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There are currently two promotions going on where you can get bonus British Airways miles by transferring points from other point earning programs:
1) Transfer from American Express Membership Rewards:
Transfer your Amex Membership Reward points to British Airways Avios and get a 30% bonus. This promotion is valid until January 14, 2013. This is one of the lower offers we’ve seen recently for transfer bonuses between these two programs, but is still a great promotion. I personally transfered about half of my Amex point balance back in April when the promotion was a 50% transfer bonus. There haven’t been too many transfer promotions, so this is one of the better offers on the table. It has been over a year now since we’ve seen a Delta transfer bonus and all of the other bonuses are no where as lucrative (SPG, Hilton, KLM, etc.). I hope this British Airways promotion becomes a tradition with the American Express program. I also really hope the 50% bonus appears from time to time, but there is no way of knowing
If you currently are short of American Express points you can actually do a Membership Rewards point advance. Depending on the card you have determines the amount you can advance in a calendar year: Amex Platinum = 60,000 points; Amex Gold = 15,000 points; Amex Green = 5,000 points. Even if you have multiple cards you can only cash advance to the amount of the highest card you have. You must earn the number of points advanced back within 12 months or you will be charged purchase points transaction rate, which can be quite expensive. To do this though, you must have been a card member for at least 6 months and your account must be in good standing.
2) Transfer from a many hotel programs:
Currently you can transfer your Starwood, Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, Club Carlson, Priority Club, and Shangri-La hotel points to the British Airways Avios program with a 25% bonus. This promotion is valid through January 13, 2013. Overall, this isn’t the best promotion as you really lose a decent value when transferring hotel points to airline miles (this holds true for all programs except Starwood). Here are the transfer values:
- Starwood: 1 SPG point = 1 Avios; also, when you transfer 20,000 points with SPG to any hotel program you get a 5,000 mile bonus. With this promotion, 20 SPG points = 31,250 Avios.
- Club Carlson: 10,000 Club Carlson points = 1,250 Avios. With this promotion, 10,000 Club Carlson points = 1,562.50 Avios.
- Hilton: 10,000 Hilton points = 1,000 Avios. With this promotion, 10,000 Hilton points = 1,250 Avios.
- Hyatt: 5,000 Hyatt points = 2,000 Avios; also, when you transfer 50,000 points with Hyatt to any hotel program you’ll get a 5,000 mile bonus. With this promotion, 50,000 Hyatt points = 31,250 Avios.
- Marriott: On the lower end, 10,000 Marriott points = 2,000 Avios, but on the higher better redemption rate, 125,000 Marriott points = 50,000 Avios. With this promotion, those 10,000 Marriott points = 2,500 Avios, but the 125,000 Marriott points = 62,500 Avios. There are also different conversion rates for reward points in between this two low and high ends.
- Priority Club: 10,000 Priority Club points = 2,000 Avios. With this promotion, 10,000 Priority Club points = 2,500 Avios.
- Shangri-La: 1 Shangri-La point = 1 Avios (although the minimum number of points you can transfer is 2,500 points)
So overall, the transfer of SPG points are the only one I’d recommend. Shangri-La points might be a great value, however, I really know nothing about this program. I value my SPG points too much though that I typically do not transfer them to airlines unless there is a great redemption I have in mind. I personally would not transfer them out of speculation unless you really do not stay at SPG hotels and you really love the British Airways Avios redemption opportunities!
Remember, using your Avios points for flights via London come with very expensive fuel/tax surcharges, but using them for domestic travel on partner American Airline can be amazing! If you are new to the British Airways program, check out this series to learn more: