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Amazing Deal Alert: 50% Bonus On Amex To British Airways Transfers Until May 31, 2012

by on March 15, 2012 · 145 comments

in Amazing Deal Alerts, American Express, British Airways, Oneworld

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American Express Membership Rewards is now offering a 50% bonus on transfers to British Airways Avios points until May 31, 2012. The bonus is hard coded into the transfer ratio, so 1,000 Amex points = 1,500 Avios points and they transfer instantly. The most recent Amex transfer bonus to Avios back in November was just 30%, so this is the biggest bonus to BA that Amex has run since last summer’s 50%. If you need a British Airways account, you can get one for free here.

While British Airways did revamp the program in November and some amazing redemptions disappeared, my aversion to the program has died down because there are also some incredibly valuable aspects including no fees on last-minute award travel and the low miles required for short- and medium-haul redemptions. While fees are high on flights to Europe and Australia, they are nominal if you redeem on partners like American and LAN for travel within the Americas and even Cathay flights to Asia aren’t too bad.

Remember, you can also transfer Amex points to anyone else (simply log in to your membershiprewards.com account -> Points Summary -> Scroll to bottom right where you see accounts, scroll to bottom and select “Link additional accounts”), 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.

Before you transfer, figure out if Avios will indeed make sense for your award redemption. See below for the distance based mileage chart. If you need to figure out how many miles a route is, this site will help you figure it out. 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. So for example, you can’t enter Toronto to Lima. You’d have to do Toronto to JFK, JFK to Lima and add how much each individual leg costs to get your final price. Annoying, I know, but just think of the bonus and that should take some of the sting out of it!

Avios Award Chart

To book partner awards just go to britishairways.com -> log in with your password -> Executive Club -> Spending Avios -> Book flights with Avios. When searching for partners it’ll prompt you to pull in partner availability after it tries to search initially for BA flights. Also, complex awards and stopovers in cities other than London generally need to be booked over the phone at 1-800-452-1201.

Examples:
Let’s say you want to take a last minute trip from Los Angeles to Lihue (Kauai, which is amazing). There’s saver award availability, so using AA miles it would cost 45,000 and $80 per ticket. However, that same flight is only 25,000 Avios (so a mere 16,667 Amex with the 50% bonus!) roundtrip and $21. To buy the ticket it would cost $665, so your 16,667 Amex points are worth roughly 4 cents each. Pretty good for  coach award!

LAX-LIH on AA would cost 45,000 miles and $80

That same award with BA is only 25,000 Avios (16,667 Amex) and $21

Or purchase the ticket outright for $655

Some other popular flights that are incredibly cheap with Avios – especially with this 50% bonus – are within South America.

LAN from Lima to Cuzco (where you can fly to begin your journey to Macchu Pichu) is a notoriously expensive route at only 364 miles.
Coach flights cost $602 roundtrip on LAN almost every day of the week. Roundtrips can be booked for 9,000 Avios (6,000 Amex with this promo) and $12.97. That’s a shocking 10 cents per Amex point in value! You can stretch it even further by using the cash & points feature, which is 4,500 Avios (3,000 Amex points) and $82 roundtrip an astonishing 17.3 cents per Amex point in value!

Avios pricing for Lan Lima to Cuzco- low amount of points and fees- and check out the cash and points options- a great value.

Same exact flights for $602 for sale on travelocity.com

Business class awards can be a great value too – especially on trans-continental flights like JFK-LAX. A last-minute saver award would cost 50,000 AA and $80 vs. 50,000 Avios (33,333 Amex) and $5.

Only $5 in fees with Avios

Intra-Asia flights are another sector where you can find deals. Hong Kong to Bali in business class roundtrip is only 50,000 Avios (33,333 Amex) and $74.

