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Tag Archives: British Airways
Bummed that you missed out on the British Airways 100,000 mile offer back in 2009/2010? If so, this may be for you. There is an offer floating around for 50,000 miles after first purchase, another 25,000 after you spend $10,000 on the card in the first year and another 25,000 after you spend another $10,000 on the card in the first year. This is the card that many frequent flyer bloggers have been touting because they get a referral bonus for it. I won’t even put a link for it because there’s an even better offer out there. I give credit to Darius from Million Mile Secrets for actually talking about this offer.
The other offer you can get is 50,000 miles after first purchase and another 50,000 miles on your first anniversary. You will have to spend 2 annual fees (total of $150), but I think that’s well worth it to get 100,000 miles. You can read about how to get the offer in this Flyertalk thread. Essentially, you have to pretend like you’re going to purchase a ticket on British Airways web site. A credit card offer link will come up when you’re going to the payment options. It will have buttons that say you’re going to purchase with the new card, but you don’t actually have purchase the flights after doing the credit card application.
I can’t personally verify that this works because I’ve already had the British Airways card. I could verify that the offer came up, but I can’t apply for the card because I’ll get denied for already having it.
I’m a big fan of British Airways points for shorter haul trips when redeeming on partner airlines. We are traveling to Ireland next Spring using British Airways miles (redeemed on Aer Lingus). We’ve also used British Airways miles on American Airlines to go to Hawaii (before they changed their award chart).
So if you haven’t already gotten the British Airways credit card, this is definitely something to consider.
It’s all over the blogs this week. I’m posting it in case you don’t read many others. Until May 31, 2012, you will get a 50% bonus when you transfer Membership Rewards points from American Express to British Airways. The Points Guy has a great post on examples of good ways to use British Airways miles.
I have family in NC and could travel there for 9,000 point round-trip if I redeem the British Airways Avios on American Airlines. I had a few Membership Rewards sitting around that I wasn’t sure what to do with. Now I think I know what to do with them.
Another nice thing about Membership Rewards is that you can generally transfer the points to other people’s accounts if you do the transfer on-line. So if you’re feeling extra nice today, maybe you could transfer the points to some friends or family. Think of the experiences you could give to people by transfering a few thousand points. Any trip that has a air miles distance of 650 or less is only 9,000 miles round-trip. Remember that each segment has to be calculated separately. So British Airways miles aren’t great if you have many connections. (You can check out this post of mine if you need more of an explanation.)
It’s a whole new ball game now that British Airways has switched to Avios. Many blogger are poo-pooing the changes. And I totally get it for the type of travel they were used to using British Airways miles. Many of them travel business or first class overseas. I don’t fall into that camp. I used British Airways miles on American Airlines domestically. As I mentioned this morning, I’m actually pleased with some of the changes. I believe the best use for British Airways miles is to use them for short-haul domestic flights.
The number of Avios needed for an award ticket is now based on the distance of the trip. Below is a chart that shows how many Avios you’ll need based on the distance traveled (chart courtesy of http://awardguru.wordpress.com; not for flights on British Airways or Iberia). If you have more than one segment to your trip, you have to calculate each segment and then add up the number of Avios needed for each segment to get your total. For example, let’s say you want to fly from Boston to Chicago, but you couldn’t find a direct flight. Let’s say, your flight had a connection in New York. You have to calculate the distance from Boston to New York – 160 miles. You would need 4500 Avios for that segment. Then you have to calculate the distance from New York to Chicago – 637 miles. You would need another 4500 miles for that segment. So all in for one-way, you would need 9,000 Avios. And if you took the same route back, the entire trip would be 18,000 Avios.
You can quickly see that living near an American Airlines hub is going to help you out tremendously. I live driving distance from the New York airports. It would make sense for me to fly out of my home airport because it would likely tack on an extra 9,000 Avios required per round-trip.
I did dream of taking a business class trip to the South Pacific. The old British Airways program would have been great for that (especially because of stopovers). So I am sad that those trips are no longer as good of a deal using British Airways miles. However, it means we need to find new ways to use the miles.
There has been a ton of speculation and angst in cyberspace about British Airways’ switch to Avios. A lot is still unknown about the changes. If you go to the British Airways site, they don’t have the award charts posted. They have a calculator to help you determine how many miles you’ll need for a trip. However, it’s unclear how they are calculating the number of miles needed. It appears that they are looking at redeeming on British Airways metal first. If it can’t find availability on BA metal, it appears to look for direct flights on one partner airline. If it can’t find that, it suggests that you break up your search.
As with most changes, there are winners and losers. One of the most popular ways to use British Airways miles before the switch was on business or first class tickets on Cathay Pacific to the Far East. These awards, on first inspection, seem to have increased by as much as 100%. British Airways used to allow unlimited stopovers and that is in question now too.
However, for those who want to redeem their British Airways miles for US domestic travel on American Airlines, you may like the changes for short haul flights. I did a quick search on flights between New York and Raleigh, NC. With the new award program, it will only cost 9,000 miles and $5! This trip would cost you 25,000 miles if you redeemed it using American Airlines miles! I am quite happy with that change since I have a lot of family in North Carolina.
If you had the direct links to the previous award charts, they still seem to work for the One Partner only and BA plus one partner. The wording on the pages has been changed to reference Avios so I’m hopeful that they are good. And if they are, some of our fears may be exaggerated if you redeem entirely on one partner airline (but I’m not holding my breath).
Many of the suggestions I had for Best Use of British Airways miles will now change. Over the coming weeks, I’ll create a new post for suggestions on how you can best use your British Airways miles under the new Avios system. Don’t call Chicken Little just yet.
Awhile back I talked about the promotion that Amex Membership rewards was running on transfers to British Airways. The promotion ends on 7/31 and gives you a 50% bonus points on transfers. I got in on the 50k Amex Gold deal in June so I had some Membership Reward points. I don’t plan on keeping the Amex card after the year is up because I don’t want to pay the annual fee.
There were 2 offers out there for Membership Rewards right now – one for British Airways and one for Delta. You could get a 40% bonus with Delta if you transfer at least 50,000 miles. I don’t like Delta miles. They are hard to redeem for lower cost rewards.
I really like British Airways miles. As I’ve stated in previous posts, I will not use British Airways miles for travel to Europe because of the fees that British Airways charges on those flights. I like British Airways miles for travel on their partner airlines which includes American Airlines. British Airways also allows unlimited stopovers.
So if you have some Membership Rewards sitting around, you might want to consider transfering them over to British Airways by this Sunday.