For those who have been following the blog for some time, it’s quite obvious that I am obsessed with British Airways Avios for a variety of reasons:
- It’s relatively “cheap” for me to fly to Miami and Chicago from NYC airports on a whim (7,500 points each way).
- They allow me to travel spontaneously because they do not charge a close-in booking fee for last-minute tickets.
- AmEx in the past has had some pretty lucrative transfer bonus promotions (up to 40%!).
- Since British Airways is a Oneworld partner, I can still use my American Airlines elite status benefits (and upgrades) on BA award tickets.
- There are a number of sweet-spot Avios awards that do not charge fuel surcharges.
Tomorrow marks a sad day – a devaluation for Avios transfers using Membership Rewards (my favorite and only method). While it always used to be a 1:1 transfer ratio, starting October 1, Membership Rewards points will transfer to British Airways/Iberia Avios at a 250:200 ratio (or 1,000:800). In other words, you’re getting 20% less.
There’s still other ways to get Avios:
- While you can still transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards at a 1:1 ratio, I personally prefer to use my Ultimate Rewards for Hyatt, Southwest, and United transfers.
- SPG Starpoints are also still able to be transferred to Avios at a 1:1 ratio (or 1:1.25 if transferring in 20K increments), but in my book, there are much better uses for Starpoints.
- There’s also a 100K British Airways Visa offer, but that requires $20,000 in spend, a lot of effort, and some discipline.
While I am hopeful that there will be transfer bonuses in the near future, we’ll have to have one of at least 25% to “break even” to the normal 1:1 ratio.
Today I decided it was in my best interest to transfer 90% of my Membership Rewards points into Avios because I am 1,000% certain I will be using the points in no time (they’re predicting a pretty crappy winter).
Tonight I highly suggest you do the same if you are considering upcoming travel using Avios anytime soon.
What is your strategy to cope with this sneaky devaluation?