Buy British Airways Avios for Less than a Penny Apiece

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Here’s a way to buy British Airways Avios at under 9/10ths of a cent apiece. 4500 Avios is enough for a flight under 650 miles outside of North America. 7500 Avios is enough for a US domestic flight under 1150 miles. And I’ve found them great for upgrading cheap business class sale fares to first class.


British Airways First Class

Chase Sapphire Preferred‘s points transfer 1:1 into British Airways — and the card’s signup bonus lets you earn 50,000 — or you can buy magazines!

The UK’s Sunday Times Travel magazine will give you 4500 British Airways Avios for a 1 year subscription which you can either take yourself or gift to someone else.

To get the offer to show, enter promo code STTM0916 in the promo code box and hit submit.

Note that if you list your country as being in the UK you’ll get a price of £30. If you list your country as the US your price is £49 because of course shipping.

30 pounds is about $39, which means you’re buying Avios for less than 9/10ths of a cent each.

I’d note a few things:

  • In theory you could gift subscriptions to people in the UK and you don’t even have to know them to do it if you just want the points.

  • There’s nothing in the terms and conditions that limit you to one bonus or even 50 bonuses.

  • The offer is set to expire September 30 but is “subject to availability.” In an ideal world I’d order a couple of subscriptions now, wait for the points for both to post, before scaling the offer — just to make sure they are posting multiples of the Avios bonus before buying lots of subscriptions. However I don’t necessary expect the offer to last through the end date because they may hit their marketing budget for Avios before then.

  • Although if they didn’t post all the bonuses I ordered I’d at least be able to initiate a charge back if paying a couple of pounds more to use a credit card rather than direct debit. That drives up the cost to about a penny per point but could be worthwhile insurance.

  • If paying by credit card be sure to use one that does not add foreign transaction fees.

Terms and conditions:

Subscription offer ends September 30, 2016, and is subject to availability. Minimum subscription is 12 months; however, you may cancel, by post or phone, within seven working days after the date on which the application was received, and will receive a full refund. No refunds after this period. Avios will be awarded within 28 (twenty eight) days. Avios are issued and redeemed according to Avios Terms and Conditions and for any queries regarding missing Avios please contact +44 1795 414827. Subscriptions can take up to 30 days to arrive and begin with the first available issue on processing of payment. Standard UK subscription is £32. Overseas subscriptions: Europe, 12 issues for £43; rest of world, 12 issues for £49; call +44 1795 414827. Up to 35% saving is based on 12 issues at the newsstand price. Calls in the UK cost up to 5p/min from a BT landline; calls from mobiles/other providers may vary.

(HT: Head for Points)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

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Comments

  1. Please be reasonable – there may not be a limit in the T&Cs against 50 orders but would be nice to show some responsibility and not advocate this.

  2. @Dhammer53 I guess I’m missing something, this is 100% an opportunity to buy Avios at 9/10ths of a cent apiece [at 32 GBP per 4500 points with credit card]

    I mean it’s totally fair to criticize me if you think I’m overselling something but this post seems to be straight up down the middle as best I can tell.

  3. Gary,

    Appreciate the tip. However, you are definitely overselling this with your mention of 50 bonuses. Let’s not get greedy.

    Here is the advice from Head for Points, to whom you HT’ed:

    The rules do not mention anything about multiple subscriptions.

    My thoughts are:

    I would not order more than one subscription per BAEC or avios.com account

    If you have a BA household account there is no reason why you couldn’t order a subscription for everyone in it.

    I’m not sure if you’d get away with ordering two subscriptions for yourself – one credited to your avios.com account and one to your BAEC account

  4. @Keith Williams – Head for Points says don’t do lots of these, but doesn’t actually make an argument why not. I do flag that I would ideally go slow, recognizing that the deal could be gone before I had more data. 50 was a stand-in for ‘several’ not a specific numerical recommendation.

  5. If you look at the page now, the paragraph mentioning the Avios offer has been removed, suggesting that this is now dead.

  6. @bill – follow the instructions as Gary says, “To get the offer to show, enter promo code STTM0916 in the promo code box and hit submit.” That should work. It still does for me.

  7. @ bill – well its Sunday 7 August at 16.50 and I have just successfully completed said offer so am sorry if you met a glitch.
    Gary… thanks for the heads up!
    Cheers!

  8. If you put in the promo code, the offer still comes up. But if you go to the next page where you put shipping and payment details, you’ll find this direction: “Important: Please use the address that your credit/debit card is registered to.” As I don’t have a CC with a UK billing address, it would appear I’d be stuck with the L49 price – not nearly such a great deal.

