How to book American Airlines flights with British Airways Avios points

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One of my favorite ways to use British Airways Avios points is to book domestic award flights with American Airlines because you’re often able to book the same flight for fewer miles. I’

ve done this before with flights between Dallas and Miami, and saved thousands of miles in the process.

Here’s a quick reminder on how to book American Airlines flights with British Airways Avios points.

American Airlines miles aren’t the only way to book American Airlines award flights. (Photo by BCFC/Shutterstock)

Collecting British Airways Avios points

Earning British Airways Avios points is easy because they transfer from lots of different flexible points programs, including:

Amex Membership Rewards Points

Amex Membership Rewards points, that you can earn from a card like The Platinum Card® from American Express, transfer to British Airways at a 1:1 ratio in 1,000-point increments. Check out our guide to transferring Amex Membership Rewards points to British Airways for more details.

Chase Ultimate Rewards

You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points, earn from cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, at a 1:1 ratio in 1,000-point increments to British Airways. For more details, check out our guide on how to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to British Airways.

Marriott Points

Marriott points transfer at a 3:1 ratio to British Airways. And you get a 5,000 British Airways Avios point bonus for every 60,000 Marriott points you transfer. Here’s more about how to transfer Marriott points to airlines.

How to book American Airlines flights on the British Airways website

Personally, I think it’s easier to find flights on American Airlines’ website because you’ll have the option of looking at an entire month at a time. Once you find your flights you can just plug in the dates on the British Airways site.

American Airlines employed dynamic pricing last year, but it’s still possible to find flights under 500 miles at the saver level for 7,500 American Airlines miles one-way. Those saver level awards are what you’re looking for when you’re searching American’s site — these are the seats you can book through British Airways instead.

British Airways operates a distance-based award chart. So what you pay will vary by the distance flown per segment not per one-way flight. That means you’ll want to look for nonstop American Airlines flights.

British Airways charges 7,500 Avios points for American Airlines coach saver award flights that are 650 miles or less, which is the same cost if you booked through American Airlines. But it’s still a good deal for some, because  Chase Ultimate Rewards points and Amex Membership Rewards points don’t transfer to American Airlines. So it gives you the flexibility to book those flights for the same price even if you don’t have American Airlines miles.

And booking through British Airways becomes even more useful for American Airlines flights that cover between 500 and 1,151 miles in distance. That’s because flights of this distance cost 12,500 American Airlines miles (that’s the standard saver rate) while British Airways charges 7,500 Avios for a nonstop award flight within North America that covers up to 650 miles in distance or 9,000 Avios for one up to 1,151 miles.

Here’s how to book an American Airlines flight with British Airways Avios.  

Step 1.  Log in to British Airways account

Enter your ID and password, then click “Log in.”

Step 2.  Navigate to flight booking

Click the “Book” tab and then “Book a flight with Avios.”

Step 3.  Select the “Book with Avios” tab

Here you’ll be able to enter your flight details, then click the “Get flights” button.

 

Step 4.  Select your flight

You’ll be able to select the flight you want from the calendar, which will also show you which flights are operated by American Airlines.

 

And then, you’ll be able to confirm the number of Avios needed along with the amount of taxes you’ll have to pay.

From there, click “Continue.”

 

Step 5. Add passenger and payment details

On the next few screens, you’ll add the details of all the passengers and pay for the flight.  When you’re finished, you’ll get your confirmation number.

Bottom line

Having the option to use British Airways Avios points to book American Airlines flights is handy for a couple of reasons.  You can sometimes book flights for fewer points compared to booking with American Airlines miles. Plus, it also gives you the option to book American Airlines award tickets with transferable points like Amex Membership Rewards points or Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Meghan Hunter is a contributor to Million Mile Secrets, she covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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