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Chase is currently running a 30% transfer bonus from Avios to Ultimate Rewards: British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus. The offer runs until December 9th, 2020 so you have roughly a month to make a decision. Let’s take a look at the offer and whether it could make sense to utilize the bonus.
What are Avios?
Avios are used by three IAG airlines: British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus. Each of these airlines have their own award charts and redemption levels, but use Avios are the overarching currency for award redemption albeit each airline runs their own program. Avios are also able to be transferred within and between the airlines as well.
Each airline has an award chart that is broken into peak and off peak travel and pricing can considerably vary. By far the easiest Avios to book are British Airways Avios since both Iberia and Aer Lingus have clunky websites that often glitch. However, Iberia has a couple of very solid redemptions that are worth the hassle. The biggest downside to Avios bookings are the taxes and fees associated with them which is why many prefer to use alternate currencies.
Chase Ultimate Reward Transfer Partners
The history of Chase transfer bonuses
Chase has not had many transfer bonuses when compared to American Express and this matches their best offer on Avios. During the pandemic we also saw transfer bonuses to Southwest and IHG, but 30% is solid for Avios.
Great uses of Avios
As I mentioned before, the biggest downside of using Avios are the taxes and fees. The best redemptions are ones that utilize off peak award pricing and redemptions that minimize these fees.
Iberia 68k r/t Business Class
Iberia has a great sweet spot when flying from the Midwest and East Coast to Spain. 68k Avios roundtrip in Business Class. This is hands down one of the best possible prices for roundtrip business class, barnone, in points and miles. I actually made use of this price in 2018 when I flew Iberia business class from Chicago to Madrid. It’s a solid, lie flat, all aisle access business class and with a 30% transfer bonus can be had for just 53k Avios and about $130 in fees. That is unreal.
Upgrading with British Airways
This is another fantastic use of Avios and circumvents the high taxes and fees. You can utilize Avios to upgrade one class of service, and all you owe are difference in award price and fees. Typically, if you’ve booked a business class fare, there will be no difference in taxes and fees between business and first. Similarly, there will be minimal difference between Economy and Premium economy; however, you may incur a few hundred in fees jumping from Premium Econ to Business Class. One of the best uses I’ve made is purchasing discount business class fares out of Europe and bumping up to first class. I’ve been able to do this several times by making use of ExpertFlyer award alerts.
I was able to upgrade a discount business class fare into first class by using 25k Avios.
Short Haul Economy Flights
This is probably my favorite use of Avios since you can book on partners and avoid a ton of the taxes and fees. Many American Airlines city pairs in the US will only cost 6k to 11k Avios vs the 12,500 you’ll typically pay on AA. Add in a 30% bonus and you have a real steal.
There is a ton of award space out there, and if you have a trip planned in the next year, this could be a great way to access award inventory at reduced rates.
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This is an amazing premium card offering a stand out welcome offer that could earn you 225k points! Our favorite perk is the oustanding 10x bonus points on gas and groceries for 6 months and up to $15k spend! It’s pumped full of perks and travel benefits we love.
♥ Earn 75k points welcome offer after spending $5000 in 6 months
♥10x on gas and groceries, up to $15k, for first 6 months of card membership
♥5x flights booked via Amex Travel and directly with airlines
♥Amazing annual credits: $200 Uber credits, $200 Airline incidental fees, and $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit
♥Comped Hotel Status: Marriott Gold + Hilton Gold
♥Over 20 transfer partners to achieve aspirational flights and hotel redemptions