Get A 30% Bonus When You Transfer American Express Membership Rewards Points Into British Airways Avios!

Update: This offer ends on Monday, 01/14.  While there have been 40% and 50% offers in the past if you have a need for Avios within the next couple months it probably makes sense to transfer now.

The following was originally posted on 12/03/12:

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Related posts:
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BA/MR Promo Offer Linky

-Through 01/14/13 you will get 1,300 Avios for every 1,000 Membership Rewards (MR) Points transferred to BA.

-There are currently no fuel surcharges for flights wholly within the western hemisphere. These include flights on American (AA), Alaska, and LAN.

-There are no expedite or close-in fees for booking last minute award tickets with BA Avios.

-You can book one-way tickets for half of the miles listed below!

-British Airways only charges 10% extra miles and no extra money for a lap child flying internationally, even when traveling on AA. AA and other domestic carriers charge a whopping 10% of the full fare.

-You can transfer points from an American Express Membership Rewards account to anyone’s British Airways account, names don’t have to match.

-Points transfer instantly from MR to BA and there are no fees or taxes for transferring points to British Airways.

-You can borrow points by calling up Membership Rewards (800-AXP-EARN) and asking for a points advance. You then have up to 1 year to earn those points from signup bonuses or spending or else they will charge you 2.5 cents per point.

-British Airways charges double miles for business class and triple miles for first class. Beware that on AA’s domestic 2 class planes they charge first class rates for what is really just a poor excuse for business class.

-You can search AA and Alaska award availability on AA.com and looking for sAAver awards. BA can’t book AAnytime awards, but you should be able to find all AA sAAver awards on BA.com. BA.com does not display all available awards on all airlines, so you will have to call if you see a sAAver award on AA.com that’s not showing on BA.com.

Sample uses:

-7,000 MR points will transfer into 9,100 Avios, more than enough for a round-trip short-haul ticket between New York and places like Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, Montreal, or Toronto or between Miami and the Bahamas, on OneWorld partner American.

-12,000 MR points becomes 15,600 Avios, more than enough for a round-trip flight between New York and Chicago or Florida or from LA to Cabo.

-16,000 MR points becomes 20,800 Avios, more than enough for a round-trip flight between Chicago and LA.

-20,000 MR points becomes 26,000 Avios, more than enough for a round-trip flight between the west coast and Hawaii, New York and the west coast, or New York and Costa Rica. It’s even enough for a round-trip flight between Boston and Dublin or Shannon, Ireland with no fuel surcharges on Aer Lingus!

-31,000 MR points becomes 40,300 Avios, more than enough for a round-trip flight between Dallas and Hawaii or New York and London (though you’ll be hit with fuel surcharges for crossing the Atlantic on most airlines). It’s also enough for a round-trip flight between NYC or Chicago and Dublin or Shannon, Ireland with no fuel surcharges on Aer Lingus.

-39,000 MR points becomes 50,700 Avios, more than enough for a round-trip flight between New York and Brazil or Argentina.  It’s also more than enough for a round-trip in a lie-flat business class seat between JFK and Vancouver on Cathay Pacific.

-47,000 MR points becomes 61,100 Avios, more than enough for a round-trip flight between New York and Tel Aviv on Air Berlin with no fuel surcharges.
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Need some Membership Rewards points? You can always call American Express to borrow some.

-The American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card comes with 25,000 points for spending $2,000 and the first year is free.  That will net you some 70,000 Hilton points.

-The Platinum Card® from American Express earns 25K points as well and now is a great time to signup as you can get $200 of airline fee credits (or airline gift cards in $100 increments) in December of 2012 and another $200 in January of 2013. It also comes with a $100 global entry expedited customs (5 year membership) refund, platinum card airline club access (American, Delta, and USAirways) for you and your entire family for 4 years, priority pass worldwide unlimited lounge membership, Regus Office Club Membership with worldwide locations, Starwood gold elite status, car rental perks at Avis, Hertz, and National, lost item (up to $10,000/item) refund protection, checked baggage protection, 3 additional Platinum users (with 4 years of free platinum card lounge access, priority pass membership, and global entry refund) for just $58 each, no foreign exchange fees, and many more free benefits.  There is a $450 annual fee.  As with all annual fees they are refundable if cancelled within 60 days, they are pro-rated if cancelled after 60 days and have another American Express card (i.e. if you have the card for 3 months and then cancel you would get a $337.50 refund), and they are pro-rated if you downgrade the card even if you have no other American Express card.

