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British Airways has launched its first Avios sale for a while and, as it has done in the past, it’s offering bonuses of 50% on Avios purchases made through 30 September 2020. This represents the best bonus we generally see British Airways offer (even during a pandemic!), if you need to top up an Avios account this is may be a sale to consider.
- The offer is available from 00:01 (BST) Thursday 27 August 2020 to 23:59 (BST) Tuesday 30 September 2020 only (the ‘Offer Period’).
- During the Offer Period, Eligible Participants will receive 50% extra Avios (bonus Avios) when they purchase or gift Avios at ba.com.
- Avios can only be purchased at ba.com using the Purchase Avios Application Form found on offer page.
- Eligible Participants may Gift Avios (purchase for someone else) during the promotional period, provided that the recipient holds a British Airways Executive Club account with at least one Avios point in their account.
- The Bonus Avios will not count towards your annual limit of 200,000 Avios.
- This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other Purchase Avios offer.
Full terms and conditions can be found on the promotion page.
Important To Know
As always, the price you pay for Avios varies depending on where in the world your British Airways Executive Club account is and US-based Executive Club members get a noticeably weaker deal than their UK-based counterparts – I’ll be addressing the cost for US-based and UK-based members below so you’ll see what I mean.
The Math – If You’re Based In The US
Although you’ll get the 50% bonus irrespective of how many or how few Avios you buy, the more Avios you buy the cheaper the cost/Avios figure becomes.
If you’d like to buy the full allowance of 200,000 Avios it will set you back $5,523 and will net you 300,000 Avios:
This works out to a cost of ~1.84 cents/Avios
The Math – If You’re Based In The UK
In the UK, just as in the US, the cost of buying Avios decreases the more Avios you buy and when you buy the maximum number of Avios allowed, it will set you back £3,215.
This works out to a cost/Avios of £0.0107 or ~$0.0141
Should You Buy Avios In This Sale?
As usual, let’s get the formalities out of the way: If you don’t plan to use any Avios you buy in this sale in the near future you should not be participating – my golden rule applies.
Right, now that that’s out of the way, let’s move on…
If you’re based in the US it’s critical that you have a plan for what you’ll do with any Avios that you may buy and are sure that any purchased Avios will be used to save you money on an otherwise expensive cash fare. Unless you genuinely need to boost your Avios balance now (and have a plan for how the Avios will be used) it may be prudent to wait for the next good Iberia sale in which Avios may well be sold at a cheaper rate (Iberia sells Avios at the same rate to everyone so having a US-based account isn’t a disadvantage).
If you’re based in the UK this is probably just about as good a sale as you’ll find so this is a good time to top up your Avios balance if you’re running a little low and you have a near-term use for Avios.
On the whole, it’s not economical to use purchased Avios for long-haul Economy Class fares thanks to the high surcharges that accompany all BA Avios bookings but if you’re looking to make a long-haul Premium Cabin booking (especially one paired with a BA 2-4-1 voucher) then there’s almost certainly value to be had here.
You could also consider buying Avios in the current sale and, if you have an active Iberia account, moving them across to Iberia Plus and using them to book select long-haul Iberia routes which incur notably lower surcharges than you’ll find BA charging.
Good value can often also be found on short-haul Avios bookings where the surcharges are low (e.g. Europe) or close to no existent (e.g. within the US, Australia, Asia, etc…), and Avios purchased in this sale may be able to save you quite a bit of money during peak periods (e.g. the European Summer) when cash rates can be disproportionately high.
How To Decide If You Should Buy Avios In This Promotion
Work out the math!
If you can see that the cost of a cash fare for your trip is greater than what a reward flight would cost (and that reward flights are actually available to book) then it may be a good idea to buy Avios in this sale and book your trip that way.
Don’t forget, however, that a cash fare will earn you Avios and Tier Points (or any other oneworld currency you may wish to collect) while an award flight will not. These points/Avios/miles that you would be giving up have value, so you should take that into account when working out the best course of action.
The only way to know how good or bad this offer is for your particular circumstances is to decide on what you’d like to spend the Avios on, work out the cost of the award (including surcharges) and then compare it to the cost of a cash fare for the same trip.
For some it will also be worth taking into account any 2-4-1/companion vouchers they may have but the math still needs to be done – Avios can be a tricky currency to use economically so don’t avoid the work.