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Is It Worthwhile To Buy AVIOS With A 50% Bonus In September 2017?

British Airways are running another offer until the end of September whereby you can buy AVIOS and receive bonus AVIOS on top. You can buy or gift up to 100,000 AVIOS, but is this is good use of your hard earned cash? Would it be worthwhile for you to buy AVIOS so that you could jet off to a dream destination?

travelling on a British Airways plane with AVIOS
Source: Pixabay

To find your personalised offer, log into your account and head to ‘Executive Club’ then ‘Purchase AVIOS’. My offer includes an extra 50% bonus, but one Inside Flyer reader considered his 20% uplift to be ‘rubbish’.

My AVIOS offer

Here’s a selection of what BA are offering for me. I am a blue Executive Club member and have been a member for around 7 years. I am definitely not an elite flyer with BA! In fact, they probably hate me as I spend a lot of time complaining about them, but then they do provide endless fodder to complain about! Strikes, systems failures and cancelling scheduled flights have a habit of pissing off loyal customers!

Neverthless, this is what my offer looks like if I buy:

  • 1,000 plus bonus 500 AVIOS – £31
  • 5,000 plus bonus AVIOS – £95
  • 10,000 plus bonus 5,000 AVIOS – £175
  • 20,000 plus bonus 10,000 AVIOS – £335
  • 30,000 plus bonus 15,000 AVIOS – £495
  • 40,000 plus bonus 20,000 AVIOS – £655
  • 50,000 plus bonus 25,000 AVIOS – £815
  • 60,000 plus bonus 30,000 AVIOS – £975
  • 70,000 plus bonus 35,000 AVIOS – £1,135
  • 80,000 plus bonus 40,000 AVIOS – £1,295
  • 90,000 plus bonus 45,000 AVIOS – £1,455
  • 100,000 plus bonus 50,000 AVIOS – £1,615
50% uplift on AVIOS
Source: Pixabay

Now I have always thought buying AVIOS is a bad idea, but let’s see how this works out in practice before we write it off!

How much does one AVIOS cost?

Amount purchased Bonus AVIOS Total AVIOS Cost for purchase Cost per AVIOS
1,000 500 1,500 £31 2.06p
5,000 2,500 7,500 £95 1.26p
10,000 5,000 15,000 £175 1.16p
20,000 10,000 30,000 £335 1.11p
30,000 15,000 45,000 £495 1.10p
40,000 20,000 60,000 £655 1.09p
50,000 25,000 75,000 £815 1.08p
60,000 30,000 90,000 £975 1.08p
70,000 35,000 105,000 £1,135 1.08p
80,000 40,000 120,000 £1,295 1.08p
90,000 45,000 135,000 £1,455 1.07p
100,000 50,000 150,000 £1,615 1.07p

Correct as at 14/9/17 – Source: British Airways

Whilst, the cost to purchase AVIOS remains unchanged since last year, the bonuses have improved considerably. Last year, the AVIOS offer was an extra 10% to 35% depending on the number of AVIOS purchased. This means the cost per AVIOS, including the uplift, has reduced.

Of course, the real test of the offer is what you can get for your AVIOS should you wish to redeem them. Let’s consider a number of options before we pass judgement on this offer.

What can you get for your AVIOS?

Route  Class AVIOS needed Cost for flight without using AVIOS (A) Cost for equivalent  AVIOS using the offer (B) Taxes and fees (C) Total cost using AVIOS offer plus taxes (B+C = D) Difference in cost between using AVIOS and paid fare (D – A) Notes
London – New York Business 100,000 £832.10 £1,135 for 105,000 £529.23 £1,664.23 Extra £832.13 Paid fare is direct with Norwegian
London – Delhi Economy 32,500 £325.50 £367 for 33,000 £283.29 £650.29 Extra £324.79 Paid fare includes 1 connection with Turkish Airlines
London – Las Vegas Economy 32,500 £473.67 £367 for 33,000 £370.73 £737.73 Extra £264.06 Paid fare includes 1 connection with Iberia
London – Shanghai Business 150,000 £1435.60 £1,615 for 150,000 £531 £2,146 Extra £710.40 Paid fare includes 1 connection with Turkish Airlines
London – Dubai Business 136,000 £1,171.10 £1,535 for 142,5000 £505.94 £2,040.94 £869.84 Paid fare includes 1 connection with Turkish Airlines

Source: British Airways as at 17/9/16 – direct off peak fares only departing and returning in March 2018. All comparison flight costs for prices without using AVIOS were sourced from Expedia and are for the cheapest flight only. The cheapest flight may include long stopovers. 