Hong Kong to Bali

Flights to Europe, especially in coach, are generally not a good idea because they carry enormous fuel surcharges (think $600+ for coach and $900+ for business/first). However, while BA has huge fees, the amount they require for awards from the northeast (Boston/NY/Philadelphia) is only 80,000 for business class (60,000 Amex points) and BA has a really strong business class product and nice lounges. And per this Philadelphia example, buying their product isn’t cheap! You could use 80,000 Avios (53,300 Amex points) and $1,093 to fly roundtrip versus paying $9,128 for the same trip. 53,333 Amex points saves you $8,035, or 6.6 cents a point. If you are a business owner, this could be a great way to cut down on international travel costs.

80,000 Avios and $1,073 in fees

Over $9,000 to buy the same ticket!

British Airways also has a competitive upgrade program as well. If you buy World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy) ticket you can upgrade from JFK-London for only 10,000 Avios each way!

Overall, if you work this promotion appropriately, you can get monster value out of your American Express Membership Rewards points. Should you speculatively transfer points to British Airways? It really depends on your current situation and what you want out of your Amex points. If you are planning to take your family to Europe in coach I’d advise against British Airways. If you are trying to get your family from Dallas to Orlando in coach on American Airlines, I say go for it and strike hard with this promo! Do your research and as always, feel free to comment here for advice.

If you are in the market for a new Amex card that is part of the Membership Rewards program, the top cards are listed below. Before you apply for any card, make sure you are logged out of your Amex account or open these links from a new browser or else it may erroneously say the promotions are no longer valid:

Platinum: 50,000 points when you spend $3,000 within 3 months. $450 annual fee. You need to be referred by an existing Platinum cardholder for this promotion- if you need one email me at [email protected] Detailed review.
Mercedes-Benz Platinum: 50,000 points when you spend $1,000 within 3 months. $475 annual fee.
Business Platinum: 25,000 points when you spend $5,000 within 3 months. $450 annual fee.
Premier Rewards Gold: 25,000 points when you spend $2,000 within 3 months. $175 annual fee, waived the first year. Detailed review.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Phil

    This is very nice. While some of the spectacular values vanished with the advent of Avios, as you point out there are still tremendous value propositions still available. While I have a big stash of Avios, I will still use this to boost the levels up. I am using this frequently to pay for my short haul domestic travel

  • Dan

    Brian,

    Thanks for the heads up, I’ve actually been waiting for this. I’m planning to hop around Spain and France with my wife next year. While I originally hated the devaluation (and booked a CX F trip to DPS because of it) Avios points are *practical* for those short trips you mention. I grabbed the Mercedes Benz Platinum Amex to top off my VS account (we’re going to buy Y tickets and upgrade them… not the cheapest thing in the world, but considering all of the fees, it was better to buy the Y tix than try to acquire enough points for “pure” awards.) So, my plan is to top off the VS account and wait for a BA transfer and send the rest to Avios.

  • David

    Hmm…my parents have been talking about a trip to Argentina, and they have a ton of Amex points. Going from the DC area, it looks like this would 7500 avios (coach to MIA) then 50k avios (business to EZE) each way, so 160k avios would get both of them there and back. Is this correct?

  • David

    Oops – I meant 160k amex points, which convert into 240k avios points.

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  • http://infamousdx.com infamousdx

    Very nice to see Amex/BA doing this. They should have bonuses running throughout the year and it will help with their devalued long-haul redemptions.

  • Scott in Dallas

    Incredibly useful post for those of us sitting on BA Avios points! Thanks, TPG, for the excellent research, examples and screenshots. As a DFW-based flyer, I am using my Avios points domestically on AA and will look at LAN for SA. Machu Picchu is on my list of “must see,” so that could be a great Avios useage, as well.

  • thepointsguy

    Or if they could train to NYC and then fly AA from JFK-EZE it would be the same 100k roundtrip in business, so 66,667 Amex each with this promo.

  • thepointsguy

    Not a bad idea if you can get a decent fare to upgrade on Virgin Atlantic. FYI the promo is now live so the 50% is good until May 31, 2012.. don’t transfer until you absolutely have to in case another great promo comes along

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  • CanesLawMarty

    Echoing what TPG and the other commentors have said about LAN awards in SA, I used 25K Avios to book a $900 r/t flight from SCL to IPC (Easter Island) next month…the exact same award would’ve cost 75K AA miles!!!

  • Jmw2323

    while the fees on CX to Asia are not bad, the points required is another story. F award via avios is 210k ORD-HKG-ORD. While same award using AA miles is 135k. Of course much closer with the transfer bonus

  • Tim

    Hi, I am having trouble figuring the BA website out. I fly out of Detroit (DTW) for all of my flights, but I can not figure out how to fly BA or AA out of here. Can you please help, I am getting confused using Avios points on their partners.

  • thepointsguy

    Correct- ultra long haul flights aren’t a great deal, but also aren’t horrible with the 50% bonus, especially considering there are no other valuable Oneworld transfer partners

  • thepointsguy

    To fly AA you will have to connect via Chicago most likely. So if you want to go Detroit to Orlando, I’d recommend just going to AA.com and finding MileSaaver availability and write down the legs that are available. Those should be bookable with BA miles, thought you may have to call to get it ticketed if Ba.com doesn’t show the flights you want

  • Luiz

    Your calculations are incorrect for the points/cash feature.

    602-82= 520.

    520/4,500 miles= 11.56 cents of value, not 17.3.

  • thepointsguy

    4,500 Avios is only 3,000 Amex with this 50% promo. 3,000 Amex /$520 is 17.3 cents per Amex point.

  • Elena

    Do you need to buy a specific cabin in order to use 10,000 to upgrade your flight? If so, aren’t those flight generally much more expensive?

  • thepointsguy

    Its 10k for a one class upgrade. So you can buy coach and upgrade to premium economy. BA makes it much cheaper to upgrade than the US carriers, like Delta who requires super expensive fares.

  • Mrcandoit

    Brian,

    Do you think it might be worth it to do this transfer IF one is flying from ATL to TEL in November? I know it is a long haul but the typical price for a ticket then has been running over $1,400 per person in economy. Cheers!

  • Pointasaurus

    In your opinion if I am planning a trip from ATL to Hawaii later this year and I have 240,000 MR points should I consider doing a transfer to BA for this trip? Do BA points expire? And, Alaska is part of AVIOS so would that factor into the Atl to Hawaii decision?

  • http://www.euanross.com Euan

    Not quite, while you can upgrade from ANY Premium Economy booking class to Business Class you can only upgrade from Economy booking classes Y, B & H (the expensive ones!) to Premium Economy.

    Economy to Premium Economy = 10,000 one way (UK-East Coast)
    Premium Economy to Business = 10,000 one way (UK-East Coast)
    Business to First = 20,000 one way (UK-East Coast)

  • YEGflyer

    I have sent American Express an email to see if this offer is available to Canadian Membership Rewards Members. When I log into my account the offer is not shown and the transfer ratio is stated to be 1000 Membership Rewards points for 750 Avios. So it looks like not only do Canadians not get the bonus opportunity, we are valued less as customers.

  • http://www.euanross.com Euan

    “Do BA points expire?”

    After 3 years of no activity in your account they will do. However, you can keep them active by simply buying 1,000 avois.

  • http://www.euanross.com Euan

    I would check which booking classes are upgradable with VS as I have a feeling they only allow the more expensive Economy fares to be upgraded using miles to Premium Economy, as is the case with BA.

  • David

    True, but I think I’d rather put them on the LAN flight from MIA-EZE, since they both have some physical ailments and the seat would be better.

  • Elena

    Thanks for the info, Euan. Do I have to call them up to upgrade the flight or is it something I can do online?

  • http://www.euanross.com Euan

    You must buy your flight at BA.com and you can upgrade online.

  • Evan

    Did the miles appear in your avious account instantly? I am still waiting to see them.

  • Bradleadam

    What do u think of the value of avios within Europe? I am currently living in Germany and have had a difficult time keeping the fees down unless im flying to London. Is there something Im missing as a Way to effectively use avios traveling around Europe or from Europe to other continents? Thanks a lot.

