American Express Membership Rewards Points 40% Avios Transfer Bonus — Book Cheap Flights to Europe, Hawaii and More

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INSIDER SECRET: If you’re booking a last-minute American Airlines award flights, you can use British Airways Avios points to book the same flight (if it’s a save-level award) and you’ll avoid American Airlines’ $75 close-in booking fee.

Through October 1, 2019, there is a stellar 40% American Express Membership Rewards point transfer bonus to Avios, which includes British Airways, Aer Lingus and Iberia.

Let’s take a look at a few of the deals you could book using this transfer bonus, like flights to Hawaii or Ireland for as little as 10,000 Amex points.

With this Amex Membership Rewards points Avios transfer bonus you could fly to Dublin for only 10,000 points one-way. (Photo by Lukas Bischoff Photograph/Shutterstock)

American Express Membership Rewards Avios Transfer Bonus

Normally, Amex Memberhip Rewards points convert at a 1:1 ratio to Avios points in increments of 1,000, so with this offer 1,000 Amex points = 1,400 Avios points. Avios is the loyalty program for British Airways, Aer Lingus and Iberia, so you can transfer points in between the three programs, but each airline has its own sweet spots.

There are a few hoops to jump through if you want to transfer Avios between the airlines, so it’ll be easier to just transfer directly from Amex to whichever program you want to use.

Here are a few good deals to consider with each airline. All of these airlines have distance-based award charts, so you’ll pay more the further you fly.

British Airways

British Airways charges excessively high fees on many of its award flights, especially if you’re flying to or through London, which is the case with most British Airways flights. British Airways charges per segment, so each connecting award flight you book will be treated as a separate award.

However, British Airways’ partner awards can be very useful for booking flights to Hawaii on American Airlines or Alaska Airlines. Taking advantage of these partners, you can fly from the West Coast to Hawaii for only 13,000 Avios points each way. So with the current transfer bonus you only need to transfer 10,000 Amex points for a one-way flight or 19,000 Amex points for a round-trip ticket.

You can also book one-way American Airlines domestic awards of 650 miles or less for only 7,500 Avios points or 6,000 Amex points with this bonus.


You can only book round-trip partner awards with Iberia, but Iberia is a better option for booking award flights with connections because you’ll be charged for the total distance flown, not per segment.

Iberia also has excellent off-peak business-class prices to Madrid from cities like, Boston, Chicago and New York. You can book off-peak awards from these cities for only 34,000 Avios points, with the transfer bonus you’d only need 25,000 Amex points to book that deal.

Aer Lingus

One of the cheapest ways to get to Europe with points is by booking off-peak award flights on Aer Lingus to Ireland. For only 13,000 Avios points you can fly in economy one-way (off-peak) to:

  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Hartford
  • Minneapolis
  • New York
  • Newark
  • Philadelphia
  • Toronto
  • Washington DC

With this transfer bonus you could fly to Dublin (or Shannon from some of the cities) for only 19,000 Amex points round-trip.

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Jason Stauffer was a writer for Million Mile Secrets where he covered points, miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels and general travel. His work has appeared in The Points Guy and NextAdvisor.

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