18 Ways To Maximize Amex And Chase Transfer Partner Bonuses [Limited Time]

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Earn bonus miles and points when you transfer American Express Membership Rewards points or Chase Ultimate Rewards points to select airline and hotel transfer partners

American Express and Chase occasionally offer a bonus when you transfer Membership Rewards or Ultimate Rewards points to certain partner airline programs.  

Right now, Chase is offering a bonus on 3 airline transfer partners. Amex is offering bonuses on 10 airline transfer partners and 2 hotel partners. I’ll list some ways to maximize these bonus offers.

A majority of these partners are not based in the US, but remember that foreign airline programs can provide great value even if the flight you’re trying to book is operated by American, United, etc.

For example, even if you have no plans to travel to the U.K. or Spain, keep reading to find out some of the things you can do with British Airways or Iberia Avios. You aren’t limited to flights operated by Iberia or British Airways. You can use British Airways and Iberia Avios to book flights operated by American Airlines and Alaska Airlines. This includes flights within the US, plus AA and AS flights to and from anywhere they fly!

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Earn 30% more Avios when you transfer to these 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards partners:

This means for every 1,000 UR you tarnsfer, you’ll earn 1300 Avios.

  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Iberia Plus
  • Aer Lingus Aer Club

This offer ends 9/26/21.

The quickest way to earn Ultimate Rewards points is to open a Chase Sapphire Preferred card

This is a great starter card for anyone looking to turn regular spending into free travel. The annual fee is reasonable, and the rewards (Chase Ultimate Rewards) are easy to earn and redeem.

Chase Sapphire Preferred 2021

Current offer: Earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months.

On August 16, bonus categories and benefits were added and/or improved!

  • Earn 5 points per dollar on travel purchased via Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Earn 2 points per dollar on other travel purchases
  • Instead of the old earn rate of 2, you will now earn 3 points per dollar on dining (including eligible delivery services and takeout)
  • 3 points per dollar on online grocery purchases (this excludes Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • 3 points per dollar on select streaming services
  • Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases

Each anniversary, you’ll receive bonus points equal to 10% of total purchases made the previous year. This excludes any sign up bonus points, so it’s only on points earned from spending.

The annual fee is $95, but the welcome offer alone is worth a lot more than that. Also, you’ll receive a year of DashPass (normally $9.99 per month) for free. You must enroll by 12/31/21.

Also, receive credit of up to $50 annually on hotel stays purchased through Ultimate Rewards. (New cardmembers will receive this credit immediately and existing cardmembers will start earning after the next anniversary.)

Tip: You can earn extra points when you make purchases with several retailers online. This is possible via the Chase Ultimate Rewards shopping portal. For example, I can earn an extra 2 points per dollar on online purchases from Nike. It may not sound like a lot, but it adds up! There are hundreds of retailers (currently over 400 total). Click here for more info.

American Express Membership Rewards

Amex has offers on 10 airline partners and 2 hotel partners.

Receive 40% bonus Avios on these 3:

Avios is the currency of Aer Lingus, British Airways Executive Club, and Iberia Plus.  Think of Avios as miles or points.

This means for every 1,000 Amex points transferred, you’ll receive 1400 Avios. Ends 9/30/21.

  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Iberia Plus
  • Aer Lingus Aer Club

Here are the other offers:

Air Canada Aeroplan-20%

Receive 1200 Aeroplan points for every 1000 Amex MR transferred. Ends 9/30/21

AirFrance/KLM Flying Blue-25%

Receive 1250 Flying Blue miles for every 1000 Amex MR transferred. Ends 9/30/21

Aero Mexico Club Premier-25%

Normal rate is not 1:1, it’s 1:1.6. With this bonus, you’ll receive 2,000 Premier points for every 1,000 Amex points transferred. Ends 9/30/21.

Avianca Lifemiles-15%

Receive 1150 Lifemiles for every 1000 Amex points transferred. Ends 9/30/21

Hawaiian Airlines-25%

Receive 1250 Hawaiian Miles for every 1000 Amex MR transferred. Ends 9/30/21.

Qantas Frequent Flyer-20%

Receive 600 Qantas points for every 500 Amex points transferred. Ends 9/30/21

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club-30%

Receive 1300 Virgin points for every 1000 Amex points transferred. Ends 9/30/21

Hilton Honors-30%

This rate is normally 1000:2000 Hilton Honors points. With this bonus, you’ll receive 2600 Honors points for every 1000 Amex points transferred. Ends 10/31/21.

Marriot Bonvoy-30%

Earn 1300 Bonvoy points for every 1000 Amex MR transferred. Ends 10/31/21.

