American Express has announced a 40% transfer bonus on Membership Rewards transfers to British Airways through January 31, 2015. This is without a doubt one of the best transfer bonuses this year, if not the best, and the second highest ever transfer bonus to British Airways with the highest being 50% in May 2012.
British Airways Avios are great for short to medium length, non-stop flights as the cost in miles is significantly less than other airlines. I’ve discussed using Avios here, here and here. As a reminder, here is what their award chart looks like.
I’ve discussed in the past how valuable flexible points/miles are as you are never truly committed to one program and it allows you to keep a wide range of options open for award travel for your next trip. With this transfer bonus, this might be one of the few times I would transfer some points to British Airways to take advantage of this bonus, even if I don’t have an immediate need for them. Obviously, doing this removes the greatest perk of MR points which is the flexibility but I think this offer is too strong to pass up if it syncs up with your travel goals.
You really need to evaluate this offer based on your home airport, travel habits and travel goals. For example, my home airports are JFK or LGA so that is a plus since American has a large presence at each. For short to medium length flights, I don’t mind flying coach so that’s another plus. Lastly, being on the East Coast, the Caribbean is pretty close and I’ll never say no to a nice beach vacation. Sum that all up and I know I can/will redeem these points for travel on American Airlines to either the Caribbean or somewhere domestically.
Kenny, over at Miles4More, has put together an awesome series of flights that are cheap with Avios. Here is the link to the East Coast series but he has listings of flights from other areas of the country as well on his site – it’s worth a read.
Not to steal the thunder from his articles but here are some great redemptions with Avios:
- JFK to Miami – 7,500 Avios each way (Only ~5,400 American Express Membership Rewards points each way with bonus)
- JFK to Antigua (or the Caribbean in general)- 10,000 Avios each way (Only ~7,200 MR points each way with bonus)
- LAX (or the West Coast in general) to Hawaii – 12,500 Avios each way (Only ~9,000 MR points each way with bonus)
- BOS to Dublin – 12,500 Avios each way (Only ~9,000 MR points each way with bonus). Or double this for business class – that is a steal!
And I could go on. This bonus transfer is good through 1/31/15 so you have time to figure out your future travel plans and if using BA Avios makes sense. Remember a good way to stockpile your American Express MR points is with the recent hack I discovered for the 75k Business Gold as well as a 100k Platinum offer.