I’ve never been able to find award availability for the dates I needed on American Airlines or US Airways through the British Airways Avios program. Therefore, I didn’t pay much attention to the British Airways transfer bonus that American Express has going on right now through their Membership Rewards program.
When you transfer your American Express Membership Rewards points to your British Airways Avios account, American Express will give you a 40% bonus!
Example: If you transfer 50,000 Membership Rewards points, you’ll receive 70,000 British Airways Avios!
Why this is a good deal
British Airways allows you to book award seats on American Airlines or US Airways. The redemption rate can actually be less than spending your miles directly with American Airlines or US Airways.
Because British Airways charges Avios based on the distance flown, this means you can use only 4,500 Avios each way if you’re flying 650 miles or less!
If your distance flown is between 651 – 1,150 miles, then you’re only using 7,500 Avios each way. 15,000 Avios total for a round-trip flight! That will save you 10,000 miles and you won’t have to spend a full 25,000 miles through American Airlines AAdvantage program.
If you have an upcoming trip
Head on over to British Airways award search here. If you don’t have an account, create one and first and then visit the link again and login with your account.
Always look for availability first before transferring your Amex Membership Rewards points. Once you transfer your points, you’re not able to transfer them back to your Membership Rewards account.
I was able to find award availability for my parents to fly home in June from CLT to MSP. Because the distance flown each way is less than 1,150 miles, they only needed 30,000 Avios for 2 round-trip tickets!
Since American Express is giving a 40% bonus on all Membership Rewards points transferred to the British Airways Avios program, I only had to transfer 22,000 Membership Rewards points! This saved my parents 28,000 Membership Rewards points! I originally planned on using all 50,000 Membership Rewards points to fly them home through Delta since I found multiple 25,000 mile award seats available.
The British Airways Avios program is pretty well known throughout the frequent flyer community, so start searching for award availability as soon as possible. The award seats seem to get booked fast. If you don’t see availability right away, don’t give up! I just happened to look for my parents before transferring their points to Delta, and there were 2 seats left! I must have looked 20+ times before this week and there was no award seats available.
This deal expires on January 31, 2015. The transfer process should go through instantly. You can head on over to the American Express Membership Rewards site here and start the transfer process after you’re logged in.