30% Bonus Coming on Transfers from Membership Rewards to British Airways

Last week the American Express Membership Rewards website was briefly showing a 30% transfer bonus that wasn’t going to go live for a month.

What’s odd is that the Membership Rewards website never shows future bonuses, at least I haven’t seen it, so I assumed it was a glitch. And indeed the information was pulled off the site quickly. If you go to the page for the US American Express Membership Rewards program’s partnership with British Airways, no bonus appears.

I was curious, so I got in touch with American Express. At first they were as perplexed as I was, but after a little bit of digging got back to let me know that indeed there would be a 30% transfer bonus coming down the pike.

Specifically, the 30% bonus will start on December 3 and run through January 14. I would not expect this to appear on the Membership Rewards website again until December 3rd, possibly not even until late morning.

This isn’t as attractive as past 40% and 50% bonuses of course. And American Express has been running such bonuses frequently since adding them as a partner, I wouldn’t expect that this would be your last shot.

But if you are considering a transfer to BA, and aren’t in a rush (either to get a booking done immediately or because you’re closing a Membership Rewards account), it could be desirable to wait until December 3 to make the transfer.

Regular readers know that British Airways Avios is far from my favorite program, but it has strategic uses — especially short-haul non-stop flights which can be real bargains in the program. And while most awards incur fuel surcharges when redeeming Avios, fuel surcharges only apply when the underlying paid ticket has them which means they aren’t billed on South America flights or on US domestic flights. They aren’t bad on many intra-Asia flights. Active accounts also get them discounted intra-Europe. And there are a handful of ways to cross the Atlantic without getting gouged.

Certainly worth knowing that this is coming!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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