American Express is currently offering a 25% transfer bonus when converting points to British Airways Executive Club! If you have some upcoming travel, this could be a great opportunity, but you’ll need to hurry, as this offer ends on November 12th, 2017!
Why should you care about British Airways Avios?
British Airways has three great redemptions that I’ve used:
- West Coast of North America to Hawaii
- Short Haul Flights within North America
- Short Haul Business Class Flights within Asia
While many reward programs charge obscene rates to Hawaii (45,000 Aeroplan miles roundtrip.. ouch), British Airways provides a unique opportunity due to their partnership with American Airlines and Alaska Air, and also because they have a distance based reward chart. For flights between 2,001 and 3,000 miles, British Airways charges only 12,500 Avios for a one-way ticket. This means for travel to Hawaii from many west coast cities, you pay only 25,000 miles roundtrip!
The only catch is it must be a direct flight as British Airways charges per segment, and not the sum of all miles flown. For more information on booking flights to Hawaii using British Airways Avios, check out this post!
Short haul flights within North America is another great use of Avios, as British Airways charges only 7,500 Avios for flights less than 1,151 miles. This means a roundtrip flight from Vancouver to Los Angeles could be had for just 15,000 Avios (the same flight using Aeroplan would cost 25,000 miles).
Intra-Asia business class is the best use of Avios, again due to the distance based award chart. If for some reason you find yourself in Hong Kong and want to get to Taipei, British Airways would charge only 9,000 Avios and $53.60 in taxes and fees for a direct flight on Cathay Pacific in Business class – which I consider one of the best products in the world!
The cash price for the same ticket is more than $1,100!
If you wanted to fly economy, the same ticket could be had for just 4,500 Avios one-way
Best of all, availability on most routes within Asia is fantastic!
If you factor in the bonus from American express, that’s equivalent to paying 7,200 Membership Reward points for the business class flight, or only 3,600 points for the economy ticket. In either instance, it’s a phenomenal use of points yielding more than 10 cents per point!
How To Transfer American Express Membership Rewards To British Airways Avios
If you don’t have a British Airways Executive Club account, you will need to signup before you get started. You can find the registration page here, and can expect the entire process to take about 5 minutes. Upon completion, you will be emailed an account number which you will need in order to link your American Express Membership Reward account.
Once you have your Executive Club account number, head over to American Express and access your Membership Reward account page by clicking on the ‘view and redeem points’ link.
From the next screen, you will need to navigate over to the frequent travel participant tab to link your accounts.
The linking process is simple:
Once the accounts are linked, you can initiate a points transfer immediately:
American Express says it will take up to 5 business days for the transfer to complete, though in practice I usually see the points post within 1-2 business days (bonus included). For a detailed guide on transferring points, consider our course on transferring and redeeming American Express Membership Rewards.
American Express Membership Rewards is one of my favourite flexible points currencies for Canadians. The redemption options great, with transfers opportunities to some of my favourite hotel and airline programs, such as Aeroplan, British Airways, and Starwood Preferred Guest. Best of all, however, is just how easy Membership Reward points can be earned by leveraging welcome bonuses offered by American Express. The best bonuses right now are:
Earn 25,000 Membership Reward points after spending $1,500 in the first three months of membership and adding a supplementary cardholder during the application process.
Earn 30,000 Membership Reward points after spending $5,000 in the first three months of membership.Earn 50,000 Membership Reward points after spending $3,000 in the first three months of membership. You’ll also receive an annual $200 travel credit! Earn 40,000 Membership Reward points – the largest welcome bonus in Canada – after spending $5,000 in the first three months of membership.
I wouldn’t speculatively transfer my Membership Rewards to British Airways to take advantage of the promotion since I value the flexibility of Membership Rewards and British Airways Executive Club really only has a few great ways to redeem. However, for those with upcoming travel plans, this could be a great opportunity to use fewer miles for your redemption! I actually took advantage of this promotion for my upcoming trip to Hawaii, and was able to book two roundtrip tickets from Bellingham to Maui for just 40,000 Membership Reward points!
Do you plan on taking advantage of this transfer promotion before November 12, 2017? If so, how do you plan to redeem your British Airways Avios?