(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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[…] a look at your options with Iberia or even British Airways or Aer Lingus since there is currently a 40% transfer bonus to Avios. See our Complete Guide to Avios for more information on those […]

J.J.

BA and IB should have access to all AA saver space, correct? I’m looking at a domestic RT with two legs in each direction. On AA, both directions show availability at the saver level. When searching the individual legs, 3 of the 4 still show availability (married segment logic in play on the return flights). However, when searching the whole trip (A to C) or individual legs (A to B and B to C), I find no availability on BA or IB websites. Any ideas?

Anthony

Is there a good guide about redeeming Iberia Avios in business class from NYC to Europe? The normal travel blogs do not seem to have covered this in any detail for some reason. Looking to fly to MAD or BCN this winter / early spring. There is availability on Iberia metal via BA, but surcharges are $600+ per ticket.

toomanybooks

I also seem to recall a 50% bonus once a few years ago. Only once and it was for a pretty short time IIRC.

This repeated 1000 MR>1400 Avios offer is pretty much the reason I collect MRs. Can be an amazing deal .

James

I think the transfer to Iberia is a typo on the site. On mine, it says it has a 40% bonus statement, but then it shows 1 = 1 1 with the first 1 after the ‘=’ crossed out. They don’t normally show 1 = 1 anyway, it would have been left at 1000 = 1000. Hopefully, they’ll clear up the confusion later.

Glurch

Yesterday (8/1) I Transferred 100,000 to Iberia, and I am now the proud owner of 140,000 iberia avios, perfect for an upcoming trip

J.J.

Regarding the transfer bonus posted on 8/1/19, does this one include the language that the transfer bonus may disappear if you leave the page and come back later?

J.J.

Thanks!

[…] 40% transfer bonus to British Airways Avios (Expires 9/17/17) […]

[…] 40% transfer bonus to British Airways Avios (Expires 9/17/17) […]

SDO

Nick, do you know of any Avios sweet spots for departures from PHL? Thanks.

SDO

Thanks, Nick, for such a detailed and well thought-out reply. I’ve never really had much luck finding any worthwhile Avios redemptions from PHL in the past, and you pretty much summed up why.

Thanks also for the heads up on the last-minute bookings on AA. I will certainly examine that possibility for future travel.

Don

This website is a really easy tool to see all softest flights and their avois costs from any airport. Much easier to use.

http://wandr.me/award-search/avios-map/

Bnn

This is pure gold! And you are about 2/3 of the way to a great stand alone post. How about a series of articles with practical examples of award flights from specific airports using a specific currency?