British Airways is currently running another ‘buy Avios’ bonus promotion. We mentioned this in passing over Christmas but I thought it was worth covering again as it ran at a very quiet time.
In conjunction with the current British Airways sale, which runs to 30th January, British Airways is running four additional offers. Before I get onto the ‘buy Avios’ deal, I want to run over the other three again quickly:
Offer 1: Get better value on certain routes using Avios part payment
You get improved redemption rates when you buy a cash ticket in the BA sale and use Avios to reduce the cost. However, it is only valid on San Diego, Boston, New York City, Johannesburg, Tel Aviv, Kuala Lumpur, Bahamas, and San Jose (Costa Rica) and only in World Traveller. It is good value if you only redeem a small number of Avios, as 1600 points will get you a £20 discount.
Offer 2: Get an extra 15% off hotels when booked with Avios
If you use your Avios to book a hotel, paying either wholly or partly with Avios, you save 15% on the standard rate. It is only valid for selected destinations. The current list is Cape Town, Nice, Dublin and San Francisco.
The best way to benefit from this deal is to select just 1,000 Avios at check-out and pay the rest in cash. You will still get a 15% discount on the usual cash price. Remember, however, that these are ‘third party bookings’ which do not earn hotel loyalty points and you will not get any hotel elite status benefits.
Offer 3: Get up to 3,500 Avios back when using Avios to pay for car hire
Use your Avios to pay for an Avis or Budget car rental and you will be emailed a voucher worth up to 3,500 Avios. You need to spend 10,000 to 20,000 Avios to receive a voucher for 1,500 Avios, or over 20,000 Avios to receive a voucher for 3,500 Avios back. Your rental needs to be completed by 30th June
It isn’t the greatest deal ever. At the very best (ie you spend exactly 20,000 points) you are only getting a rebate of 17.5% and the ‘pence per Avios’ value is likely to be around 0.66p.
Offer 4: Get a 30% bonus when you buy Avios
I want to spend a little more time on this one, as it is the one most relevant to most readers.
You will get a 30% bonus when you buy or gift Avios at this page of ba.com by 30th January.
Here is some typical pricing:
5,000 Avios + 1,500 bonus = £95 (1.46p)
20,000 Avios + 6,000 bonus = £335 (1.29p)
50,000 Avios + 15,000 bonus = £815 (1.25p)
The cap is:
200,000 Avios + 60,000 bonus = £3,215 (1.24p)
This is not the best deal we have seen in the past six months. If you do not need the Avios immediately, I wouldn’t be surprised if another offer for a 50% bonus comes along in the medium term. The other cheap options – via Groupon Ireland or Groupon Spain – are not available at the moment either.
However, if you are looking to redeem in the short term then this deal is clearly better than nothing.
In general, you will pay around 1.25p per Avios under this offer. Based on my spreadsheet of the last 7 million Avios I redeemed, I got 1.15p of value. This is using very conservative valuations for the flights booked, eg I value a Business Class flight to Dubai at £1,500 at peak times because even if BA isn’t charging that there is usually a deal with a secondary airline.
However, as my core article on ‘What is an Avios worth?’ shows, it is easy to get a lot more than 1.25p. 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 will do far better than me.
This HFP article from our ‘Avios Redemption University’ series shows you which is the cheapest way to buy Avios points from all of the options available.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 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:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.
If you have a small business, we especially recommend Capital On Cap’s Visa card which comes with a generous bonus worth 10,500 Avios:
(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.)