Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, updated with new information and offers.
British Airways allows you to easily boost your Avios balance every month — at a price.
While the airline sells Avios for fixed (usually high) prices, it occasionally offers bonuses, bringing the price down to a more reasonable level.
Related: British Airways reduces the cost of purchasing Avios for some Executive Club members, but is it a good deal?
This offer is different. Any Executive Club member can opt to sign up for an Avios subscription plan, paying either monthly or annually (paid upfront).
The plan has four levels:
- Voyager: You will receive 1,667 Avios per month (20,000 per year) for $34 per month or $339 per year.
- Traveller: You will receive 4,167 Avios per month (50,000 per year) for $72 per month or $719 per year.
- Explorer: You will receive 8,334 Avios per month (100,000 per year) for $137 per month or $1,365 per year.
- Adventurer: You will receive 16,667 Avios per month (200,000 per year) for $258 per month or $2,575 per year.
The annual cost is about 10 times the monthly cost, so you will receive two months free if you opt to pay annually. If you choose the annual option, you will be charged the entire amount upfront, which is nonrefundable if you change your mind. It automatically renews at the end of the year, so you’ll need to opt out if you don’t want to pay for a second year.
The poorest value-per-Avios option is the monthly Voyager plan, where you will pay 2 cents per Avios. The best value per Avios is the Adventurer plan paid annually, where the cost per Avios would be reduced to 1.28 cents apiece.
Given TPG currently values Avios at 1.5 cents each in our monthly valuations, that would be a savvy way to acquire Avios.
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One of the best ways to redeem Avios is for short-haul flights to Europe in British Airways Euro Traveller economy class. These start from just 4,750 Avios off-peak plus 17.50 pounds ($19) in fixed fees, taxes and surcharges.
You can also use Avios to book domestic U.S. flights on Alaska Airlines and American Airlines for as few as 7,500 Avios one-way, plus $5.60 in taxes and fees. Purchasing the Adventurer plan annually means you could book these flights for around $100, including fees and taxes, saving you big at peak travel times.
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On the other end of the scale, you could also save on long-haul business class redemptions by purchasing your Avios upfront like this. We often use London to New York City as a good redemption benchmark as it’s usually easy to find availability in business class given the high frequencies on this route.
A round-trip, off-peak flight in business class will set you back 100,000 Avios, or $1,300 worth of Avios if purchased as part of the annual Adventurer package.
British Airways currently charges $852.67 per person in fees, taxes and surcharges for this return flight, bringing your total cost to about $2,152. The cheapest cash fares I could find on nonstop British Airways flights were well more than $3,000 on the same dates, so this would be considerable savings on the cash fare.
Remember that redemption fares don’t earn Avios or Tier Points, so consider those when deciding if this offer is right for you.
Related: Suite refresh: A review of British Airways’ Club Suite on the refurbished 777, New York to London
This is an interesting way to boost your Avios balance for two reasons.
Purchasing Avios, even on sale, is nothing new. However, this is the lowest price we can remember seeing Avios sold to U.S.-based Executive Club members.
Also, the Avios are “paid” monthly, meaning you will be drip-fed smaller amounts monthly. If you need 100,000 extra Avios at short notice, you must wait for them.
Points and miles like Avios are generally never worth more in the future than they are right now, as loyalty programs regularly devalue their currencies. That being said, given the rising cost of living right now and the fact that Avios have held their value throughout the pandemic, this could be a way to lock in some cheap travel with relative certainty.
If you want to buy Avios for just under 1.3 cent each, you can sign up for the new Avios subscription plan here.