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Transfer Amex Membership Rewards to British Airways With a 40% Bonus

July 17, 2017
5 min read
Transfer Amex Membership Rewards to British Airways With a 40% Bonus
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Just last week, American Express improved the transfer ratio to a flat 1:1 for both British Airways Avios and Iberia Plus Avios. This move surely in an improvement over the old ratio of 5:4, but now, Amex is sweetening that deal even more with a 40% bonus on transfers to BA and Iberia.

During the promotion, which runs until September 17, 2017, you'll get 350 Avios for every 250 Membership Rewards points you transfer. As a reminder Amex Membership Rewards transfer to both BA and Iberia instantly, so you'll have the points in your account for nearly immediate use.

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You can earn Membership Rewards points from American Express cards such as The Platinum Card® from American Express, the Business Platinum Card® from American Express and the Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express.

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British Airways has a distance-based award chart. However, keep in mind that British Airways is notorious for its sometimes-sky-high taxes and fees on award tickets. Nonetheless, here's the carrier's award chart, which has both peak and off peak rates:

Zone/Flight Distance


Off Peak / Peak

Premium Economy

Off Peak / Peak


Off Peak / Peak


Off Peak / Peak

Zone 1 (1-650 miles)4,000 / 4,5005,750 / 6,7507,750 / 9,00015,500 / 18,000
Zone 2 (651-1,150)6,500 / 7,5009,500 / 11,25012,750 / 15,00025,500 / 30,000
Zone 3 (1,151-2,000)8,500 / 10,00012,750 / 15,00017,000 / 20,00034,000 / 40,000
Zone 4 (2,001-3,000)10,000 / 12,50020,000 / 25,00031,250 / 37,50042,500 / 50,000
Zone 5 (3,001-4,000)13,000 / 20,00026,000 / 40,00050,000 / 60,00068,000 / 80,000
Zone 6 (4,001-5,500)16,250 / 25,00032,500 / 50,00062,500 / 75,00085,000 / 100,000
Zone 7 (5,501-6,500)19,500 / 30,00039,000 / 60,00075,000 / 90,000102,000 / 120,000
Zone 8 (6,501-7,000)22,750 / 35,00045,500 / 70,00087,500 / 105,000119,000 / 140,000
Zone 9 (7,001+)32,500 / 50,00065,000 / 100,000125,000 / 150,000170,000 / 200,000

Some of the best value you can get out of BA Avios comes in the form of short-haul awards. For example, a short-haul partner award will run you just 4,500 Avios, meaning you'd have to transfer 3,250 MR points to yield 4,550 Avios with the 40% bonus. Remember that BA did away with these 4,500-point short-haul awards in the US, but you can still redeem for short-haul awards with Oneworld partner American Airlines for awards in the US for 7,500 Avios. In that case, those 7,500 Avios would require 5,500 Membership Rewards points, which would yield 7,700 Avios with the transfer bonus.

Or, consider some long-haul awards, such as these sweet spots to Dublin (DUB) from several East Coast cities. For example, you can fly from New York (JFK) to DUB for 13,000 Avios one-way in economy, which could be had for 9,500 Membership Rewards points, which converts to 13,300 Avios with the 40% bonus.

Check out this post for more ways to maximize the British Airways Executive Club program in 2017.

Here's a peek at Iberia's award chart, which also offer both peak and off-peak distance-based awards:

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For example, a one-way flight in premium economy from New York (JFK) to Madrid (MAD) will cost you 25,500 Avios. If you take advantage with this 40% transfer bonus, you'll need to transfer 18,250 Membership Rewards points, which will convert to 25,550 Iberia Plus Avios. Or, you could take the economy (Blue Class) route for 17,000 Avios, which would cost just 12,250 Membership Rewards points.

Bottom Line

This is a pretty great offer from American Express, offering cardholders the chance to get even more value from their points, especially just after announcing the improved transfer ratio.

However, this offer won't be around forever — it ends on September 17, 2017. While it's not a ton of time, you could still be able to increase your stash by signing up for new Membership Rewards-earning credit cards, such as the Amex Platinum Card. The card currently comes with a sign-up bonus of 60,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months. With the card's new benefits, you'll earn 5x points on airfare booked directly with an airline, hotels booked on, $200 in annual Uber rides, a $200 airline fee credit and more.

H/T: Doctor of Credit

Featured image by British Airways