How to earn American Express Membership Rewards points

The only way to earn American Express Membership Rewards points is with an American Express Membership Rewards earning card.  Not all American Express cards earn Membership Rewards points.  For example, the Hilton co-branded cards from Amex earn Hilton Honors points, not American Express points.  

  • You cannot transfer Hilton points or any other hotel currency to Membership Rewards.
  • You cannot transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to American Express Membership Rewards points. Or vice versa
  • Airline miles also will not transfer to American Express Membership Rewards points. 

If you do not already have an Amex card that earns Membership Rewards points, you may want to consider opening one so that you do not miss out on the next transfer bonus opportunity!

The Platinum Card from American Express

If you’re a frequent flyer, this card has one of the highest earn rates on flight purchases out of all credit cards on the market. Earn 5 points per dollar on flights booked directly through airlines or through amextravel.com on up to $500,000 per calendar year.

Amex Platinum Card 2021

Current offer: Earn 100,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 in the first 6 months.  Terms apply, learn more here

The annual fee is steep at $695 [rates and fees], but there are lots of benefits and credits that may help offset that fee.

The Platinum Card from American Express will grant you access to their amazing Centurion lounges (where available). Also, you’ll get access to other airport lounges around the world.

Additional benefits and details: 

Enrollment is required before you can receive some of these benefits. You an enroll online in your Amex account.

Airlines: Receive up to $200 of reimbursement on airline incidentals per calendar year

Uber: Receive up to $200 total in Uber credits annually and Uber VIP Status.

Hotels: Get up to $200 back annually in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with Amex Travel.

Make airport security and/or customs quicker:

  • Receive reimbursement for TSA precheck or Global Entry enrollment
  • Enroll in CLEAR to make airport security quicker. Receive up to $179 back annually on a CLEAR membership.

Shopping and entertainment:

  • 100$ total in statement credit for purchases at Saks Fifth avenue annually.
  • Each month you can receive up to $20 in statement credits (for a total of $240 annually) on eligible purchases on these digital entertainment providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times.
  • Receive up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships (for a total of up to $300 annually).

Unlike typical credit cards, the Platinum Card allows you to carry a balance for certain charges, but not all.

My favorite Amex card for bonus categories: American Express Gold Card 

The American Express Gold Card earns 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines, 4 points per dollar at restaurants, 4 points per dollar on Uber Eats purchases, and 4 points per dollar at US grocery stores on up to $25,000 in purchases annually.

Welcome Offer: 60,000 American Express Membership Rewards points. The minimum spending requirement is $4,000 in the first 6 months. 

The annual fee of $250 [rates and fees] isn’t as steep as it sounds if you’re able to utilize the credits and benefits.  Terms apply. Click here for more information

For more information about American Express Membership Rewards earning cards, click here.

Note: Chase cards should be a priority for beginners*. A Chase Ultimate Rewards earning card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the first card I suggest for almost anyone.

*This is because Chase has some limits as to how many cards one can open in a certain time frame. Amex is a GREAT program, but it’s a matter of opportunity. If you don’t get the Chase Ultimate Rewards earning cards early in your award travel pursuit, you could miss out on some valuable points! Click here for more info.

18 ways to maximize the transfer bonuses

Note: In general, you have to transfer Chase and Amex points in increments of 1,000, so I’m going to round up.

I know it is tempting to transfer points to these programs given the current offers, but I only suggest doing so if you have plans to use them in the near future, or preferably immediately.

Everything in this list is subject to availability. Transfers are permanent. Once you transfer American Express Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards points to an airline or hotel program, you cannot transfer them back to your Membership Rewards account. For that reason, I suggest waiting until you are absolutely certain your dates and route are available prior to transferring any points. Once points are transferred, they are subject to that airline or hotel’s policies.

When you use a frequent flyer program to book a flight with miles, there may be taxes and fees. Generally, domestic flights only have fees totaling $5.60 each way.

International flights will have extra fees. These are imposed by foreign governments, and they are collected no matter which airline program you use to book. These fees usually total $50-$100 on a roundtrip ticket, but some airports may have higher fees. To be clear, these fees are different than fuel surcharges.

Fuel surcharges can be significant, so I’ll specify any routes that have fuel surcharges in this list. I’ll also specify routes with higher government fees (such as London). Otherwise, you can generally assume that your out of pocket cost per international ticket is less than $100. Click here for more info about these fees.

1. First class ANA to Japan for as low as 43,000 Amex points each way (Using Virgin Atlantic)

Note that Chase Ultimate Rewards points also transfer to Virgin Atlantic, but there is no limited time bonus with Chase. Amex transfers to Virgin 1000:1300 with this bonus

It would be tough to top the redemption value of this one.

Virgin Atlantic is not in an airline alliance, but has partnerships with a few airlines including ANA, Delta, and KLM/AirFrance. This means you can redeem Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles for flights operated by ANA or any of Virgin Atlantic’s other partners. 

ANA’s first class is top notch and a roundtrip ticket between the US and Japan would set you back about $20,000. ANA’s business class also has a great reputation and availability is easier to find than first class. A paid roundtrip business class ticket between the US and Japan would be $8,000-$10,000. 

Virgin Atlantic’s redemption pricing for business and first class tickets on ANA flights is the lowest of any program that you can use to book ANA flights in premium cabins. 

A one way business class ticket between these US cities and Japan is 45,000 Virgin Atlantic miles, first class is 55,000 Virgin Atlantic miles: 

  • Los Angeles
  • Seattle
  • San Francisco
  • San Jose
  • Amex Membership Rewards points required for business class with 30% promotion: 35,000 Amex MR points
  • Amex Membership Rewards required for first class with 30% promotion: 43,000 Amex MR points

A one way business class ticket between these US cities and Japan is 47,500 Virgin Atlantic miles, first class is 60,000 Virgin Atlantic miles:

  • Chicago
  • Houston 
  • New York
  • Washington DC
  • Amex Membership Rewards points required for business class with 30% promotion: 37,000 Amex MR points
  • Amex Membership Rewards required for frist class with 30% promotion: 47,000 Amex MR points

Virgin Atlantic does collect fuel/carrier surcharges, but current surcharges for this ANA route are very low and your total out of pocket for taxes, fees, and surcharges on a roundtrip ticket would be just over $200. 

This is subject to availability and the best way to search for availability is on United.com. If an ANA business or first saver award is available to book with United Miles, it should also be available to book with Virgin Atlantic miles. Just remember, you’re looking for ANA operated routes only; you wouldn’t be able to redeem Virgin Atlantic miles if United or another carrier is operating the flight. Click here for more info about using United.com to search for availability.

After you’ve found availability, you will have to call Virgin to complete the booking. Wait until the agent on the phone confirms the availability and redemption price, then you can transfer from Amex (or Chase). 

Amex and Chase points usually transfer to Virgin Atlantic immediately, so there is no need to transfer until you’ve confirmed availability. 

2. Business class to Europe for as low as 50,000 Amex points each way (Using Air Canada)

Note that Chase Ultimate Rewards points also transfer to Air Canada, but there is no limited time bonus with Chase. Amex transfers to Virgin 1000:1200 with this 20% bonus

You can redeem Air Canada Aeroplan miles for flights operated by Star Alliance carriers. When you redeem Air Canada miles for partner airlines, there are no fuel surcharges.

Air Canada has a distance based award chart. US-Europe routes start at 60,000 miles each way in business class, so with the 20% bonus, a route that requires 60k Air Canada points would require a transfer of 50k Amex Membership Rewards points to Air Canada.

We used Aeroplan to book business class flights for my brother and his wife for their honeymoon on their return flight from Greece!

My brother Brandon and his wife Kylie in Santorini. Brandon and my husband Ryan have a weird obsession with wearing Hawaiian shirts on vacation

3. Business class to Europe for as low as 53,000 Amex points each way (Avianca)

Click here for more info on indirect partnerships.

You can redeem Avianca Lifemiles for flights operated by Star Alliance carriers. When you redeem Lifemiles, there are no fuel surcharges.

Avianca has a zone based award chart. You can find it here. US-Europe routes start at 60,000 miles each way in business class, so with the 15% bonus, a route that requires 60k Lifemiles would require a transfer of 53k Amex Membership Rewards points to Avianca.

Click here for more info on using Avianca to book Europe.

Using Avianca vs. Air Canada

Redemption prices are similar but one program may be better than another, depending on your route. I suggest comparing the prices with both programs before you transfer points.

4. Fly to Mexico in first class for as low as 26,000 (Chase UR) or 24,000 (Amex MR) points roundtrip

You can use the British Airways program to book American Airlines flights. You cannot transfer British Airways Avios to American Airlines AAdvantage. But you wouldn’t want to anyway on some routes, because British Airways has better redemption prices than AAdvantage for the exact same route.

Nonstop routes between the US and Mexico operated by AA start at 33,000 Avios roundtrip in first class. Remember, this is subject to availability. You can search and book online at British Airways.com, but if your dates are flexible, there’s another way you can search. The best way to search for availability if you have flexible dates is with Qantas.com and you can read more about using Qantas to find availability here.

British Airways has a distance based chart. Any city pairs with nonstop AA flights that are under 1150 miles will price at 16,500 Avios each way in first class. Click here for the British Airways distance chart. Note that on most domestic flights, there are only 2 cabins: economy and first class. Although the premium cabin is usually marketed as first class, you’re redeeming at the business class rate on the BA chart (this is a good thing, it means less points!).

