Through tomorrow (May 26, 2015), British Airways is offering a 40% bonus on the purchase of Avios. The biggest bonus ever offered on the purchase of Avios was 50% in February 2015, so this is a big bonus.
The maximum Avios you can purchase in a year is normally 35,000, but is being raised to 100,000 during this promotion. With a 40% bonus, that means you can add 140,000 Avios to your account. Americans are being offered those Avios for 1.98 cents each, but with one simple trick, you can drop the price to 1.44 cents per Avios!
If you set your British Airways account address to a country that uses the euro, say France, you will be sold Avios in euros instead of dollars. The euro price for buying Avios is way cheaper!
The cost to purchase 140,000 Avios for people with an American address is $2,775 or 1.98 cents per Avios. The cost to purchase 140,000 Avios for people with a euro-area address is $2,016 (1,800 euros) or 1.44 cents each. You save more than 25% just for changing your address.
Click “Update my personal information” on the left side of the screen.
Hit Continue about three times. The first time I tried to make the change, I stopped a screen short. You’ll know if you have succeeded because when you go back to the Purchase Miles screen, you will be offered the Avios in euros.
If you buy fewer Avios, the price is a bit higher. For instance, buying 14,000 (10k + 4k bonus) Avios results in a price of 1.60 cents per Avios.
If you purchase in euros, make sure you use a card that charges no foreign transaction fees like the Citi Prestige® Card. You should also probably pay with a MasterCard instead of a Visa (again like the Citi Prestige.)
Does Putting Your Account in France Mess Up Points Transfers?
After setting my account to France, I initiated a 1,000 Ultimate Rewards transfer to my British Airways account that was already stored on chase.com. The transfer went through instantly as usual, so changing your address doesn’t appear to mess this up.
Eventually you can change your Avios account address back to your home address, but British Airways makes you wait six months between address changes. However I have had my address in France for over a year now, and I seem to be offered better deals for mileage sales and Cash & Avios awards, so I see no reason to change my address back to the United States.
Is This a Good Deal?
At 1.44 cents per Avios, domestic (including Hawaii) one way awards that cost XXX Avios plus $5.60 in taxes one way would cost:
- Remember that 4,500 Avios awards are only available for flights that don’t touch the United States (like Lima to Cuzco, Peru)
- 7,500 Avios (like Dallas to Chicago): $113.6
- 10,000 Avios (like Dallas to New York): $149.6
- 12,500 Avios (like Seattle to Honolulu): $185.6
Those are pretty good deals. I’ve seen cheaper with cash on every route, and I’ve also seen a lot more expensive.
The bottom line with all miles sales is that they are a good deal if you have an immediate, high value use for the miles, and a poor deal otherwise.
You have until tomorrow (May 26) to get a big bonus on purchasing Avios. Ignore the 1.98 cent price for Americans. Anyone with a euro-zone address on file with British Airways and a no-foreign-transaction-fee credit card can get the Avios for 1.44 cents each. The sales are consummated by points.com, so there is no bonus for an airline or travel purchase on your credit card.
The best deals with Avios are short, direct, economy flights on routes/airlines without fuel surcharges. That includes all domestic flights and all these flights.