Reminder: Amex 30% Transfer Bonus to British Airways Ends Today

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Update: Because of technical difficulties, American Express is extending this transfer bonus opportunity to 11:59pm EST on February 1, 2012.

Today is the last day to take advantage of the American Express Membership Rewards 30% bonus on transfers to British Airways Avios points. The bonus is hard coded into the transfer ratio, so 1,000 Amex points = 1,300 Avios points and they transfer instantlyNote: some TPG readers have reported getting an error message when they tried to take advantage of the transfer bonus; I’ve contacted Amex and confirmed that this should be fixed soon as the promotion runs through today. Update: This is now fixed.

Remember, you can transfer Amex points to anyone else, so this might be a good time to top up your family or friends’ accounts to get them to levels needed for awards. Amex will even let you advance points for free as long as you earn them back within a year – 15,000 for Premier Rewards Gold/ Gold/ Green and up to 60,000 points for Platinum. Remember, you can also set up a Household Account to pool your Avios points, which makes the logistics of booking travel amongst several accounts much easier.

The Avios program isn’t as bad as it may have gotten credit for recently, and I’m still going to use the program because there is value to be had, as I wrote about in a previous post.

Avios is a valuable program for last-minute redemptions since it doesn’t charge last-minute award ticketing fees, and expensive short-haul flights since it is based on distance and the number of connections, but sometimes those short flights from point to point are the most expensive. Just check out the hundreds of comments on my recent post where I asked for comments on best Avios redemptions – an overwhelming majority of TPG readers find great value in short haul redemptions.

Before you transfer, figure out if Avios will indeed make sense for your award redemption. Here is an award chart Avios released for Iberia flyers and I’m pretty sure these distance bands apply to all other Avios redemptions.

You can also use this calculator to figure out how much your trip will cost in Avios points. Note: You must price each leg of your itinerary individually.
A 30% transfer bonus isn’t huge, especially compared to previous Amex bonus transfers of 40% or even 50%, but if you have any last-minute or expensive short/medium-haul flights coming up, it makes sense to transfer some Amex Membership Rewards points to the program while the bonus is still good.

Note: Starwood Preferred Guest points transfer to British Airways at a constant 25% bonus per 20,000 points transferred and Chase Ultimate Rewards points also transfer at a fixed 1:1 ratio.

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