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Since July 1, American Express has offered cardmembers an offer to transfer Membership Rewards points to British Airways Executive Club Avios or Iberia Plus Avios with a 30% transfer bonus. If you still want to take advantage of this promotion, it's ending soon. The promotion is valid on transfers through August 31, 2023. This transfer bonus makes the many British Airways Avios sweet spots an even better deal.
Amex-Avios Transfer Bonus Key Terms
- Receive a 30% bonus when you transfer Membership Rewards points to British Airways or Iberia.
- The bonus is valid on transfers through August 31, 2023.
- With the promotion, receive 1,300 Avios for every 1,000 Membership Rewards points you transfer.
- The maximum Avios that can be received in a single transfer is 999,000 Avios.
- The minimum transfer is 1,000 Membership Rewards points.
- Transfers must be made in increments of 1,000 points.
Best Uses of British Airways Avios
British Airways Executive Club generally uses a distance-based award chart with awards priced per segment. That means British Airways Avios are best when used for nonstop flights. Travelers have plenty of Avios sweet spot options to choose from. This is especially true since you can now transfer Avios between British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, and Qatar. Some sweet spots include:
- Hawaii for 10k points: Flights from the west coast of the U.S. to Hawaii booked via the British Airways Executive Club cost 13,000 Avios one way with just $5.60 taxes and fees. With the promotion, you only need to transfer 10k Membership Rewards points to book a flight to Hawaii!
- Ireland for 10k points: Book off-peak one-way economy awards from the east coast of the U.S. to Ireland for 13,000 Avios via AerClub. That requires just a transfer of just 10k Membership Rewards points.
- Business class to Europe from 27k points: One-way off-peak business class from the east coast (NYC, Boston, Chicago) to Madrid will set you back 34,000 Avios plus reasonable taxes and fees. With the transfer bonus, that is just 27k Membership Rewards points for a transatlantic business class award!
- Business class to the Maldives for 66k points — Using the recently-modified British Airways award chart for Qatar flights, travelers can book one-way business class on Qatar metal from the U.S. to India for 80,000 Avios one-way. Or fly all the way to the Maldives for 85,000 Avios each way plus around $200 in taxes and fees. With the promotion, you need to transfer just 66k Membership Rewards points to get to the Maldives. That's an incredible value!
British Airways Expiration Policy
Thankfully, British Airways have one of the best expiration policies. Avios expire after 36 months of no activity in your account. To keep your account active, you have to collect, spend, share, or purchase at least one Avios during that time.
You can avoid expiration by transferring points from transfer partners. In addition to American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, and Iberia/Qatar/Aer Lingus Avios all transfer to British Airways a 1:1 transfer ratio. Meanwhile, Marriott Bonvoy points transfer to British Airways at a 3:1 transfer ratio with a 5,000-Avios bonus for transferring at least 60,000 Bonvoy points.
Membership Rewards Transfer Bonus Timeline
Membership Rewards transfer bonuses to British Airways or Iberia are commonplace. Historically, you can expect one or two transfers per year. Below is a timeline of transfer bonuses from Membership Rewards to Avios:
- 40% transfer bonus from December 2014 – January 2015 — British Airways Avios (1,000 points = 1,400 Avios)
- 50% transfer bonus from August-October 2016 — British Airways Avios (1,000 points = 1,200 Avios)
- 50% transfer bonus from December 2016 — Iberia Avios (1,000 points = 1,200 Avios)
- 40% transfer bonus from July-September 2017 — British Airways + Iberia Avios (1,000 points = 1,400 Avios)
- 40% transfer bonus from September-November 2018 — Aer Lingus + British Airways + Iberia Avios (1,000 points = 1,400 Avios)
- 40% transfer bonus from August-October 2019 — Aer Lingus + British Airways + Iberia Avios (1,000 points = 1,400 Avios)
- 40% transfer bonus from April-May 2022 — Aer Lingus + British Airways (1,000 points = 1,400 Avios)
- 25% transfer bonus during September 2022 — Aer Lingus + British Airways (1,000 points = 1,250 Avios)
Other Transfer Bonuses Available Now
- 50% transfer bonus from Chase Ultimate Rewards to Marriott Bonvoy now through August 31, 2023
- 15% transfer bonus from Amex Membership Rewards to LifeMiles now through August 31, 2023
- 25% transfer bonus from Amex Membership Rewards to Hilton Honors now through August 31, 2023
For the latest transfer bonuses, check out AwardWallet's transfer tool. With this tool, you'll see all of the options for transferring points and the most up-to-date transfer bonus information.
Is it Worth Transferring Membership Rewards to Avios?
If you were planning on booking a specific award via Avios, you're in luck. This promotion slashes the number of Membership Rewards points you need to transfer to book that award. However, we generally don't recommend transferring your points speculatively. Mileage programs can change (for good or bad) at any time. And transferring points to a mileage program locks them into that currency. You can't transfer points back to Amex if you want to use them with another transfer partner.
With that said, remember that you can transfer Amex points to British Airways or Iberia during this transfer bonus and then transfer Avios onward to Qatar Privilege Club or Aer Lingus AerClub. That gives you options when you're looking to redeem your Avios for a flight.
In short, take a bit of time to look at your travel goals and plans and see if you can make this transfer bonus work for you — even if it means transferring your points a couple of times.
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