Two Days Left for 40% Transfer Bonus to British Airways

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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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  1. Trying to decide to do this with 78k we just got in my wife’s account after 75k bonus sign up deal. Already have 200k BA and from history seems like they will come back with another bonus in about 6 mo for 40-50% again. We don’t plan on keeping her Amex Gold card though and pretty sure that these points go away if we were to close the card, right? If so, a 50+% bonus would have to come up before next summer. Only 8k BA difference in 40% and 50%, so very tempted to just go ahead and do it now.

    We are DFW based so BA are great!

  2. @Curtis, history would keep that trend, but the Delta change of course just makes me nervous. She would lose the points if she doesn’t have another MR earning card when it is closed. Always a gamble to hold vs transfer now. Can’t answer that one for ya. 😉 Avios are great if you are DFW based!

  3. Availability is starting to be an issue on BA, unfortunately. Last year I booked a trip to Aruba with no problem on BA miles flown on American. A couple of weeks ago I tried to book summer 2013’s trip to Aruba the same way and sadly found zero availability. Delta got my business — even skypesos had better availability than Boston to Aruba on BA/American! Ugh…..

  4. Good point about Delta, mommy points. I am always pretty open to places to visit and when, so I’m not too worried about BA availability, CU. I think we will go ahead and transfer her points over to BA. BA is the only thing that seems to make sense for us as far as transfers from MR too. Nothing else is nearly as valuable. Thanks!

  5. I agree with CU availability with AA is changing and is not good. Do a dummy search and see if your travel dates work.I will not be investing in BA/AA, just suggesting that you should check before making a large transfer. Their is a FT thread where the lack of availability is being discussed.Seems like things may be changing?

    • The destinations I have in mind seem to still be okay right now, but very good advice to keep an eye on availability where you want to go. We all know this stuff is always fluid. Hopefully it isn’t a permanent trend!

  6. Happy
    FlyerTalk Evangelist

    Join Date: Jul 2003
    Location: Florida
    Posts: 13,333
    Originally Posted by 2TallSeaFlyer
    You’re not doing anything wrong. It’s clear that AA does not release seats for all flights at the 330 day window.

    I know it’s not for the flights I’ve been tracking since the 330 day mark, but I think there’s a more definitive confirmation of this in post 158:…t=5019&page=16
    Very revealing when this is coming from JonNYC though many of us here have realized that FACT months ago. It is sad to see how much deterioration AA award availability has become. Yet some people here still insist everything remains unchanged.

    See the last paragraph of Post 164

    Throw in LH having pretty good availability– in some case very good availability (and no fuel surcharges)– and I, personally, see AAdv redemption availability as just being downright inferior to UA in almost all markets I’ve been checking.

    And this is from someone who probably has more knowledge on the inner working of AA than anyone here.
    Last edited by Happy; Sep 11, 12 at 11:18 pm..

    • @Jim, thanks for the info. No question UA miles are my own personal favorite as well, but I still think that AA saver availability is pretty good, at least in my searches. It may have slipped recently (and I am curious to look more into this), but for me that moves it from almost great to pretty good. i hope it doesn’t slip past that.

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