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American Express pushing a ‘buy Avios’ bonus – worth it?

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A lot of HFP readers emailed me yesterday about an British Airways American Express cardholder offer that was emailed to them.  We covered this last month, but the feedback yesterday means that I want to run over it again.

It is a little weird in how it is set up.

When you buy at least 20,000 Avios for £335 via the standard ‘buy Avios’ page here, you will get a bonus of 10,000 Avios.

This assumes that:

you register for the offer on your BA Amex online statement page, and

you pay with your BA Amex

You must buy at least 20,000 Avios.  Because the bonus is fixed at 10,000 Avios, the best option is to buy exactly 20,000 for £335 and no more.  In total you will receive 30,000 Avios, although the bonus Avios will come via Amex and won’t arrive until your next BA Amex statement is generated.

You are paying 1.1p per Avios via this offer.  This is OK but certainly not one to jump on unless you have a specific need for them.

Every so often BA runs a ‘50% bonus when you buy Avios’ offer.  These offers are better than this BA Amex one because:

the occasional 50% BA bonuses let you buy as few or as many Avios as you want, whilst this BA Amex offer only gives a 50% bonus if you buy 20,000 points

the occasional 50% BA bonuses give you the bonus Avios immediately, whilst with this one the bonus will be added to the next monthly sweep from your BA Amex card

the occasional 50% BA bonuses let you pay however you want, whilst this offer forces you to use a BA Amex

the occasional 50% BA bonuses do not require pre-registration, whilst this BA Amex does – and if you forget, you don’t get the bonus

However, if you can get your head around these restrictions then you are getting a decent 50% bonus if you buy exactly 20,000 Avios.

To take advantage of the Amex offer, you need to buy via this link.  The offer runs until 15th July.

This HFP article from our ‘Avios Redemption University’ series shows you how to buy Avios points and which route is the best value from all of the options available.

(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.)

Comments (196)

  • Ian says:

    My flight tonight from Gatwick to Edinburgh’s just been cancelled.

    Flying with BA.

    Never happened to me before.

    Can anyone help with what I’m entitled to? What to expect from BA before I go to the desk?


    • Shoestring says:

      there were big ATC problems tonight at Gatwick so zero compo

      you’d be entitled to re-ticketing (or refund)

      re-ticketing – you get duty of care until your new flight, ie hotel @ £200/ night plus food & drink (no booze), taxi to hotel

      don’t automatically accept some rubbish hotel & a £10 snack voucher – you can choose hotel/ food for yourself, just be reasonable & keep receipts

      • Ian says:

        Thanks- so do I just pay for everything then claim after?

        • Shoestring says:


          you might find BA send you to a perfectly nice hotel & give you a taxi voucher, which would be easier than claiming those bits back

          otherwise keep receipts & use the online claim system, normally there wouldn’t be any problems except they don’t like big taxi bills

          • Shoestring says:

            they must pay for communications as well, it used to be 2 phone calls a day but I reckon they’ll now pay for wifi if it’s not included

          • Ian says:

            Thanks. Joining queue now.

  • TGLoyalty says:

    No one looking forward to flying in Qatar planes around Europe this summer then?

  • Sam says:

    Does anyone know how to tell which BA 777 I’m scheduled on tomorrow?

    I want to know if I have a power socket in my economy seat and apparently this is only on the 777-300 not the 777-200.


    • AJA says:

      Hi Sam google search seat guru

      You can enter airline and flight no and date. It will give you a seat plan of the plane you’re flying and give you that info. Helpful also if you have status and can choose seats.

  • Adam says:

    We’re due to fly business class to Las Vegas with BA on 10th August. Points and companion voucher redemption.

    If a strike was to hit this date and we were offered a replacement flight, would we be given a like for like seat in business or just anything which is available and face a potential downgrade?

    • Shoestring says:

      Often both possible – ie you can be offered the first available flight, which could be in Economy. You don’t need to accept it and can hold out for a Business seat but that might mean waiting 5 days instead of 1.

    • SilverInSix says:

      Also remember that if you’re downgraded then you are entitled to 75% of the commercial rate for the flight and class you originally booked. Whether it was booked using a 2-4-1 and/or a reward booking doesn’t mean you don’t get the refund if you’re involuntarily downgraded.

      • Adam says:

        Well that would pay for the holiday 3 times over!

        I presume, in Shoestring’s example, being offered Economy tomorrow or Business in 4 days does not class as an involuntarily downgrade if we *chose* to take the tomorrow option though?

        • Shoestring says:

          Correct – there is a difference between the airline ‘placing’ you in Economy and you choosing Economy when the alternative is to wait for a few days for your Business seat. ‘Placing’ is involuntary downgrade, ‘choosing’ is not.

          You would still be entitled to the difference in fare between the 2 classes of ticket, the problem is BA uses Y class (Economy Flexible) when determining the cost of the Economy fare, which is an expensive ticket – so there might not even be a fare difference.

          • Adam says:

            Just checked and Economy Flexible is coming out at £1808 whereas business is £8854. If we chose to take a downgraded Economy seat, would we be entitled to the difference between £8854 and £1808, or a percentage of? I understand the exact figures may be different by the time we get to August.

            Just preempting a strike and what would be the best option for us to take!

          • Shoestring says:

            they can’t have it both ways – I think the correct calculation would be Business fare you paid (or equivalent if you used points) minus Y fare, not a % of this. Not sure how they would work out Business £££ cost if you paid in points, probably cheapest.

            Even using the involuntary downgrade methodology (not correct here!), it would be 75% of the Business fare.

            Don’t expect an easy ride if it all comes to be, what with the strike etc – but be prepared to MCOL it and they would settle. Companion ticket must be valued at same as yours, ie probably = cheapest Business fare.

          • Shoestring says:

            the other point to note in this theoretical situation is that BA use an internal methodology to work out what you are owed which is often *more* generous that the statutory compo/ refund would dictate, so definitely worth playing it all pleasant to start with.

          • Adam says:

            Many thanks. I appreciated your comments.

            It would be interesting to see how they work out compensation based on a points / voucher redemption but I do have my fingers crossed for us all that it doesn’t get to that stage!