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British Airways is running another Avios sale and as we have seen in the past, it’s offering a bonus of up to 50% on Avios purchases as long as they’re completed by the end of the day on 19 December 2022.
A 50% bonus represents the best bonus we generally see British Airways offer and even though this level of incentive is nowhere near as rare as it once was, if you need to top up an Avios account this may be a sale worth a closer look.
- The offer is available until 23:59 (GMT) Monday 19 December 2022 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.
- This offer is only valid when you Buy or Gift 5,000 Avios and above.
- Avios can only be purchased or gifted at Purchase and Gift Avios Application.
- 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 numbers if you have a US-based account
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 numbers if you have a UK-based account
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 cost you £3,215.
This works out to a cost/Avios of £0.0107 or ~$0.0129
Is this sale any good?
As usual, let’s get the formalities out of the way: If you don’t plan to use any Avios that 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) this isn’t a sale that you should be considering.
Having said all of that, it’s worth noting that while historically it has been advisable for US-based Avios collectors to avoid British Airways Avios sales and to only buy Avios in a good Iberia sale (because Iberia was allowing Iberia Plus members to buy Avios in Euros regardless of the country to which their account is registered), this is no longer an executable plan.
Since earlier this year, all Iberia Avios sales are now processed in the currency of the country in which a member’s Iberia Plus account is registered, so Iberia no longer offers US-based Avios collectors a cheaper way to buy Avios than British Airways.
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.
Historically, it has not been particularly economical to use purchased Avios for long-haul premium cabin fares unless a 2-4-1 voucher or a companion pass was also being used. Now, however, the calculations have been altered a little by the fact that British Airways flyers can reduce the surcharges added to award bookings by paying more Avios, so it’s probably worth rechecking any past calculations to see if there’s more value to be had than before.
You could also consider buying Avios in the current sale and moving them across to Iberia Plus (assuming that you have an active Iberia account) from where you could use them to book select long-haul routes on which Iberia charges fewer Avios than British Airways.
Lastly, don’t forget that good value can often also be extracted from purchased Avios by using them on short-haul award bookings where the surcharges are low (e.g. Europe) or close to nonexistent (e.g. within the US, Australia, Asia, etc…). 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
Run the numbers!
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 that you may wish to collect) while an award flight will not. These points/Avios/miles that you would be giving up have a 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, to work out the cost of the award (including surcharges), and then compare that cost 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 sums still need to be worked out – Avios can be a tricky currency to use economically so don’t avoid the work.