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British Airways launches a new 50% ‘buy Avios’ points bonus – worth it?

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British Airways has launched another ‘buy Avios’ bonus promotion. This is part of its September sale promotion, which we will cover in a separate article very soon.

Until 30th September you will receive 50% bonus Avios when you buy or gift points.

Whilst this isn’t as good as the 75% offer we saw a few months ago, I would be very surprised if we saw another deal as good as that one. BA had never done anything as aggressive in the past. 50% is as good as you can expect.

There is no minimum purchase.  The bonus kicks in with the smallest 1,000 Avios transaction.  You need to visit ba.com via this page in order to buy.

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 300,000 Avios for a whopping £3,215.

This is not necessarily a great idea as the best value is generally obtained by buying a small number of Avios to top off your account.  If you saw me on BBC1’s Rip Off Britain (you can watch the segment here, it is only 3 minutes long) you will know that one of the members of the public I tried to help had bought 100,000 Avios for £1,600 without fully understand the restrictions behind them.

50% buy Avios bonus now on

What does it cost?

In general, you will pay around 1.1p per Avios under this offer.  Based on my spreadsheet of the last 8.2 million Avios I redeemed, I got 1.13p of value.  This is using very conservative valuations for the flights booked, eg I value a Business Class flight to Dubai at £1,500 because even if BA isn’t charging that there is usually a deal with a secondary airline.

I am not a buyer at 1.1p.  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.

If you want to learn more about how to spend your Avios most efficiently, read our beginner’s guide to redeeming Avios points here.

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. You can learn how to save Avios with the British Airways companion voucher in this article.

The link to buy is here.

Comments (47)

  • cinereus says:

    Sorry, not even close to a buy for me…

  • Vit says:

    Scroll on. Nothing to see here. 😉

  • tony says:

    I had to unpick six flight bookings this year made through various channels. By far the easiest ones to do were those booked on miles, but i’d still be hard pressed to be able justify giving BA hard cash in return for a promissory note when there’s absolutely no way we can know
    1) where BA will be flying
    2) where I will be able to travel
    3) whether BA will devalue the Avios before I can use them.

  • Karim says:

    @Rob – What would be your valuation if you haven’t been doing Gold Priority Rewards?

    @Everyone – Whats your record for the best value per avios? 😁

    • FFoxSake says:

      Best value? Concorde from New York… absolutely priceless memories!

    • GaryC says:

      Best value I had was family of 5 booked Heathrow to Tokyo, out in First back in Business in April, so blossom season. Used 2 x Amex 241’s and some GUF vouchers. The cash price of the tickets was around £25k. Then Covid hit, and it got cancelled! Rebooked for early next year, but I’m not that hopeful, and the aircraft is now an A350 so no F product.

      • Robert says:

        Same circumstances for myself but with 3 fewer travellers. It seems we can get up to 75% compensation on being downgraded from F to Club Suite, once the entire trip is completed. We would never have got Sakura if it wasn’t for the cancellations so that’s one positive for me, now to find good value hotels during that period!

    • memesweeper says:

      I don’t know about best ever, as I’ve not even flown the route yet and it could be cancelled, but I got £ 18,500 worth of flights for 325000 Avios and circa £ 2,500 off a booking I made a few months ago. Involved a companion voucher and a Lloyds upgrade too. I’d make that about 4p each, but really you need to ascribe some value to the vouchers themselves, so maybe 3p each for the Avios.

      An out in business/back in first redemption London to North America a few years before was similarly rewarding, again, using a companion voucher.

      Other than a small topping up, if you have a 2-4-1 companion voucher a big top up could be worth it with a 50% bonus if that gets you from short haul range into longhaul business/first class territory.

    • Andy says:

      Best for me is EDI/MLE booked for March 2021 (if I’m able to go 🤷‍♂️), out in J, back in F using a 2:1 and 163,500 Avios… cash fare on the same day was £12,777.66

    • Rob says:

      Not massively higher, because the number of Avios involved is a fairly small part of the total we spend. Perhaps add another 0.1p at most.

      However …. my valuation puts no value on flexibility. We cancel huge numbers of Avios flights. For October half term we have Dubai/Muscat, Dubai/Dubai and Barbados booked. You simply can’t do that with cash tickets.

      I’m typing this in Newquay. We were going to come today but changed our minds and decided to come a day earlier (actually 36 hours earlier due to BA’s odd flight times). Again, we couldn’t have done that if we’d paid cash for the original flights. There is real value in being able to live like this.

      • Mark says:

        Except as a regular traveller you could for it with cash at the moment, if you’re willing to have a chunk of money tied up in future travel vouchers.

      • Karim says:

        I agree that flexibility is a huge plus, I tend to value the one way option the most. It got me where I needed to be in many occasions without paying the premium of the one way ticket.

    • Anna says:

      It’s hard to say as cash prices fluctuate, but last year we flew F to JFK at May half term and back in CW – the week before travel cash prices were £5k each for that route. School holidays will always get good value. We go to GCM (normally) each year and J seats are between £2.5k and £3k return, so that’s always a good use of avios plus 2 4 1.

      • Tom says:

        Hi Anna, any advice on where to stay in a Grand Cayman. I have a stack of IHG points but worried that the Kimpton will be super expensive for food/activities. Looking for a decent balance on price/quality. Family of 4 travelling.

        • Anna says:

          Hi Tom, when are you going? I am starting to think our Easter trip won’t now go ahead because the government can’t find a safe way of re-starting tourism without long quarantine periods or a vaccine, which isn’t imminent!
          Kimpton – amazing redemption value, I have 5 nights booked there for April, if it goes ahead (4 on points plus 1 free night certificate). The double queen studios have a wet bar with a fridge so you can store snacks and breakfast things. There are various reasonably priced cafes nearby like Eats and Duke’s which are open all day. If you hire a car you have a lot more eating options, though you could always get the public bus into Georgetown as well.
          The Holiday Inn is also great value at 25k points pn BUT it’s quite out of the way and you would need a car. We did stay there for one night on arrival one year and it does have a nice pool and restaurant, but no beach, so it depends what you want. It also doesn’t seem to charge a resort fee, unlike the Kimpton at $75 pn!!
          For families there are various condo options but these tend to be expensive. There is a place you can book on hotels . com called the 7 mile Beach Resort & Club which you can get for as little as $250 pn sometimes. You can also rent units at the Morritt’s Tortuga Club where we have our timeshare, but it’s at the far end of the island and you WILL need a car. Hope this helps!

          • Anna says:

            Also be aware that the flight is longer the most Caribbean routes – 12 hours because of the stop at Nassau, so make sure you take lots of entertainment options for the kids!

          • Optimus Prime says:

            Out of curiosity – what happens at Nassau? Do you get off the plane or wait inside till the new passengers come onboard?

          • Anna says:

            You stay on board, they alse change crew as well in both directions. There’s minimal cabin service on the short leg so no-one should book this route thinking they are going to get extra value out of their avios!
            The stop is normally about 90 minutes but last year a private jet crash landed on the runway just as we were preparing to take off so we had to wait while it was cleared away! (No casualties btw).

          • Tom says:

            Hi Anna, that helps a lot, thanks. We are planning for next summer. I have enough Avios (and 2-4-1) for a return in Business and about 360k IHG points. I was thinking 2 nights at the Holiday Inn and 5 nights at the Kimpton (Including my free night, should be 330k). The Kimpton looks amazing and I’d love to stay there, just a bit worried that food, drinks and activities will bankrupt me. Any idea what an in resort meal for a family will cost, roughly. I think the redemption value of the Kimpton (even with the resort fee) swings it. Planning to hire a car too, so will check out the food places you mention. Thanks again, and I hope your trip goes ahead in April.

          • Anna says:

            Thanks – we are booked for April and August so maybe at least one will go ahead! Keep an eye on the updates on the Cayman News Service website. If you eat at the Kimpton’s own restaurants I would budget at least $100 for one course each and a drink (that’s US dollars, some restuarants charge in the Cayman dollar which is worth about £1 so you need to check! Also 15% tip is added to all bills by law). Car hire is a great option as they drive on the left and there are some lovely areas of the island where you can find quiet spots. If you get out to East End, the tapas happy hour ( 3pm – 5pm) at Tukka is a great value option, and the food is terrific. I would also suggest packing some (non-perishable) snacks as supermarket prices are about 4 times higher than the UK and stocks very much aimed at the North American market. (£5 for a large bar of Dairy Milk, anyone?)

          • Anna says:

            Also – it’s very expensive to buy car insurance from the local hire companies so it’s useful to buy a separate policy before you travel. If you rent via BA with Avis, it will include insurance, but still with a big excess.

          • Anna says:

            And finally, don’t forget you’re not guaranteed BA will release more than 2 avios seats in CW! This is the first year I have seen them do this, but not on every flight so you need to keep an eye on your dates.

    • tony says:

      Best value can get silly as we got 5 award seats in First, LHR-YVR, back in club from Seattle. BA would only sell 4 in A class, so arguably the booking was worth almost £50k, but there’s no way i’d have paid that!

      One way premium awards round Asia are good value. We should have been in W on JAL a couple of weeks back, TYO-HKG. That’s £600 in cash, or 16,500 miles and £25 in charges, so 3.5p per Avios.

      Also flew LGW-SZG on the first Saturday of the Feb half term with my son for a couple of days skiing. We booked a few days before travel and BA were only selling full fare, which I think was about £650 in club, £550 in economy. I also had a 2-4-1 going spare, so that was almost 14p per Avios. Had we flown in Y we would have been looking at 23p/Avios value.

      • Stu N says:

        9p per Avios. Cash price of £3k each for 2 people flying Cathay First from Tokyo to Hong Kong, or £293 plus 60,000 Avios for both of us

        In reality we’d have just gone in PE for about £500, if paying cash but really wanted to try CX First.

    • Erico1875 says:

      When you could get free stop overs short haul EDI -LHR-GLA so you could do a London mini break for 4500 Avios and £17.50 RFS

    • Karim says:

      Well done with all the 10p+ redemptions!!! I found it extremely impressive how you’ve reached such an amazing value. I must stop feeling good about my 2-3p (no achievement) redemptions 😁!

      My personal favorite comment though is @ERICO’s simple yet genius EDI -LHR-GLA London mini break. Being based in EDI and often in London for meetings this could work well.

      I don’t usually comment much on articles, but I must say I have enjoyed reading your stories and experiences even more than the article itself! Thanks for sharing and thanks HFP for the excellent content and platform. 😁

      • tony says:

        Remember if you’re getting the Avios for ‘free’ then anything over the hotel cash out rate of – I think 0.65p – is good. Also it’s very silly to go somewhere because you get the maximum value for the miles. Go where you want to.

        Finally that wheeze for EDI-LON-GLA is dead now. BA used to offer free stopovers on short haul awards but it’s now always priced per sector. 🙁

      • Erico1875 says:

        Karim
        ” My personal favorite comment though is @ERICO’s simple yet genius EDI -LHR-GLA London mini break. Being based in EDI and often in London for meetings this could work well”

        Unfortunately this no longer works as we no longer getvfree stop overs on short haul redemptions

  • Mark says:

    Could someone explain how Gifting’ Avios points works?

    • dezbez says:

      Generally badly Mark, as its expensive and no new Avios are generated. Check out this article below which explains, including some less-expensive possibilities:
      https://www.headforpoints.com/2019/01/02/can-you-transfer-avios-points-to-someone-else/

      • Anna says:

        I think Marks means buying them for someone else. I’ve never done it but I assume you select that option on ba.com, and input the recipient’s BAEC number before paying, so the avios go to their account and not yours.

        • Peter North says:

          What are the best toilets that head for pointers have come across in Luxury Hotels, I really rate the Park Hyatt In NYC, closely followed by the four seasons in Park Lane.

          • Rob says:

            Shangri-La The Shard, in the lobby. Amazing views over London from 30-odd stories up.

          • Anna says:

            Not a hotel but the best airport lounge toilets I’ve been in were definitely in the CX lounge! They looked like they should be in a nice hotel, as opposed to any of the BA ones, which, as has been pointed out before, look as though they should be in a NHS hospital!

          • Genghis says:

            Tokyo Mandarin Oriental public ones. Urinals facing the window with great views.

      • Mark says:

        Thanks DEZBEZ.. I very much doubt if I will ever get to Gold status to be able to gift Avios for free.. and the fees BA charge for transferring Avios over are quite steep.. Much appreciated

  • Kevin Swinbourne says:

    How does everyone get so many Avios?

  • Paul says:

    Excuse my ignorance but a number of you refer to 2 for 1 or companion vouchers… what are these? I’m guessing something to do with Amex? It is a card that I find hard to use certainly in the UK. I assume a lot of spending is required to qualify? I ask as I am starting to travel long haul more frequently and have used BA not out of choice (I think other airlines are preferable) however upgrading to business using air-miles when possible is clearly an advantage.

    Thanks in advance.

  • Kevin Swinbourne says:

    Paul, I can send you a link so we both can get some bonus Avios, if that’s okay with HfP 🙂