Transfer Amex Points To British Airways With A 50% Bonus

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British Airways Executive Club is transfer partners with American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest. Before last year there was a 1:1 transfer ratio between British Airways and their partners.

However, as of last October, the transfer ratio between Amex Membership Rewards and British Airways was devalued. Amex points convert to British Airways Avios at a 250:200 ratio, rather than 1:1 ratio. Furthermore, prior to that change we saw a lot of transfer bonuses from Amex to British Airways, though we haven’t seen any since that change.

I suspect this is because the British Airways Visa Signature® Card is issued by Chase, so Chase wanted some “advantage” for their transferable currency.

British-Airways-747
British Airways 747 at London Heathrow

Transfer Amex points to BA with a 50% bonus

Well, now we’re seeing our first transfer bonus from Amex to British Airways since this change kicked in. Through October 10, 2016 you can get 50% more Avios when you transfer Membership Rewards points. Points ordinarily transfer at a 250:200 ratio, so during this promotion they’ll instead transfer at a 250:300 ratio. In other words, 1,000 Membership Rewards points turn into 1,200 British Airways Avios.

British-Airways-Bonus

Avios are extremely valuable for shorthaul travel. Personally I value them at ~1.3 cents each, but that’s simply because they’re not all that valuable for longhaul travel. They’re a very specific currency, and one I get a ton of value out of. I just wouldn’t want all my points to be Avios, if that makes sense.

Aer-Lingus-A330
Redeem British Airways Avios for travel on Aer Lingus

Should you transfer Amex or Chase points?

Ultimate Rewards points earned through the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Ink Plus® Business Credit Card continue to transfer to British Airways at a 1:1 ratio, though I don’t recall ever seeing a transfer bonus there.

Meanwhile Amex Membership Rewards points, most of which I earn through the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card and Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, are now transferring at a 1,000:1,200 ratio.

Personally I value Ultimate Rewards and Membership Rewards points roughly equally. Both points currencies are fairly easy to come by given their bonus categories, though generally I find Chase has better sign-up bonuses while Amex has some better category bonuses. So if you have both points currencies and want to transfer some points to British Airways Executive Club, I’d probably transfer Amex points with the bonus.

That being said, if you have significantly more of one points currency than the other, it absolutely could make sense to transfer the currency where you have more points, since there’s something to be said for having diversified points balances.

Alaska-Seattle
Redeem British Airways Avios for travel on Alaska Airlines

Bottom line

It’s great to see American Express once again having a transfer bonus to British Airways Executive Club, offering a better than 1:1 ratio on points transfer. I’ve been meaning to make a redemption through British Airways and needed some extra Avios, so this promotion works out perfectly for me. While it’s not the “good old days” of a 1:1 transfer ratio plus a big transfer bonus, this is the best opportunity from Amex to BA that we’ve seen in a while.

When you consider that you can earn 1.5x points on everyday spend with the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card, I’d say that’s a great opportunity.

Ever for someone who doesn’t have a specific use in mind, personally I think it could make sense to speculatively transfer a small balance of points to British Airways. That’s because those points are so useful for last minute shorthaul trips, so you never know when you may need Avios.

Do you plan on transferring Amex points to British Airways with a transfer bonus?

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Comments

  1. Transferring most of my Amex points to BA avios then to Iberia to take advantage of the 34k off peak tickets, is this still a option? hopefully nothing has changed since we did it last year.

  2. Your timing is impeccable. I have a lot to transfer over and I have always found Avios immensely valuable. Will use them for European flghts as I tend to fly to and from London / Madrid 2/3 times a month. Although the last 3 times I’ve flown, I’ve been upgraded at the gate. Winning! I like BA short haul (Anything beats Iberia in my opinion) but my tier point run at Xmas is Qatar Airways to Sydney. That I’m looking forward to – First time QR business.

  3. Lucky, thanks for this news. Great opportunity!
    Related: Is there any way to get Aer Lingus to open up a seat on a specific flight for BA Avios redemption? BA agents say they can’t/won’t call EI. Can I call EI directly and ask them to release a seat, and if so, whom at EI do I call? thanks.

  4. @lucky — thanks for the response. At least I won’t waste my time and mental energy. I’ll just keep calling BA and hope for the best.

  5. I just transferred about two weeks ago without the bonus. Does anyone know if there’s a way to reverse the transfer or retroactively get the point bonus?

  6. Lucky, for Amex transfer to Avios, I assume the name on the accounts has to match? In other word, can I transfer my Amex points to someone else’s account?

  7. @Lewis I can’t see anything mentioned on UK site for the bonus offer. I have points sitting there and would love to move to BA if the bonus applied to UK 🙁

  8. @Pegasus: should be possible, just link your amex with another BAEX nb

    unfortunately, Bonus seems to only work in the US, no 50%+ for German Amex accounts 🙁

  9. you dont think 100k for JAL F LAX-NRT long haul is a good use of avios? AA is 80k/AS is 70k but avios are much easier to earn due to 2x/5x points on csp/ink plus combo..

  10. Great timing, BA! I was just about to xfer Amex points to BAEC for some WPT->CW upgrades on a BA ticket early next year. Now I have to xfer about 20,000 less points – win!

  11. Good reading. I have almost 1Million AMEX points should I keep letting them grow or transfer them to someone. What would you recommend? Currently not traveling very much.

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