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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – British Airways Visa Signature Card
The 30% transfer bonus from American Express Membership Rewards to British Airways Avios I wrote about a couple weeks ago has finally gone live and will be available until January 14, 2013. The bonus is, as usual, hard coded into the transfer page at Membership Rewards.
I’m actually getting low on British Airways Avios (too many first class redemptions to Europe and Asia this year!), so it’s nice to be able to use my Membership Rewards points and get a bonus on top of them. If you don’t have many Amex and you need Avios, the British Airways Visa from Chase, just re-launched anot another 100,000 Avios bonus available until February 2013. You get 50,000 Avios right off the bat by spending $1,000 within the first 3 months and then up to another 50,000 with $20,000 in spend within a year.
Amex also launched a 35% transfer bonus to Virgin Atlantic until December 29, 2012 that I’m also considering – not because I’m after Virgin Atlantic miles (of all the Virgins, I’ll be considering Virgin America after my recent gold status match), but because I might want some Hilton HHonors points.
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles transfer to Hilton at a 2:1 ratio, so instead of the usual 1 Amex point to 1.5 Hilton HHonors points, I’d get 1 Amex point to 2.7 HHonors points, an 80% bonus. If I were to transfer 100,000 Amex points, I’d end up with 270,000 Hilton Honors points – more than enough for an 8-night stay at a Category 6 property like the Hilton Los Cabos, which is only 240,000 points with the GLON rate I get from being a Hilton HHonors Gold elite thanks to having the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card from Citi. Check out this post for more information on maximizing Hilton awards.
So what it comes down to for me is: airline miles versus hotel points? I’m leaning towards the latter, especially since I’m about to become a Hilton Diamond and look forward to redeeming at some of their top properties. Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.