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41 Responses to “Get A 30% Bonus When You Transfer American Express Membership Rewards Points Into British Airways Avios!”

  1. Avi Says:
    1

    Is this the same as Starwood points?

    ReplyReply
  2. Dan Says:
    2

    @Avi:
    No. 20K Starwood points always becomes 25K BA Avios.

    ReplyReply
  3. Eli Says:
    3

    Each authorized user gets the global entry refund?

    ReplyReply
  4. chaim Says:
    4

    any 2bm/3bm ideas to max the mr points? thanx

    ReplyReply
  5. redbull3 Says:
    5

    Are Avios just by far and away the best redemption value? 9K for a short haul flight vs AA 25K? How is that?
    Also why is UR more valuable than MR when MR has promotions like this?

    ReplyReply
  6. redbull3 Says:
    6

    Why isnt chicago short haul, grr. I go there a few times a year.

    ReplyReply
  7. Josh Says:
    7

    Do Avios points expire?

    ReplyReply
  8. Charles Says:
    8

    Is there any bonuses ever offered to transfer AMEX to United or am I just waiting in vein?

    ReplyReply
  9. Doug Says:
    9

    @Josh, I just checked this the other day and they expire after no activity after 36 months, so pretty good.

    ReplyReply
  10. Doug Says:
    10

    @Dan,

    Do you think it is worthwhile to jump on this offer if I plan on using BA in the next 6-12 months for a flight? I remember reading about a 50% bonus when transferring to Avios, but I think that was with Ultimate Rewards.

    Do these bonuses come frequently? If so, any pattern to when and when the best bonus tends to happen (time of year) for either Amex Points or Ultimate Rewards?

    Thanks!

    ReplyReply
  11. Ellen Says:
    11

    @Eli: NO

    ReplyReply
  12. Anonymous Says:
    12

    @Doug: @Doug: @Doug:
    I would wait 30% is lowest ive seen

    ReplyReply
  13. Samuel Says:
    13

    Any idea if and when there will be a 50% bonus?

    ReplyReply
  14. SoCal Dude Says:
    14

    What’s best for flights to Japan? 1) transfer MR Points to ANA? 2) transfer MR Points to British Airways Avios? Thanks!

    ReplyReply
  15. Doug Says:
    15

    Okay, I’ll wait and hope for a better bonus in the future then.

    How frequently do they usually do a bonus transfer window?

    ReplyReply
  16. mark Says:
    16

    Hey Dan how exactly does 12k MR or 15.6k Ba miles get you from La to Cabo round trip ?

    ReplyReply
  17. Yoel Says:
    17

    Anyone know if I should wait for a better offer? I know this past year they had a 40% and a 50% transfer offer. Any idea if/when those will be available?

    Thanks

    ReplyReply
  18. Ben Says:
    18

    Hi Dan, I was reading the Rules and Restrictions on AMEX for the $200 incidental on the Platinum card hoping to get gift cards and it reads as follows: Airline tickets, upgrades, mileage points purchases, mileage points transfer fees, gift cards, duty free purchases, and award tickets are not deemed to be incidental fees.

    Have you successfully received the reimbursement for buying gift cards anyway? Thanks!

    here’s the link https://rewards.americanexpress.com/olet/splash?campaignId=airline1&offerType=airlinechoice

    ReplyReply
  19. naftoli Says:
    19

    how long is the average time between 1 bonus to the next?
    btw i see they go down each time it was 50% AT FIRST then 40% and now 30%

    ReplyReply
  20. Anonymous Says:
    20

    from yyz-nyc you only pay taxes ($18) on reward ticket.
    Even in business.

    ReplyReply
  21. Aparna Says:
    21

    Hi Dan, this question is slightly off this topic but related to BA Avios points transfers.

