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Amex card holders have a variety of options for using points. Some Membership Rewards partners offer great value for exchanging points between rewards programs, while others have a less lucrative value proposition. Unfortunately, beginning later this year, one of Amex’s most popular partners will become a bit less appealing. American Express recently shared plans to reduce the exchange rate between Amex Membership Rewards and British Airways and Iberia Airlines, according to Travel with Grant.
The change is set to begin on October 1, 2015, at which point cardholders will receive 200 Avios for every 250 Membership Rewards points. Currently, points transfer between the two programs at a 1:1 ratio. The new 250:200 (or 1,000:800) ratio means travelers will lose about 20% of points they previous would have gotten from a transfer. Most cardholders can convert Membership Rewards to miles at 1:1 ratio with a few notable exceptions, including JetBlue and Virgin America.
There’s no word on whether or not Amex plans to continue offering transfer bonuses between Membership Rewards and British Airways, which could help compensate for the lower rate (and then some). For example, last winter Amex offered a 40% transfer bonus to British Airways, so despite this devaluation, we can always hope that Amex will continue to offer transfer bonuses once this change goes into effect.