Get 30% bonus points when you transfer Ultimate Rewards to British Airways Avios

Nov 9, 2020

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Today, Chase and British Airways announced a new transfer 30% transfer bonus. You will get a 30% bonus on all transfers processed by 11:59 pm ET on Dec. 9, 2020. This transfer bonus applies to transfers to AerLingus AerClub, British Airways Executive Club and Iberia Plus. All three of these programs participate in the Avios program.

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This isn’t a targeted offer, so all Chase cardholders with an eligible Chase Ultimate Rewards earning credit card 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.

Like last month’s Southwest Rapid Rewards transfer bonus, this isn’t hard-coded into Chase’s system. Instead, you’ll process transfers 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.

British Airways 2020 Chase Transfer Bonus
(Image courtesy of Chase)

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.

Chase British Airways Transfer on BA Website
(Image courtesy of British Airways)

Related: Sweet spots: The best ways to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points

Is this a good deal?

British Airways and Iberia Planes at LHR
(Photo by Fasttailwind/Shutterstock)

If you applied for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and are wondering whether to transfer the sign-up bonus to British Airways, the answer depends. TPG values Avios at 1.5 cents per point and Chase Ultimate Rewards points at 2.0 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 — 6,924 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, these awards cost just 26,154 Ultimate Rewards.

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.

Related: Here’s why you should care about British Airways Avios

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 bonus as it’s a large bonus that we only see on a rare occasion.

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 2021 travel. 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.

Related: How to book award flights using British Airways Avios

Bottom line

It’s great to see Chase offer another transfer bonus before the end of the year. This 30% Avios transfer 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.

Feature photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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