Why I Am Passing on the British Airways UR Transfer Bonus, Should You Too?
News came out yesterday about a British Airways transfer bonus for Chase Ultimate Rewards points. The bonus is a healthy 30% on top of the normal 1 to 1 transfer rate. Transfer bonuses are common practice for American Express Membership Rewards points but this is a first for Chase UR points. So we should be jumping for joy right? The first time Chase has a transfer bonus is a big deal but I am still passing on this offer, should you too?
Why Am I Passing On Bonus Points?
First and foremost, I will say don’t take advantage of a transfer bonus just because there is an offer. If you are not sure that you will use the points then the bonus is essentially worthless. Transferable currencies are never more valuable then when they are sitting in their pre-transfer form. That is because they have more opportunities to get maximum value while in their original state. If you have a set redemption in mind and need the British Airways Avios then this could be a good offer for you.
But if you are like me and you don’t have an impending need then I would say sit this one out. Whenever I see a BA Avios transfer bonus I usually transfer some points over. Even though it is done speculatively I know I will use them so it is a good play for me personally. They come in handy for domestic American Airlines flights and I am even willing to pay more Avios for the flights versus using AA miles some of the time. So why am I sitting this one out? Because they are Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
Chase UR are the most valuable points out there, in my opinion. They are also the toughest points to earn since welcome offers are tightly guarded and their spending bonuses are not as good as American Express etc. Because of this I won’t speculatively transfer them.
It does go further than that though. BA Avios, along with Virgin Atlantic miles, are the most common transfer bonuses offered. Amex usually offers it a few times a year. And since I value those points less I would much rather transfer them speculatively versus Ultimate Rewards.
If you have an immediate need for British Airways Avios then this is a good deal to take advantage of. Getting a 23% discount on your award flight is always a good thing. But if you don’t have concrete plans to use the Avios I would wait for a Membership Rewards bonus to speculatively transfer points to Avios. That is assuming that you value Ultimate Rewards above all else like I do.