40% Bonus on American Express Membership Rewards Points to British Airways Transfer

What’s the deal???

American Express is offering a 40% bonus on transfers from its Membership Rewards (MR) Points to British Airways Avios program until September 27, 2012.

american express membership rewards points transfer bonus to british airways avios

Who cares? I don’t ever plan on flying British Airways!

Me neither! The value of the British Airways Avios program isn’t in BA themselves, but in the fellow members of the oneworld alliance. You can use Avios to redeem flights on these partners.

Is it a good deal?

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Let’s Plan: Round The World to Bali in First Class

JFK & British Airways First Class Lounge
JFK-HKG Cathay Pacific First Class
Cathay Pacific Lounges in Hong Kong – The Wing & The Pier
Cathay Pacific Business Class, Hong Kong – Denpasar, Bali
Arrival at DPS & Transfer to Bali Hyatt
Bali Hyatt, Sanur
So Long Hyatt, Hello Komaneka at Tanggayuda!
Things To Do in Bali
Selamat Tinggal, Komankea!
DPS Premier Lounge
Thai Airways Business Class DPS-BKK
Thai Airways Royal First Lounge in Bangkok
Thai Airways First Class Bangkok – Zurich
Swiss First Class Lounge in Zurich
Swiss First Class Zurich – Montreal
United Airlines First Class Montreal – Newark


Late last year, British Airways hit the frequent flyer community with some pretty devastating news. They would be changing their award chart. Previously, they had a pretty generous award chart with highlights like Business class redemptions cheaper than other airlines and unlimited stopovers. They would now be changing to a distance based award chart that did not favor those of us who liked to fly far and connect often. Most long-haul awards would be increasing mileage requirements by 40%.

It was an inevitable move seeing as they had just minted millions of miles by promoting a 100,000 Chase credit card offer that both Joann and I took advantage of. With news in hand, we decided to take our BA miles and dump them all on a First Class trip to Bali, Indonesia. Here’s how I built the itinerary:

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$50 Dining Credit (x2) for NYC British Airways Cardholders

It’s back! If you can appreciate a quality meal, then you can appreciate this deal coming back. I wrote about it a few months ago and here is the updated offer:

Use your British Airways Visa® Card at any NYC MICHELIN Guide 2012 star-rated restaurant today through July 31, 2012. Dine once and receive a $50 statement credit. Dine twice and receive another $50 statement credit for a total of $100. Minimum purchase of $50 each time you dine.1

Joann and I each have the Chase BA Visa Signature card so we may have to hit up Minetta Tavern again for that Black Label Burger… some of Pat LaFrieda’s finest burger blend work!

My Sister, the Gift Card Redeemer

My sister, Michelle, came over last weekend and the family got to talking. She and my bro-in-law, Pat, are going to the Philippines for their friend’s wedding next summer. I was telling them how I just recently booked our Dad a trip to the Philippines in Cathay Pacific Business class for 100k British Airways miles. She doesn’t fly often so she didn’t know how I accrued that many miles. I told her about my strategy that got our BA Household Account over 300k miles to use. I know that, at her job at a high profile NYC law firm, she is in charge of a lot of event planning and has a Corporate American Express. I did NOT know, however, that all these Membership Rewards points go into her personal MR account. My eyes lit up…

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British Airways Miles Dump

Earlier this month, British Airways sent out an email to announce that they would be making major changes to their frequent flyer program. My heart sunk because I feared this day would come sooner than later. Starting November 16, 2011, the miles you accrue will now be called Avios points. Some awards will require less miles, some more. I’m going to focus on what I am most concerned about and the reason I even got into the British Airways Executive Club program – Single Partner Awards.

It’s no secret that one of the best redemption methods of BA miles was a single partner award in a premium cabin. BA is part of the oneworld alliance and they have some very good partners like American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Qantas, and LAN. Redeeming an award on these partners was often better than redeeming on BA themselves because everyone knows that BA charges a boatload of fuel surcharges on their redemptions.

British Airways Single Partner Awards Chart

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