Amazing Deal: 50% Bonus on American Express to British Airways Point Transfers

Jun 2, 2011

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Until July 31, 2011, you can get a 50% bonus when you transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to British Airways. This is the best transfer bonus they’ve run in the short 2 year period BA has been a part of Membership Rewards. Most recently, they ran a 40% bonus, which I thought was pretty generous – 50% is even better if you know how to use British Airways miles properly. Another thing to note is that you don’t pay any excise fees on the transfer to BA, unlike the fees you get hit with when transferring Amex points to US carriers like Delta and Continental. However, you should be aware that BA charges hefty fuel surcharges on some flights, which I’ll outline below.

No registration is needed for this bonus because the bonus is hard-coded into the transfer portal (Use points -> Travel -> Airlines). However, the T&C state only one bonus per cardmember allowed, however last time they ran the 40% bonus I made several transfers and received the bonus on each, which is what I bet will happen this time as well.

“Get 50% more BA Miles when you transfer Membership Rewards points to your British Airways Executive Club account now through 7/31/11. Bonus Miles will be awarded with the original transfer. One bonus per Cardmember. Taxes, fees, charges & surcharges, including airline surcharges, apply. Visit for more details.”

If you haven’t done so already, take some time and read my series on British Airways miles. I cover most of the tips and tricks involved with maximizing British Airways award redemptions. General tipsPost 1 – Booking BA Awards, Post 2 – Booking Partner Awards, Post 3 – Oneworld Alliance, Post 4 – Taxes and Fees, Post 5 – Household Accounts, Post 6 – Companion Ticket, Post 7 – Using ExpertFlyer for Partner Award Availability, Post 8 – The Art of the Stopover, Post 9 – Leveraging Miles and Cash Redemptions, and Post 10 – Using to Find Oneworld Award Availability.

Key takeaways:
1) Don’t redeem awards on British Airways flights (high fees, $500-$1,300 per ticket)
2) Don’t redeem award trips to Europe (high fees, think $400+ per ticket, even on Oneworld partners)
3) The cheapest awards are domestic American Airlines awards, which come with $2.50 in fees per leg and only 25,000 roundtrip for coach, 50,000 for business and 75,000 for first. Also cheap are South American awards, which are usually $60ish per roundtrip – even for business class.
4) BA allows unlimited stopovers on awards, so add in multiple stops to maximize the value of your award.
5) BA has four separate award charts and when you mix more than one carrier on an award, expect to pay exponentially more. Keep itineraries to one carrier! British Airways Flights, BA + 1 partner, single Oneworld partner and multiple Oneworld partners.
6) BA Cash and Miles redemptions can be an amazing value – especially on coach awards.
7) BA allows one-way awards, even on Oneworld partners
8 ) You can use BA miles for awards not only on BA, but American, Cathay, Qantas, FinnAir, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Lan, Malev, Mexicana, Royal Jordanian, S7, Alaska, Aer Lingus and Kingfisher.
9) is quirky and will automatically try to route you through London, so use, or to search for partner award availability.
10) Some of the best redemptions are 40,000 mile coach awards to South America, including Buenos Aires/Brazil. That means only 27,000 Amex points will get you a roundtrip coach ticket and you can include multiple stopovers! AND you can even use less points if you use the cash and miles option. The same trip is 80,000 miles or 58,000 Amex points. Another one of my favorite redemptions is 100,000 mile (67,000 Amex points) to Asia in Cathay Pacific business class.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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