American Express, British Airways, Iberia

Transfer Amex points to British Airways/Iberia Avios with 40% bonus

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Last week, American Express increased the transfer ratio when moving your Membership Rewards points to Avios. It now matches what Chase Ultimate Rewards gives at an even 1:1 ratio (previously you only got 4 Avios for every 5 MR points).

I wasn’t impressed as many other bloggers – since they were just matching Chase.

But with this bonus until September 17th (a nice long bonus period), you can get an even better deal – 40% more Avios for your American Express Membership Rewards points.  You can transfer into your British Airways Avios account or your Iberia Avios account. (PS: You should open an account in each. Iberia recently had a 25% off redemption sale but you needed a 3 month old account to take advantage. Needless to say, I opened one then.)

Avios is a program best utilized for short coach flights because it is distance based. Flights from 1-650 miles are just 4,000 Avios off peak and 4,500 for peak flights in coach. (Note that if redeeming on BA partner American Airlines in North America, the minimum cost is 7,500 Avios).

Great redemptions include short haul (but expensive) flights on BA or Iberia within Europe as well as within Australia on partner Qantas. Short but expensive flights on LAN in South America are also great deals.

Another sweet spot is using Avios for awards on Aer Lingus from the US/ Canada East Coast to Dublin. These are 13,000 Avios off-peak and 20,000 peak.  Boston, New York, and Toronto all fit here. Even Chicago works. That is because they are under the 4,000 distance band on the Aer Lingus Avios chart.

With the 40% discount, here are what you’d pay in Avios for some sweet spot redemptions:

New York to Toronto on Avios partner AA (note that availability for this and most AA routes are now pretty bad, so check your dates first!): 7,500 Avios / 5,400 MR

West Coast to Hawaii on AA: 12,500 Avios / 9,000 MR

Boston or New York or Toronto or Chicago to Dublin: 13,000 Avios (off peak) 9,300 MR

London to Paris (off peak): 4,000 Avios / 2,900 MR

Also, you can use LAN airlines in South America (to Chile or Peru, for example) or within Central / South America. Lima, Peru to Santiago, Chile? 10,000 Avios (7,200 MR) in coach or 15,000 Avios (10,800 MR) in Premium Economy.

As you can see, some great deals get even better with this offer.

Do you plan to book anything with the bonus?

Let me know in the comments or in our private MilesTalk Facebook group.