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Get a 20%-45% bonus when you buy Avios – worth it?

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British Airways has launched a new short-term ‘buy Avios’ bonus.

You will receive a bonus of up to 45% Avios when you buy or gift points by 18th August.

This is not as high as the 50% bonuses we have seen from time to time.  The bonus is also staggered, and you need to buy a whopping 100,000 to get the full 45%.

You need to visit ba.com via this page in order to buy.

45% buy Avios bonus

This is how the bonus is staggered:

  • 20% bonus when you buy 1,000 to 15,000 Avios
  • 30% bonus when you buy 20,000 to 35,000 Avios
  • 35% bonus when you buy 40,000 to 90,000 Avios
  • 45% bonus when you buy 100,000 to 200,000 Avios

As you can see, British Airways has increased the number of Avios you can buy under this deal – the cap is now 200,000 points per year.  This means that, with the bonus, you will receive 290,000 Avios for a whopping £3,215.

I am not a buyer at 1.1p, which is what you pay if you buy 100,000+.  However, as my core article on ‘What is an Avios worth?’ shows, it is easy to get a lot more than 1.1p.  My valuation is low because I do a lot of Gold Priority Rewards (using double Avios to force open a seat, mainly due to school holiday restrictions) and don’t always have a BA Amex 2-4-1 voucher to use.  I also tend to use Avios irrespective of the value, because I am sitting on a lot of them.  If you are strategic you should do far better than me.

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.

The link to buy is here.

(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 (140)

  • ahop says:

    When do we usually see the Tesco transfer ‘prizes’ appearing? E.g. Transfer £2.50 for a chance to win 100,000 avios.

  • Spaghetti Town says:

    Does anybody else find hiltons website complete junk or is it just me?

    • Travel Strong says:

      I quite like it. It’s like a step back to a simpler time. It’s got everything you want there somewhere, if you want to see the last years Christmas Meal menu for Newbury, and if there isn’t a Java error stopping anything on the page functioning. Honestly I just use the app now – which actually well.

  • AJ says:

    OT (I should know this but I don’t!) – looking to use my BA 2-4-1 in September. They have outbound availability but not inbound availability (coming back from a different airport). Can I book outbound online then call up and book inbound when available without incurring a change fee? Rather not have to pay another £70 on-top of the already pretty crazy taxes if possible. Thanks

    • Lady London says:

      Yes you can do that. There are almost daily questions and answers covering this on hère. You will have to pay the change fee though – unless what you want to add is not able to be booked online such as a return from an adjacent airport to the one you landed at (as one example).

      • Genghis says:

        Change fee will still be applicable. Fee only not applied if the flight adding to the booking was not available at the time at booking outbound (i.e booking t-355 ahead)

        • Londoner says:

          Not correct. If returning from a different airport there is no fee no matter when you make the booking as it cannot be made online. Did it recently myself as well for a trip in November.

          • Genghis says:

            Even if there was no inbound availability when you booked the outbound (regardless of open jaw point)?

          • Genghis says:

            OP wants to book an outbound now for September (this year). No inbound availability. Even if inbound availability opens up from another airport, thereby making an open jaw possible, change fee should still be payable (this contrasts to any booking over the phone fee as this cannot be done online or booking at t-355 as inbound could never be booked as not available).

  • Will says:

    Completely OT, is it possible to book flights on Hong Kong express airline (owned by Cathay) with avios?

    • Spaghetti Town says:

      Pretty sure the Cathay takeover is not even complete.

      Unless there was a BA flight code on the booking I can’tr see how you could tbh.

    • marcw says:

      Nope. Don’t expect it anytime soon.

    • will says:

      It was completed a few weeks ago AFAIK, I’ll keep an eye out for it over the coming months.

  • Hugh says:

    OT: Can someone remind me about the Iberia 90 Day Rule. A friend wants to book some Iberia flights with Avios. They don’t yet have an Iberia account. Do they have to wait 90 days before they can transfer Avios from BAEC? I have a horrible feeling the answer is going to be yes!

    • Rob says:

      Yes.

      You can book them via BA.com of course but for long haul the taxes will be massively higher.

    • Spaghetti Town says:

      Thanks for the tip – I’ll open one today incase I need to use Iberia in the future 😀

    • Russ says:

      Nope its three months not 90 days.

      • Shoestring says:

        plus must have earned Avios in the IB a/c, eg Amex transfer MR points would do it

        • Hugh says:

          Shoestring. Actually, that might be ok!

          I think their points are currently all Amex MR Points. I was thinking they had transferred them to BAEC but I might be wrong! If that is the case could they open an account, transfer the points and book the flights immediately?

          • Shoestring says:

            yep there’s no 90 day/ 3 month rule on using Avios earned in an IB a/c, you can transfer them in then use them the next day

            plus ISTR that whilst you can’t buy Avios in a zero balance IB a/c, once you earn an Avios point through other means, you can buy as many Avios as you like (well, 300,000 in a year is the latest limit, I guess)

          • Hugh says:

            Thanks Shoestring!!!

