This week, we saw the introduction of a new award and earnings chart for British Airways and their wonderful Avios points. While most program “improvements” are seldom a good thing for the end user, the changes to the British Airways program were not the thing I was paying attention to – it was what they did not change. That is the fantastic short-haul redemptions in economy. So, is it still worth taking advantage of the transfer bonus?
Last Day for 40% More British Airways Avios
American Express has had a transfer bonus going on that has been an excellent conversion – a 40% bonus when transferring Amex Membership Reward points to British Airways. I wrote about it last month and many people have been bulking up their British Airways accounts with the transfer bonus. That bonus is an incredible value because it allows you to fly up to 650 miles in the US on Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, or US Airways for only 6,450 Membership Reward points roundtrip! That is almost 19,000 fewer miles/points than using the actual airline miles you are flying on!
Read More:avios – the king of spontaneous travel
Transferring the Points
To transfer the points, you need to have a Membership Rewards earning card. Login to the membership rewards site and select Rewards and then to Transfer Points.
Once it shows the transfer partners, selected British Airways. Once you are in the British Airways transfer window, you will see the banner for the 40% promo.
You can only transfer points in 1,000 Membership Reward increments, so enter the amount of Avios you want in the top box and it will roundup to the nearest amount for an even 1,000 amount. After that, just go ahead and continue with the transfer. If you have not previously linked an account, you will need to link your British Airways account to Membership Rewards. After that, you are all set to transfer away!
TODAY IS the final day to take advantage of that transfer bonus!
… And It Is Still A Good Move!
The program modifications this week (that will kick in April 28, 2015) that were made to the British Airways program were significant to those who use Avios to fly business class and first class awards. That is because they bumped up the required amount of points for both business and first class. For example, the best transcontinental first class product around – Cathay Pacific’s JFK-Vancouver flight – currently costs 37,500 Avios one way. After April 28, 2015, that same flight will require 50,000 Avios for a one way award ticket. That is a huge change and that is what it will look like for longer haul business and first class redemptions.
But, it is still a good move to transfer to British Airways with this promo! While there are still flyers that book premium cabins with Avios, most of the better deals for travelers come from using partner programs for those same flights – like American Airline miles. That is because Avios is a segment driven redemption tool. So, if you are traveling from one airport to another, it can be useful. But if you are making connections, it will really add up the Avios you are spending.
So, if you like short-haul travel on partner airlines for cheap, this Amex – Avios promo is as good as it gets! I only ever redeem Avios in this fashion (short-haul partner redemptions). For that, Avios is still king. If you also like cheap redemptions in this fashion, making the transfer to Avios is a great idea.