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As I wrote this morning, and you likely already know, today is the deadline for the Amex Membership Rewards 40% transfer bonus to British Airways. If you are a procrastinator and still are on the fence about if you should make a transfer, and how much to transfer, here are a few thoughts.
These transfer bonuses don’t come around like they used to.
It has been a while since we last saw a transfer bonus from Amex to British Airways. The one before this was a year ago, and it was just for a 20% bonus. The largest one I remember was for 50%, but that was several years ago. In other words, while we have no clue when the next transfer bonus to British Airways may be, my money would be on this being the largest opportunity to British Airways for a while.
British Airways just updated their award chart, which likely means it won’t change again for a while.
Just this week British Airways announced updates to their award chart that will begin in April, which to me means that it is unlikely we are on the verge of any other near-term major changes to the award chart itself. There are of course never guarantees, but I’d personally feel confident in things staying the way they are for a while since they went three years between award chart updates last time.
4,500 mile flights are awesome and very family friendly.
If you like to use your British Airways Avios to fly on partners like US Airways, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and more starting at just 4,500 points each way, then this is the best way to load up your account to take advantage of that opportunity. For economy flights, their distance based award chart is as follows for partners….
1 – 650 miles: 4,500 Avios
651 – 1,151 miles: 7,500 Avios
1,152 – 2,000 miles: 10,000 Avios
2,001 – 3,000 miles: 12,500 Avios
3,001 – 4,000 miles: 20,000 Avios
4,001 – 5,500 miles: 25,000 Avios
5,501 – 6,500 miles: 30,000 Avios
Taking into account the transfer bonus, this means that you can fly a family of four from New York City to Orlando for just 22,000 Avios each way for all four tickets! (7,500 Avios per one-way ticket x 4 tickets = 30,000 Avios = 22,000 Membership Reward points + 40% bonus). That isn’t a “sexy redemption”, but it is a darn effective way to get a family on vacation for an attainable number of points!
If you like to fly in premium cabins with your Avios, just make sure you understand the award chart changes that kick in starting in April before transferring as that will get pricier across the board.
All that said, don’t overload as there are other good uses of Membership Rewards, too.
My mom had 16,000 Membership Reward points left in her account, so it made total sense to turn those all of those points into 22,400 Avios to bring her Avios total to about 50,000. That is enough for her and my dad to use for one of their domestic adventures. However, if she had something like 416,000 Membership Reward points, I would not recommend wiping out her into MR account balance with this transfer bonus unless she had really big plans for her Avios. I would recommend taking some of your MR points to replenish your Avios account to a level that could support some flights for your family, but not transferring everything you have unless your Membership Rewards balance is already relatively small and otherwise couldn’t be used to do very much.
Personally, I have about 1,000 British Airways Avios in my account right now, but I’m not transferring any points in from Membership Rewards to replenish it because I am 99.999999% going to have to cancel multiple flights booked with Avios for this coming summer because the timing does not work out with our newest traveler on the way. Once I do that, I’ll be back to having a pretty hefty Avios balance, so I’d rather keep my Membership Reward points where they are to take advantage of the ANA and other award charts that I have been favoring of late.
Did you take advantage of the transfer bonus? How did you decide how much to transfer?