40% Bonus for Transferring American Express Membership Rewards to Avios

Aug 1, 2019

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American Express and Avios just teamed up to make your Membership Rewards even more rewarding. As confirmed by American Express, all cardholders will receive a 40% bonus when transferring Membership Rewards points to British Airways Avios, Iberia Avios or Aer Lingus Avios.

This means you’ll get 1,400 Avios for each increment of 1,000 Membership Rewards points you transfer. Thanks to an improvement to the transfer ratio in 2017, Membership Rewards points typically transfer at a 1:1 ratio to Avios. Remember, you’ll need to be logged into your American Express account to check if you can utilize the deal.

British Airways Avios is one mileage program that some love to hate. And that’s understandable if you’re just looking at using Avios to fly transatlantic on British Airways flights. The BA fuel surcharges wreck the value for most rewards.

But by taking advantage of the distance-based sweet spots in the Avios redemption program, I’ve gotten more than 12 cents per Avios in value on Iberia premium economy flights and often get more than 6 cents per Avios from short-haul intra-Europe flights. A TPG reader got almost 9 cents per Avios in value on American Airlines flights, while TPG’s Loyalty and Engagement Editor Richard Kerr has scored more than 10 cents of value for flights in the Caribbean.

There are also many ways to snag nonstop American-operated flights using British Airways Avios at lower rates than you’d pay through the AAdvantage program, and the program can also be a great option for short-haul flights from Oneworld hubs. And with an extra 40% Avios, now’s a great time to consider a transfer from Amex Membership Rewards, especially since the Avios should post instantly.

While British Airways Avios are ideal for short nonstop AA-operated flights, Iberia Avios are ideal for when you’re flying round-trip and need to make a connection to get where you’re going. For example, round-trip flights totaling between 1,000 and 2,000 flight miles cost just 17,000 Iberia Avios. Although booking American Airlines awards through Iberia was unavailable for about a month, Iberia has fixed the bug and award bookings are currently available.

If you don’t currently have a card that earns American Express Membership Rewards points but don’t want to miss out on a transfer bonus like this in the future, there are a few great options currently available, each with hefty welcome bonuses:

This story has been edited to reflect that the bonus is 40%, not a targeted offer of 40% to 50% as originally reported.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

WELCOME OFFER: 75,000 Points Terms Apply.


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: Delta Sky Club and Centurion lounge access, up to $200 annual airline fee credit and up to $200 in Uber savings annually (only for use in the U.S.)  (Enrollment required for select benefits)

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

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 10x points on eligible purchases on your new Card at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. That’s an additional 9 points on top of the 1 point you earn for these purchases.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member and Additional Centurion Cards only.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits through American Express Travel with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts® program at over 1,100 properties. Learn More.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
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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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