  • PJ

    ATL to Hawaii i bet not too hot on Avios since at least 2 legs invovled LAX or SFO to Hawaii I have been watching a gem redemption on avios . as in all other short hauls ORD NYC ORD MEM NYC to almost ALL short hauls AA can fly you to . COAST TO COAST that is antother gem NO CHARGE on 2 checked in luggages and non stop

    check out the HKG TPE or anyplace Cathay can take you on short hauls or Norita ICN ( south korea)

  • PJ

    or get a BA card from Chase for $95 and they give you another 50K if you can handle the spend

  • PJ

    4.5 K from Port Mont(?) back to Santiago one way what a treat. but i am having trouble booking IGR AEP on april 23 wither through Avios or AA which uses LAN and GOL while cash seats are VERY AVAILABLE

  • THEsocalledfan

    Here is my question: American Eagle flies for American into Sioux Falls (FSD). However, when I search for award flights using oneworld partners, I can’t book an award trip from MSP to FSD (through ORD). What is up with that? No regional coverage?

  • PJ

    i was about to blast the negative reply on Morgan Stanley Amex post ” you are about to lose half of the audience” not sure even in his dreams , the points fairy can shower him with a lot of points to please him

  • PJ

    get a few Hyatt cards to stay free at Palicio Duhou(?) Park Hyatt BUE 2 nights on each card

  • PJ

    i think it is very decent way to bail out 75K sign on bonus from Premier Gold Rewards especially if you dont have definite plan to make the imminent $175 annual fees a worthy pay

  • PJ

    agree, AA does not fly SNA to EWR non stop but the EWR to LAX express service is cool enough @ 12.5 K one way = about 8 K Amex MRs cool

  • thepointsguy

    American Eagle flights are bookable- it’s just that BA.com gets easily confused. As long as there is saaver availability on aa.com call BA and book and ask them to waive the phone booking fee since the website is broken

  • thepointsguy

    American Eagle flights are bookable- it’s just that BA.com gets easily confused. As long as there is saaver availability on aa.com call BA and book and ask them to waive the phone booking fee since the website is broken

  • Guest

    So MSP-DFW-MSP if I can find lower AASaver is only 15K Avios right?

  • PJ

    not sure if Avios household account would cost anything. this method should work to pool all points into ONE avio account.. As long as I am an authorized user on my kid’s account , my AVIO can take in trasnferred AIVOS fro AMEX MRs

  • PJ

    i think avios calculator let you see AVIOS required and Fees Taxes . However booking the real flights is another thing subject to availability up to the whim of BA’s partners..
    I have been having hard time to book IGR ( Iguazza falls Argentina) to BUE while cash seats are more than ready everywhere on LAN and GOL

  • http://twitter.com/jamucsb Jamison

    ouch, i should’ve waited to xfer 100k MR rewards …..i did it when they had the 30% in jan, but oh wells!

  • abcx

    Yeah, but you’re effectively paying $70 for 4.5k Avios if you do cash and miles. That’s 1.55cpm. Or since it’s 3k MR with the bonus for that additional 4.5k Avios, you’re essentialy paying 2.33 cents per Amex MR. So not the smartest C&P redemption unless you are short on MR.

  • Steven S

    There’s good and there’s bad – but you’re catching me on a bad day. I have a slew of BA Avios miles and have done very well with them. Flying First this June RT Moscow. Did FC Israel in May.

    Got a great booking on AA from LGA to Toronto but have to cancel for some surgery. There is NO option to cancel online. I have now called three times but really, how long can you have a life and still be on hold. Just called and the recording said the approximate wait time is 70 minutes! I know it was bad during the switchover to Avios but this is nuts.

    Tried the trick of Skyping to Singapore and was connected immediately. Unfortunately, they said they could not cancel and award booking on a partner and I had to do it thru BA in USA. Does that make sense or was she wrong?

    Very, very frustrated.

  • Scobro99

    any idea if AMEX MR will be doing a DELTA bonus transfer offer anytime soon ?

