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I just did a happy dance when I saw The Points Guy’s post that, starting in a few hours, there will be a 50% transfer bonus from American Express Membership Rewards to the British Airways Avios program that will run until May 31st. Points will transfer at a rate of 1,000 Membership Rewards: 1,500 British Airways Avios.
I know that for many people the value of the BA frequent flyer program took a nose dive last last year when they modified their award chart, but there are still some fantastic redemptions when using points to fly shorter flights on American Airlines or other partners that avoid hefty fuel surcharges. In fact, for families like mine who more often fly a few thousand miles to see Grandma, than across the world in a First or Business class seat, the new program may actually be a better fit.
Either way, a 50% transfer bonus from American Express is exactly the kind of news that will brighten a miles junkie’s day. I took full advantage when Membership Rewards ran this promo last summer, and I will be taking full advantage again this time. In fact, I just used Avios to book a trip that may be helpful to many of you a week ago. I’ll share more of those details tonight, but for now, start thinking whether using Avios to fly on American Airlines might work for some of your travel plans. I recommend using The Wandering Aramean’s Avios Calculator to get an idea of how many Avios points are required to get from Point A to Point B.
You can read more about why I think the Avios program is a good fit for some families here and see an example of that in action here.
If you don’t already have some Membership Rewards points, now is a good time to consider getting in on the action.
- The American Express Premier Rewards Gold card awards 25,000 Membership Reward points after spending $2000 on the card in the first three months. The $175 annual fee is waived for the first year. This is a very solid card for families since it awards 3x Membership Rewards points on airline tickets and 2x points on gas and groceries in stand alone gas and grocery stores. Admittedly, 25,000 points for signing up isn’t as exciting as some of the huge bonuses we have seen for various cards over the last several years, but is much better when you take into account the transfer bonuses that Membership Rewards occasionally offers to various hotel and airline parters!
- The American Express Platinum card awards 25,000 Membership Reward points after spending $1000 on the card in the first three months. This card does carry a $450 annual fee, but you get lounge access with American Airlines (so you can use the lounge when spending your Avios points to fly American), US Airways, and Delta. You also get a $200 annual fee reimbursement on the airline of your choice for things like bag fees, change fees, meals on board, etc. Some people with Amex Platinum cards (including The Points Guy) are able to refer others for an offer that awards 50,000 MR points after spending $3000 on the card in the first three months, but my account will not currently let me make those referrals. To get a sign-up bonus of 50,000 Membership Reward points on a publicly available offer, consider the American Express Mercedes Benz Platinum. It does have a slightly higher annual fee of $475, but it carries with it all the same benefits as the regular Platinum, but also has some Mercedes Benz specific benefits as well.
More to come soon about how to take advantage of this transfer bonus!
Disclosure: I do receive a referral commission for some of the credit card links in this post.