Amex Membership Rewards 40% transfer bonus to British Airways and Aer Lingus

Amex Membership Rewards is currently offering a 40% bonus transfer offer to British Airways Executive Club and Aer Lingus AerClub through October 1, 2019.  We have seen a number of transfer bonuses before from Amex to British Airways Avios points, though the promos don't often last as long as 2 months.  A transfer ratio of 1.4:1 is excellent as Avios are one of the best currencies for short-haul travel on Oneworld partners such as American Airlines, Japan Airlines, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, and other partners like Alaska Airlines.



BA uses a distance-based award chart for both BA awards and partner awards.  They unfortunately just underwent a devaluation, but there are still many sweet spots on their award chart, especially with the 40% transfer bonus.

The following is their award chart for travel on British Airways:
Zone // Flight DistanceEconomy
Off Peak // Peak
Premium Economy
Off Peak // Peak
Business
Off Peak // Peak
First
Off Peak // Peak
Zone 1
1-650 miles*
*Not available in North America
4,000 // 4,5005,750 // 6,7507,750 // 9,00015,500 // 18,000
Zone 2
651-1150 miles
6,500 // 7,5009,500 // 11,25012,750 // 15,00025,500 // 30,000
Zone 3
1151-2000 miles
8,500 // 10,00012,750 // 15,00017,000 // 20,00034,000 // 40,000
Zone 4
2001-3000 miles
10,000 // 12,50020,000 // 25,00031,250 // 37,50042,500 // 50,000
Zone 5
3001-4000 miles
13,000 // 20,00026,000 // 40,00050,000 // 60,00068,000 // 80,000
Zone 6
4001-5500 miles
16,250 // 25,00032,500 // 50,00062,500 // 75,00085,000 // 100,000
Zone 7
5501-6500 miles
19,500 // 30,00039,000 // 60,00075,000 // 90,000102,000 // 120,000
Zone 8
6501-7000 miles
22,750 // 35,00045,500 // 70,00087,500 // 105,000119,000 // 140,000
Zone 9
7001+ miles
32,50 // 50,00065,000 // 100,000125,000 // 150,000170,000 // 200,000

And the following is their award chart for travel on Oneworld and partner carriers, including Alaska Airlines:
Zone // Flight DistanceEconomyPremium EconomyBusinessFirst
Zone 1
1-650 miles*
*Not available in North America
6,0009,00012,50024,000
Zone 2
651-1150 miles
9,00012,50016,50033,000
Zone 3
1151-2000 miles
11,00016,50022,00044,000
Zone 4
2001-3000 miles
13,00025,75038,75051,500
Zone 5
3001-4000 miles
20,75041,25062,00082,500
Zone 6
4001-5500 miles
25,75051,50077,250103,000
Zone 7
5501-6500 miles
31,00062,00092,750123,750
Zone 8
6501-7000 miles
36,25072,250108,250144,250
Zone 9
7001+ miles
51,500103,000154,500206,000
As you can see above, the minimum number of Avios required for travel in North America is 9,000 miles each way in economy for a nonstop flight up to 1,150 miles in distance, which amounts to 6,429 Amex MR, though these points need to be transfer in 1,000-point increments.  AA and Alaska Airlines both fly to many regional routes out of their hubs that fall within this distance.  BA also has very modest cancellation/change fees, and does not impose close-in ticketing fees so you could use 7k Amex MR to book a last minute nonstop trip for say SFO-SAN or as far as SFO-DEN.  California airports to Hawaii all fall within Zone 3 at 13k Avios, which is about 9,286 Amex MR.

But perhaps the biggest value of these short-haul routes falls in areas outside of North America like Japan, Australia, Hong Kong.  Pretty much every domestic flight from Tokyo with the exception with Okinawa would be 6k Avios, or only 4,286 Amex MR.  In addition, a short-haul international flight with lieflat seats in business class like HKG-TPE on Cathay Pacific would be only 12.5k Avios (8,929 Amex MR), which is pretty much the lowest amount of points possible to secure lieflat business class seats anywhere on the planet.

Yes, HKG-TPE is only a 1 1/2 hour flight.  But biz class suites, superior lounge access, and biz class catering for <9k Amex MR?  I'm in.

Bottom Line

This is a great Amex promo.  Though I wouldn't recommend transferring points speculatively without the actual need for booking a flight, this would be a great opportunity if you're planning on short-haul trips in the near future or even in the last minute as Amex MR transfer to Avios instantaneously.



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