can I pay in Euros to get this price or thereabouts ?

Trackbacks

  1. […] in the next three days, get a 50% bonus. http://euflyer.boardingarea.com/2015…s-3-days-only/ http://www.headforpoints.com/2015/02…ios-good-deal/ I am US based, when I plugged in 35,000 into the engine it priced out at $988. That's 1.88 cents […]