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The current 40% transfer bonus from the American Express Membership Rewards program to the British Airways Avios program ends in two days on 9/27/12. There has been a previous 50% transfer bonus earlier this year, but 40% isn’t bad at all. I’d like to say that we can use history as a predictor for future transfer bonuses, but Delta has shown us that isn’t always the case. Last year there were an impressive number of transfer bonuses from Membership Rewards to Delta Skymiles on a pretty regular basis, however there hasn’t been a single Delta transfer bonus this year. I say that to point out that if you want to move some points to British Airways, this would be a very good time to consider doing so.
Not only are Avios good for domestic flights on Alaska or American Airlines, but they are also very useful for getting to the Caribbean, South America, and more and more solid options without huge fuel surcharges are emerging for Europe. For example, round trip flights from Boston to Dublin on Aer Lingus are 25,000 points in coach or 50,000 in business class with very reasonable fuel surcharges compared to actually using the points to fly on British Airways. As a point of comparison, that same flight on Aer Lingus using United miles would cost 60,000 miles in coach. Also, as Dan’s Deals pointed out, it is also possible to use Avios to fly on Air Berlin to Europe without paying fuel surcharges.
If you are short on Membership Reward points and you want to get in on this transfer bonus, you can have American Express advance you up to 15,000 points with the Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card or The Enhanced Business Gold Rewards Card® from American Express OPEN and up to 60,000 points with one of the Platinum cards. You must have been a cardmember for at least six months, and have your accounts in good standing to have the points advanced. You then have one year to earn them back or you have to pay for the the unearned points at a rate of 2.5 cents per point. You do have to call in to have this transaction completed.
Whether you want to use your Avios for short flights close to home, within Australia, or to go to Europe, there are an increasing number of good options available. Here is a post with some of my favorite ways to redeem Avios. Remember to act in the next two days if you want to get in on this transfer bonus.
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