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Amex Decreasing British Airways Transfer Rate by 20%

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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.

You'll have to use about 20 percent more points transferring to British Airways after Oct. 1, 2015.
You’ll soon have to use about 20% more points transferring to British Airways from Amex.

As a reminder, you can earn American Express Membership Rewards points using the the Amex Platinum Card and Premier Rewards Gold card, as well as the EveryDay Preferred and EveryDay cards.

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. 

British Airways Visa Signature® Card

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  • 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
  • Every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa card, you'll earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years.
  • In addition to the bonus Avios, you will also get 3 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases and 1 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad.
  • Chip Technology allows you to use your card for chip based purchases in Europe & beyond, while still giving you the ability to use your card as you do today at home.
Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Rating
N/A 16.24%-23.24% Variable $95 0% Excellent Credit