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British Airways has launched a promotion in which it’s offering Executive Club members a 50% bonus when they purchase Avios by 8 May 2018. On top of offering the same bonus as we saw back in November the airline has also kept in place the increased 200,000 annual limit for Avios purchases that was introduced last year.
As always there are two price points at which Avios can be purchased in this promotion – one for US BAEC members and one for European based BAEC members and I’ll be addressing both in this post.
Buy Avios With A 50% Bonus – Headline T&Cs
- This promotion is only open to Eligible Participants. An Eligible Participant is a person aged 18 or over and is a British Airways Executive Club (‘BAEC’) Member.
- Between 00:01 hr BST Monday 23 April and 23:59 hr BST Tuesday 8 May 2018 (the ‘Promotional Period’) Eligible Participants will receive 50% Avios bonus upon any Purchase or Gift Avios transaction.
- Avios points can only be purchased on BA.com using the Purchase Avios points Application Form
- Eligible Participants may Gift Avios (purchase for someone else) during the promotional period, provided that the recipient holds or opens a British Airways Executive Club account and the recipient’s BAEC membership number is entered at the time of purchase. Members can receive up to 200,000 gifted Avios. The recipient will receive 50% bonus Avios.
- Eligible Participants may not exceed their annual 200,000 Avios limit. Bonus Avios do not count towards your annual limit.
- Purchased Avios are non-refundable and non-transferable.
- Avios are issued and redeemed in accordance with the British Airways Executive Club Terms and Conditions.
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.
The lowest number of Avios you can buy (1,000) costs $53.00 and will net you 1,500 Avios after the bonus is accounted for.
This brings the cost/Avios out to be 3.53 cents.
That’s incredibly expensive.
As you move up the scale the cost/Avios decreases:
• 10,000 Avios will net 15,000 Avios after the bonus at a cost of $300 or 2.00 cents/Avios
• 30,000 Avios will net 45,000 Avios after the bonus at a cost of $80 or 1.89 cents/Avios
• 100,000 Avios will net 150,000 Avios after the bonus at a cost of $2,775 or 1.85 cents/Avios
If you’d like to buy the full allowable allocation 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 Europe
In Europe there’s a decrease in cost/Avios the more Avios you buy (just like in the US) and, when you buy the maximum number of Avios allowed, it will set you back €3,601 and you’ll net 300,000 Avios.
This works out to a cost/Avios of ~1.20 Euro Cents or ~1.5 US Cents
Should You Buy Avios In This Sale?
Long Haul Flights
For long-haul bookings Avios are almost always a poor option to go with as award bookings tend to attract ridiculously high surcharges….but there can be times when Avios saves the day.
This usually happens when you’re not looking to book too far in advance and will primarily be be of use to those who can’t be very flexible with their travel plans.
If you needed to fly from New York to London on 13 July and you wanted to return on 17 July the cheapest non-stop Business Class fare available (on any airline) is $4,117:
For the same dates you can book a British Airways Business Class award for 120,000 Avios + $1,301.46:
In this scenario the 120,000 Avios would save you ~$2,816 which means that each Avios would save you ~2.35 cents.
That’s not bad if you only paid 1.5 or 1.84 cents each for them.
Short Haul Flights
Avios usually come into their own on short-haul flights as the taxes can be negligible if you’re flying within the US, Asia or Australia. Even within Europe the taxes on awards are capped by BA so there’s definitely value to be had.
Examples of good value can be found on popular European routes like London – Cyprus which can get very expensive.
During peak season roundtrip Economy Class awards on this route will cost 20,000 Avios and approximately $55 in taxes and fees but cash fares can sky-rocket past $700.
Even if you could book a cash fare that worked for you for $455 you would still be saving money by booking an award with Avios purchased in this promotion.
20,000 Avios would essentially save you $400 meaning that each Avios would save you 2.0 cents – that’s not bad if you bought Avios at 1.5 cents or 1.84 cents each.
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….those points/Avios/miles that you would be forgoing have value so you should take that into account when working out the best course of action.
Remember: British Airways processes it’s own points sales so, if you use credit cards like the Citi Prestige, Chase Sapphire or even any of the British Airways credit cards, you’ll earn a lot of bonus points/Avios for spending on travel or for spending directly with the airline.
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. working out the cost of the award (including surcharges) and comparing it to the cost of a cash fare for the same trip.
For some it will also be worth taking into account any companion vouchers they may have but the math still needs to be done – Avios are a tricky currency to use economically so don’t avoid the work.