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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.
- 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.
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.
- 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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