  • Greg

    I agree that there are some great short-haul redemptions available with BA Avios, but LIM-CUZ is not the absolutely amazing value that you present it to be. I flew the route with Peruvian Airlines last summer for ~$100 USD roundtrip, taxes in. Remember, non-alliance carriers exist too.

  • JMSL

    My understanding is that ANY activity will prevent the miles from expiring. So, instead of buying 1,000 miles, you could just make a $1 purchase in their e-shopping store, which would also keep your account active. 1,000 Avios points costs $53, so not the greatest deal.

  • hpaul

    Wow, excellent find, thanks for letting us know. A question re: “Remember, you can also transfer Amex points to anyone else (simply log in to your membershiprewards.com account -> Points Summary -> Scroll to bottom right where you see accounts, scroll to bottom and select “Link additional accounts”).” On the pages to input linked programs it asks for “your” account number and “your” name. Is it possible to input another person’s information without causing problems? Additionally, for example, if I have my Air Canada (AC) information already stored as a linked program, can I change it to someone else’s AC program to transfer some points now and then change back to my information for future transfers? Will it create a second AC linked transfer account? Thank you very much and please do keep up the good work!

  • Bradleadam

    In my experience the calculator is much more generous with fees than when you actually go to book. Anybody Else Know how to max value either within or flying from Europe to other continents?

  • Mark Mceachin

    Any idea when MR will do a bonus again for transfers to Delta?

  • thepointsguy

    Hopefully soon! It’s been an unseasonably long dry spell

  • thepointsguy

    You can put in whoevers name and account that you want. You can have multiple accounts attached to your Amex- when you go to transfer it’ll let you select which one you want the points to go to. Just be careful you send to the correct one!

  • Alex

    Fabulous offer and I signed up for Avios. I wanted to check the flight using BA site other for an October trip LAX-Kona but it keeps saying there is no flights. How do you book such a flight? Sorry so new and overwhelmed.

  • thepointsguy

    That didn’t show up as an option when I used travelocity/Orbitz so I didn’t include it. But you have a valid point- and what I always recommend is doing the math of the best available option before using points/miles.

  • thepointsguy

    I’d first check aa.com for Saaver level flights. One you find them, then go to BA.com and enter in the dates. There very well might not be any availability right now so thats why BA.com isn’t showing anything

  • thepointsguy

    Nope, but I hope soon!

  • arcticbull

    You can definitely do it online, as I have a few times.

    Just log in to your account, then locate and click on your booking. From the Manage Booking page, at the very bottom right of the page under the heading “Change booking” is a link called “Cancellation options for this booking.”

    That will walk you through the process. Their cancellation fees are really quite low compared to their competitors at I believe the lower of $40 and the taxes/fees you paid.

  • arcticbull

    The $70 isn’t just for Avios, it’s also for the taxes, fees and charges. However, the general formula for point value is (PAID_TICKET_PRICE – TAXES_FEES_ETC) / POINTS.

    Does it matter whether you “paid $70 for 4.5K” Avios? All that matters is your taxes/fees went up and your points required went down. This means the points you DID spend were worth more. You used a lot less of them for what is still a large difference between the sticker price of the ticket and what left your pocket.

    I personally use my points for positioning flights and I don’t have _that_ many of them so I always use C&P. In this scheme you are getting more out of each Avios. However, you are also spending more. The trade-off is up to you, but it’s totally valid.

  • arcticbull

    My favorite use of Avios is as positioning flights for other awards. If one alliance can’t get from my origin, or to my destination, but most of the way, it’s often really easy to plug the holes with Avios.

    I used 120K DL miles for a round-trip on Korean to Vietnam, but I had to get back to Toronto and of course since I wasn’t returning at 3am on a Wednesday, low level space from JFK-YYZ wasn’t available. So I just put an Avios award at the end (9000 miles for Business — no Economy space left — or 4500 and $67.50 Cash & Points).