  9. Well, they screwed up and there has to be a way to take advantage of this, as the Chihuahua said eyeing the Great Dane. The lure is strong, since this works out to 100K Avios for $866US, if you could do it from here with a 0 foreign transaction card — cheaper than nearly any “pure” MS. But they say they won’t let you do it from here if they know that you’re doing it from here. And that’s exactly all they have to they say about that, actually. Chocolate pudding, anyone?

  10. @Scott H you don’t need a UK billing address – it’s £32 using a US CC (assuming no foreign transaction fees)

    BTW did anyone see if this is an automatically renewing subscription. As we all know many companies often get sneaky about hiding this somewhere.

    I wish I had Nigel Farage’s home address to give out ……….

    I also saw no restriction on how many times you can do this – a bit risky though if you do it 50X and only get 4500 points.

    Nice one Gary, but in general if you cut down on the click bait and ‘white noise’ articles you will have a better blog.

  11. BTW TPG (who I loathe to quote after he ruined it for everyone by pushing his readers to contact the DOT over the UA Danish fare mistake and thereby effectively forcing the DOT to side with the airlines regarding mistake fares….) values AVIOS at 1.5c each which I think is currently a fair evaluation considering their devaluation of their award program (notably the change in their short-haul award chart) so IMO this isn’t a major deal, just a good one.

  12. Worked great for me. Gave a subscription to a travel loving friend of mine in Hampstead. Had trouble at first until I realized I had to manually enter the promo instead of cutting and pasting. I’m discovering that the direct flights from San Diego make BA more and more attractive. Tried their Biz class to Germany and will try First to Amsterdam in February. (used the free companion from the CC) Thanks for all the great tips

  13. If you use your purchased avios to fly on BA, don’t forget to factor in the high fuel surcharges. This would change the valuation significantly.
    This needed to be mentioned.

  14. @Norita, good point. The best value (even with devaluation) is redeeming AVIOS on US domestic AA ‘mid haul’ . It used to be great value on short haul AA (US domestic) but either someone raved about it too much on FT and attracted attention and/or a bean counter decided to whittle away a benefit.

    Just for the sake of nattering on: IMO the best strategy for getting the most out of the airlines today is DIVERSIFY. Loyalty currently is a loosing strategy.

    BTW valuation of points is just a rough guideline and often increases greatly relative to your status within a rewards program. eg: within UA, 1 GS status point can be worth 2 1K status points and maybe 3-4 non-status points depending what you are doing etc… end of natter.

  15. I have a mother and a best friend in the UK so have subscribed for both of them.

    The cost was GBP32 to pay by credit card per annal subscription for a UK delivery address using an Australian credit card.

    Thanks to @Gary (and some other bloggers) who have brought this offer to our attention.

    A nice little top up for my Avios account!

  16. “The promotion code you requested (STTM0916) is not available, and you are therefore on the default promotion code”

  17. will this extend the avios expiration? my miles expire end of this year and I wanted to know of a way to extend….
    thanks
    pranav

  18. I just subscribed for my father in the UK (I’m in the US). I’m puzzled though: it never asked me for my BA Exec Club number to credit the Avios to. Did I miss something? How do I get them?

    I definitely selected the correct offer with 4500 Avios for 32 pounds paid by credit card.

  19. @john you would have needed to input either your BA or AVIOS # if you had one. You will need to call their customer service. BTW it’s good practice to take screen shots of your orders when you place them. Often the terms of the offer may not be on the emailed receipt or visibile to you on your account….,

    How did I get sucked into this thread? I was only really interested in doing this if I was comfortable doing it many times (which I’m not). Definitely worth doing once if your AVIOS are going to ‘expire’; but AVIOS/BA accounts can be reopened years after closing down anyway…..

  20. Is everyone sending this to someone in the UK or did anyone order for a US subscription? It’s almost double the price in USD if you order for the US ($32 vs. $63). Am I being really cheap by not spending $63 to extend my points?

  21. To follow up on my 8/8 post, the Avios did show up in my account. I still don’t know how: maybe they matched my name and address on the Avios and CC accounts.

  22. When I click through to the order page, it now says this in the T&Cs:

    One offer per member. One award of Avios per household. If you take out multiple subscriptions then you will only receive one allocation of 4,500 Avios, but all subscriptions will be fulfilled. Your Avios will be awarded to your account within 28 days.

  23. Well, I received two lots of Avios for two subscriptions!

    Thanks to Gary and others for posting this opportunity…FWIW, the negativity from some on this thread is misplaced, even shameful.

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