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Through November 15, 2018, a Membership Rewards transfer bonus makes your points worth 40% more! With this bonus, every 1,000 Membership Rewards are worth 1,400 Avios. For transatlantic flights and short-haul flights, you have one less excuse not to fly on an Avios partner!

A British Airways A380 taxiing at Heathrow (Credit: British Airways)
A British Airways A380 taxiing at Heathrow (Credit: British Airways)

Get 40% More Avios

You can transfer your Membership Rewards to these three Avios partners:

  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Iberia Plus
  • Aer Lingus

The everyday transfer rate for these programs is 1:1. With the bonus, 1 Membership Reward for 1.4 Avios is remarkable.

To activate the offer, visit the “Transfer Points” menu in the Membership Rewards portal.

You need to activate the offer for each program. Even though these three programs use Avios to book award flights, you must transfer your points to the specific airline you want to fly with.

Credit Cards That Earn Membership Rewards Transfer Bonus Points

Membership Rewards are the name for American Express credit card rewards points. Basically, any travel or cash rewards card that does not partner with a specific airline or hotel earns Membership Rewards points. You can earn points for almost any purchase you make. Any card that earns Membership Rewards has the 1:1 transfer capability.

Below are some of our favorite credit cards for your travel and non-travel purchases.

Platinum Card from American Express

This is the flagship travel rewards card from American Express. If you’re a frequent flyer and want to enjoy a basket of air travel and hotel benefits, you need the Platinum Card from American Express.

You earn 5 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on all plane tickets you buy on AmexTravel.com or directly from the airline. When most co-brand airline credit cards only pay 2 points per $1 on airfare purchases, you earn double the points.

In addition to the 5x point bonus on airline tickets, you can also enjoy these travel benefits:

  • Earn 5x points on prepaid hotels booked on AmexTravel.com
  • 17 airline transfer partners
  • $200 annual air travel credit
  • Free airport lounge access
  • $200 in annual Uber credits
  • Elevated hotel loyalty status

The Platinum Card® from American Express has plenty of perks for the frequent traveler.

Premier Rewards Gold from American Express [Expired]

Editor’s Note: The American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card has been upgraded to the American Express® Gold Card. It comes with the opportunity to earn valuable Membership Rewards Points and more. Click here to learn more.

You can also earn more on plane ticket purchases than an airline credit card with the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express. This is the next-best alternative to the Platinum Card if you don’t need additional travel benefits like airport lounge access.

The Premier Rewards Gold offers these travel benefits:

  • 3x points on airline ticket purchases on AmexTravel or directly from the airline
  • 2x points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US grocery stores
  • $100 airline fee credit

You will also get 2x points on select hotel purchases that belong in The Hotel Collection. Plus, you will get a $75 on-site credit.

Amex EveryDay Credit Card [Expired]

Do you use your credit card at least 20 times a month? If so, get a 20% point bonus each month!

For your non-travel purchases, the American Express EveryDay Credit Card is worth the glance.

You earn 2 points per $1 on the first $6,000 spent annually on all US supermarket purchases. The 20% bonus applies to all points you earn during the month once you make 20 card purchases.

Business Platinum Card from American Express

Several of the 16 Membership Rewards credit cards are business credit cards. The Business Platinum Card is similar to the personal version of the Platinum Card. But, the purchase rewards tilt toward optimizing your business purchases.

You can still get 5x bonus points on air travel and hotels booked on AmexTravel.com. Single purchases greater than $5,000 get a 50% purchase bonus. On these large purchases, you get 1.5 points per $1 instead of the non-bonus 1 point per $1.

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express has a couple other travel rewards:

  • 35% point redemption bonus on award flights booked on Amex Travel
  • $200 airline fee credit
  • Airport lounge access
  • Global Entry and TSA PreCheck application fee reimbursement
  • Upgraded hotel loyalty status

Even after this Membership Rewards transfer bonus expires, the 35% point redemption bonus is a good option too. Your points are worth 1.35 cents each for airline redemptions instead of the standard 1 cent rate. Transferring your points to an airline is almost always the better option. It’s not too hard to make each point worth at least 2 cents each when booking award flights on the carrier website.

Redeeming Your Membership Rewards Transfer Bonus Points for Avios

The 1:1 points transfers are consistently the best option for booking award travel with Membership Rewards points. When most people hear the word Avios, flying across the Atlantic on British Airways with expensive fuel surcharges come to mind.

This isn’t your only Avios redemption option. If you plan on flying to Europe, you should keep these award flight options in mind.

Fly Aer Lingus from the U.S. to Ireland

Aer Lingus is the newest Membership Rewards transfer partner. They also don’t charge a fuel surcharge on TransAtlantic flights!

The American and Canadian airports Aer Lingus serves are either in Zone 5 or Zone 6 of the Aer Lingus award chart. Most flights go to Dublin, but several cities also fly into Shannon.

Aer Lingus zone 5 airports include:

  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Hartford
  • Newark
  • New York
  • Philadelphia
  • Toronto

If you fly from a Zone 5 airport, a one-way flight only costs 13,000 Avios in economy class during off-peak season. Business class costs 50,000 Avios, also reasonable. When you fly during peak season, you will either pay 20,000 Avios in economy class or 60,000 Avios for business class.

Short-Haul Avios Flights in Europe

Once you’re in Europe, all three Avios partners offer some of the best short-haul flights. Which airline you fly depends on the destination. For the shortest flights, you can expect to pay 4,000 Avios in off-peak season and 4,500 Avios during peak season. Since these flights are so short, save your points and fly economy class if they offer two different cabins.

Fly Domestic on American Airlines and Alaska Airlines

By transferring your points to British Airways, you can book short-haul domestic flights on American and Alaska Airlines. These flights cost 7,500 Avios for any flight shorter than 1,150 miles.

Without Avios, it’s difficult to earn American or Alaska Airlines frequent flyer miles unless you use their co-brand credit card. These two airlines are relatively exclusive when it comes to booking award flights with credit card points.

Summary of the Avios Membership Rewards Transfer Bonus

Opt-in to the 40% Membership Rewards transfer bonus before November 15, 2018. Until then, every 1,000 Membership Rewards points can actually be worth 1,400 instead – a pretty sweet deal. Start earning and saving now for winter/spring travel plans.

Johnny Jet Editorial

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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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