DFW, LAX, or MIA to Mexico nonstop in first class: 33,000 British Airways Avios roundtrip

  • Redemption price with Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus: 26,000 UR transferred to BA
  • Redemption price with American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonus: 24,000 MR transferred to BA

Chicago and New York are a little further, but still have a lower redemption cost than most airline programs for flights to Mexico.  Chicago or New York to Mexico in first: 22,000 British Airways Avios each way or 44,000 roundtrip per ticket

Chicago or New York to Mexico nonstop in first class: 44,000 British Airways Avios roundtrip

  • Redemption price roundtrip with Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus: 34,000 UR transferred to BA
  • Redemption price roundtrip with American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonus: 32,000 MR transferred to BA

You can also book flights operated by Alaska Airlines with British Airways Avios. Redemption pricing using BA avios is the same as that of flights operated by American Airlines.

More information: How to book American Airlines flights with British Airways Avios

Puerto Vallarta, British Airways Avios, American Express Membership rewards points
Fly to Puerto Vallarta for half the amount of miles AAdvantage charges by booking the American Airlines flight through British Airways.
Important takeaway: you are not limited to flights operated by British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus

British Airways and Iberia Avios can be used to book flights on Oneworld airlines

British Airways and Iberia are both Oneworld alliance members.  This means you can use their loyalty programs, Executive Club and Iberia Plus, to book flights operated by Oneworld airlines.  Honestly, I haven’t found much use for Aer Lingus other than for flights to Ireland (which can be a great deal, so don’t write them off!), but I use British Airways often to book American Airlines flights.

Oneworld partners

British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus have distance-based award ticket pricing

Click here for the pricing of award flights using British Airways Iberia Avios.

A distance based program means that the redemption price is calculated based on the distance.  Distance ranges are divided into tiers and each distance range has a certain cost.  Every distance based program has different distance ranges and different rules.

British Airways and Iberia now have the same pricing for American Airlines and other partner flights. This is a recent change as Iberia used to have a different chart and a different way of calculating distance on partner flights. Redemption prices will be the same but fuel surcharges and carrier fees may make one program better than the other. I would check pricing with both programs, but unless theres a significant difference on out of pocket fees, I suggest using British Airways because I have just found that their customer service is better in the event that you need to change or cancel your plans.

Chart for redeeming British Airways or Iberia Avios to book partner flights:

It is important to note that zone 1 pricing on flights within the US appear to be 7500 instead of 6000.

British Airways partner award chart 2021

For the rest of this list I’m going to focus on redemptions using Avios since both Amex and Chase have bonuses

Remember, the Chase bonus is 30%. (1000UR=1300 Avios). Amex has a bonus of 40% (1000MR=1400 Avios).

5. Fly to Mexico in economy for as low as 14,000 (Chase UR) or 13,000 (Amex MR) points roundtrip

More information: How to book American Airlines flights with British Airways Avios

Continuing with Mexico, you can book economy tickets on AA to Mexico for a fraction of what AAdvantage would require!

You can book nonstop American Airlines routes between the US and Mexico for as low as 18,000 British Airways Avios roundtrip per person in economy. With this promotion, it gets even better. Remember, this is subject to availability.

Any city pairs with nonstop AA flights that are under 1150 miles will price at 9,000 Avios each way. Click here for the British Airways distance chart. Here are some examples:

DFW, LAX, or MIA to Mexico nonstop in economy: 18,000 British Airways Avios roundtrip

  • Redemption price with Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus: 14,000 UR transferred to BA
  • Redemption price with American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonus: 13,000 MR transferred to BA

Chicago and New York are a little further, but still have a lower redemption cost than most airline programs for flights to Mexico.  Chicago or New York to Mexico in economy: 11,000 British Airways Avios each way or 22,000 roundtrip per ticket

Chicago or New York to Mexico nonstop in economy: 22,000 British Airways Avios roundtrip

  • Redemption price roundtrip with Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus: 17,000 UR transferred to BA
  • Redemption price roundtrip with American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonus: 16,000 MR transferred to BA

You can also book flights operated by Alaska Airlines with British Airways Avios. Pricing is the same as that of flights operated by American Airlines.

To compare, AAdvantage would require 25,000 or 30,000 AAdvantage miles roundtrip (off-peak/peak) for the exact same flight.

how to book mexico with chase ultimate rewards points, how to book American airlines flights with chase ultimate Rewards points

6. Fly to Japan in economy on American Airlines or Japan Airlines for as low as 37,000 (Amex MR) or 40,000 (Chase UR) roundtrip

You can redeem British Airways or Iberia avios to book either American Airlines or Japan Airlines flights to Japan.

