Update: Today is the final day for this transfer bonus
Originally posted on 7/17:
Get A 40% Bonus When You Transfer AMEX Points Into BA Avios
What a difference a week makes!
Last Monday you needed 250 AMEX points to transfer into 200 Avios.
With this bonus 250 AMEX points transfers into 350 Avios. This promotion runs through 9/17.
This is only valid for US cardholders.
Previous MR->Avios bonus offers:
12/02/15=25% (Effective 0% bonus due to decreased transfer ratio)
08/10/16=50% (Effective 20% bonus due to decreased transfer ratio)
11/15/16=50% (Effective 20% bonus due to decreased transfer ratio)
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.
-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 to 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 AMEX 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 8 cents per mile.
-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.
- Aer Lingus flights have no fuel surcharges systemwide, 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 bed, 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.
Here is the BA Avios award chart for flying on a single partner airline. Rates are for each segment flown.
|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|
- 3,250 MR points will transfer into 4,550 Avios, more than 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.
- 5,500 MR points will transfer into 7,700 Avios, more than 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.
- 7,250 MR points becomes 10,150 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,
- 9,250 MR points becomes 12,600 Avios, more than enough for a one-way flight between the west coast and any of the Hawaiian islands or between 00New York and the west coast
- 10,750 MR points becomes 15,050 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.
- 14,500 MR points becomes 20,300 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.
- 18,000 MR points becomes 25,200 Avios, more than enough for a one-way flight between New York and Brazil or Argentina.
- 21,500 MR points becomes 30,100 Avios, more than enough for a one-way flight between New York and Tel Aviv on Air Berlin with no fuel surcharges.
- 25,000 MR points becomes 35,000 Avios, enough for a one-way flight between the US and Hong Kong in coach.
- 27,000 MR points becomes 37,800 Avios, more than 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.
- 37,750 MR points becomes 50,050 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?
You can view credit card offers by hovering over the “Credit Cards” tab. You can then click on “Credit Cards From All Banks“ to find card offers via the logo of the bank you’re looking for.
-American Express Membership Rewards points transfer instantly to BA and can be earned from consumer cards including AMEX Everyday, Everyday Preferred, Premier Gold, and Platinum.
They can also be earned on business cards including AMEX Business Gold, Platinum, and Blue for Business.
The Blue for Business card earns a whopping 2 AMEX MR points per dollar everywhere on up to $50K in spending per calendar year! With a 40% transfer bonus, that’s an effective 2.8 Avios per dollar spent!
Will you transfer points to BA Avios with this bonus?