Transfer Amex Membership Rewards to Avios with a 40% Bonus

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American Express has announced that you can transfer Membership Rewards to British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus with a 40% bonus. The promotion is valid for transfers through October 1st, 2019. This is a generous offer with plenty of advance notice, giving you ample time to research and plan your travel before taking advantage of the bonus.

Key Terms

  • The promotion is valid for transfers through October 1st, 2019.
  • Receive a 40% bonus when you transfer Membership Rewards to British Airways, Iberia, or Aer Lingus Avios.
  • The bonus is hardcoded in the transfer, and you will receive 1,400 Avios for every 1,000 points transferred.

Using Avios Points

While generally Avios redemptions are not known for their great value, if you dig around a little, you will find that each of the three programs have several sweet spots, especially with partner airlines.

With British Airways Executive Club, booking nonstop business-class awards in zones 1-3 can be an outstanding value, especially with partners. The best deal can be found on routes around Asia with Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, and Malaysia Airlines. Zone 2 business class awards will set you back 15,000 Avios one way.

Zone 1 economy and business class awards can also be excellent value, especially for flights around Europe, with economy awards starting at 4,500 Avios, and business class awards setting you back 9,000 Avios.

Iberia Plus offers a slightly different award chart for partner airlines. There are some situations where you can save some Avios or pay lower taxes and fees by booking through this program instead of BA Executive Club. In particular, you should do your best to find transatlantic award flights operated by Iberia, Aer Lingus, or American Airlines to avoid the high fuel surcharges imposed by British Airways.

If you're flying with Aer Lingus, be sure to check the pricing through the Aer Club program before you make a transfer. Often the taxes and fees will be $30 to $50 less than British Airways for the exact same flights. Although it is possible to transfer Avios between British Airways, Aer Lingus, and Iberia, you can save yourself a lot of extra work by comparing prices before you make the transfer from Membership Rewards.

Our Take

With nearly two months to take advantage, this promotion gives you the perfect opportunity to plan ahead and find an excellent deal. If you don't have enough Membership Rewards, you can also transfer Chase or Marriott points to British Airways or Iberia to top up the account. Chase has a great lineup of Ultimate Rewards earning cards which are an ideal first stop on your quest for earning points.

If the distance-based Avios award charts work well for your travel, you can also boost your British Airways balance with the British Airways Visa Signature® Card. Currently, the card has a welcome offer of 100,000 bonus Avios, when you meet the minimum spending requirements. You can find more details in our full card review.

British Airways Visa Signature® Card
British Airways Visa Signature® Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Bonus Earn 100,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 100,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5 Avios per $1 spent on purchases with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and LEVEL within your first 12 months from account opening, thereafter earn 3 Avios.
  • Earn 3 Avios per $1 spent on hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel within your first 12 months from account opening, thereafter earn 2 Avios. Plus earn 1 Avios per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • 10% off British Airways flights starting in the US when you book through the website provided in your welcome materials.
  • Every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa card, you'll earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years.
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad.
  • Simply tap to pay with your contactless British Airways Visa Signature Card. Just look for the contactless symbol at checkout. It's fast, easy and secure!
  • 3X Avios per $1 spent on purchases with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and LEVEL
  • 2X Avios per $1 spent on hotel accommodations
  • 1X Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases

Source: One Mile At A Time

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  • Pedro Bengolea says:

    It’s an excellent promotion. I am an American Express user issued in Argentina, and I usually use my MR points and transfer them to iberia or Aerolíneas Argentinas miles. Amex constantly has good conversion promotions. You certainly have to take advantage of them.

  • BA Avios used to be great for domestic nonstop flights, but AA has been blocking saver availability from nonstop flights, although saver space is available on that same leg as part of a connection. Really limits the usefulness of the distance-based chart. May try Iberia instead but website is clunky.

  • Transferred enough points to redeem AA flight to Hawaii!

  • Just in time to redeem flights on BA.

  • I still manage to find some value in using avios for flights, but it is good to have hotels as an option as well.

  • If there ever were a time to transfer points, it would be now during this bonus. Like a previous poster said, I have recently learned to use Avios for hotels. That is a great way to use them without outrageous fees.

  • This is definitely worth looking into….. i’ve been accruing Amex points for a while and never really looked into what they can be redeemed against. Now i have an answer!

  • Interesting because of Avios partner airlines.

  • Great bonus. It is usually much smaller (25% – 30%).

  • This is good information. I always think of Avios being associated with British Airways and their huge fuel surcharges for award tickets. I hadn’t thought about hotel bookings. This gives me something to look into. Thanks.

  • This definately seems to be the big thing in the community these days. Avios can still give great value. Like rewards savers. Short hops on CX in premium cabins.

  • That’s a nice bonus. I don’t like Avios for European flights due to the cash taxes. But for hotel bookings in Europe it is worthwhile.

  • been trying to use Avios to book AA domestic recently but never had luck finding availability

  • Not for the UK then, despite the picture of Tower Bridge?

    • Amex has a separate program for UK Membership Rewards, and unfortunately, this bonus doesn’t apply. We picked the photo since lots of folks will use this to visit the UK.

  • This is a nice way to stretch AMEX points further.

  • Good opportunity, unfortunately I can’t make use of it..

  • wow, this is mightly generour of amex!

  • The Arts Traveler says:

    This is an excellent offer. Many great uses for Avios, but it takes work for find the right flights and where to use. I mainly use on Aer Lingus flights and go through that portal. More availability is shown and it is actual. IAD-DUB is a great flight as is the return. Single throne seats for those of us who don’t want to sit by someone. Ever.

  • Wow 40%…is this usually the biggest bonus, or have we seen 50%+ bonuses in the past?

  • Maicon Fernandes says:

    A great opportunity in vacation planning.

  • Hard to keep redemptions with different programs straight. Thanks for clarifying.

  • Being non-US based, most (all?) of your credit card posts are not relevant to me as I’m ineligible for them. Perhaps you could consider tagging your posts so that they would only be emailed to relevant subscribers? Lots of your other posts regarding airline and hotel offers are applicable but they get lost in the noise somewhat.

  • I really love the duration of the promotion too. That’s really flexibility.

    • Yes, a month and a half bonus promotion seems like a rarity these days, so it’s much appreciated, allowing for a bit of thought and planning rather than simply a reaction.

  • By the way you always can book hotels on Avios – there are some really good bargains

  • Oh nice bonus!! Thanks!

  • Para que paises es valida la promoción? Aplica también a Amex España? Gracias

  • Nice promotion, right now BA has a very interesting sale with fantastic prices on New York-London flights in business