Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Buy Avios for 0.84p with the new Avios Balance Boost – is it worth it?

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It’s not clear what strategy British Airways is pursuing with the direct sale of Avios.

First, it launched Avios Subscription, allowing to you buy a regular monthly top up of points at an attractive price. The price was as low as 0.89p per point.

Six months, later, BA increased the price of Avios Subscription sharply. The lowest price is now 0.99p per point.

It also jacked up the price of one-off ‘buy Avios’ purchases. The cheapest price is now 1.77p outside of promotional periods.

The trend seems to be making Avios more expensive …. but now we have a brand new feature, Avios Balance Boost. You can currently buy Avios via Balance Boost for as little as 0.84p. What is going on?

Buy cheap Avios with the new Avios Booster - is it worth it?

What is Avios Balance Boost?

Avios Balance Boost is a simple concept but with a few bits of small print.

Put simply, you can buy a lump sum of Avios equivalent to 100%, 200% or 300% of the Avios you have earned in the last 30 days.

What does it cost to use Avios Balance Boost?

You can find Avios Balance Boost on the usual ‘buy Avios’ page here.

Here is the pricing:

How does Avios Booster work?

Unless you are trying to buy over 300,000 Avios via Balance Boost, which is unlikely unless you are trying to boost a chunky credit card sign-up bonus, you will pay between 0.92p and 0.96p per Avios.

We generally say that you should be able to get over 1p for a premium cabin Avios redemption. My personal spreadsheet of redemptions over the last 10 years shows that I got 1.22p per Avios, although we could argue for hours over the value I ascribed to flights. I would argue it is conservative, and based on sums I would personally have been prepared to pay.

The 300,000 Avios cap is based on your Boost purchases over a calendar year.

How does Avios Balance Boost work?

Here is a screenshot from my account:

Buy cheap Avios with the new Avios Balance Boost

(Note that I have earned virtually no Avios from credit card spend in the last 30 days. This is because both myself and my wife have had to put our BA Premium Plus Amex cards in a drawer, having spend around £9,900 on each, because we don’t want to trigger our 2-4-1 vouchers until after half term in October. I wrote this article on why Amex and BA should reform how the 2-4-1 companion voucher works to get around this.)

I have earned 11,230 Avios in the last 30 days which qualify for boosting. I can boost this by 100%, 200% or 300%, buying a maximum of 33,690 Avios for £309.95 (ie 0.92p.)

What sort of transactions qualify for Avios Balance Boost?

As you can see above, you can boost:

  • Avios earned from the BA shopping portal
  • Avios earned from credit card spending
  • Avios earned from flights
  • Avios earned from ‘hotels and travel’ – my 88 Avios are from Uber

According to the terms and conditions, you CANNOT boost Avios obtained via:

“balance transfers from other airlines [presumably Qatar Airways Avios transfers], Nectar exchanges, Avios shared or gifted by other members and previously bought Avios.”

Other inbound transfers, from American Express Membership Rewards, HSBC Premier, Heathrow Rewards etc, should count for boosting.

Avios Subscription purchases are excluded, presumably treated as ‘bought Avios’. Apparently Avios compensation payments from British Airways are also excluded!

(Here’s a question to ponder. Is it worth transferring American Express Membership Rewards points into Avios in order to buy up to 3x the amount at a low price?)

You can only boost a transaction once.

SPECIAL OFFER: Get a 10% bonus on Balance Boost transactions in June and July

As a launch offer, you will receive a 10% bonus when you boost your Avios in June and July.

Going back to my original example, I can buy up to 33,690 Avios for £309.95.

Clicking through, I get a 10% bonus added:

How does Avios Balance Booster work?

I can actually buy 37,059 Avios for £309.95. This is 0.84p per Avios.

0.84p is pretty attractive.


With buying Avios and Avios Subscription now being far less attractive than they were, it is odd to see British Airways launch Avios Balance Boost at a price as low as 0.84p per Avios.

If you were thinking of topping up your account, this is currently the cheapest way to do it directly.

Of couse, an even cheaper option is to get The Platinum Card from American Express before Tuesday 13th June, spend £6,000 within six months to pick up a bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points and transfer it to 60,000 Avios. Amex will also throw in £200 to spend at Amex Travel! You could then cancel the card for a pro-rata fee refund. Full details are in this article. Having a British Airways American Express card does not disqualify you from this deal.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2023)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and a huge range of valuable 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, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year 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.

Comments (150)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • ukpolak says:

    Just to close this off. I had an email earlier today that they were investigating, then this evening I noticed the 10% bonus / 22k points have been added on.

    So I’m all set and case closed for me thank goodness. Did take a while to address but we got there in the end.

  • Lee says:

    Anyone know if the Economist 15,000 bonus can be boosted?

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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