Personal Finance

Maximizing Chase’s New Avios Transfer Bonuses

British Airways is already one of the five best Chase transfer partners, and for a limited time, transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards® points to Avios just got even more lucrative.

Now through Dec. 9, 2020, you’ll get a 30% bonus when you transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards® points to Avios programs. That includes transfers to British Airways Executive Club, Iberia Plus and Aer Lingus AerClub. Instead of the typical 1:1 transfer ratio, Chase Ultimate Rewards® members will receive 1,300 Avios for every 1,000 Ultimate Rewards® transferred. Here’s how you can take advantage of this new bonus.

Avios sweet spots made sweeter

There are excellent sweet spots to be found scattered throughout the Avios award charts. We have highlighted some of these before. Others are a bit niche for U.S.-based travelers — such as 6,000-Avios flights between Hong Kong and Taipei, Taiwan. Take a look at some of the most relevant Avios sweet spots and how this transfer bonus has made them sweeter.

Fly within the U.S. for just 6,000 points each way

Unfortunately, British Airways no longer publishes an award chart for partner flights. However, award flights on American Airlines and Alaska Airlines within the U.S. are priced as follows based on actual searches by NerdWallet and other travel sites:

Domestic First

1-650 miles

651-1,151 miles

1,152-2,000 miles

2,001-3,000 miles

3,001-4,000 miles

Note: British Airways has unique award rules for its lowest distance tier (1-650 miles) awards when flown within the U.S. Many award charts will list lower rates than the 7,500 or 15,000, but those lower rates do not apply to flights within North America.

That means that you need to pay just 7,500 Avios for American or Alaska award flights within the U.S. up to 650 miles in distance. Thanks to the 30% transfer bonus, you only need to transfer 6,000 Ultimate Rewards® points to get enough Avios to book one of these award flights.

While 650 miles might not sound very far, that includes routes between major hubs, such as from Chicago-O’Hare to Washington-Dulles, Washington-National, Charlotte, Atlanta, Baltimore-Washington, Raleigh-Durham and many more:

Fly lie-flat business class for as few as 13,000 points each way

American Airlines operates part of its internationally configured fleet on select domestic routes. That means you can try out some of their best business class seats on flights within the U.S., and you can use British Airways Avios to book these seats for a very reasonable rate.

Photo courtesy of American Airlines.

Business class awards cost just 16,500 Avios each way on routes between 651 and 1,150 miles in distance. That includes the following routes on which American uses internationally configured aircraft for some flights:

  • Chicago-O’Hare to Philadelphia.

  • Chicago-O’Hare to Dallas-Fort Worth.

  • Dallas-Fort Worth to Miami.

  • New York-John F. Kennedy to Miami.

  • Miami to Philadelphia.

To get the 16,500 Avios needed to book a one-way business class award on these routes, you’ll need to transfer just 13,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards® points during the 30% transfer bonus.

When searching for flights on British Airways’ site, click on the flight number to bring up a screen showing the flight details. To get the best business class seats, look for an aircraft type of either 777 or 787.

Flights to Hawaii from 20,000 points round-trip

Our other favorite domestic British Airways sweet spot is flights between the U.S. West Coast and Hawaii. For nonstop flights under 3,000 miles in distance each way, British Airways charges just 13,000 Avios for an economy award. That means a round trip can be booked for 26,000 Avios — or just 20,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards® points transferred during the bonus promotion.

Between American Airlines and Alaska Airlines, there are dozens of routes under 3,000 miles in distance that you can book at this rate. This includes routes between Hawaii and:

  • Anchorage.

  • Los Angeles.

  • San Diego.

  • San Francisco.

  • Seattle-Tacoma.

Fly within the U.S. for just 9,000 points round-trip

Now for the Iberia Plus award chart. Thankfully, Iberia publishes its award charts, and like British Airways’, this one’s distance-based. Here are the round-trip award prices for redeeming Iberia Avios for American Airlines-operated flights:

You’ll pay just 11,000 Avios round-trip for award flights of under 600 miles round-trip. That means you need to transfer as few as 9,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards® points to get a round-trip award on some super-short American Airlines flights.

You’re probably going to drive, for most trips, under 300 miles each way. However, this can come in handy for longer drives and when driving isn’t an option — such as between Miami and the Bahamas:

Or, for just 12,000 Avios, you can book round-trip award flights up to 1,000 miles in distance. That lets you book longer routes such as Dallas-Fort Worth to Kansas City for just 10,000 transferred Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Fly business class to Europe for just 53,000 points round-trip

We saved the best for last. Iberia Plus’ distance-based award chart offers business class awards between the U.S. and Europe for as few as 34,000 Avios each way. The catch: You need to fly during off-peak dates, and the flight must be less than 4,000 miles each way.

That includes Iberia’s routes between:

  • Boston and Barcelona.

  • Boston and Madrid.

  • New York and Barcelona.

  • New York and Madrid.

During the 30% transfer bonus, you will need to transfer just 27,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards® points to get enough Avios to book a one-way award in business class. Or, you can transfer just 53,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards® points to get 68,900 Avios — enough for a round trip in business class.

Chicago to Madrid clocks in at over 4,200 miles. That means awards should cost 42,500 Avios each way in business class on off-peak dates. However, Chicago-based flyers are in luck: Iberia currently charges only 34,000 Avios each way on this route as well.

How to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards® points to Avios

Many Chase credit cards earn Chase Ultimate Rewards® points. However, not all Chase Ultimate Rewards® points are treated equally. In order to transfer them to airline and hotel partners, you’ll need to have one of the following Chase credit cards:

To transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards® points to an airline or hotel, log in to your Ultimate Rewards® account, select a qualifying card and browse to the Points Transfer landing page. Click the “Transfer Points” link next to the program you want to use.

Next, select yourself — or an authorized user — from the recipient drop-down menu. Then enter your frequent flyer account number twice. Click “Continue.”

On the next page, enter the number of Chase Ultimate Rewards® that you want to transfer and click “Continue”. Note that the transfer bonus doesn’t appear on this page. So, you’ll need to back into how many points you need to transfer.

On the final page, Chase will confirm how many points you’re transferring. On the left side of the page, you’ll see that the 30% bonus will be awarded after your transfer is complete.

Point transfers are immediate when transferring points to all three Avios programs, as reported by users and various travel sites. So there’s no time benefit to transferring points to one program over another and you’ll be able to book your award flight quickly.

Transferring Avios between programs

Good news for those who already have Avios in one of these three programs: You can transfer points between Avios-earning programs to help you use all of your Avios toward a reward. There are a couple of ways you can do so.

One way is through British Airways’ Combine Avios tool. This will let you transfer Avios between British Airways Executive Club and Iberia Plus.

To move Avios to or from Aer Lingus, you’ll need to create an account on Avios.com. Once you do, you can set Aer Lingus as your Avios primary program. Then, you can use the Combine My Avios tool to move points between this primary program and the other two programs.

Note that the programs can be rather particular about your personal information. Make sure that your name, address, email and phone number match exactly in these accounts before initiating a transfer between programs.

The bottom line

There are plenty of excellent sweet spots in the Avios award charts. These sweet spots help make the British Airways Executive Club and Iberia Plus programs worth a closer look, even with the standard 1:1 transfer ratio.

With a 30% transfer bonus, these sweet spots are even better. That makes now a great time to use your Chase Ultimate Rewards® points to plan a trip when things hopefully return to something semi-normal in 2021.

How to Maximize Your Rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:

This article originally appeared on NerdWallet