AMEX Transfer Bonuses: British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Aeroplan

AMEX Transfer Bonuses: British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Aeroplan


Transfer AMEX Points to British Airways with a 40% Transfer Bonus, to Virgin Atlantic with a 30% Transfer Bonus, to Aeroplan with a 20% Transfer Bonus, or to Flying Blue with a 25% Transfer Bonus. There are also other transfer bonuses, which are less likely to be useful to most clients and readers, as follows:

  • Aer Lingus: 40% transfer bonus
  • Aeromexico: 25% transfer bonus
  • Avianca LifeMiles: 15% transfer bonus
  • Hawaiian Airlines: 25% transfer bonus
  • Iberia Plus: 40% transfer bonus
  • Qantas: 20% transfer bonus
  • Marriott Bonvoy: 30% transfer bonus
  • Hilton Honors: 30% transfer bonus

Here are the AMEX transfer bonus terms:

  • The name on your AMEX account must match the name on your frequent flyer account that will receive the points transfer
  • Link your frequent flyer account to your AMEX account
  • Offer is valid until 11:59pm MT on September 30, 2021
  • Minimum transfer amount is 1000 AMEX Membership Rewards points
  • The resulting miles received cannot exceed 999,000


How Long Does It Take for AMEX Points to Transfer to Airline Partners?

Most transfers from AMEX Membership Rewards points to airline frequent flyer programs are instant, although AMEX advises allowing up to 48 hours:

  • Aer Lingus
  • Aeroplan
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue
  • Avianca
  • British Airways Avios
  • Delta SkyMiles
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Hawaiian
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Virgin Atlantic

Singapore KrisFlyer transfers can take ~24 hours (although can be faster)

ANA Mileage Club, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and Iberia transfers can take ~48 hours.


Best Uses of AMEX Points Transfer Bonuses

Normally, our top recommendation would be transferring AMEX points with a 30% bonus to Virgin Atlantic to redeem for ANA First Class Suites. The issue is that, with COVID-19, Japan is closed to all international tourism now as it battles a surge of cases, particularly among the young, who are less likely to be vaccinated. Japan is likely to be one of the last countries in Asia to reopen its borders to visitors, so if you reserve ANA awards, be prepared to cancel or rebook them.

The 40% transfer bonus to British Airways Avios is even better than the Chase 30% transfer bonus to British Airways Avios, and as we mentioned in that post, one of our favorite redemptions for travel between the U.S. and Europe is Iberia Business Class. Fees are lower than on British Airways, and unlike on British Airways, which charges even business class passengers for seat assignments, Iberia is like most airlines and allows you to select your business class seat in advance. Other good uses of Avios are short haul flights, for example American Airlines flights within the U.S. or between U.S. and the Caribbean or Mexico; intra-Europe flights on Iberia or British Airways; intra-Asia flights on JAL or Cathay Pacific; and intra-Australia flights on Qantas (although of course the latter two examples won't be accessible to most U.S. travelers for some time, until more borders reopen).

The 20% AMEX transfer bonus to Aeroplan isn't as good as the 40% transfer bonus to British Airways or 30% transfer bonus to Virgin Atlantic, but it can be helpful for gaining access to Star Alliance airline products, such as SWISS Business Class or Brussels Business Class, at lower rates than United MileagePlus charges. Also, as we wrote in Aeroplan's New Award Charts, there are no longer fuel surcharges, although there is a CAD 39 partner award booking fee per ticket and a hefty CAD 150 per ticket cancellation/redeposit fee. SWISS Business Class between New York JFK and Zurich is 60,000 Aeroplan points vs. 73,000 United miles. factor in the AMEX 20% transfer bonus to Aeroplan, and that's just 50,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points, which, depending on the paid airfare, is worth ~3 cents per point. If you have the AMEX Blue Business Plus card, which earns 2X on all spend, that equates to earning 6 cents per dollar spent, not a bad return, especially as the card has no annual fee.

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