American Express 40% Transfer Bonus to British Airways

by on February 2, 2011 · 11 comments

in American Express, British Airways

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American Express just announced a 40% transfer bonus to British Airways until March 31, 2011, which is a pretty phenomenal deal. The T&C say you can only receive the bonus once, but I’m not sure if thats true since the bonus is hard-coded on, so every time you transfer it has a ratio of 1,400 BA miles = 1,000 Amex. This isn’t a promo that you need to register for and wait for the miles to appear – the 40% bonus is included in the transfer. A Flyertalker reported transferring twice at the increased ratio and both transfers going through. Granted, I suppose Amex/BA could go back and take away the bonuses for any repeat transfers, but I think that would be unlikely. If you don’t have one already, you can get a Platinum card with 50,000 point sign up bonus when you spend $1,000 in three months.

BA has a pretty good award program that lets you redeem on all Oneworld carriers (like American, Qantas, LAN, Cathay Pacific, and JAL) and BA also allows one-way awards for half the price of a round-trip, with very flexible routing and stopovers.

The only thing that kills me about BA is the insane surcharges and fees. I booked clients from Toronto to Nairobi in First/Business and fees were about $1,250 per person. Granted, thats still better than paying the $15,000 asking price for the tickets, but BA is definitely on the high side when it comes to award fees.  Also, BA’s Executive Club customer service is a bit annoying since there are usually 20 minute waits for the US line and it isn’t open 24/7.

Overall, I think this transfer bonus is a really good value, especially if you get to redeem for one of my favorite first class products- BA New First

Terms & Conditions:

Tip of the Hat to View from the Wing blog for finding this promo.

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  • abcx

    The place where you get excellent value with BA is in S. America using LAN. Cheap in terms of miles reqd., LAN’s extensive route network, good award availability, nice 180deg flat business class and best of all, NO YQ!

    The unlimited stopovers can be really maximized. 40k in Y and 80k in C. Run, don’t walk.

  • Craig Ford

    I noticed that the post over at View from the Wing said that he’d rather take 40% bonus with BA than 80% to Delta. I was interested in your take on this as I’m eligible for both and I have points to transfer.

  • tomdc

    Seeing that the Delta promo has dwindled to 50% max bonus, would this BA promo be better? Is redemption on AA domestic thru BA just as easy as AA direct without any of BA’s notorious fees?

  • The Points Guy

    Craig- since I have so many Delta miles, I’d transfer to BA just to diversify. If I had no Delta miles, I’d still do BA because they are easier to redeem and have unlimited stopovers and great first class redemption options (Delta bans first class redemptions-boo).
    Tomdc- I recently redeemed 25,000 BA for a oine way American First Class SFO-JFK flight and taxes were $2.50 or something miniscule. Cathay used to not have insane fees, though I hear that may be changing. Its really just the BA metal business/first tickets that have the insane surcharges.

  • David

    Hey Points Guy,

    Can you remember a time when American Express offered a %bonus for transfering points to Continental? I am looking to use my remaining 41,000 membership rewards points and I want to make sure I transfer them at good rate. Thanks in advance

  • The Points Guy

    David- They may have had a Continental transfer promo in the past, but not within the last couple years. I’d be surprised if they ran one before the partnership ends, but its not impossible.

  • David

    Thanks for your response. I figured that would be the answer. I am based out of Houston so I was hoping to get a transfer bonus to Continental or United to avoid connecting flights at the main hub site for the other airlines.


    I have been salivating at this deal for a few days, but I have a family of 4 and was wondering how many tickets Cathay releases to BA for redemption in either economy or business class. A business class ticket from JFK to HK can be redeemed for 100k which is an amazing deal esp with the 40% bonus. I have a decent amount of amex miles and was thinking about transferring it all over.

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