Transfer Amex Points To Avios: Up To 50% Bonus (BA, Iberia, Aer Lingus)

by Miles Jackson

American Express Membership Rewards recently launched a great, targeted transfer offer for cardholders looking to add to their Avios balances for British Airways, Aer Lingus, and Iberia. Plus, there is a nice perk to this promotion that’s not too well known.

Amex Bonus Transfer To Avios (BA, Iberia, Aer Lingus)

AmEx Membership Rewards AmEx Bonus Transfer to Avios

Some people have been lucky enough to have been targeted for a 50% transfer bonus (rather than the 40%) when transferring Membership Rewards points across to any one of three IAG Avios programs. For me, I just see the 40% transfer bonus in my account and that’s what most folks are getting.

This transfer bonus offer is scheduled to run through October 1st, 2019.

At least for my account, I also am seeing an interesting option available.

Related: Credit Card Transfer Partners Guide

An Avios Transfer Glitch For Iberia?

Transfers of Membership Rewards to British Airways Executive Club and Aer Lingus Aer Club both have to be done in the usual 1,000 point increments. However, Amex appears to be allowing me to transfer any number of points I specify across to Iberia Plus.

For example, I could transfer 100 Membership Rewards and get credited with 140 Avios in my Iberia Plus account.

AmEx Iberia Plus 1-1 Transfers 999000

This option has been present for a few days in my Membership Rewards transfer dashboard.

Although I have not executed a transfer yet from my Membership Rewards account, it sure looks like Amex will allow me to transfer less than 1,000 MR to Iberia Plus, or even an arbitrary number over any amount that is not an exact 1,000 increment. That option exists up to the maximum limit of 999,000 Membership Rewards.

Now, as I tried to replicate this same thing with a transfer to the British Airways Executive Club, I got this message:

AmEx Membership Rewards British Airways 1-1 Transfers 1000 Increment Notification

If you have a quantity of Avios that is an odd number, now it looks like using this trick you could transfer in an exact number of Membership Rewards that gets your Iberia Plus account to exactly the right amount for a specific award. That’s pretty useful for some folks.

Should You Transfer Membership Rewards To Avios?

For this, I am referring to British Airways Avios. There are many times when a BA Avios redemption makes great sense and offers good value.

If you already have an award redemption in sight for your Avios, perhaps it’s worth the transfer. Our favorite bargains are for partner redemptions:

  • US domestic non-stop flights under 1,150 miles on Alaska Airlines and American Airlines cost only 9,000 Avios. Even better, only $5.60 tax is added to the flight (no fuel surcharges)
  • US west coast to Hawaii (American or Alaska)
  • Miami to Caribbean (American Airlines)
  • Regional Asia flights on Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Malaysia (usually quite expensive in cash)

By the way, flying 1,150 miles can get you halfway across the US or from places like NY to Miami. For example:

  • Miami to Dallas
  • New York to Chicago
  • New York to Miami

Related: How To Take Advantage Of One The Best BA Avios Redemptions

If you need help booking an award ticket, feel free to leave it to our affiliate partner Juicy Miles.

Pro Tip: To find your max value for U.S. domestic Avios awards, start your search by looking at nonstops from Alaska Airlines and American Airlines hubs in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle.

How To Earn Membership Rewards

Personal Cards That Earn Membership Rewards

Not all American Express personal cards earn Membership Rewards points, but here are five cards issued by American Express that do:

You can earn valuable transferable Membership Rewards points on any of these personal cards:

American Express Business Cards That Earn Membership Rewards

The Upshot

For many travelers who hold American Express cards which are a part of the Membership Rewards network, transfers to Avios may make sense with this up to 50% bonus.

This is especially true if you can dial in the exact number of Membership Rewards you need to top off your Avios account (Iberia Plus only, it seems). In short, you should probably only be doing this though if you have a specific redemption in mind.

My biggest piece of advice is don’t get caught with a large number of Avios (or any airline currency for that matter) because devaluations happen all the time.

Related:

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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