british airways business class seat

If you have Amex Membership Rewards points, listen up! American Express is running a 40% transfer bonus to all members of the Avios program. That means this is the best time to transfer points to Aer Lingus AerClub, British Airways Executive Club and Iberia Plus if you want to get some insane value for your points.

American Express Transfer Bonus Details

Amex Transfer Bonus To Avios

When you consider the fact that Chase just finished a 30% transfer promo to British Airways in mid-June, this really has been a summer of Avios fun if you have transferable points. See why we always harp on earning Amex, Capital One, Chase and Citi points?!

To take advantage of the transfer bonus, you must transfer Membership Rewards points to Aer Lingus, British Airways or Iberia by 11:59 pm MT on October 1, 2019. Note that is Mountain Time, not Eastern Time which we often see. With 2 months to transfer and receive the 40% bonus, you have more than enough time to figure out your travel plans.

Some have seen a 50% transfer bonus attached to their Membership Rewards accounts. If so, congrats. I’m jealous.

How To Earn Amex Membership Rewards Points

amex gold cards

Many of you already have a card or two that earn Membership Rewards points but, just in case you don’t, here are a few to consider so you’ll be ready for the next transfer bonus:

  • American Express Gold Card (Learn More)
  • American Express Business Gold Card (Learn More)
  • The Platinum Card From American Express (Learn More)
  • The Business Platinum Card From American Express (Learn More)

Personally, I use the Amex Gold, the Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express (Learn More) and the Amex Platinum to earn Membership Rewards points. The Amex Gold for 4X on groceries and dining — plus the monthly $10 dining credit — is one of my go-to cards. When purchases don’t fall under a bonus category, I often use the Blue Business Plus for 2X (up to $50,000 per calendar year).

Check out some of the other amazing ways to use Amex Membership Rewards points.

What Can You Do With British Airways Avios?

We have a whole article dedicated to the best ways you can use British Airways Avios, but we wanted to highlight a few fun ones to inspire you a little. Whether you want to book business class or short economy flights, we think you’ll find something you like.

Iberia Business Class USA To Madrid

Iberia Business Class

This is easily one of my favorite award chart sweet spots. You can book a round-trip award ticket from Boston, Chicago or New York to Madrid for only 68,000 Iberia Avios. That alone is a great deal when you consider a round-trip economy award booked on Star Alliance partners could cost 60,000 United miles.

With the 40% transfer promo, this is really next level. You’ll only need 49,000 Amex points to get the 68,000 Iberia Avios you need. Just remember, you’ll want to transfer to Iberia, specifically, to book this one. If you have some Avios in your British Airways account, you can also move them to your Iberia account if you need a few more.

As to the Iberia business class experience, I flew them earlier this year and was pleasantly surprised. The crew were very friendly and the food and wine were quite good. Special shoutout to the crewmembers who helped me with my bags post-back surgery when I wasn’t allowed to lift anything.

Upgrade To Business Class On British Airways


If you want to fly British Airways business class, one of the best ways to do so is to book a premium economy ticket then upgrade with Avios. While upgrading with points on many airlines isn’t a great deal, it can actually be even better than booking an award ticket outright on British Airways.

Here’s how it works.

Find a cheap premium economy cash ticket on British Airways then see if there is award space in business class on the flights you want to book. If there’s award space, you can book the cash ticket and immediately upgrade to business class with Avios. Easy peasy.

If you booked a flight from Chicago to London on an off-peak date, you’d need 24,000 Avios to upgrade. If you booked a flight on a peak date, you’d need 20,000 Avios. Keep in mind this is per segment, so a round-trip would be double this.

During the Amex transfer bonus, you’d only need transfer 18,000 Membership Rewards points to British Airways to upgrade on off-peak dates and 15,000 points on peak dates.

We’re particularly excited about the upgrade possibilities as British Airways rolls out its new business class product on the Airbus A350.

Short Intra-Region Flights On Partner Airlines

First up, we have short flights on partner airlines. For as few as 6,000 British Airways Avios, you can book an economy flight on partners such as Cathay Pacific, Qantas, Finnair, Japan Airlines and more. During the 40% transfer promo, you can transfer 5,000 Amex points to get 7,000 Avios.

This can be the perfect way to hop around and see more fun places during a trip if you need short flights no more than 650 miles.  If you need a partner flight that is between 651 and 1,150 miles, you can book for 9,000 British Airways Avios which means you’ll only need 7,000 Amex points during the promo.

If you want to fly British Airways, you can book flights on off-peak dates for only 4,000 BA Avios. For those doing the math, that’s only 3,000 Amex points right now.

Should You Transfer Speculatively?

We generally suggest that you don’t transfer points to airline programs unless you have award space lined up and ready to book. If you transfer without an award booking in mind, you might find that your travel plans don’t allow you to utilize your Avios. Even worse, you might get caught out by a devaluation and wish you could transfer the points to another airline program.

If you’re comfortable with that risk, by all means. We just want you to be aware of the risks so you’re not caught by surprise. Fortunately, this transfer bonus lasts 2 months so you’ll have lots of time to find travel dates that work for you before transferring.

Final Thoughts

It’s tough to beat a great transfer bonus like this. It really helps you stretch your points so you can not only get max value on one particular award ticket but it leaves you with more to use toward your next trip.

Whether you’re looking for a business class trip to Spain, a short economy flight or you have a cash ticket on British Airways that you want to upgrade, this is a great opportunity to use your Amex points.

Spencer Howard

Spencer Howard is a credit card rewards and award travel expert. He’s living proof that points and miles can unlock many of the greatest travel experiences and uses his skills to tick off new bucket...

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