Examples of city pairs:

LAX to Tokyo is 25,750 Avios each way in economy or 51,500 Avios roundtrip

  • Redemption price with Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus: 40,000 UR transferred to BA
  • Redemption price with American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonus: 37,000 MR transferred to BA

Chicago or DFW to Tokyo is 31,000 Avios each way in economy or 62,000 roundtrip

  • Redemption price roundtrip with Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus: 48,000 UR transferred to BA
  • Redemption price roundtrip with American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonus: 45,000 MR transferred to BA

Getting further east to airports such as JFK sends the mileage above 6,500 miles so that bumps the cost up to 36,250 Avios each way.  (AA doesn’t operate flights to Japan from New York but Japan Airlines does).  This is similar to what American Airlines AAdvantage requires each way for a ticket between any city in the US and Japan, but with the 40% bonus, British Airways would be better since 26,000 Amex points transferred to British Airways would give you the 36,250 Avios needed each way!

Fares on roundtrip flights from the US to Japan are often $1,000 or more. You can get a roundtrip American Airlines flight to Tokyo in economy for as low as 37,000 American Express points with this transfer promotion*!

*While we found Japan Airlines economy to be a step above American Airlines, there are fuel surcharges if JAL operates the flight. If you can get a flight operated by American Airlines, there are no fuel surcharges if you book with British Airways Avios.

I just want to point out that if you were to redeem 37,000 Amex points at amextravel.com for flights, the value is only $370. With Chase Ultimate Rewards at ultimaterewards.com, 40,000 points would be worth $500 or $600, depending on which Sapphire card you have. That’s why it is so important to learn how to use transfer partners and to take advantage of bonus offers like this!

How to book flights to Japan with American Express Membership Rewards points

7. Fly to Europe in business class for as low as 53,000 (Chase UR) or 49,000 (Amex MR)points roundtrip (using Iberia Avios)

Iberia and British Airways have different redemption prices for their own flights.

New York (JFK) to Madrid and Boston to Madrid are in the 3,001-4,000 mile distance range which is priced at 34,000 each way in business class for off-peak dates!  If you can score off peak dates, here is the redemption cost with the Chase and Amex transfer bonus deals::

  • Redemption price with Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus: 53,000 UR transferred to IB
  • Redemption price with American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonus: 49,000 MR transferred to IB

On peak dates, the cost is 50,000 Iberia Avios each way or 100,000 roundtrip.

  • Redemption price roundtrip with Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus: 77,000 UR transferred to IB
  • Redemption price roundtrip with American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonus: 72,000 MR transferred to IB

Further distances, such as Miami to Madrid, start at 42,500 each way in business class on off peak dates. That means roundtrip is 85k.

  • Redemption price roundtrip with Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus: 66,000 UR transferred to IB
  • Redemption price roundtrip with American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonus: 61,000 MR transferred to IB
How to fly to Europe with American Express Membership Rewards points
Hvar, Croatia

Even if you’re headed to a European city other than Madrid, it may make sense to make Madrid your “gateway” and then purchase a cheap flight to connect to your destination!

Unfortunately, Iberia adds fuel surcharges to award tickets to Europe.  At the time of publishing, roundtrip business class ticket would have about $300 in taxes and fees, but considering how low the Avios cost is, it could be worth paying the fees!  British Airways is even worse on fuel surcharges on transatlantic flights.  Click here for more info about surcharges and fees. 

8. Fly to Madrid from the east coast on Iberia in economy for as low as 27,000 (Chase UR) or 25,000 (Amex MR) points roundtrip (using Iberia Avios)

New York (JFK) to Madrid and Boston to Madrid are in the 3,001-4,000 range which is priced at 17,000/20,000 Avios (off-peak/peak) each way, or 34,000/40,000 roundtrip in economy. Here is the redemption cost with the Chase and Amex transfer bonus deals::

Off peak dates (roundtrip):

  • Redemption price with Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus: 27,000 UR transferred to IB
  • Redemption price with American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonus: 25,000 MR transferred to IB

Peak dates:

  • Redemption price roundtrip with Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus: 31,000 UR transferred to IB
  • Redemption price roundtrip with American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonus: 29,000 MR transferred to IB

Iberia adds surcharges to economy flights to Europe, too, but they’re less than business class.  They’re also more reasonable than fuel surcharges on flights operated by British Airways.

9. Fly to Hawaii from the west coast for as low as 20,000 (Chase UR) or 19,000 (Amex MR) points roundtrip

You can redeem British Airways Avios for Alaska Airlines or American Airlines flights to Hawaii.

British Airways requires 13,000 Avios each way or 26,000 round-trip for flights to Hawaii in economy on American Airlines or Alaska Airlines from west coast cities.  Some of these cities include Anchorage, Los Angeles, Oakland, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle.

