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FLASH SALE: 40% bonus when you buy Avios – but cheaper via Iberia and a bad deal anyway

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British Airways launched a three day ‘buy Avios’ flash sale yesterday, offering a bonus of 40% for purchases made by the end of Friday.  The page to buy Avios points is here.

I received more emails, tweets and Facebook notifications from HFP readers about this deal than any other offer this year so, even though it is 2.30am here in Abu Dhabi, I thought I would give you my views!

(If you want to see some pictures from yesterday of the Etihad A380 First Class Apartment and the Plaza Premium lounge in Terminal 4, take a look at our Instagram feed.)

Buy Avios

Frankly, this is not an impressive deal.

For a start, you need to buy at least 10,000 Avios for the bonus to kick in.  This means that the only people I would recommend jump in – people who only need a small number of Avios points to reach a redemption target – can’t take part.

BA has reset the annual purchase limits for this offer.  However many points you may have already bought this year, you can buy another 35,000 + 40% via this offer.

At the top end, you will be spending £575 to receive 35,000 + 14,000 bonus Avios.  This works out at 1.17p per point.  I am not a buyer at this price.

I have a spreadsheet which shows every redemption I have made across our family accounts in the last two years.  It comes to 2.6 million Avios points.  Using a realistic value of what I would have been prepared to pay for the same flights, I get to 0.96p of value.  I am certainly not a buyer at 1.17p.

My 0.96p is low because I booked a lot of ‘double Avios’ Gold Priority Rewards in order to open up seats on key school holiday dates.  As you can’t use a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher here and are using double points, you soon start dragging down the value you get.

You probably get better value than I do.  This article shows, post the April devaluation, how I would value an Avios point in a number of different scenario.  It was easy to find scenarios where you could get 1.5p per point or more and, under these scenarios, paying 1.17p may make some sense.

You then need to ask yourself, however, whether you could be paying less.  If you aren’t planning to book a flight until next year, you have plenty of time to pick up some points via another credit card sign-up bonus or a Tesco deal.  Tesco was basically ‘selling’ Avios for well under 1p last weekend and you got a free colour printer thrown in!

If you are going to buy, buy via Iberia Plus instead

Iberia Plus has launched its own ‘buy Avios with a 40% bonus’ promotion, see here for further details.  (If a Spanish page comes up, change the language in the top left corner and then, if necessary, click through again.)

Note that you need to log-in to see details of the bonus offer. Without logging in, the page just shows the standard pricing.

Iberia CMA

The Iberia offer has a couple of key differences:

It only runs until the end of today (Thursday) whilst the BA offer runs until Friday

You can buy a maximum of 100,000 Avios + 40,000 bonus Avios with Iberia

ALL purchases receive the 40% bonus – there is no minimum

At the top end, you will be paying €1,800 for 140,000 Avios.  That works out cheaper than the ba.com deal at 0.91p per Avios, based on £1,267.  You would need to add a 3% foreign exchange fee to this price if your credit card has one.

If we compare like with like, ie a purchase of 35,000 + 14,000 bonus, you are still ahead.  You are paying €665 (£468) which is 0.96p per Avios.

In order to buy Avios via Iberia, you must have been an Iberia Plus member for 90 days and have earned at least 1 Avios point.  This is why I always suggest that HFP readers should open an Iberia Plus Avios account and put a transaction through it (an Amex Membership Rewards transfer, a flight, a hotel stay, a car rental etc) so that the account is active and ready for when an offer like this comes along.

Conclusion

Don’t get caught up in the flash sale excitement.  I don’t think 1.17p is a great deal and I am pretty sure that I can find you some good offers via Head for Points in the next few months which will allow you to pick up points for a lot less.  If you really need to do it, go via the Iberia route if you can and save some money.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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