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Just a friendly reminder that tomorrow, Sunday July 31, 2011, is the last day to take advantage of the American Express to British Airways transfer bonus. I’ve highlighted the British Airways Executive Club program details in a 10 part series and compared it against Delta, but if you have any lingering questions that are keeping you from pulling the trigger, feel free to comment below and either me or other savvy TPG readers will chime in to help you make your decision.
1) Redeeming awards to Europe – even on partners like American, will be expensive.
2) The best BA awards (in my opinion) are single partner awards within the US (25k/50k/75k) on American or Alaska, or South American (40k/80k/120k) or Asia 50k/100k/150k).
3) BA allows one-way awards – even on partners.
4) BA has very generous award routing and stopover rules. You can stop as many times as you want – even on one-way awards! So for example, for 100,000 miles you can fly business class US to Asia. If you split it into two one-way awards, you could fly Cathay Pacific on the outbound, you can stop for however long you want in Hong Kong, before continuing on to another destination like Bali. Then you buy a cheap ticket from Bali to Singapore and if you fly Japan Airlines on the return, you could fly home from Singapore to Tokyo, stop for however long you want, then Tokyo back to the US. So essentially, you just visited 4 cities in Asia and flew business class for only 100,000 miles. Taxes on those awards are cheaper than taxes to Europe – it depends on the carrier, but think around $300 – not bad, especially for business or first class itineraries.
5) BA has four award charts, but I only ever use the single partner award chart (which is easier for me since I live in NYC and most partners fly here).
To read more, check out these posts.
Amazing Deal: 50% Bonus on American Express to British Airways Point Transfers
General tips, Post 1 – Booking BA Awards, Post 2 – Booking Partner Awards, Post 3 – Oneworld Alliance, Post 4 – Taxes and Fees, Post 5 – Household Accounts, Post 6 – Companion Ticket, Post 7 – Using ExpertFlyer for Partner Award Availability, Post 8 – The Art of the Stopover, Post 9 – Leveraging Miles and Cash Redemptions, and Post 10 – Using Qantas.com to Find Oneworld Award Availability.
In general, I think the 50% transfer is a phenomenal deal, but only if you understand the program first!