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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)

  • Roger says:

    OT – IHG Ambassador

    I have a personalised offer of 15000 IHG points for getting InterContinental Ambassador programme by 15th August for 200 USD.

    Are there any benefits from this which may be valid at non IC too?

    I am already Spire Elite, so 15000 IHG points for 200 USD does not seem to be a good value unless of course there are other significant benefits.

    • Craig says:

      The only tangible benefits in year one are decent upgrades at least on paid stay, do some research first though and late checkout which I have found a godsend. The weekend certificate can be hit and miss, the last time I went to use it I ended up cancellable and booking cash because it was cheaper! In year 2 however, the 10% rebate on paid stays can cover the cost if you are a heavy earner. I’m expecting 84000 points back this year!

    • Rob says:

      My wife got this too. Don’t see the value with no IC family trips lined up.

      • Roger says:

        For IHG hotels any point in using IHG black card if the hotel is in EU and charges in Euro?
        I can of course use the Curve to avoid the currency conversion fees.

        Wish IHG Black had no currency conversion fees as an offer!

        • Genghis says:

          You get double points – 4 points / £ equivalent but charged 3%. Good if your employer are paying.

  • Sean says:

    Quick query – I have bookings to NY on 10 August – my wife and daughter 1 on a BA holidays booking (with 2 hotel rooms for us all) and Myself and daughter 2 on a 241 booking. Have same situation back from Boston on 21st. Both bookings on the same flights. Is there any way I can ensure that in the event of a strike we are all re-routed on the same flights?

    • Shoestring says:

      not really but they are pretty helpful really and will do their best to keep you flying together

      did you pay by credit card? see Section 75 protection advice above which could be helpful if the alternative flights offered are not good enough/ do not suit your needs

    • Lady London says:

      I am not sure if it would work for these booking types but I suggest you call BA now and ask if they can “TCP” (To Complete Party – it’s basically a linking process) tgem

  • David says:

    I’m travelling solo from Heathrow T3 next Wednesday night 8pm, aiming to arrive at LHR for 5/6pm. It’s a non-upgradeable economy flight and I don’t have PP/DP/Amex Plat. I have Lounge Club from the Rewards Gold. Which is the best lounge I could pay to sit in – I’m talking best food and not crammed with people. Or, are none of them really worth it – I’ll need a bite to eat and a couple of beers. It’s been a while since I’ve flown from T3 so no idea on how busy it gets.

    • Shoestring says:

      Only 1 lounge available to you – Club Aspire, deffo worth your free Lounge Club entry if you have time to eat & drink nice & leisurely, calm & comfortable with good wifi – try the single malt Scotch, very floral and easy-drinking

      if they say no room at the inn, the pub is OK with Guinness £5/ pint

  • @mkcol says:

    OT: Just been offered Intercontinental Ambassador for US$200 plus I’ll get 15,000 Reward Club points.
    Seems decent, especially as I’ve a 3 night Intercontinental stay in Washington DC already booked.

  • Shoestring says:

    O/T spend £80, get £20 back – Eurostar

    • Harry T says:

      WorldRemit isn’t working because I need to prove I live in Australia and I’m a resident. As I live in the UK, am not an Australian citizen and have some residual savings in Australia, can’t think of a way round this…

      • Harry T says:

        Never mind, think I found a way around this and the transaction is now pending.

    • Jonah says:

      Isn’t it hotel spend only?

      • Shoestring says:

        Save to Card to get a £20 statement credit on an eligible transaction of £80+ in participating hotel(s) and online at Eurostar by 9/8/2019. Valid once per Card for the first 15,000 Cardmembers to save. Terms, location & payment restrictions apply.
        Available in participating hotel(s) and online at

        well, the ‘online’ bit covers everything you pay online, not just the hotels they offer

  • Nick says:

    So was 30 mins away from landing at Gatwick when pilot turned Around and returned to departure airport

    What can Amex plat insurance provide?

    Guessing no eu 261

    • Shoestring says:

      no EC261 compo for ATC problems

      you’re entitled to duty of care though (hotel & food/ drink not booze) – don’t take a rubbish hotel if offered, you can choose your own, £200 budget, plus reasonable restaurant expenses & taxi to hotel

      • Nick says:

        Is that with vuelling?

        Does Amex offer anything enhanced on top of this?

        • Shoestring says:

          duty of care has nothing to do with Amex, it’s your EC261 right to be looked after in this situation

          • Nick says:

            Yes I understand the airline has the duty of care

            My question is whether I can also (in addition) use my Amex plat and or ba premium travel insurance benefits too?

          • Shoestring says:

            yes if there’s something extra in the T&Cs & you qualify, so read them perhaps 🙂

            insurance cos are notoriously good at never paying for a benefit when you can claim it from somewhere else

    • Lady Lodon says:

      What was the reason for the turaround?

      • Alex says:

        Gatwick ATC went down. Whole airport was in shut down mode for a few hours. Nothing in & Nothing out

  • Louise says:

    OT Tesco 40% bonus to Avios offer in email

    To qualify for the 40% bonus Avios the Eligible Participant will need to have collected Avios with Shell Drivers Club in the last thirty-six months.

    From 11 July 2019 any Tesco Clubcard points converted to Avios in your Tesco Clubcard account by midnight on 31 December 2019 will qualify for 40% bonus Avios. Any points earned after this date will not qualify for the 40% bonus.

    • Shoestring says:

      strange requirement but that’s me out, then

      • BJ says:

        Indeed, when I first glanced at Louise’s comment I thought I’d messed up transferring my Tesco mobile stash but seems not. I doubt there are many customers left with 5 figure clubcard balances so not as great as it looks.

        • Shoestring says:

          we’ll both send over £2.50 to see if we get it anyway 🙂

      • Louise says:

        I think it’s aimed at those who converted shell to Avios, as the email wants you to get petrol at Tesco stations!

        • Shoestring says:

          yep but I don’t understand the logic, why reward ex Shell users for having used Shell in the past? there’s nothing in the Shell relationship going forward. Tesco don’t seem to be incentivising new, desirable shopping behaviour – but rewarding old, now unwanted buying habits

          • pablo says:

            It’s to encourage Shell users to switch their fuel purchases to Tesco.

  • Evan says:

    Blimey all these moaners. Well if you don’t want to go at Xmas or next Summer it means some others who didn’t get tickets (again) this time might be able to go! Just remind me how much did the ticket cost and did you not get one drink and a raffle entry?

    • Evan says:

      Ooops wrong thread!

    • Rob says:

      And crisps / nibbles, cakes and fruit salad 🙂

      • Lady London says:

        Only for some!

        Marriott were very generous but I don’t thini they catered for 500. I couldn’t get near the bar to get my free drink, had water all night (not really focused on alcohol, so actually didn’t mind) and donated my drink ticket to a good cause. However what I did miss was the muffins/macaroons of which there was no sign!

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