    I think they actually complement Delta miles really well. Use Avios to get to your international gateway, and then use Delta miles to get the rest of the way.

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  • Alex

    Realizing it is 7 months away why not showing. I tried to call BA and the wait was 45 mins! I had to get back to work :) Is it worth taking the chances moving Amex to Avios which I never had before or used? Sole goal is to transfer to AA for flights. Also weighing in AA’s future?

  • Alex

    In other words, matches your Lihue example perfectly but the BA site says no flights available.

  • hjl1007

    I’m being told that my well-research AA.com milesaaver availability doesn’t translate into BA reward availability by reps on the phone. Any thoughts? I’ve checked and Quantas shows these flights available to partners with rewards as well.

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  • Steven S

    Perhaps because it is not a BA flight but rather with AA, but I can assure you that the location to cancel is X’d out and it is not an option for me. If there are any other idea, believe me, I’m all ears!

  • arcticbull

    Mine’s for AA flights too. That’s weird, sorry, but it sounds like something went wrong with your itinerary. It’s not typical though, I’ve had to cancel and rebook a couple of them and I’ve always done it online…

  • Brian

    I watched IGR AEP for a while and January and never saw anything open up for partner awards. There is usually lots of availability for LANPass members though. I did a Starwood -> LANPass transfer and got the seats easily.

  • Ryan

    I am unable to find any AA availability using the BA redemption site even though the sectors i’m searching for show availability on AA. I’m researching how many Avios points I need for roundtrip BOS to RDU on any weekend in May.

  • theblakefish

    Brian, you neglect to say how the Avios points + miles is an awesome deal, too. I booked a Lima-Puno (Lake Titicaca) for something like 2300 Avios’s + $40 and Cusco-Lima for the same….essentially about 5000 Avois’s and maybe $90, when the revenue LAN flights would have cost over $800.

    I depleted my BA miles in advance of the Avios changeover and was glad that I did, but Avios is absolutely the best deal on short flights out there, ymmv. :)

  • thepointsguy

    Huh? Re-read the post:
    “You can stretch it even further by using the cash & points feature, which is 4,500 Avios (3,000 Amex points) and $82 roundtrip an astonishing 17.3 cents per Amex point in value!”

  • http://twitter.com/KevinFuray Kevin Furay

    There’s a couple options with MR points. You could wait for another transfer bonus (like Delta) to use less points, but then there may not be availability. You can do ATL-ORD-LAX-HNL/OGG round-trip in coach for 36000 MR points with the 50% bonus, which is better than most NA awards to Hawaii. I wouldn’t mind paying that price for Hawaii!

  • YEGflyer

    It’s confirmed. This offer is not available to Canadian AMEX Membership Rewards Customers and our ratio is lower, but I’ve been assured that AMEX considers all of it’s customers as “equal”.

  • DrRZ

    Thanks for the info, on my page it shows “Link additional programs” is that the same as “Link additional accounts?” And, does that transfer at 50% for Delta? Thanks again.

  • thepointsguy

    Same thing… and there have been 50% Delta promos in the past, but there aren’t any currently

  • DrRZ

    Thanks Points Guy!!

  • KP

    I’m finding out lately that I often have to call BA to get any redemptions…On top of that the last time I called, which was as of yesterday, they seemed to mention having issues loading AA’s schedules, etc. Anyways. When the reward search on BA is working, I’m often finding only 1 date available even if I search each day, all the way until 3 months. SHITTY AVAILABILITY. I did this for 7 destinations, all 3 months out.

  • http://www.euanross.com Euan

    Correct, any activity will prevent them expiring. The only thing I would add is that I suspect most people who find themselves with miles expiring probably find out very last minute. The benefit of buying 1,000 miles is that they will appear instantly in your account.

  • http://www.euanross.com Euan

    Certainly in the UK anyone using the BA Amex is unlikely to have issues with expiring miles as there will be miles dropping into their account every month through credit card spend.

  • Brad

    Can you transfer from starwood amex and get the 50 percent bonus?

