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In 2015, AMEX switched the transfer ratio to 250 AMEX Membership Rewards points to 200 British Airways Avios points (5:4). So it’s great to see the 1:1 ratio return! I’m not sure if this is an unadvertised bonus or if it’s for good.
This makes AMEX Membership Rewards points more valuable for folks who like to redeem British Airways Avios points for flights on British Airways, oneworld partner airlines, or other partners like Alaska Airlines.
I’ll explain the change, and remind you of what you can do with British Airways Avios points!
Better AMEX Transfer Ratio to British Airways
I wrote about American Express Membership Rewards changing their transfer ratio to British Airways to 5:4 in 2015. Previously, the ratio was 1:1, like most other AMEX Membership Rewards transfer partners.
Note: The transfer ratio to Iberia has also changed back to 1:1. I’m not sure if these are unadvertised bonuses, or if they’re permanent. To be safe, if you have an award flight in mind, I’d transfer points sooner than later.
After AMEX switched the transfer ratio to 5:4, many folks preferred transferring flexible points to British Airways from Chase Ultimate Rewards or Starwood Preferred Guest. That’s because those programs still used a 1:1 transfer ratio.
Occasionally, AMEX ran transfer bonuses to British Airways which improved the ratio. But now you won’t have to wait for a transfer bonus (though we won’t complain if they offer one! ;)).
You can earn AMEX Membership Rewards points from cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN, or Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express.
Best Ways to Redeem British Airways Avios Points
Most folks avoid redeeming British Airways Avios points for flights on British Airways. Because they add huge fuel surcharges to their own flights (and some partner flights).
But because British Airways uses a distance-based award chart, you can find award flights on shorter routes that are much cheaper than using other airline miles. For example:
- Sweet Spot: Fly to Ireland From 6 US Cities for Only 26,000 British Airways Avios Points Round-Trip!
- Pay Fewer Miles to Europe Using British Airways Avios Points
- The Cheapest Way to Hawaii From the West Coast With Miles and Points
British Airways is partners with American Airlines and Alaska Airlines. For short-haul (under 1,151 miles) coach award flights in North America, you’ll pay 7,500 British Airways Avios points one-way. Outside of North America, short-haul (under 651 miles) coach flights cost just 4,500 British Airways Avios points one-way.
Earn More British Airways Avios Points
And remember, when you transfer Starwood points from cards like the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express or Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express, you’ll earn a 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 Starwood points you transfer to British Airways.
Previously, the ratio was 5:4. Although it was 1:1 before late 2015. So it’s nice to see this change back! But it’s unclear if it’s a permanent or temporary change.
This makes AMEX Membership Rewards points more valuable for folks who like redeeming points for flights on British Airways or their partners.
Will this change make you more likely to collect and redeem British Airways Avios points?