          • Shoestring says:

            also, might help I suppose, we’re not in any kind of household a/c with IB but there was no problem using my & my wife’s IB points for other people to fly, it was for our kids but there was no check on address etc, they could have been complete strangers

            so ultimately if points are falling short somewhere, you might be able to buy them tickets through your own IB a/c

    • Hugh says:

      Thanks. I had a horrible feeling that was going to be the case.

      We are planning a trip to the USA and our friends wanted to fly back with us on Iberia business class, would have been their first time in Business Class, and BA is too expensive, but looks like it won’t be possible. I don’t think they will want to risk waiting 90 days as I doubt there will still be availability, and I can’t think of any way round this!

    • Hugh says:

      Here is a follow up question!

      The route we are looking at is Mexico City to Madrid. On the day we are looking at there are 3 flights, all have availability for 2 people, none (not surprisingly) have availability for 4!

      Do you think Iberia release availability for the route or for each plane. Ie If two of us books one of the flights what are the chances the availability on the other 2 flights might disappear simultaneously? It would be annoying to transfer the points to Iberia to have this happen!

      • marcw says:

        IbPlus works slightly different to BAEC. On each IB flight, there will be 2 Business seats and at least 4 economy seats (sometimes more, split between Blue/Full Economy fare). It’s unlikely IB releases more Avios seats in Business unless it’s August. However, IbPlus may have more Business seats available on the same flight, but only in combination with another segment: married-segments logic. But that’s not always the case, unfortunately.

      • Shoestring says:

        per plane

        wouldn’t stake my life on it but I’d be astonished if they only allocated (say) 2 reward flight each day, showed up 6 (ie 2x 3 planes) then made the other 4 disappear once the first 2 got taken

      • Hugh says:

        Thanks, you guys are a mine of useful information. Can I trouble you with one more question….

        I can see availability Mexico to Madrid, and I can see availability Madrid to Manchester but when I try to look at Mexico to Manchester online it won’t route me via Madrid and doesn’t show availability. Presumably if I called up and booked over the phone the agent could force the route and join them up so they are on one ticket and protected if the first flight is delayed? Is there is an extra booking fee though for booking over the phone? And do the customer service agents speak reasonable English?

        • marcw says:

          That’s exactly the problem. IbPlus has married-segment logic, similar to American Airlines and Qatar Airways. I’m not sure agents are able to book several segments under one PNR. But you can try….

        • Lady London says:

          You will find for anything coming back into London Iberia seems to be programmed for BA to operate the flights whichi is really annoying. I gave up on several bookings I really did not want to fly BA on or route via the UK on the Iberia’s machine was having none of it.

          Calling Iberia gets you someone not very helpful and/or apparently not very competent a huge percentage of the time and after the fiasco of their messup of the booking I intially used my 90K on, I really did not have the strength to even try to call Iberia to see if they could add hte segments manually to get the routing I wanted. I suspect they could have, though, and their phone booking fee is actually reasonable.

  • dicksbits says:

    So in fact the Amex purchase 20,000 & get a 10,000 avios bonus was a good buy last month for £335, as the current BA offer would only get you 26,000 inc the bonus.

    • Shoestring says:

      you’re always on safe enough ground with 1p-1.1p as it’s easy to get better value than that – if not, just use cash instead on that occasion

      many of us aim to acquire Avios a bit more cheaply than 1p, though 🙂

      don’t ask Genghis how much he *used* to get them for as it’s a sore point lol

      I never got my average down as low as 0.02p (ISTR, right Genghis?) but am happy enough with 0.3p average as was, bit harder these days, I don’t get free ones flying for work so that messes me up compared to some people

      • Genghis says:

        Times change and we need to change with the times 🙁
        HSBC prem working out well though with the 25% bonus now on 🙂

        • Jimbob says:

          I can’t get the maths to work on the hsbc prem credit card, by the time you’ve paid for 2 years of annual fees, it’s costing 1p per point, although I guess the 25% bonus helps bring that price point down.

          • Rob says:

            The card is basically free for 2 years if you value the 50,000 Avios (with 25% bonus) at £390 and then you’re getting 1.25 Avios per £1.

          • rams1981 says:

            Good reminder that. My second fee has come and gone so I should cancel at year end. Silly they don’t have an annual bonus.

      • Polly says:

        Neither do we for work. So all hard earned these days. Appreciate every opportunity now. The elite really helps linked to curve. Didn’t get the fee waived this year tho. Lots of hassle past yrs so they waived it. So l guess they were worth more, esp with the bonus atm.

  • David says:

    Mildly OT, but has anyone had any repercussions booking a return on Virgin (e.g. back from the US) and only flying the outward leg?