Roundtrip:

  • Redemption price with Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus: 20,000 UR transferred to BA
  • Redemption price with American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonus: 19,000 MR transferred to BA

Routes from further cities will require more Avios/points, but redemption prices on nonstop routes are still reasonable. For example, nonstop DFW to Maui on an AA flight in economy would be 20,750 each way or 41,500 Avios roundtrip per ticket.

  • Redemption price roundtrip with Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus: 32,000 UR transferred to BA
  • Redemption price roundtrip with American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonus: 30,000 MR transferred to BA
how to book Hawaii with chase ultimate rewards points

10. Fly to Peru and other northern South American countries on American Airlines for as low as 19,000 (Chase UR) or 20,000 (Amex MR) points roundtrip

Nonstop Miami to Lima in economy on an AA operated flight is only 13,000 Avios each way or 26,000 Avios roundtrip.

Roundtrip:

  • Redemption price with Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus: 20,000 UR transferred to BA
  • Redemption price with American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonus: 19,000 MR transferred to BA

Other nonstop routes will be higher since the distance is further. For example, there is a DFW to Lima nonstop route operated by AA. That flight would price at 20,750 Avios each way or 41,500 Avios roundtrip.

  • Redemption price roundtrip with Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus: 32,000 UR transferred to BA
  • Redemption price roundtrip with American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonus: 30,000 MR transferred to BA

If you need to add a connection, you will need to redeem more Avios. For example, when we went, we booked LIM-MIA and then MIA-DFW (the nonstop LIM-DFW time didn’t work for us).

  • MIA-DFW is under 1150 miles, so it prices at 9,000 Avios.
  • My total for the one-way was 13k (LIM-MIA) plus 9k which is 22,000 Avios.
  • 22,000 Avios for the one way isn’t terrible, but this transfer promotion would have made it a lot better.

There are no fuel surcharges when you use British Airways Avios to book American Airlines flights between the US and South America. .

I highly recommend Peru

11. Fly to Madrid on American Airlines with lower fuel surcharges using Iberia Avios for as low as 40,000 (Chase UR) or 37,000 (Amex MR) points roundtrip

Iberia adds surcharges to their flights to Europe, and unfortunately they also collect fuel surcharges on partner flights such as American Airlines.  But for some reason, redeeming Iberia Avios for flights to Madrid that are operated by American Airlines cost about $140 in fees roundtrip, which is significantly less than what BA collects for the exact same AA flight. BA’s fees on this exact same AA flight are currently $434 roundtrip.

DFW to Madrid operated by American Airlines is priced at 25,750 each way or 51,500 Avios roundtrip in economy.

  • Redemption price with Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus: 40,000 UR transferred to IB
  • Redemption price with American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonus: 37,000 MR transferred to IB

Amex Membership rewards points bonus avios
Even if you’re headed to a European city other than Madrid, it may make sense to make Madrid your “gateway” and then purchase a cheap flight to connect to your destination!

12. Fly to Dublin on Aer Lingus for as low as 20,000 (Chase UR) or 19,000 (Amex MR) points roundtrip

The distances between these North American cities and Dublin fall into the 13,000 Aer Lingus Avios range each way or 26,000 roundtrip for off-peak dates: 

Boston, Chicago, Hartford, Minneapolis, Montreal, Newark, New York, Philadelphia, Toronto, Washington

Roundtrip:

  • Redemption price with Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus: 20,000 UR transferred to Aer Lingus
  • Redemption price with American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonus: 19,000 MR transferred to Aer Lingus

You read that right! 19,000 Amex points for a roundtrip ticket to Dublin!  The catch: Aer Lingus has fuel surcharges, but they aren’t as outrageous as British Airways on US-Europe routes. This could still be a good deal, especially when cash fares are higher. 

For peak dates, the prices changes to 20,000 Avios each way which is still a good deal, but it lines up with the price if using British Airways or Iberia.

  • Redemption price roundtrip with Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus: 31,000 UR transferred to Aer Lingus
  • Redemption price roundtrip with American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonus: 29,000 MR transferred to Aer Lingus
Other US cities to Dublin on Aer Lingus (using Aer Lingus Avios)

Other US cities to Dublin on Aer Lingus are going to require more Avios, but it can still be a good deal, especially on off-peak dates.

The distances between these US cities and Dublin fall into the 16,250 Avios range each way or 32,500 roundtrip for off-peak dates: Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, San Francisco, Seattle

Roundtrip:

  • Redemption price with Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus: 25,000 UR transferred to Aer Lingus
  • Redemption price with American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonus: 24,000 MR transferred to Aer Lingus

For peak dates, the prices changes to 25,000 Avios which is still a good deal, but it lines up with the pricing using British Airways or Iberia.

