50% Transfer Bonus from Amex to BA Avios, But It Feels Like Only 20%. So Is it a Good Deal?


amex transfer bonus ba avios

British Airways Avios Transfer Bonus

American Express has a new transfer bonus and while it sounds better than it is, there will be some value for many. Through 10/10/16 they are offering a 50% bonus on transfers from Membership Rewards to the British Airways Avios program. Instead of the normal 1:.8 transfer ratio, with this bonus, transfers are credited at 1:1.2. So, is this a good deal?

How to Transfer Membership Rewards to British Airways

amex transfer bonus ba avios

American Express makes transferring Membership Rewards to their partners easy. To transfer your points, simply login to your Membership Rewards account and click on the transfer option under “travel”. You will see all of the transfer partners listed and the British Airways 50% transfer bonus will be automatic. Keep in mind that you will need to link your Avios account before you can transfer points and the minimum you can transfer is 250 points.


There are two reasons this promotion sort of hurts under the surface. First off, up until about a year ago British Airways Avios was a 1:1 transfer partner of Membership Rewards. During past bonus promos you were able to get 1.4-1.5 Avios for each Membership Rewards point. Ah, the good old days! I just can’t get over the fact that this feels like a 20% bonus.

The second issue with Avios these days is the elimination of 4,500 point awards on short distance flights in North America. I know many of you were able to get huge value out of those awards and I once even got 12.6 cents per point value for a flight from Chicago to Green Bay to go watch a Packers game.  Those days are gone, but there is still value.

Short distance flights (650 miles or less) outside of North America are still 4,500 Avios each way. This can come in handy in Asia and even in Europe where sometimes you can get a flat rate on the taxes included in an award. There are also a ton of great 12,500 redemptions to Hawaii from the West Coast and many of the longer 7,500 Avios redemptions are a good value as well. In other words, this is a bonus that is worth looking at.


We can always look to better deals in the good old days, but we must live firmly in the present. While I would love to once again get 1.4-1.5 Avios for my Membership Rewards points, that isn’t feasible. 1.2 points isn’t terrible and if you maximize the sweetspots of the British Airways program, then it is actually a very good deal.

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  1. As you mentioned, there are still some excellent redemptions available, so 1200 Avios for 1000 MR is better than nothing. I didn’t think it will ever get better than 50% either. Incidentally, I think you’ve got a typo, referencing Etihad Guest instead of BA Avios. Take care Shawn!


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