New 30% transfer bonus from Chase Ultimate Rewards to British Airways Avios
Some offers mentioned below are no longer available.
If you like to get more mileage out of your points then today is a good day as Chase is out with a new 30% points transfer bonus. If you have Chase Ultimate Rewards points and transfer them to the Avios programs by 11:59 p.m. ET on Sept. 26, 2021, you'll enjoy a 30% bonus.
This offer applies to transfers to all three programs that issue Avios as their respective currencies: AerLingus AerClub, British Airways Executive Club and Iberia Plus.
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This isn’t a targeted offer, so all Chase customers with an eligible card that earns Ultimate Rewards points can take advantage of the offer. You can transfer points to Avios in increments of 1,000 points, equal to 1,300 points with the 30% bonus.
Note that, like the previous iteration of this offer, it isn’t hard-coded into Chase’s system — so you won't see the 30% reflected during the transfer process. Instead, you’ll complete your transfer as usual on the Chase website, and the bonus points will appear on the British Airways (or other Avios member’s) website.
Thankfully, transfers from Chase to Avios still process instantly with this bonus.
I did a test transfer of 1,000 points and 1,300 Avios immediately appeared in my British Airways Avios account. The 300 bonus points appeared as a separate line item underneath the 1,000 transfer.
Is this a good deal?
TPG values Avios at 1.5 cents per point and Chase Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents per point. With this transfer bonus, you’re effectively getting 1.95 cents per point from your Ultimate Rewards points. You can stretch this value further if you book high-value awards with your Avios.
While Avios aren’t as powerful as they once were, there are still some excellent deals to be had. For example, British Airways’ distance-based partner award chart offers great deals on short-haul tickets. You can use just 9,000 Avios — 7,000 Ultimate Rewards points with the bonus — to book American Airlines and Alaska Airlines flights under 1,151 miles in length.
Likewise, Iberia off-peak awards are a great way to stretch your Avios. You can use just 34,000 Avios to book flights from New York-JFK and Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) to Madrid (MAD) one way in business class on off-peak dates. With the bonus, you'd need to transfer just 27,000 Ultimate Rewards points to have enough Avios for this award ticket.
That said, British Airways imposes huge fuel surcharges on its own flights, so you’ll want to avoid using them to book long-haul flights on the carrier. You’ll almost always get a better value by redeeming your Avios for partner flights and other high-value redemptions.
Should I speculatively transfer my points?
We rarely advise transferring points without an immediate use in mind. This leaves your points open to devaluations that can hurt the value of your points. That said, some travelers may want to consider transferring points speculatively with this offer, as it’s a relatively large bonus that we only see on rare occasions.
For example, if you use Avios to book domestic flights regularly, transferring a portion of your Ultimate Rewards points to British Airways Avios now could be a good bet for the future. Barring a major devaluation, this would give you a 30% discount on future redemptions.
Even if you fall into this camp, however, we don’t recommend transferring all of your points over at once. This reduces flexibility and — again — leaves you open to devaluation.
Further, now could be a good time to consider booking 2022 travel — which could be a safer bet given the ongoing spread of the delta variant. You may be able to score a large discount on your flight if you decide to book your award travel now while the Avios transfer bonus is in play. That said, always make sure to compare the cost of booking with Avios to booking with other transfer partners and through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal.
Finally, remember that any transfers from Chase (or any transferable currency, for that matter) are final and can't be reversed. If you transfer your points to Avios with this bonus, book a flight and then have to cancel your flight, you'll be left with Avios — and no way to convert them back to Ultimate Rewards points.
It’s great to see Chase bring back this transfer bonus to Avios — which previously ran in Nov. 2020. This 30% bonus opens up excellent redemption opportunities, especially for those who use Avios to book Iberia business class and American Airlines short-haul domestic flights.
Take a look at your upcoming travel and see if it makes sense to transfer your Ultimate Rewards to Avios. You could end up saving a nice chunk of points on your next trip if it does.
Additional reporting by Nick Ewen
Feature photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images