British Airways has launched a new promotion offering a 50% bonus when you buy or gift Avios before 23:59 BST on 21st May 2019.

They have also raised the cap on the number of Avios you can buy each year to 200,000 Avios. This is a vast jump from the 35,000 Avios cap that was in place not all that long ago.

Having announced an upcoming devaluation of Avios redemptions on partner airlines such as Cathay Pacific, American Airlines and Qatar Airways earlier this week, you can’t help but wonder if the timing of this promotion is entirely coincidental…

50% Bonus Avios

What’s pricing like?

If you visit the Purchase Avios page on the BA website, you’ll see that the price per Avios varies depending on how many Avios you buy.

Example 1

6,000 Avios + 3,000 bonus Avios =  £111

Cost per Avios = 1.23p – Not great

Example 2

30,000 Avios + 15,000 bonus Avios – £495

Cost per Avios = 1.1p – Not too bad

Example 3

100,000 Avios + 50,000 bonus Avios – £1,615

Cost per Avios = 1.07p – Better, but still not great. Could work in the right circumstances. 

If I maxed out this offer, I’d be paying £3,215 for 300,000 Avios, including the 50% bonus. A cost of approximately 1.07p per Avios. While I like to think I can get a higher value than 1.07p when redeeming my Avios – apart from the odd exception – that’s above my personal ceiling of what I would pay for Avios.

Nevertheless, there are some circumstances as I explain below, that may mean this is a good deal for you.

Should you (ever) buy Avios directly from British Airways?

There are several scenarios where you may decide it’s taking advantage of this offer.

1.) If you need a small top-up before making a redemption

If you’re planning a trip but are short of Avios, the savings you’ll make by booking an Avios ticket rather than a cash one will often exceed the extra cost of buying Avios from BA.

Similarly, you may be planning a trip for 2020 and intend to grab Avios seats as soon as they are released at T-355. You find yourself 50,000 Avios short and missing out on those seats isn’t an option. This bonus would at least make purchasing Avios from BA somewhat more palatable.

2.) To purchase a specific trip

You were thinking of heading to Orlando for a week in August, ideally in business class. Direct flights on BA, Virgin Atlantic or American Airlines all seem to be £3,000+ per person.

A return trip using Avios ordinarily costs up to 150,000 Avios (peak) + £500 or so in taxes.

If you were to purchase all of those Avios during this promotion that would cost you £1,615.  Using this method you are effectively ‘buying’ a business class ticket for just over £2,000 (once taxes are factored in), saving you more than £1,000 on the regular cash price.

An example like this assumes you would have paid the cash price if there was no better alternative. If you would never pay £3,000 for a business class ticket, your ‘savings’ in all honesty, aren’t real savings.

3.) Gold Priority Reward bookings

Say you wanted to go skiing for a week during February half-term 2020. Flights are already very expensive.

(Comparable Easyjet flights on the same dates were also £500+ for perspective…)

BA Buy avios may 19 example

Alternatively, a BA Gold member can book a Gold Priority Reward and use double Avios to book the same flights for 18,000 Avios. Those 18,000 Avios would cost just £222 in this sale.

In this scenario, even at 1.23p per Avios, buying Avios has saved you £390 per person! 


I’m not personally a buyer of Avios at these prices. However, if you do need to top up your account at short notice for a redemption or have a specific use for these Avios where you know cash tickets are particularly expensive, the maths may work for you.

The Buy Avios promotional page on the BA website is here

Are you a buyer of Avios at these prices?


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