  • thepointsguy

    Nope, only membership Rewards

  • amigo

    I booked flights, LIM -CUZ, a week out in late January 2012 for five of us. The LIM – CUZ segment was not available on Lan with Avios, so booked it on Star Peru for about $85 each all in. We booked the return segment on Lan for 4500 Avios each plus taxes. Star Peru flights to Cuzco seem to be half the price of Lan, and often less than that. Star Peru, Peruvian Airlines, Taca Peru all have many flights to Cuzco. Check their websites since they probably won’t show up on Travelocity/Orbitz/Kayak/etc. go2Peru.com has a nice chart showing which airlines fly to which Peruvian cities.

    Using Avios on Lan can still be a good value, and the 4500 Avios will take you all the way to Puno as mentioned above, and even Iquitos… anywhere Lan flies in Peru.

    On another topic, often Peruvian airlines and PeruRail (for going to Machu Picchu) require a Verified by Visa registered credit card to book online, or the Mastercard equivalent. Fortunately Chase Sapphire participates in this program and is easy to register for the program. PeruRail checked that I had the booking credit card with me – in both directions – on our trip to Machu Picchu. So if you’re going there, have your card with you!

  • LFM

    I was hoping to see AMEX/Delta transfer bonus before I need to cancel my AMEX PRG card. My application date was May 14, 2011. Does this BA offer pretty much mean there will be no Delta bonus available until after May 31? Is other words is true that AMEX never runs transfer bonuses for its most popular airlines, Delta and BA, at the same time? I need to study BA redemption possibilities, but was wondering if they ever do bonuses at same time historically? I prefer Delta mainly because I have redeemed with them before and BA seems to have high taxes/fees, especially to EUR as TPG was saying.

  • Igor

    hi TPG ….. I’ll also need to cancel my AMEX cards soon (next 1-2 months) … BUT, you mentioned before what AMEX is good for …. like … 63K for Virgin to fly to London in business. Also …. 68K for ANA to Europe in biz class. So, I am thinking … maybe transfer it makes more sense to transfer to ANA or Virgin?

    thanks

  • Alex

    Only AAnytime flights are available. Nada shows up for BA on the search. Even called and Rep said system been down for the day. I am desperate for finding a cheap miles pull for first class LAX to KOA 10/6 and coach KOA to LAX 10/20. So far all I can find for two travelers is 160K points plus on First class and pay with cash $743. Any super wise sage out there willing to help a damsel in distress:)? I learn so much here!

    Tried LAX to Cabo May 1-16 and I see AASAAVer fares on AA but still no match is BA search! so frustrating!

    I

  • PJ

    wish this could be arranged

  • PJ

    sorry meant to say I would like to go the other way around giving you 1.50 Avios for 1 SPG
    your quick atternative is just apply Chase BA and pocket the 50K after the not to high SPEND

  • Modernhaus

    TPG, if you’re still checking this post I would love to understand why many are commenting on this deal that they are holding out for a AMEX-Delta transfer bonus. Assuming the bonuses are the same (50%), is a Delta bonus somehow more lucrative? If so, in what sense?

  • Blueeagle3

    i got 15.000 amex-points, thats a total of 22500 avios, enough for coach FRA-IAD plus 25 pounds PLUS “taxes, fees, charges and surcharges”….how much is these? can they be payed by avios too?

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  • Travelfree

    LAX based so Avios redemptions to Hawaii and short hop flights along the West Coast (Canada to Mexico) using American or Alaska makes this a great deal.
    A few follow up questions/comments:
    1. How do you calculate/estimate the associated taxes, fees or fuel surplus on the awards on your charts above?
    2. My AA domestic award fees have been much smaller than what you have above usually $5 on a non-stop.
    3. Have you found much Saver Award availability for last minute travel or is it mostly Anytime Award redemptions? Especially on AA, if I do not book Saver Awards early I usually cannot find them at all. Maybe if you travel alone it is easier to find as I usually search for awards traveling with a partner.
    Thanks.

