Buy Avios for 1.43 Cents with This One Trick

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Through Friday December 4, 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, so this is a big bonus.Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 3.10.52 PM

The maximum Avios you can purchase in a year is 35,000. With a 40% bonus, that means you can add 49,000 Avios to your account. Americans are being offered those Avios for 2.01 cents each, but with one simple trick, you can drop the price to 1.43 cents per Avios!

The Trick

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 49,000 Avios for people with an American address is $988 or 2.01 cents per Avios. The cost to purchase 49,000 for people with a euro-area address is $700 (661 euros) or 1.43 cents each. You save about 25% just for changing your address.

To change your address, click “Manage my account under Executive Club on any page.
Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 12.35.52 PM

Click “Update my personal information” on the left side of the screen.

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Give an address in a euro-using country.Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 12.38.40 PM

Hit Continue about three times. The first time I tried to make the change, I stopped a screen short. You’ll know if you succeeded because when you go back to the Purchase Miles screen, you will be offered the Avios in euros.

The price of 49,000 Avios is 661 euros or $700.03 after the dramatic slide in the euro. That’s under 1.43 cents per Avios. And you can get a price under 1.52 cents on any purchase of 10,000 or more Avios.

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 3.02.51 PM

If you purchase in euros, make sure you use a card that charges no foreign transaction fees like the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card.

Does Putting Your Account in France Mess Up 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.Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 12.46.45 PMScreen Shot 2015-02-24 at 12.46.53 PM

Eventually you can change your address back to your home address, but British Airways makes you wait six months between address changes.

Is This a Good Deal?

The best uses of Avios are short, direct, economy flights on partners without fuel surcharges.

At 1.52 cents per Avios, domestic (including Hawaii) one way awards that cost XXX Avios plus $5.60 in taxes one way would cost:

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.

Bottom Line

You have until Friday to get a big bonus on purchasing Avios. Ignore the 2.01 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 1.43-1.52 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.

Hat Tip One Mile at a Time


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