American Express commits to buying USD 1bn of British Airways miles

American Express has announced is investing USD 955 million in International Airlines Group (IAG), owner of British Airways to renew their partnership, the company said.

The investment allows American Express to purchase Avios from the group, which the financial services provider will utilize for credit card rewards.

American Express and British Airways parent company International Airline Group´s partnership renewal will primarily be used as a pre-purchase of IAG´s reward currency, Avios.

Under the plan, American Express will pay roughly USD 955 million (GBP 750 GBP) to the conglomerate´s loyalty program arm, IAG Loyalty. In turn, the financial giant will purchase an unknown supply of Avios that will be used in the UK and world-wide for its British Airways co-branded cards and Membership Rewards Program.

Avios are the common loyalty currency of IAG´s airlines. The currency is used in Aer Lingus´ Aer Club, British Airways Executive Club, Iberia Plus and Vueling Club. The subsidiary also says they run “a wide range of services” to both IAG and business-to-business clients.