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In late 2015 American Express changed the transfer ratio from Membership Rewards to British Airways and Iberia Avios from the longstanding 1:1 ratio to an inferior 5:4 ratio. Obviously, that was bad news. Periodic transfer bonuses would nudge it back up to 1:1 or slightly better, but long gone were the days when a 50% transfer bonus would bump it up to something great like 1,000 Membership Reward points = 1,500 British Airways Avios.
However, Amex has apparently had a change of heart, and British Airways and Iberia Avios are now back to a 1:1 transfer ratio with a minimum transfer about of 250 points at a time. It is worth a mention that Chase Ultimate Rewards kept British Airways as a 1:1 transfer partner the whole time, though it isn’t entirely an apples to apples comparison since a card like The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express earns 2x Membership Reward points on basically everything and there isn’t a Chase equivalent to that 2x almost everywhere earning power.
Remember that British Airways Avios can be a very useful type of point even if you don’t fly British Airways thanks to a distance based award chart and partnerships with American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and more. Will this return to a 1:1 transfer ratio to British Airways influence your points earning and burning strategy?
Thanks to Reddit for noticing this improved transfer ratio!
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.