August 17, 2022
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Buying airline points strategically can make a lot of sense, especially for first and business class redemptions, where redeeming points represents a disproportionately good deal. British Airways Executive Club is currently offering a bonus on purchased points, which some people might find to be worthwhile. This sale is only valid for a limited time, so you’ll want to act fast.

Promotion on purchased British Airways Avios

Through 11:59PM BST on Sunday, July 10, 2022, British Airways Executive Club is offering a 50% bonus on purchased Avios. With this promotion, you can receive a 50% bonus as long as you purchase at least 2,000 Avios in one transaction (pre-bonus).

How much does it cost to purchase British Airways Avios?

With British Airways Executive Club, the cost to purchase Avios varies based on how many you buy, even without any promotions — the more Avios you buy, the lower the cost per Avios. Under normal circumstances, British Airways Executive Club charges as little as 2.76 cents and as much as 5.3 cents (in USD) per Avios, before factoring in any bonuses or discounts.

There’s a further wrinkle when it comes to purchasing British Airways Avios, which is that the cost varies based on where your account is registered. For example, with the current promotion you can purchase up to 200,000 Avios and receive a 50% bonus, for a total of 300,000 Avios. The pricing for that would be as follows, depending on where your account is registered:

  • For accounts registered in the United States, you would pay $5,523
  • For accounts registered in the United Kingdom, you would pay £3,215, which is ~$3,880
  • For accounts registered in the European Union, you would pay €3,601, which is ~$3,766

As you can see, the lowest cost per purchased Avios would range from $0.0126 to $0.0184, depending on where your account is registered. That’s a huge difference. Those in the European Union get the best deal, followed by those in the United Kingdom, followed by those in the United States.

How many British Airways Avios can you purchase?

Ordinarily British Airways Executive Club lets members purchase up to 100,000 Avios per account per calendar year, before factoring in any bonuses. However, during a promotion, that cap is often increased, as is the case now. Currently you can buy up to 200,000 Avios before any bonuses.

Buy up to 200,000 British Airways Avios per year

Which credit card should you buy British Airways Avios with?

British Airways Avios purchases are processed by, meaning they don’t count as an airfare purchase for the purposes of credit card spending. Therefore I’d recommend using a card on which you’re trying to reach minimum spending, or otherwise, a credit card that maximizes your return on everyday spending.

In this case the best option is the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (review), which offers 2x miles and has no foreign transaction fees. Usually the Chase Freedom Unlimited® (review) or Citi® Double Cash Card (review) would also be good options for maximizing everyday spending, but the cards have foreign transaction fees, so wouldn’t be a good option in this case.

Best cards for non-bonused spending:

  • Earn 1% cash back when you make a purchase, earn 1% cash back when you pay for that purchase

  • $0

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

  • Earn 3% Cash Back on Dining

  • Earn 3% Cash Back at Drugstores

  • Earn 1.5% Cash Back On All Other Purchases

  • $0

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

  • Earn 2x Venture miles on every purchase

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees

  • Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check Credit

  • $95

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

  • Earn 2x Venture miles on every purchase

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees

  • 10,000 bonus miles every account anniversary

  • $395

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

  • 2x points on purchases up to $50k then 1x

  • Access to Amex Offers

  • No annual fee

Is buying British Airways Avios worth it?

British Airways Executive Club can be a polarizing frequent flyer program, given its unconventional distance based award chart. There’s a lot to love about British Airways Avios, including the ability to redeem them for great value on short haul flights with oneworld carriers, like Alaska and American.

That being said, there are hefty fuel surcharges when redeeming Avios for travel on British Airways, which many members find to be frustrating. There’s definitely value to be had with the program, though you’ll get the most value if you’re buying Avios at the lower cost (with an EU account).

See this post for some of the best uses of British Airways Avios.

There are lots of great partner redemptions with Avios

How much are British Airways Avios worth?

Everyone will value points currencies differently, but personally I value British Airways Avios at ~1.3 cents each, based on the ways to get outsized value with the distance based award chart. However, I tend to value points pretty conservatively, and there are many ways to get way more value from British Airways Avios than that.

Do British Airways Avios expire?

British Airways Avios expire after 36 months of inactivity. Any earning or redeeming of Avios will reset the expiration of your balance.

What other ways can you earn British Airways Avios?

While I think there’s a lot of value to be had with Avios, do keep in mind that there are quite a few ways to earn Avios with US credit cards. British Airways Executive Club partners with a few transferable points currencies, including Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One, and Chase Ultimate Rewards.

On top of that, there are three credit cards issued in the US that earn Avios:

You can find a detailed comparison of the three cards here.

There are lots of ways to earn British Airways Avios

Tip: buy Iberia Plus Avios instead

Note that Iberia Plus sometimes (though unfortunately not right now) offers a 50% bonus on purchased Avios, and that can represent a much better deal for some.

In theory the pricing for buying Avios is the same between programs, but there’s one major advantage to buying Iberia Avios — with Iberia even if your account is based in the US, you can buy Avios at the much lower cost in EUR, which brings down the cost considerably.

With British Airways you can only buy Avios in the currency for the country your account is registered in, while with Iberia it’s based on what country’s website you’re on. In other words, if you’re based in the US you could buy Iberia Avios at the lower EU cost.

You can transfer Avios between British Airways and Iberia, assuming you’ve had both accounts open for at least 90 days, and the accounts have some activity.

Buying Iberia Avios often represents a better value

Bottom line

British Airways is offering a 50% bonus on purchased Avios. This is among the best offers we see from British Airways Executive Club on purchased Avios, and it’s a particularly solid value for those with accounts registered in Europe.

Personally my preferred way to acquire Avios continues to be to earn them through Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One, Chase Ultimate Rewards, etc. However, if you don’t have access to US credit cards, some might consider this to be worthwhile.

Do you plan on purchasing Avios with this promotion?

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