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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.

Avios wing 9

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.


British Airways BA Amex American Express

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards. Both have increased sign-up bonuses until 2nd November 2021:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies. This card has a limited time offer of 60,000 Avios when you sign up:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

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

Comments (196)

  • James F says:

    Can an Amex priority pass be used multiple times per day at the same lounge or restaurant (grain store)

    Ie can you get £15 credit at grain store at 11am. Then go back again at 1pm and get another £15 credit?

    • Rob says:

      No, you can’t do that. You can visit other lounges. There is now a rule, either 24 hour window or same day window.

  • Joanne says:

    Have BA stopped the annual ‘kids fly free’ (on selected domestic routes) offer during summer?

  • N says:

    OT – is there any way at all to get a new Hilton card? I am paying for multiple 5 figure stays over the next 2 months for someone else, and could do with the points!

  • Toppcat says:

    OT (very) – does anyone know how I can find out my BAEC balance at a specific point in time? The BA page shows transactions, but not the balance after each transaction. Thanks!

    • Ian says:

      Addition/subtraction of the transaction amounts from your current balance…?

      • Toppcat says:

        Yup, I think that is going to have to be the answer. Quite a lot of transactions though…

    • AndyGWP says:

      Awardwallet keeps a history – not sure how far back it goes and obviously this will only be for when it’s checked your BAEC account (so not necessarily every discreet change in your balance)

      And if you don’t have AwardWallet then it won’t start capturing info until you get it and from that date onwards

      • Toppcat says:

        That’s interesting – I just looked at AW and couldn’t see how to do that. How can I see the historic balances? Thanks

  • Andrew says:

    There is a lot of dodgy data out there, with some of it being bought by FTSE listed companies who are prepared to turn a blind eye to the opaque sources.

    Equiniti PLC, for example, do their level best not to engage with data subjects. Giving me the details of the 6 companies they buy data from when I sought the point of consent for marketing emails. Those companies in turn source from further companies.

    Following one path, it’s clear that Cardiff based Ideal Media Group, who supply Equiniti, have been laundering dodgy data through a Philippines based subsidiary in the “Ideal Media Partnership”, attributing faked IP addresses, based on the local numbering range of Virgin Media in a bid to authenticate it.

    How do I know they are faked? Well VM aren’t my supplier, I don’t do insurance searches at 4am on a Winter’s Saturday morning on dodgy looking sites when I have no insurance renewals due, and they were careless enough to supply the ICO with one IP address and me with a different one…

    Now I just have to go through the expense to get a court order for Virgin Media to disclose the physical addresses in order to provide the ICO with evidence of the fraud. It’s a farce.

  • Stu N says:

    On the BA strikes, is this BA mainline (LHR/LGW operations) or does it cover Cityflier out of LCY as well?

  • Andrew says:

    So I have business class flights to Tenerife and back 9 and 23rd August for the family. Accommodation non-refundable, but travel insurance and bought on BA Amex.

    Am I right that the best way to make sure we can have the holiday is to pick up some fully flexible (which would include refundable?) tickets on Iberia now? If BA fly we can ditch them, if we can get cheaper later or get sorted by BA we can ditch them – if not we’re guaranteed flights at what will be (at the time) the best available price and then just s75 the cost?

    • roberto says:

      If you really want to make sure of you trip you could cancel the BA outbound and book with another carrier going out. Leave the return as is. Flights will be £150 or so per person. However thats your cost , nothing has been decided yet. The strike might not affect you and you have just burned cash for no reason. Refundable flights cost a fortune , certainly more than a basicone way easyjet or other wise.

      Did you book the inbound/outbound legs on different bookings or just one? Is its a 241?

      • Andrew says:

        Straight booking but as a return and non-flexible so I don’t think I can pro-actively cancel one side. I’m also concerned about the avalanche once it goes official.

        • roberto says:

          Booking as 2 x 1 one flights would have been better as you could have cancelled the outbound and left the inbound alone. It may have also been cheaper but that ship has sailed.

          Your only real options are (1) wait and see or (2) cancel and rebook flights with another carrier. Personally I am in the (1) camp currently and like you there wont be a lot of spare capacity to my destination. If I was going somewhere with multiple flights a day I would be feeling much more comfortable.

          We dont know when (if at all) these strikes will happen so there is not much else to do until then.

    • Anna says:

      Would s75 (or insurance) cover you for replacement flights booked before your original ones were cancelled? I wouldn’t like to risk it.

      • Andrew says:

        They should cover whatever is the cheapest option for me. If there is a cheaper alternative I couldn’t go beyond that but I’m pretty sure it will cover me if the tickets are the only way of making the flight (s75 is very pro-Consumer).

  • roberto says:

    Ba will proactively source you another flight. They are well used to this type of situations as planes go tech every day so that will happen as soon as the dates are announced.

    You cant book elsewhere and bill BA no. If there are no other options you are happy with then you should be able to cancel the BA flight(s), get you money back, re-book elsewhere at your expense and claim the difference via your travel insurer/creditcard or perhaps under EU261.

    But dont get ahead of your self just yet. Look at a plan (b) and (c) and be ready if and when the you know what hits the fan.

    • Rob says:

      How much spare capacity do you think there is in August to these places? Nil, in reality.

      • roberto says:

        True , Larnaca will not have the spare capacity of say NYC or LAX as there are far fewer flights ( see my previous post on the page before about posters flying there ) that why its important to look ahead of time and try to find a back up plan.

        BA will however try to accommodate as many people as possible. Once the dates are announced everybody will know more.

        I fly to the UK on the 13th ( from Malaga ) and to Mahe on the 14th.

        • Gavin says:

          Larnaca (as far as I remember) is rarely cancelled due to only 2 flights a day, which are usually full, also cargo and a lot of US connections from Cyprus. It’s 3 years since I was flying there every week but never seen it cancelled during previous (cabin crew) strikes

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