(EXPIRED) 40% transfer bonus to Avios from Membership Rewards

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Through 10/1/19, American Express Membership Rewards is offering a 40% bonus on transfers to British Airways Avios or Aer Lingus Avios. Oddly, I don’t see a bonus on Iberia — though I see the ability to transfer in increments of a single Avio(?) to Iberia. This could be a fantastic deal with a good use in mind.

The Deal

  • 40% transfer bonus from American Express Membership Rewards to British Airways Avios or Aer Lingus Avios
  • Additionally, you may be able to transfer Avios in increments of 1 to Iberia Avios, though this may be a temporary glitch as it does mention the 40% bonus on the transfer page. YMMV.

Key Terms

  • Additional Avios will be awarded at the time of transfer
  • Applies to transfers made by 11:59pm MT on October 1, 2019

Quick Thoughts

British Airways Avios are typically best for short-haul Oneworld flights. They did devalue their award chart a bit a few months ago, but in most cases the increases were modest. As a reminder, here is the new British Airways single partner award chart.

Iberia Avios is a separate program with a separate award chart. One great use could be business class from the east coast and Chicago to Europe — especially if and when they run an award sale. Even at regular rates, in off-peak season, it costs 34,000 Avios plus about $125 for business class from New York, Boston, or Chicago to Madrid or just 42,000 Avios from Los Angeles or many cities in Central/South America to Madrid. With the transfer bonus, those rates drop to just 24,500 Membership Rewards from New York / Boston / Chicago or 30,000 Membership Rewards points from Los Angeles or some of the cities in Central/South America. Those are terrific. See this post from a previous sale for the Iberia award chart. I flew Iberia business class from Madrid to New York this summer. While it’s not flashy, I would absolutely fly it again in a heartbeat for less than 25,000 Avios one way.

Avios can also be transferred between those two programs, though there are some hoops — read about how to jump through them here. I have successfully done this.

However, there is an oddity here. While I see the 40% transfer bonus to both British Airways Avios and Aer Lingus Avios, I don’t see a bonus advertised to Iberia on the all-partners page. Rather, instead, I see the ability to transfer in increments of 1. When I click through to the transfer page, it does mention the 40% bonus, but still says I can transfer 1:1 in increments of 1.

And sure enough, it does let me enter one as the quantity to transfer.

I have to imagine that’s a glitch, but if you’ve got some odd number of Avios stranded in your account, that could be a good way to get yourself to an even number.

Of course, I wouldn’t transfer more than necessary to get to an even amount since you could transfer to British Airways, get the full 40% bonus, and then move them from British Airways to Iberia.

Of course, the value of the promotion depends on how you intend to use the Avios — but there are some great values to be had here. I wouldn’t necessarily move points speculatively, but this is a great rate if you have a redemption in mind.

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