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Okay let’s try this again! Last week, I talked about a transfer bonus for American Express Membership Rewards to British Airways Avios that I originally mentioned was in its “final days”, expiring 12/31. I was corrected that the transfer bonus is actually expiring on JANUARY 31st, so you still have a month and change to take advantage of that (I transferred 17,000 Membership Rewards for 23,800 Avios, enough for 5 flights of fewer than 650 miles.
There IS however, still a British Airways Avios deal that is expiring on December 31st, and it’s the Chase British Airways card
The many faces of the Chase British Airways card
Over the months and years, there have been several different iterations of the Chase British Airways offer. The signup bonus has gone as high as 100,000 Avios, though to get the 100,000 bonus required a TON of spending on the card ($20,000 I believe).
Normally these cards come with a $95 annual fee that is not waived, though from now until December 31, you can apply for the card with the annual fee waived the first year. (not an affiliate link)
Best uses of British Airways Avios
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.
Generally speaking, I avoid using Avios to actually travel ON British Airways itself, since there typically are super high fuel surcharges and taxes. One exception to that is British Airways Reward Flight Saver program, which allows travel under 2,000 miles for a nominal fixed amount ($27.50 for a one-way flight)
I am thinking about signing up for this card before the end of the year as I can always use a healthy balance of Avios. What about you?