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  • Ilimas

    Great tips! When comparing pricing, do you take into account AMEX fees for transferring MR points to airline miles?

  • thepointsguy

    Amex doesn’t charge fees for transferring to foreign airlines (including British airways)

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  • Jeff

    So if I have american express point can I transfer them to BA then book a RT flight at BA on american airlines and pay with avios points?

  • thepointsguy

    Yep! As long as AA has milesaaver (low) award availability

  • Rob

    I’m holding out to Delta transfer bonuses….

  • Owenmichael21

    Hi Pointsguy,

    I’m booking a flight to Hong Kong for the end of May, returning in early August. If I transfer my Amex points to BA’s Executive Club (giving me 135,000 Avios with the bonus offer), will I be able to use the Avios points to book the HK flight on Cathay Pacific? If my research is correct, the fees would total $340 on Cathay, as opposed to $1000 on BA. I’m also wondering if I’d have enough Avios leftover to book inter-Asia flights during my HK stay (w/Cathay)? I’m not an experienced traveler, so any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!

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  • Andrew

    just tried to book an award on AA from DEN-LAX. website wouldn’t do it, and agent said that it was required to charge the $25 if I wanted to book with her. She even waited on the line to make me verify that the website wouldn’t work.

    since AA codes the American Eagle premium cabin as ‘first’ BA considers it as such, and wants to charge me 45,000 avios + $120USD to ride upfront on an RJ. While I know that this is still less than American’s mileage amount for domestic first, I think it is slightly absurd.

  • Gac

    I am sorry, Delta really, really sukks imho…

  • William

    I just tried booking a flight from NYC to HKG on http://www.ba.com and it doesn’t show their partner airlines. How do I go about booking it through their partner, Cathay Pacific? Thanks pointsguy!

  • TimRCanderson

    Hi TPG

    Thanks for all this Avis info helps a lot! Have a question:

    I want to fly from LAX-Cabo-LAX. On my dates flights are avail on Alaska flights in First Class at the saver level. Avios has three reward types: Economy (15, 000 Avios round trip) Business/Club (30,000 roundtrip) and First (45,000 round trip) The agent on the phone is telling me I would need to book at the First level as Alaska Airlines calls it First class.
    When using Avios on a 2 cabin plane like LAX-Cabo, is it correct I have to book at First class level?

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  • Lukas

    Hi! I’m trying to book PHL (EWR) – DFW – HNL flight on AA in October. I want to use Business/Club route but read about having to use First Class points instead. How do I find out if I have to use First Class or Business/Club points on these flights?

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  • Kathy

    Hi – I am trying to do the same thing. How do I book through a partner of BA?

  • oldmanpeabody

    After you do the search and it says BA doesn’t fly there, you’ll see a link in red that says “Include our partner airlines” or something along those lines – just click it and ba will re-run the search with partners.

    My bigger question is why there will be a ton of availability showing on aa.com but zero on ba.com for the same dates + airports. TPG, any thoughts on that? For example, I see plenty of availability all over the map from ATL-SJO next March and April on aa.com but absolutely nothing on ba.com. Certainly reduces how awesome those avios points are on partners if only certain partner flights are available.

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  • greg

    Zone 9: 7,001-100,000. Wonder what the longest flight you can book is.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lizabeth-Dretzka/1417476393 Lizabeth Dretzka

    Hello,
    I am new to this site and transferring point to optimize the benefit but am considering transferring 130,000 amex points to Avios points. My goal is to take the family from Minneapolis to the South Pacific/ maybe Balie. My concern is the potential fees that BA could charge and wonder about using other partners to save on the cost of the fees. Any recommendations if this point transfer would work well and how best to check before transferring would be great (ie do I need to call the airline?). Thanks in advance for any insight you can give.

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  • Shaktisawh

    Does anyone know how long it takes for the points to actually go through from amex to BA…………………need to book my flights ASAP!!! Thanks

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  • Leott54

    I want to SELL my AMEX POINTS. Anyone interested?

  • Aaronparkinson76
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