How to buy Avios for 0.77p whilst making your next redemption!

Links on Head for Points pay us an affiliate commission. A list of our partners is here.

When you book an Avios redemption on the British Airways website, you are – unless using a BA Amex 241 voucher or booking with a couple of obscure partner airlines – given the option to reduce the number of Avios needed in return for paying more cash.

BA doesn’t hide this option.  It is offered to you in clear view:

However, the odd combinations they show of Avios and money means that you might not realise what a good deal you are being offered.

For long-haul economy / World Traveller redemptions, long-haul World Traveller Plus redemptions and all short-haul redemptions, it makes sense to pay more cash and use fewer Avios.  It is the equivalent of ‘buying’ Avios for as little as 0.77p which is as cheap as you will ever see.

Here are some worked examples based on a return flight to New York, off peak:

World Traveller:

26,000 Avios + £365

20,800 Avios + £415 (buying 5,200 Avios for 0.96p)

16,900 Avios + £445 (buying 9,100 Avios for 0.88p)

13,000 Avios + £465 (buying 13,000 Avios for 0.77p)

10,400 Avios + £485 (buying 15,600 Avios for 0.77p)

9,100 Avios + £495 (buying 16,900 Avios for 0.77p)

In the most extreme example, you pay an extra £130 cash in order to use 16,900 fewer Avios.  That means you are effectively buying those 16,900 Avios for 0.77p each.

World Traveller Plus:

52,000 Avios + £440

41,600 Avios + £530 (buying 10,400 Avios for 0.86p)

36,400 Avios + £570 (buying 15,600 Avios for 0.83p)

31,200 Avios + £620 (buying 20,800 Avios for 0.86p)

26,000 Avios + £650 (buying 26,000 Avios for 0.81p)

20,800 Avios + £680 (buying 31,200 Avios for 0.77p)

Again, you are offered the chance to ‘buy’ Avios for 0.77p – up to 31,200 Avios in this case.

This method doesn’t work in Club World however.  Take a look:

Club World:

100,000 Avios + £526

90,000 Avios + £726 (buying 10,000 Avios for 2.00p)

75,000 Avios + £996 (buying 25,000 Avios for 1.88p)

65,000 Avios + £1,226 (buying 35,000 Avios for 2.00p)

57,500 Avios + £1,326 (buying 42,500 Avios for 1.88p)

50,000 Avios + £1,426 (buying 50,000 Avios for 1.80p)

Club World is ludicrously expensive.  There is no reason for anyone to take advantage of this deal.  Even in the unthinkable scenario that anyone was willing to pay 2p for an Avios, they could buy them directly from BA for 1.6p.

Here are two short-haul examples.  The plan works well on the Euro Traveller ticket but less well on Club Europe – although it is still worth considering.

Euro Traveller, using Reward Flight Saver:

13,000 Avios + £35

10,400 Avios + £65 (buying 2,600 Avios for 1.15p)

9,200 Avios + £75 (buying 3,800 Avios for 1.05p)

7,800 Avios + £85 (buying 5,200 Avios for 0.96p)

6,600 Avios + £95 (buying 6,400 Avios for 0.94p)

4,300 Avios + £105 (buying 8,700 Avios for 0.80p)

and, a slightly worse deal:

Club Europe, using Reward Flight Saver:

25,500 Avios + £50

23,000 Avios + £80 (buying 1,500 Avios for 2.00p)

21,200 Avios + £100 (buying 4,300 Avios for 1.16p)

18,700 Avios + £120 (buying 6,800 Avios for 1.03p)

17,000 Avios + £140 (buying 8,500 Avios for 1.06p)

13,600 Avios + £160 (buying 11,900 Avios for 0.92p)

Conclusion

Next time you book a short-haul or an economy or World Traveller Plus long-haul Avios redemption, without using a 241 voucher, seriously consider taking advantage of this opportunity.   They will be some of the easiest and cheapest Avios you will probably ever ‘purchase’.

(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.)

Credit & Charge Card Reviews (1): American Airlines AAdvantage Visa
Bits: HMRC miles alternative?, Groupon / Avios deal back, 'Credit Card Reviews' returns
Click here to join the 13,000 people on our email list and receive the latest Avios, miles and points news by 6am.

Amazon ad
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. Can you upgrade the redemption from WT to CW ?

    If you can, then as WT to CW upgrades are fixed (presumably ?) then go to WT first and then up to CW instead of buying into CW directly as the rate is prohibitive.

  2. For people who earn their points through flying (it took me a while to realize there are many on this site who this does not apply to) then buying more points does not always make sense since they’ll have a huge number of points anyway and using as little cash as possible is the important thing. Making good use of the points is important but if you have half a million points balance then why would you buy even more

    • Half a million avios isn’t that many… That is a Club World or First redemption for a family of four. It’s more a matter of whether you make this amount annually by flying (you are Avios rich) or whether this is your balance (not so rich).

  3. OT – trying to book a hotel on the accor website.

    I have selected all hotels that I can pay using points.
    When it gets to the payment stage, it gives me no options to pay with points….

    Anyone know if there is a button I am missing or some obscure part of the website that I need to go to?

  4. Speedbird676 says:

    Most of my Avios spend goes on Club Europe RFS and I almost always do this, reducing the number of Avios I’m burning and get access to Club Europe and the lounge for a small amount of cash. Tier points aside, it is much better value than buying a cash fare and reducing with Avios.

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment.