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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.

Until 11th April you will receive 50% bonus Avios when you buy or gift points.

Whilst this isn’t as good as the 75% offer we saw last year, 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 and was desperate to get some money in the door. 50% is as good as you can expect.

50% buy Avios bonus now on

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.

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.


how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (July 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:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 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

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

We also 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

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 (27)

  • Adam says:

    How does the math work when you have 2-4-1 voucher to redeem?
    For example: Your voucher is expiring but don’t have any Avios in the account so would it make sense to buy a large amount of Avios for a long haul CW flight?

    • Rob says:

      Might do, yes – but if you have a specific trip in mind it is easy to do the maths based on the cost of cash flights.

  • Dac1234 says:

    Sadly, buying avios is not really worth it any more, with taxes and BA special charges to the US a massive £2.8k for a family of 4 in club! Versus such cheap promo fares from other airlines

    • Anna says:

      Given the cost off flying at peak times, which applies to most families, what cheap promo fares have you found which compare with the paying the cash element of avios flights?

      • tony says:

        The LH/LX offers a prime example here – £1k-£1.2k for peak period J to Asia or pay BA £600 plus a load of miles and struggle to find availability.

        The irony is, it’s not even a case of having to fly with other airlines. This summer, BA seem to be gambling on Europe remaining closed and the US being the place for holidays if you look at the fares, but more normally for August a family of 4 could get BA to Florida in Club for £6k, as well as earning 60k miles back. Net spend (at 1p/Avios) £5.4k

        Or they can scrape together 300,000 Avios and 2 2-4-1s, find availability that is rarer that rocking horse excrement and pay £2.4k in “taxes”. Net spend at 1p per Avios – £5.4k.

        On the basis I look to get 2p or more per Avios, these numbers become farcical – £4.8k on cash tickets or £8.4k using Avios. And the situation gets even sillier if you’re a family of 5 or 6.

        My take: UUA remains great value – especially looking at TATL J fares this summer – whilst RFS often surprises and I think using 2-4-1s and Avios on F redemptions is probably OK.

        • Genghis says:

          Why do you look to get 2p+ / avios? Are you therefore paying cash prices when you could redeem between 1p (replacement cost) and 2p?

          • tony says:

            Yes, because I don’t accrue as many Avios now as I used to. So making what I consider a “marginal” redemption doesn’t make sense. As an example, we booked to Greece this summer back in July (having had to cancel Osaka). Flights were back then selling at £650 each in club, we got them at 32k plus £50 each. So just under 2p per mile and I wouldn’t be keen on the 4hr+ schlep in BAs cramped 3×3 seating so I wouldn’t have bought economy.

          • tony says:

            Just to clarify, I would never buy miles speculatively, so not sure why you say the replacement cost is 1p?

          • Genghis says:

            Replacement cost is 1p as that’s what it normally costs to buy them, irrespective of whether you actually do or not.

            So as an example, let’s say those flights to Greece were selling for £550 cash (and you’d pay that) and avios flights were available.

            Ignoring avios earned to keep things simple, using your own numbers, you’d be getting ((£550-5£0) x 100) / 32,000 = 1.56p / avios.

            Yet this is below 2p, so you’d pay cash?

            But you could buy those 32k avios required for say £320, and then you’d end of paying (+£50 taxes) £370 for the flight.

          • tony says:

            “Replacement cost is 1p as that’s what it normally costs to buy them, irrespective of whether you actually do or not.”

            Apologies if i’m being thick here, but you can only buy at 1p per mile without the certainty of knowing when you will use the miles or if they will be devalued in the interim. I can’t be guaranteed that when I decide to travel, I will be 1) able to buy miles at 1p each and 2) be able to redeem them for the route I want.

            As far as I can see it, I will occasionally get the opportunity to buy miles for 1p, but won’t be able to guarantee there’s the availability I want (or even that I have a desire/need to travel) at that point. So the “usual replacement cost” has to be seen as the price the miles are available at in the open market today. Which is 1.7p.

          • Genghis says:

            Strictly speaking, you’re right, assuming your only way of obtaining avios is to buy them, so no earning from work flights (where cost is arguably zero), no Amex MR card (where cost is arguably 1p), no HSBC card (where arguably cost is 1p), no nectar points (where cost is 0.8p) etc

            Even if your only way of obtaining avios is to buy them, then buying a relatively small amount on a whim in the hope of getting a “return” is arguably worth a punt (i.e. buy for 1p, redeem for higher), especially when you’d pay cash prices when you could otherwise redeem avios for say 1.9p.

          • Genghis says:

            @Noty different strokes for different folks. If you’re happy with that logic then fine. I wouldn’t be.

          • kitten says:

            @Tony if you own the business have you taken a look at BA On Business? Rob has articles here.

        • Erico1875 says:

          Those cash fares under normal rules would be non refundable. The Avios fares are refundable, so for the same net spend, Avios wins

          • tony says:

            This remains the most ludicrous defence of Avios, yet we see it trotted out time and again.

            In the vast majority of instances for leisure travel you’d buy a non refundable ticket anyway. Just like saying “BA F to YVR was £15k a seat, so my miles are worth >10p each” is utter BS as you’d never had paid that amount in the first instance.

        • Doug M says:

          Whilst other airlines maybe offering some form of BWC comparing a flexible Avios booking with a bargain bucket fare is not like for like. Generally I’m happy with ex-EU fares, but I think when talking about Avios it’s always too example specific to just say this or that makes no sense.

    • Blindman says:

      You do know that you can use Avios-and get way better value-on other One World airlines?

  • James says:

    Slightly O/T but does buying avios points through BA or Iberia count as activity that would reset the expiry clock, in the respective accounts?

  • tony says:

    PS – anyone else think this paves the way for a BA sale starting on April 12th, in line with what had been the originally planned government announcement on foreign travel?

  • peter says:

    300k Avios for £3215, worth £2400 in Nectar.. if you were wondering if it could be worth to trigger Amex bonus.. – no.

  • Erico1875 says:

    0.8 is the MINIMUM value of an Avios. They can of course be worth much more.
    You obviously wouldn’t buy at 1.1 to cash out to Nectar, however there are lots of instances where it would make sence

  • The real John says:

    As Rob said, the only time I would ever buy Avios was if I was just about to book a trip and it worked out cheaper. I would also need to consider avios and TPs earned, but I’m not worrying about TPs for a while.

  • cinereus says:

    Betteridge’s Law.

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