Membership Rewards: 35% Bonus Avios through June 7

Membership Rewards announced this morning that it is providing a 35% bonus on transfers to British Airways’ Avios points through June 7. This means that for every 1,000 Membership Rewards points you will receive 1,350 Avios (instead of the usual 1:1 ratio).

MR Avios BonusI generally don’t recommend using Avios for international awards because their distance-based award chart prices per segment and includes fuel surcharges. Instead, limit yourself to non-stop domestic travel within the U.S. on Alaska Airlines and American Airlines. You can search available award space on both through and then call British Airways to book. My dad just used this the other week to help a friend for a last-minute trip to Palm Springs the next day. Read more about why Avios is such a great program for domestic travel, as well as Amol’s tips on filling in gaps in international awards.

Amounts are one-way, calculated individually for each segment.

Amounts are one-way, calculated individually for each segment.

I often use Avios for my family’s trips up and down the West Coast. It’s only 4,500 points one-way from Seattle to Santa Rosa (STS) on Alaska Airlines or 12,500 points one-way from most West Coast airports to Hawaii. This makes it one of the more affordable options for award travel to Hawaii. Although you can also transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Avios, there is no current promotion for that, so using Membership Rewards is currently a better option.

Terms & Conditions

Visit or call 1-800-AXP-EARN (297-3276) for more information. You must be enrolled in the British Airways Executive Club in order to participate in this offer, visit to enroll. American Express is not responsible for availability of flights, accommodations or any other rewards in the merchant program. Once you have transferred Membership Rewards® points, they become subject to the Terms and Conditions of the merchant program and cannot be transferred back to your Membership Rewards program account. Taxes, fees, and carrier charges apply on British Airways and its oneworld partner airlines redemption flights and upgrades. See British Airways Executive Club Terms and Conditions for details. Individual air carrier restrictions may apply. Minimum transfer is 1,000 Membership Rewards points. Redeem for this exclusive offer from April 22, 2013 to June 7, 2013, to receive 35% more Avios. Additional Avios will be awarded at the time of transfer.

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  • scott

    Can I use an Alaska airlines companion pass on an alaska airlines award ticket (ie if I used avios to book an alaska airlines ticket)? thanks for any help

    • Scottrick

      No, the companion pass is for revenue tickets only. You would pay for your ticket, plus a discounted price for your companion’s ticket.

      Avios is a separate program operated by British Airways, but you can use it to book travel on partners including American and Alaska.

  • Gene

    Would you recommend transferring 7000 MR (which would become over 9000 Avios miles) and just letting it sit there for awhile to use as needed? No immediate travel plans, but those short-haul domestics are a great use of miles.

    • Scottrick

      Yes, I don’t foresee any immediate devaluations. As long as you think you’ll use it sometime soon (6-12 months) I think you’re probably fine.

      • Gene

        I could save 1000 MR if I just redeemed 6000 instead of 7000. But that would only give me 8100 Avios with the bonus, leaving me 900 short. Any good ways of sneaking that other 900 in there from another source? A hotel points redemption would probably be very inefficient.

        • Scottrick

          Probably just transfer 1,000 from Ultimate Rewards. Most hotel programs have sliding scales.

  • akg251

    I have about 34000 MR points. Is it worth converting them to Avios? I live in the U.S. and could use the points for American Airline flights. How often do these promotions come out?

    I currently do not have immediate travel plans wondering if I should wait as I also have 45000 Aadvantge Airlmiles sitting in my account.

    What’s the expiry on Avios points?

    • RPI86

      I am trying to find award availability between BDL and ORD or BDL and PBI and not finding any availability from the BA site. Is there a trick in finding availability?

      • Scottrick

        Yes, search for availability on if you are looking for space on Alaska or American.

    • Scottrick

      Avios points expire if you have no activity in your account for 36 months. Making a redemption should reset the clock, even if you do not use them all.

      I’m not sure you want to move all 34,000 MR points to Avios, but if you have no plans to earn more, it doesn’t seem like a horrible idea. You can’t book a high value award on Singapore Airlines, for example, so you could use them for these short domestic flights instead.

  • Simon

    How are you redeeming BA miles on Alaskan (SEA-STS)? I just checked SNA-SEA on, and it returns an error.

    • Scottrick

      Search availability on, call BA, and ask them to waive the phone booking fee because you aren’t able to book online.