Get A 50% Bonus When You Transfer American Express Membership Rewards Points Into British Airways AviosSunday, October 9th, 2016
Update: This offer ends tomorrow!
Originally posted on 8/10:
-Through 10/10 you will get 1,200 Avios for every 1,000 Membership Rewards (MR) Points transferred to BA. Normally you get 800 Avios for every 1,000 MR points transferred to BA.
This is only valid for US cardholders.
Previous MR->Avios bonus offers:
About British Airways Avios:
In 2011 BA launched the Avios program and it provides a great value for short-haul flights.
Unfortunately their domestic OneWorld partner, American, has been stingy with award availability of late. You’ll want to search for saver awards on AA.com to check the availability on your desired routes before transferring miles.
American also forced BA to raise the zone 1 rates they charge for US flights from 4.5K to 7.5K Avios earlier this year, though zone 1 in the rest of the world remains just 4.5K Avios.
-There are no expedite or close-in fees for last minute award ticket bookings with BA Avios. That saves you $75 compared to other programs.
-Earning or redeeming any amount of Avios extends your entire account validity for another 36 months.
-You can cancel tickets and redeposit miles for the lesser of $55 or the taxes you paid. That means you pay just $5.60 for cancel a one-way domestic itinerary (and you always should book domestic flights as one-ways). That saves you up to $200 compared to other programs when you need to cancel.
-British Airways only charges 10% extra miles for a lap child flying internationally, even when traveling on AA. AA and other domestic carriers charge a whopping 10% of the full fare, which can add up to be a small fortune.
-Points transfer instantly from MR to BA and there are no fees or taxes for transferring points to British Airways.
-You can save Avios on some routes by transferring points from BA Avios into Iberia Avios. Iberia’s awards start at just 11K Avios round-trip.
-You can search American and Alaska award availability on AA.com by 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, airlines like Alaska, Aer Lingus, and LATAM have to be booked over the phone. Additionally you will have to call BA to make a booking if you see a sAAver award on AA.com that’s not showing on BA.com.
I’ve booked dozens of short-haul tickets using Avios for travel on American. A Cleveland-NYC ticket can cost $1,200 round-trip if you don’t stay for at least 3 days or if you book last-minute. But BA allows me to use just 15,000 Avios for that same flight, a whopping value of over 13 cents per mile. I can hop over to Chicago or NYC on a whim without any kind of mileage regret like I used to have in the pre-Avios days.
-Avoiding fuel surcharges:
-There are no fuel surcharges for travel on American within the Western Hemisphere. Flights start at 7,500 Avios plus $5.60.
-Air Berlin flights still have no fuel surcharges systemwide and remain the cheapest way to get to Israel. They have flights to Israel from Berlin for 10K Avios. Flights to several US cities cost just 20K Avios.
-Niki flights have no fuel surcharges systemwide.
-Aer Lingus flights have no fuel surcharges systemwide, though they can only be booked over the phone.. A flight from Boston to Dublin or Shannon is just 12,500 Avios in coach or 37,500 Avios in business. From there you can fly elsewhere within Europe without paying fuel surcharges. Plus you can fly to Boston from cities like Buffalo, NYC, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, or Washington DC for just 7.5K Avios. These flights can only be booked over the phone.
-Alaska flights have no fuel surcharges systemwide, these flights can only be booked over the phone.
-LATAM flights have no fuel surcharges systemwide. Some of their flights can only be booked over the phone.
-Flights within Australia, Europe, Japan, and many other countries and regions have little to no fuel surcharges.
-There are also no fuel surcharges for flying on Qantas within or from Australia.
-Fuel surcharges on award-winning carrier Cathay Pacific are also very low or non-existent and you don’t even need to fly all the way to Hong Kong (though you should-great city with awesome kosher food, airport lounges with kosher food, and a business or first class flight you’ll never forget!) to get a taste of their awesome service, seat, pajamas, and amenities. They fly a daily 777 nonstop between JFK and Vancouver which I reviewed in this trip report.
-You can significantly cut the fuel surcharges when flying on Iberia by transferring your BA Avios into Iberia Avios
-British Airways 5th Freedom Flights (flights that don’t depart from or arrive to the UK) have significantly lower fees. For example even though Singapore-Sydney is a longer flight than NYC-London the fees in first class on Singapore-Sydney are less than half of those from NYC-London.
–As long as you have earned a single Avios within the past 12 months then fuel surcharges for intra-Europe and intra-Africa flights will be very low. You can transfer points from AMEX, Chase, or Starwood to activate that benefit.
|1 (Flights that don't touch the USA)||1-650||4.5K||9K||18K|
|1 (Flights to, from, or within the USA)||1-650||7.5K||15K||30K|
-3,750 MR points will transfer into 4,500 Avios, enough for a one-way short-haul ticket from London-Milan, Iguazu Falls-Sao Paulo, Johannesburg-Victoria Falls, Hong Kong to Taiwan, Melbourne to Sydney, and between most cities within Europe.
-6,250 MR points will transfer into 7,500 Avios, enough for a one-way short-haul ticket between New York and places like Bermuda, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Miami, Orlando, Montreal, Pittsburgh, or Toronto, or between Miami and the Bahamas or Cancun, or between LA and Cabo on OneWorld partner American.
-8,500 MR points becomes 10,200 Avios, more than enough for a one-way flight between Germany or Austria and Tel Aviv, Chicago and LA, Hong Kong to Singapore, or JFK to Cancun, S. Maarten, or S. Juan,
-10,500 MR points becomes 12,600 Avios, more than enough for a one-way flight between the west coast and any of the Hawaiian islands, New York and the west coast, or New York and Costa Rica. It’s even enough for a one-way flight between Boston and Dublin or Shannon, Ireland with no fuel surcharges on Aer Lingus! You’ll have to call to book trips on airlines like Aer Lingus or Alaska.
-12,500 MR points becomes 15,000 Avios, more than enough for a one-way business class flight between NYC and Toronto or Bermuda or between Miami and most destinations in the Caribbean.
-16,750 MR points becomes 20,100 Avios, more than enough for a one-way 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 one-way flight nonstop flight between NYC or Chicago and Dublin or Shannon, Ireland with no fuel surcharges on Aer Lingus.
-21,000 MR points becomes 25,200 Avios, more than enough for a one-way flight between New York and Brazil or Argentina.
-25,000 MR points becomes 30,200 Avios, enough for a one-way flight between New York and Tel Aviv on Air Berlin with no fuel surcharges.
-29,250 MR points becomes 35,100 Avios, more than enough enough for a one-way flight between the US and Hong Kong in coach.
-31,250 MR points becomes 37,500 Avios, enough for a one-way flight in lie-flat business class on Cathay Pacific from JFK to Vancouver with no fuel surcharges. It’s also enough to fly from Boston to Ireland in lie-flat business class on Aer Lingus with no fuel surcharges, though you’ll need to call to book.
-41,750 MR points becomes 50,100 Avios, more than enough for a one-way flight in lie-flat first class on Cathay Pacific from JFK to Vancouver with no fuel surcharges.
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Need some Membership Rewards points?
-American Express Membership Rewards points transfer instantly to BA and can be earned from credit cards like The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express and The Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express
You can also earn Membership Rewards points from consumer charge cards like the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express and business charge cards like The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN and The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN