a glass of wine next to a window

British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are both offering a 50% bonus when you buy points right now. That could be a savvy move seeing you save lots of money and unlocking new amazing experiences, or a face palm, which sees you spending perhaps significant money on something you don’t need.

Should YOU buy points right now? Without knowing your personal circumstances, I can’t make that decision for you, that’s a joy reserved for RS members, but I can offer a few helpful guidelines to shape your decision.

  • Buying points can make sense when you’re topping off for an immediate use.
  • Buying points can make sense to unlock cheaper upgrades, or better cabins.
  • Buying points rarely makes sense to hold them like savings – points are different than money, and points rarely gain value, and actually instead often devalue.
  • Buying points can save money versus the cost of buying a cash ticket, but not always and again, it’s better to do so when a trip is coming up, than years out.

Ok, same page. With that framework in mind, both British Airways and Virgin have attractive sales on points right now which give you a 50% bonus on the number of points you get. That’s always the time to buy, whereas standard pricing is almost always a “no go”. So yeah, if you’ve been thinking about it, this is the right time.

Here’s specifics on both offers.

a tv on the back of a plane

British Airways 50% Bonus On Avios Points

British Airways is selling Avios with a 50% bonus. This is about as generous as bonuses ever get, and with much promise still remaining for summer, and particularly autumn travel, there are plenty of ways for the purchases to come out as a win. The breaks in pricing are pretty clean. You can buy

  • 6,000 Avios for £79
  • 60,000 Avios for £655
  • 90,000 Avios for £975

As long as you buy 1,000 Avios or more, you’ll get the 50% bonus, and any 1,000 denomination above or below those examples works, with a cap of buying points set at 300,000 Avios for £3215. So yeah, buying 5,000 is fine, as is buying 55,000 etc. You can purchase Avios from BA here.

I, for one, love using Avios to upgrade from Premium to Business, or Business to First, and if you’re short, it can make lots of sense versus cash costs!

an inside of a plane with purple seats

Virgin Atlantic 50% Bonus On Virgin Points

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles are now ‘Virgin Points’, and they’re part of a better new currency called Virgin Red, a broader loyalty program for the Virgin Group. This means you’ll be able to use miles for things like concert suites too, not just flights.

Virgin’s offer is a bit stingier than BA this time around, but not necessarily worse at all if you’re buying more points. To get a 50% bonus, you need to buy 100,000 points, and each amount below offers different bonuses. Long story short: the more you buy, the bigger the bonus. You can buy

  • 52,000 points for £600
  • 150,000 points for £1515 (including all taxes).
  • 98,000 points for £1050.

Again, any denomination by the 1,000 will work, these are just a few examples. For ANA or Japan obsessed travelers with flexibility on dates, buying either 95,000 for business or 120,000 points for round trip first class could work out extremely well in your favor.

You can buy 120,000 points for £1305 all in, and ANA First Class flights booked via Virgin Flying Club carry about another £300 in taxes and surcharges. That makes for £1600 first class round trip from London (or any US gateway) to Tokyo. Not bad, at all for the cabin’s usual pricing – aka circa £10K! You can buy Virgin Points from Virgin Atlantic here.

Oh, and FYI, Virgin Atlantic just launched a huge bonus when you book Caribbean flights, with up to 20,000 per round trip!

All Depends On You

If you earn points easily from frequent flying or heavy spending, this may be a pass, or it may not be. If you don’t, buying points can help unlock better cabins and cool new travel experiences, and I’ve personally benefited greatly throughout the decades buy buying or topping off points.

Do the math for you, compare to cash costs, or upgrade costs and see where you end up. It’s fun to think about traveling again!

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. The rates in GBP are much better than in USD. I checked my account and 100K + 50K bonus is priced at $2700 USD plus $25 fee for a total of $2725.

    If I do a currency exchange on 1515GBP that is roughly $1779USD so definitely not worth it.

    I also tried to use my VPN to connect via London but the Virgin and Points.com site still priced in USD.

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