Yep, this offer looks terrible considering there are some great paid deals which work out considerably cheaper than purchasing AVIOS to then redeem for flights. Even without the addition of the taxes, it is possible to find similiar flights for less than the cost of the AVIOS alone. However, before you discount this option outright, there may be one other circumstance in which this offer could prove worthwhile.

What if I have a companion voucher?

Visit the Burj Khalifa with AVIOS
How about a trip to Dubai? (Source: Pixabay)

If you happen to have a British Airways Premium AMEX, you can earn a companion voucher annually after spending £10,000 on your card. This means that you now get two flights for the same AVIOS as above, although you must pay two lots of taxes. This slightly changes the outlook as follows:

Total costs for two people including use of a companion voucher

Route  Class AVIOS needed Cost for flight without using AVIOS (A) Cost for equivalent  AVIOS using the offer (B) Taxes and fees (C) Total cost using AVIOS offer plus taxes (B+C = D) Difference in cost between using AVIOS and paid fare (D – A) Notes
London – New York Business 100,000 £1664.20 £1,135 for 105,000 £1058.46 £2,193.46 Extra £529.26 Paid fare is direct with Norwegian
London – Delhi Economy 32,500 £651 £367 for 33,000 £566.58 £933.58 Extra £282.58 Paid fare includes 1 connection with Turkish Airlines
London – Las Vegas Economy 32,500 £947.34 £367 for 33,000 £741.46 £1,108.46 Extra £161.12 Paid fare includes 1 connection with Iberia
London – Shanghai Business 150,000 £2871.20 £1,615 for 150,000 £1,062 £2,677 £194.20 Less Paid fare includes 1 connection with Turkish Airlines
London – Dubai Business 136,000 £2,342.20 £1,535 for 142,5000 £1,011.88 £2,546.88 £869.84 Paid fare includes 1 connection with Turkish Airlines

Source: British Airways as at 17/9//17. All reward flights are subject to availability and reward flights can be taken quickly.

Wow, rather shockingly, even with a companion voucher, this deal still looks awful. Now, don’t let that put you entirely off the British Airways Executive Club as you can often earn AVIOS from your everyday spend. This does not effectively cost you anything and these AVIOS combined with a companion voucher definitely save you money.

Find out more:

How to save money on your business class flight to Seoul

Long haul v short haul redemptions

Seoul for less tips
Seoul Hanok

How to purchase?

If you still keen to purchase AVIOS, you have until 23:59 on the 29th September to receive your personal uplift. Points should be received into your account instantly ready for you to spend on redemptions. Frankly though, with the excellent deals currently available from some carriers, especially for business class, why would you bother?

What do you think?

Have you ever purchased AVIOS? Did you get a good deal? Please let us know in the comments.

About Anne

Anne is the founder and editor of TravelTheGlobe4Less. If she isn't travelling, she is thinking of travelling or planning her next trip. She has visited over 80 countries on six continents and sampled everything from backpacking to bank bursting travel. Her mission is to help you enjoy more luxurious travel without the luxury price tag through the use of airline and hotel rewards and other money saving travel tips

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7 comments

  1. Ooooh, thanks for the great breakdown on the actual benefits package of buying airmiles from British Airways. As a novice in this arena, I would have seen that deal and immediately thought I would be benefiting from it. Wish I had this kind of deconstruction in most travel purchases! The companion voucher does sound like a really nice perk though and I’d love to learn more about which airlines provide this type of benefit!

  2. I love learning new things about Avios. I’ve had Avios points for over 7 years now and although it has become increasingly harder for me to spend them, I finally got a chance to use them last week 🙂 I’m happy to say I am still a fan of Avios!

  3. I’m so lost when it comes to AVIOS, but you definitely bring up some really great points! Thanks for sharing your experience and more information. It’s nice to have the breakdown.

  4. I’m actually not familiar with AVIOS, but reading your post have elucidated everything I need to know. I truly love how honest you are in your breakdown. Personally, I still find it very expensive, but I appreciate the points that you’ll be getting. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. You feed us a great idea about this one.

  5. I love how you break down the points and even get into the companion fare. Also, thanks for being so honest about your use of it and the deal. It’s not quite often you see this type of honesty! Glad I don’t have to check the breakdown and cost benefit myself now.

    • Thanks Sarah. I honestly do not know why anyone would buy them unless they were a few short for a big trip they wanted to do in First in which case it might feel worthwhile.

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