  • Redemption price roundtrip with Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus: 39,000 UR transferred to Aer Lingus
  • Redemption price roundtrip with American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonus: 36,000 MR transferred to Aer Lingus

Amex transfer bonus for avios
Fly roundtrip from San Fran to Dublin for as low as 24,000 Amex points in economy or 90,000 Amex points in business class with this Amex promotion!

13. Fly to Dublin on Aer Lingus in business class for as low as 77,000 (Chase UR) or 72,000 (Amex MR) points roundtrip

The distances between the east coast US cities listed above and Dublin fall into the 50,000 Avios range each way or 100,000 roundtrip for off-peak dates (Peak is 60,000).  If you can get off-peak pricing, this is a great deal with the bonus.

  • Redemption price roundtrip with Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus: 77,000 UR transferred to Aer Lingus
  • Redemption price roundtrip with American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonus: 72,000 MR transferred to Aer Lingus

The distances between the other US cities and Dublin fall into the 62,500 Avios range each way or 125,000 roundtrip for off-peak dates. Peak is 75,000.  If you can get off-peak pricing, this is a great deal with the bonus.

14. Fly to Brazil or Argentina on American Airlines for as low as 40,000 (Chase UR) or 37,000 (Amex MR) points roundtrip

You can use British Airways Avios to book American Airlines flights to South America. Here are some nonstop routes that are normally going to be 25,750 Avios each way in economy:

  • Miami to Rio de Janeiro
  • DFW to Buenos Aires
  • JFK to Buenos Aires

Normal redemption cost: 51,500 British Airways Avios roundtrip

  • Redemption price with Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus: 40,000 UR transferred to BA
  • Redemption price with American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonus: 37,000 MR transferred to BA

There are no fuel surcharges when you use British Airways Avios to book American Airlines flights between the US and South America. .

American Express membership rewards for Brazil flights
Copacabana Beach

15. Fly to Central American countries such as Costa Rica on American Airlines for as low as 14,000 (Chase UR) or 13,000 (Amex MR) points roundtrip

Since Miami is less than 1150 miles from Liberia, Costa Rica, the cost is normally 9,000 Avios each way.

MIA-LIR nonstop would be 18,000 roundtrip

  • Redemption price with Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus: 14,000 UR transferred to BA
  • Redemption price with American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonus: 13,000 MR transferred to BA

Remember, 13,000 Amex points redeemed at amextravel.com would be worth $130. I doubt you’ll find a roundtrip ticket to Costa Rica for $130.

DFW and Charlotte are more than 1150 miles from Costa Rica, so the cost is slightly higher at 11,000 Avios each way.

DFW-LIR or CLT-LIR nonstop would be 22,000 roundtrip

  • Redemption price with Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus: 17,000 UR transferred to BA
  • Redemption price with American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonus: 16,000 MR transferred to BA

For some reason, Costa Rica flights have been pretty expensive for the past few years. If you can find award availability, this is definitely a great way to book the flights. The problem is, availability can be tough to find for these American Airlines flights to Costa Rica.

American Express transfer bonus, how to use American Express Membership Rewards points to book flights to Costa Rica
White water rafting in Costa Rica

16. Fly to the Caribbean on American Airlines for as low as 14,000 (Chase UR) or 13,000 (Amex MR) points roundtrip

Thanks to the distance pricing of British Airways award tickets, there are several nonstop routes between the US and the Caribbean on American Airlines operated flights that price between 18,000 and 22,000 Avios roundtrip in economy. Here are some examples:

  • Miami to any Caribbean island served by American Airlines is 9,000 Avios each way or 18,000 Avios roundtrip per ticket.
  • Chicago to Nassau, Bahamas is 11,000 Avios each way or 22,000 Avios roundtrip.
  • Chicago to Grand Cayman is 11,000 Avios each way or 22,000 Avios roundtrip.
  • DFW to Montego Bay, Jamaica is 11,000 Avios each way or 22,000 Avios roundtrip.
  • JFK to St. Thomas, USVI is 11,000 Avios each way or 22,000 Avios roundtrip.

First class nonstops start at 16,500 British Airways Avios each way, or 33,000 roundtrip.

Since Miami is less than 1150 miles from Liberia, Costa Rica, the cost is normally 9,000 Avios each way.

Itineraries that price at 18,000 roundtrip:

  • Redemption price with Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus: 14,000 UR transferred to BA
  • Redemption price with American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonus: 13,000 MR transferred to BA

Itineraries that price at 22,000 roundtrip:

  • Redemption price with Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus: 17,000 UR transferred to BA
  • Redemption price with American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonus: 16,000 MR transferred to BA
American Express Membership  Rewards points for caribbean flights
Jack enjoying his Bahamas trip

17. Fly to Canada on American Airlines for as low as 14,000 (Chase UR) or 13,000 (Amex MR) points roundtrip

Any AA nonstop flight from the US to Canada under 1150 miles in distance is 9000 British Airways Avios each way in economy, or 18,000 Avios roundtrip. There are a few nonstop AA routes between the US and Canada that fall into this distance band.

