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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 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.
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.
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.
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?