    I have 100000 HSBC premier reward points that I received two years ago for a new premier account sign-up. HSBC announced they are running a special until 01/13/13 to give 25% bonus Avios for transfers from their premier rewards points to Avios. Otherwise the ratio is 1:1 & no minimum required. My question is does it make sense to avail of this offer or hold on to the HSBC premier points for use some other time ?

    Thank you.

    ReplyReply
  22. Morris Says:
    22

    Your info is incorrect. After more than three months having opened the Iberia Plus card I was not able to transfer the points from BA as they require you to have Iberia points already. So all this was awaste of time for nothing and I now I cant get the tickets I wanted.

    ReplyReply
  23. Isaacw Says:
    23

    It does not make sense to transfer points from AMEX to BA even with a 30% discount. Amex points are now going for 1.4 to 1.50 and BA is going for 1.

    ReplyReply
  24. ben morg Says:
    24

    Does anyone have any amex points they would, be willing to sell them to me.. i would be willing to pay well….

    ReplyReply
  25. sam Says:
    25

    @ben morg: I do. How many you looking to buy?

    ReplyReply
  26. sam Says:
    26

    @Dan: do you think this the best value for the MR points?

    ReplyReply
  27. ab Says:
    27

    regarding a lap child your info is incorrect i booked with avios from nyc-yul thats int’l and then called aa and added a lap child for no cost AT ALL!!

    ReplyReply
  28. hey Says:
    28

    can i do a 3bm plat/prg/spg?

    ReplyReply
  29. Jack Says:
    29

    Thanks for the tip about United SM. I’m happy to report that they agreed to add the 20k miles, + $50 statement credit, and without me asking offered to add another 5k for an AU (even on the Business version.)

    Thanx

    ReplyReply
  30. nb7553 Says:
    30

    wan do this …do i need prom. cood??

    ReplyReply
  31. chaim Says:
    31

    Does expires 01/14 mean tonight (Sunday night) or is it valid throughout the 14 too until the 15 (tomorrow midnight)?

    ReplyReply
  32. Moish Says:
    32

    Does it pay to wait for a better than 30% bonus for Amex- Avios, or grab it now? Got about 800,000 Amex points

    ReplyReply
  33. Help! Says:
    33

    How do I transfer my miles?

    ReplyReply
  34. Dan Says:
    34

    @mark:
    Call BA to book on Alaska.

    @Morris:
    Just transfer 1,000 points from AMEX to Iberia to activate the account.

    @ab:
    Canada is not international for lap child purposes.

    @nb7553:
    No.

    @chaim:
    What in the world?
    Expiring 01/14 means until 11:59pm EST on 01/14, which is Monday night.

    @Moish:
    I’d wait, but there’s no guarantee.
    Of course transfer anything you may use in the next few months though.

    @Help!:
    membershiprewards.com or just call AMEX.

    ReplyReply
  35. MJ Says:
    35

    Any advice for using Hilton Honors points for something other than Hilton (or affiliate) stays. Best approach to transfer these to miles for air travel?
    Thanks, Dan.

    ReplyReply
  36. gavaldig Says:
    36

    Dan I tried booking on AA.com from NY to MIAMI but the cheapest fare i got was 25k points. how can I get what u posted

    -12,000 MR points becomes 15,600 Avios, more than enough for a round-trip flight between New York and Chicago or Florida or from LA to Cabo.

    ReplyReply
  37. Ari Says:
    37

    Dan,
    Im trying to book tix on BA w Avios from NY to Toronto and its coming up w over $400 in fees besides the points (for 7 tix) does that make sense?

    ReplyReply
  38. hunch Says:
    38

    @Ari
    yes. its ~$50 in taxes per ticket. It should be like $375

    ReplyReply
  39. sam the man Says:
    39

    i booked toronto with avios minimum fees in summer

    ReplyReply
  40. Wendy B. Says:
    40

    Two questions:

    1. How do you use BA miles without paying exorbitant fees?
    2. What is the best way to book domestic flights using BA miles through AA? I want to go almost anywhere in California this summer.

    ReplyReply
  41. james salamon Says:
    41

    As in the past one of your most helpful hints has been that of the bonus programs made available by British Air and American Express and published by your site. I was wondering if such a bonus plan was in the works, and if not with British Air, perhaps with another airline and credit card agency.

    ReplyReply

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