Thinking through the American Express 20% transfer bonus to British Airways

American Express is currently offering a 20% transfer bonus on Membership Rewards points to British Airways. If you live in the U.S., the sweet spot for British Airways Avios is to redeem them for (hopefully) short, domestic flights on its partner carrier, American Airlines, like this example illustrates. BANow normally I would go ahead and jump on the transfer bonus. However, there are two things that are keeping me from doing that. 1- There have been higher (up to 50%) British Airways transfer bonuses in the past. 2- I have waaay too many Avios and not enough time to spend them.

However, I do have an issue with my wife’s Membership Rewards account. Our Amex Platinum card annual fees are coming up in January, and since we usually travel together, we can’t justify the cost of two separate $450 annual fees. In my wife’s case, this is her only Membership Rewards’ earning credit card, which we got during last year’s crazy 100,000 points Amex promotion. So if we close it outright she will lose her 100,000 or so points. Before the annual fee comes due, we will either need to transfer her points with the 20% bonus, or get another Membership Rewards points earning card.

In our particular case, I’m choosing to stay put and not take advantage of the 20% transfer bonus and hope for a higher payout in the future. It’s a reasonable gamble that might not pay off, but I suppose time will tell. However, we do need to do something about her points.

Immediately, I thought of the American Express Enhanced Business Gold Rewards card, which is currently offering 50,000 Membership Rewards points for signing up and spending $5,000 within the first 3 months of opening the account. This is a card that she’s never had before, and it is currently waiving the $175 fee for the first year. So in our particular case, she will have a card that will replace her Platinum Amex, which will allow her to keep her points, extend the free annual fee date for another year, and tack on an additional 50,000 points to her account.

Plan B? If she somehow doesn’t get approved for the card (unlikely), then we will have no choice but to take advantage of the 20% transfer bonus to British Airways and clear her account before December 31st.

Clearly each situation is different and each person should do what possibly works best in their situation. If you have a trip coming up and need British Airways Avios, then this bonus could make sense for you. All you need to do is think through your current travel plans and options and then make a decision before the deadline.

Happy travels!


Disclosure: The American Express credit card offer featured above is a public offer available on the American Express website, and we do not receive any commission or other form of compensation if you apply for this card using the link above. As always, thank you for reading our site!

This entry was posted in American Airlines, American Express, Bonus points, British Airways. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Thinking through the American Express 20% transfer bonus to British Airways

  1. Jake says:

    We often discuss the perks of credit card rewards and I think this one illustrates why they can be useful. If you understand how to manage your debt and do not go overboard so you can actually pay the bill in full every month, there’s no reason not to take advantage of spending with a credit card in order to accumulate cash back and other rewards.

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