Awesome Deal: 50% Transfer Bonus From Membership Rewards to British Airways

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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. 

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.



  1. Help me out here. I haven’t been on anything except Delta for years. I have to fly out of ATL or CHA and this is typically the easiest and cheapest way to go.

    We are toying with a Hawaii trip next December. I have over 240,000 AMEX MR points. I know AVIOS points can be used to get from LAX to Hawaii very cheaply. Is it feasible to expect to find cheap reward tickets from ATL to Hawaii? Anyone tried this lately?

  2. It should be noted that like all these promos it only applies to people who have US-based BA EC accounts. I’d love to transfer my US Amex points to my Euro-based BA account, but I don’t think that is possible.

  3. Glad to see this return! I actually checked the Amex Membership Rewards site this morning (as I always do the 1st and 15th of every month!) and this was not listed.

  4. Off topic but do you ever see Marriott Rewards points to Delta miles bonus offers? New to the blog and CC churning but recently got Chase Sapphire Preferred and thinking of canceling Marriott Visa…

  5. Can I use Avios on American Airlines? If so – perfect timing!! Trying to book a flight JFK to CDG for this Fall and American is the only one with low miles and available seats.

  6. Would totally disagree with the statement “If you don’t already have some Membership Rewards points, now is a good time to consider getting in on the action.” How much is your credibility worth? If anything I’d say it’s the worst time to sign up for those credit cards, even the 50K platinum you don’t get a referral for. If I was advising anyone I would tell them to sign up for far more lucrative cards and trade the miles or points for MR or BA. That would be a much better way to go.

  7. If it would help anyone, I have the Amex Platinum card and can make a referral so you can get in on the 50K MR bonus after meeting the minimum spend. All I need is for you to send your name and email address to Thanks!

  8. @ Hiker T….I think you should start a blog and call it the “The 1% FF” You go against 99% of what these bloggers post on a daily basis. 🙂

    I will give you this..I do agree with today for the 1st time that it would be a bad time to get AMEX MR card.

  9. @MSPDeltaDude I have to agree with you as well as @HikerT, I think there have been (and probably will be) more lucrative Amex MR offers and it’s worth holding out, which is what I’m doing. And if @HikerT starts a blog sign me up as a subscriber as well 🙂

  10. I’ll post more in a bit, but to those who don’t think now is a good time for an Amex card, there is certainly no harm in holding out for a better offer, or to see if you get targeted specifically for a highet offer, but I am not aware of a higher public sign-up bonus for those cards, or a higher BA transfer bonus. So in that respect, it is a good time to get in with the Membership Rewards program if the BA award chart works for you. I know I am very glad my family has Amex cards and can get in on this as it works very well for our needs.

  11. @Pointasaurus, adding the ATL segment will certainly increase the points “price” to HNL using Avios, but it’s still not a terrible redemption value with the 50% bonus – just not as good as the LAX – HNL deal.

    @stimpy, good point.

    @dealswelike, isn’t it funny how we have our miles and points obsessive patterns. 😉

    @Calbear93, I don’t personally know of any, but I also am not that huge into the Marriott or Delta programs, so it is totally possible that I may have missed something like that.

    @Patty, you can use Avios miles to book American Airlines flights through British Airways. However, the miles required will be based on the Avios system (which is distance based). Flights do have to have low-level availability via AA, but you will be charged based on the Avios rate, which I believe is 40,000 Avios to fly on a partner….however this probably won’t work out all that well for you since you will be hit with a hefty fuel surcharge for that flight. Read View from the Wing’s post to learn more about that.

    @HikerT, I know I addressed this briefly already, but me saying “now is a good time to consider getting in on the action” when the best (that I know of) publicly available sign-up bonuses for these cards is happening and the best BA transfer bonus is happening at the same time seems quite appropriate, and certainly isn’t something to question credibility over. I take credibility quite seriously and stand by saying “it is a good time to consider it”. Of course, no offer is for everyone and I would love to see the Amex sign-up bonuses go up as much as the next person.

    @hoglard1, thanks for sharing. Maybe you will be able to help someone out. 😉

    @MSPDeltaDude, I would read the HikerT blog as well. I bet it would be quite informative and quite entertaining.

    @BothofUs2, I have seen better targeted offers, or better offers back in the bonus code/bump the bonus days, but I haven’t personally seen public offers higher for these two cards, certainly not any time in recent history. I hope there will be in the future, but these are actually decent bonuses for these cards. Of course, no deal is for everyone. 😉

  12. Do you think it would be a good idea to transfer all of your MR points? seems like you can do a TON with avios points.

  13. I will transfer ALL my MR points to BA, the timeframe until May 31 is also generous. I have some big spend coming up, and I was thinking of closing my AMEX card, but if I can get a good retention bonus, this bonus has just convinced me to stay!

  14. So once you transfer to BA and get the points, can you transfer those miles + bonus miles back into MR? What do BA miles transfer into?

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