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AMEX to British Airways transfer bonus is back!




Finally, a long-awaited feature that makes American Express Membership Rewards points more valuable is back. Through January 31, 2015 there is a 40% transfer bonus to British Airways, so for every 1,000 points transferred, you’ll get 1,400 BA Avios! If you have a U.S. AMEX card that earns Membership Rewards points, you can log into americanexpress.com and then view transfer partners here and see the bonus:

BA bonus

This doesn’t show up until you go to the transfer page.

I suppose there have been other targeted transfer bonuses and one to Virgin America recently, but this one is far more useful to most of us.

This is excellent timing for anyone on the fence about the 75K Business Gold and 100K Business Platinum offers as you have time (with some MS) to meet the fairly high spending requirements for these offers and earn your points before the end of January when the bonus is advertized to expire. Please don’t waste a credit card application on a much smaller offer!

If you recently applied for one of these cards, or if you apply for one now, your points earned on purchases will likely not post in time unless you contact AMEX and have them expedited. This is easily done either by calling the number on the back of your card or initiating a chat session at americanexpress.com. Generally AMEX will require that your statement has closed AND that you have paid any balance on your statement. If you do not get the points expedited they post a month later, after the following statement.

Using Avios

I have put together maps of many the various sweet spots using British Airways Avios from the West Coast, the Midwest, the East Coast and Florida – check out yours (as well as the others for ideas on how to put all of these sweet spots to work for you) if you haven’t already!

British Airways distance-based chart for single-carrier partner awards

British Airways distance-based chart for single-carrier partner awards

AMEX seems to be working to get back some of the value that their points and cards have lost through devaluations and changes to benefits – they also announced yesterday that Platinum cardholders will soon get free in-flight wi-fi, 10 per calendar year. Since most of the other benefits of the AMEX Platinum card hold little appeal to me I’ll probably cancel the one I recently got after a year. The $450 fee is just too steep, and that way I’ll be in line to get another one a year after cancelling.

Disclosure: The cards linked to in this post are charge cards, which must be paid off every month. The same as you should be doing with all the rest of any cards you have. If you’re not able to do so, please do not apply for any more cards, and focus on getting rid of any balances!

– Kenny

{ 20 comments… add one }
  • Kim December 15, 2014, 7:39 am

    Thanks, Kenny! I’ve been waiting for this and read it here first!

    • Kenny December 15, 2014, 10:54 am

      Thanks, Kim! I’m not sure how many AMEX points we’ll transfer, but this should be a great Christmas present to lots of people planning travel on oneworld airlines or Alaska or Aer Lingus.

  • italdesign December 15, 2014, 11:20 pm

    What are the odds they will offer transfer bonuses to Aeroplan and DL soon?

    • Kenny December 17, 2014, 7:59 pm

      I’d say slim for a while anyways. We can always hope!

  • Phil January 7, 2015, 12:18 pm

    Do you know if we could apply for both the gold and platinum? I see in the offer its not available to people who have had that product in the last 12 months. But I remember at some point the language was more in terms of “have not had a charge product in past 12 months”. That would be close to 200k including the points earned on spend! For 2, that’s 400k. I’m salivating.

    • Kenny January 7, 2015, 12:26 pm

      Currently you can get both, as I have done – Business Gold in October and Business Platinum in November. But listen or read carefully for exclusions. Like you noted the Plat has sometimes given no bonus if you’ve had a Gold card within the past year, but the current offer by phone only excludes anyone who has had a Platinum card within 12 months.

      • Phil January 7, 2015, 1:11 pm

        Thanks Kenny! Good info and love your blog. Always hoping for more posts, but no pressure 😉

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