Itineraries that price at 18,000 roundtrip:

  • Redemption price with Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus: 14,000 UR transferred to BA
  • Redemption price with American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonus: 13,000 MR transferred to BA

One route that has given us great value is DFW to Vancouver. We have been to Whistler a few times and flights to Vancouver during ski season can be pricey. Since DFW-Vancouver is further than 1150 miles, this route falls into the next tier of award pricing. Nonstop DFW to Vancouver on an American Airlines flight would be 11,000 Avios each way in economy or 22,000 Avios roundtrip.

Itineraries that price at 22,000 roundtrip:

  • Redemption price with Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus: 17,000 UR transferred to BA
  • Redemption price with American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonus: 16,000 MR transferred to BA
Spend your money on ice fishing, not plane tickets

18. Save money and points on domestic American Airlines flights-as low as 14,000 (Chase UR) or 13,000 (Amex MR) points roundtrip

Although domestic flights may be less exciting than some of the redemptions on this list, this is sometimes the most practical and/or valuable way to use miles and points. A couple years ago, we used British Airways Avios to book 2 last minute AA tickets worth a total of $1400! At the time, we only had to use a little over 20,000 Avios (there was a promotion like this) which is an excellent value considering the paid total was $1400.

Flights within the US operated by AA start at 9000 British Airways Avios each way in economy, or 18,000 Avios roundtrip.  

If you do not live in an AA hub city and/or you require a connecting flight, you’ll have to redeem more because total redemption price is calculated by adding the price of all segments.

DFW to Northwest Florida Beaches (ECP), my parents’ home airport and the nearest airport to the 30a area, is 18,000 Avios roundtrip per person. These tickets can often price over $500 each, especially during peak travel times, so this is a great value. With the transfer bonus, it gets even better.

Itineraries that price at 18,000 roundtrip:

  • Redemption price with Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus: 14,000 UR transferred to BA
  • Redemption price with American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonus: 13,000 MR transferred to BA

Itineraries that price at 22,000 roundtrip:

  • Redemption price with Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer bonus: 17,000 UR transferred to BA
  • Redemption price with American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonus: 16,000 MR transferred to BA

Note: You can also redeem BA Avios for nonstop Alaska Airlines flights starting at 9,000 each way.

Nonstop routes operated by AA within the US start at 16,500 Avios each way, or 33,000 Avios roundtrip in first class.

American Airlines flights booked with British Airways or Iberia, American Express Membership Rewards points

Final thoughts: Should you transfer Ultimate Rewards or Membership Rewards to partners to take advantage of the current transfer bonuses?

Try to make some plans! You don’t have to fly or book a ticket before the transfer bonuses end, you just have to have to make the transfer before the deadline.  Once transferred, you have plenty of time to book the ticket. But again, do not transfer unless you have a plan to use them in the near future.

I usually avoid transferring until I have a specific trip and date to book.  Even when it’s a great deal like this, transfers are permanent. You do not want to be stuck with a stockpile of miles without a plan.  If you really need points in another program but you’ve already transferred a large chunk of your Amex MR or Chase UR to take advantage of this bonus, you’re out of luck.

On the other hand, if you have a large amount of points in your account and you’re pretty sure you will use the miles, it may not be a bad idea.

I will be transferring some points to a few partners because we have several trips for which these miles are useful! Even if those ideas don’t work, I know I can eventually use them.

I will be transferring some points to a few partners because we have several trips for which these miles are useful! Even if those ideas don’t work, I know I can eventually use them.

New to award travel?

If you’re new to award travel, click here for a current list of our favorite travel credit cards. Amex Membership Rewards earning cards are great, but if you are looking for your first card, I suggest starting with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

Current offer: Earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months.  Click here for 25 valuable ways to redeem the welcome bonus.

The annual fee is $95, but the welcome offer alone is worth a lot more than that. Earn 5 points per dollar on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 2 points per dollar on all other travel. 3 points per dollar on dining (including eligible delivery services and takeout), 3 points per dollar on select streaming services, 3 points per dollar on online grocery purchases (this excludes Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs), and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

No matter what your travel goals are, the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card is a great choice.  The welcome bonus is worth at least $750 in travel. Also, the annual fee is reasonable, and the rewards (Chase Ultimate Rewards) are easy to earn and redeem.

Amex Rates and Fees:

Advertiser disclosure: The Miles Genie has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products.  The Miles Genie and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

Comments below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. The comments have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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