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Chase Ultimate Rewards has recently launched a promotion in which it’s offering a bonus on points transfers to the three key Avios-issuing airlines – British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus. With Avios being one of the best currencies to use for short-haul flights and with relatively few people flying anything but short-haul right now, this could be a promotion that’s worth considering.
This latest Chase promotion is offering a 30% bonus on transfers to BA, Iberia, and Aer Lingus and runs through to Wednesday 9 December 2020 so unless you have a pressing need for some Avios, there’s no need to make any hasty decisions. In fact, before you make a decision on whether to transfer Ultimate Rewards Points to one of the Avios-issuing airlines, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Don’t Give Up Flexibility
Ultimate Rewards points are a considerably more flexible currency than Avios and are less susceptible to devaluation so, unless you have a short-term need for Avios and you can see that awards are available, you probably shouldn’t be transferring across any points.
This May Not Be The Best Offer
Chase is offering a 30% bonus in this promotion, but it’s worth bearing in mind that American Express has offered targeted bonuses of 40% and 50% in the past so, if you’re not in a hurry to generate some Avios, it may be worth waiting to see if Amex brings one of those offers back.
Which Airline Loyalty Program?
Avios can be transferred out of the British Airways Executive Club into Iberia Plus and Aer Lingus (as long as your accounts have been open for a minimum of 90 days and have seen some activity) so it may not matter which airline program you transfer points to. If, however, you’re not in a position to transfer Avios between the three airlines, it’s worth remembering that Aer Lingus and Iberia can often offer better redemption options than BA. Iberia, in particular, often offers long haul awards at the same Avios cost as BA but with considerably lower surcharges (e.g. Miami – Madrid in Business Class). Check the cost of your desired awards across all airlines before initiating a transfer.
Short-Haul Will Often Offer The Best Value
Some of the better Avios redemption options are on short-haul routes that don’t attract high taxes and surcharges. The surcharges that often get attached to long-haul bookings can make it highly uneconomical to use Avios instead of cash (especially if you’re only thinking of booking an Economy Class fare) so make sure you compare the cash cost of a fare with the Avios + surcharges cost before deciding that an award that you’ve found is one that you’d like to book.
Caution Is A Good Thing
Don’t transfer points across to one of the three Avios-issuing airlines without a solid plan for how you’re going to use them because (a) you may come to realize that the transfer wasn’t such a good idea (there’s no going back once you’ve enacted a transfer) and (b) we haven’t seen an Avios devaluation for quite some time so you never know when the next one will hit.
A 30% bonus for transfers to the British Airways Executive Club is a pretty nice deal but it’s not a deal that everyone should be jumping on. If you have a plan for the Avios you generate via this transfer bonus you shouldn’t go too far wrong but make sure you’ve worked out the math and don’t transfer points on a whim – you’ll be much better off with a stockpile of Ultimate Points than you’ll be with a large Avios balance.