Reminder: Thursday is the Last Day to Transfer Amex Points to British Airways Avios Points

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This Thursday (May 31, 2012) is the last day for the 50% bonus when transferring your American Express Membership Reward points to British Airways Avios points. British Airways Avios points definitely have their pros and cons. Some people love them, while others are anything but a fan. Overall, they typically work best for those looking to redeem short- or medium-haul flights in the domestic US with their partner American Airlines. There are some other great redemption opportunities (which I will be highlighted later this week prior to the promotion ending so not to worry), but for those looking to redeem to many parts of Europe from the US you will be looking at some pretty hefty fees/surcharges. Take a look at my British Airways Avios blog series to see if these points work for your travel needs. If so, then this is a great promotion to take advantage of!
Some ways to fully take advantage of this promotion:
  • Points Advance – If you want to take advantage, but do not have enough points, American Express will allow you to borrow points allowing your account balance to go in the negative. This is a great way get to more Avios points assuming you will be able to repay them back within the next year.
    • Green, Gold & Premier card – can advance up to 15,000 points
    • Platinum card – can advance up to 60,000 points
    • Must earn back the points within one year (if not Amex will charge you at a rate of 2.5 cents/point)
    • All points earned after the advance will go immediately towards your repayment
    • You must have been a cardholder for 6 months
    • There is no additional cost associated with this
  • Cash & Points – British Airways has a great cash and points award opportunity where many of times it can actually be in your favor to book an award ticket with this method. Unfortunately, cash and point options are not available for US domestic flights on American Airlines, but they are available on most international routes. One option, for example, is NYC to Montreal. This short-haul one way ticket will require 2,250 points + $37.50. Typically this award would require 4,500 Avios points + $2.50, thus the cash and points option means that you are essentially purchasing Avios points at a rate of 1.55 cents per point. A $200 one-way ticket, for example will give you the return of 4.4 cents per point with using only points, while with the cash and points option you’ll get 10.44 cents per point. So when you are transferring your Amex points with the 50% bonus, take this option into consideration as it can allow you to transfer less points for the award flight you are looking to redeem. Just make sure to check out your routing in advance prior to transferring your points over.

I know many are wondering if they should take advantage of this promotion or hold out for another Delta promotion. As of right now Delta has been pretty slim with their bonus offers and there has been no talk of another one coming available soon. However, that does not mean we will not see one for awhile as these types of promotions pop up overnight with no advance notice. The decision really depends on your travel needs/habits and your aspirational travel goals.

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