Tomorrow is the last day to transfer Membership Rewards to British Airways and Iberia Avios with a 40% transfer bonus. The cutoff is 11:59 p.m. MT on September 17.

At the beginning of July we saw the transfer rate between American Express Membership Rewards and British Airways and Iberia Avios improve from 250:200 to 250:250

In a surprising and awesome turn of events, right after the new transfer rate was announced, a transfer bonus was also announced. You’ll get a 40% bonus when you transfer Membership Rewards to either British Airways or Iberia Avios from now until 11:59 p.m. MT on September 17, 2017.

This a great deal and will be extremely useful to many.

Why Avios

For only 25,000 Avios and $11, you can fly roundtrip on American Airlines or Alaska Airlines planes in economy from the West Coast to Hawaii. Here are the possible routes.

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1: Seasonal

That means with the current transfer bonus, you could convert 18,000 Membership Rewards to 25,200 British Airways Avios (transfers must be in increments of 250) to book yourself a roundtrip to Hawaii if you live in one of the cities listed above. That is an unbeatable deal.
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And that’s not all Avios are great for.

Other High Value Avios Redemptions

British Airways Avios are very valuable for short, direct flights without fuel surcharges (i.e. American Airlines flights within the Western Hemisphere, Alaska Airlines flights, Aer Lingus flights, airberlin flights, British Airways flights within Europe, All LATAM international flights and some domestic, Qantas domestic flights, and S7 flights). Read Maximizing Ultimate Rewards: British Airways Avios to learn more.

If you have had a British Airways Avios and Iberia Avios account open and have had at least one Avios in each for three months, you can transfer freely between them. This is extremely useful when you consider:

  • You pay much lower fuel surcharges when redeeming Iberia Avios on Iberia flights as opposed to British Airways Avios
  • You can redeem Iberia Avios on American Airlines flights (but not Alaska–they’re not partners). The price of an Iberia Avios award depends on the total distance flown, not the distance of each segment flown like British Airways Avios. They are not priced per segment so you are not penalized for connections. So if you’re taking a short trip but it requires a connection, an Iberia award will probably be cheaper. The only downside is that when redeeming Iberia Avios on American Airlines, you must book roundtrip awards as no one ways are allowed.
  • For any of the dates not highlighted in red on these calendars, you can fly Business Class between New York, Boston or Chicago to Madrid on Iberia for only 34,000 Iberia Avios. With the current transfer bonus that would only cost 24,250 Avios!!

Neither British Airways nor Iberia Avios collect last minute award booking fees. Membership Rewards to BA Avios transfers are normally instant, but watch out for Iberia transfers that can take four to seven days. If you want to book an Iberia Avios award immediately and are able, just transfer your Membership Rewards to British Airways first and then move them over to Iberia to avoid a wait time.

Speculative Transfers

I value Membership Rewards at 2 cents each, and Avios at 1.6 cents each. That makes 1,000 Membership Rewards worth $20 and 1,400 Avios (which is how many Avios you would get from transferring 1,000 Membership Rewards)  worth $22.40.

I’d rather have $22.40 (the Avios) than $20 (the Membership Rewards), so transferring speculatively is not a bad idea to me. I will be looking over my travel plans for the next couple of months and seeing if and when I can fit Avios redemptions into the mix to take advantage of this fantastic deal.

Plug in your own valuations of Membership Rewards and Avios to figure out if a speculative transfer is worth it to you.

Bottom Line

Until 11:59 p.m. CT on September 17, 2017 you can turn 250 Membership Rewards into 350 Avios. This 40% transfer bonus represents huge savings, and the normal transfer rate was just raised to 1:1. It’s a good day to be flush with Membership Rewards.

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