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American Express Membership Rewards has a great list of transfer partners, where you can transfer your Membership Rewards to airline partners and hotel partners.
Generally these transfers are at 1:1 for most partners, though there are occasional bonuses.
American Express British Airways transfer bonus
There is currently a bonus of 40% when transferring American Express Membership Rewards to British Airways Avios.
This current bonus expires on January 31st (NOTE: Originally I had said this expired December 31st but was corrected in the comments), and you must transfer your Membership Rewards points in increments of 1,000 points. To book the bonus you just log into your account, and then choose Spend Membership Rewards and
How many points to transfer?
I think that the best use of British Airways Avios (at least for my travel partners) are short-haul flights within the United States on American or US Airways. Because British Airways has a distance-based award chart, flights under 650 miles are only 4,500 Avios, which for me gives quite a few useful destinations.
The green flights are in the next Avios category, which cost 7500 Avios.
Generally speaking, I like keeping my points in the more flexible currencies (such as Membership Rewards or Chase’s Ultimate Rewards), since it gives more flexibility and protects against devaluation. But Avios are just so useful and with a 40% bonus I figured it would be fine to do a bit of a speculative booking.
In this case, I know that I have a one-way flight from Charlotte to Cincinnati on my way back from the Family Travel for Real Life 2 conference. I actually have a separate conference for work the 2 days before #FT4RL so I am not quite sure how I’m going to get to Charlotte just yet.
I decided that I would transfer enough for 5 flights. That’s enough for a roundtrip for Carolyn and I both, as part of a potential positioning flight in a larger itinerary, plus the flight back from Charlotte. 5 * 4500 = 22,500 Avios. I plugged that into the calculator
As I mentioned, you need to transfer in increments of 1,000 Membership Rewards, so it rounded up to 17,000 points to transfer. I clicked the button and the points transferred instantly. The other bonus is that it left me with about 27,000 American Express points, which is enough for a domestic ticket if I need to use it, as I did when I transferred points to Air Canada to get around United’s $75 close-in booking fee.
How about you? Are you taking advantage of the 40% bonus to transfer Avios?