I have always struggled with gifts.
This past year, Christmas rolled around and I did not know what to get Brittany for Christmas. I realized that American Express was having a transfer bonus to British Airways. They were offering 1.4 British Airways Avios for each Membership Rewards point I transferred.
Two facts about Brittany: she loves travel, and she hates the cold.
It was time to start looking into some award flights to some warmer places for the winter. BA Avios are really valuable for direct flights on American Airlines. We live in Madison, WI, which has a tiny airport. The only direct flights American has from Madison are to Chicago and Dallas. So instead I looked for flights out of Chicago, where American has many more direct flights. Brittany’s parents live 20 minutes from O’hare and we could drive the 2 hours to Chicago, stay at her parents’ house and take an early flight if need be. It turns out that this was necessary.
I first looked international (Caribbean and Mexico specifically). American has 7 direct flights from Chicago. They are to San Juan, Montego Bay, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Cozumel, Mexico City, and Cabo San Lucas.
I found two weekends in January where we could take an early flight Friday morning and return on Sunday night, giving us a nice warm weekend getaway. The flights were to Montego Bay and Cabo San Lucas! I was particularly excited for Montego Bay as I had never been to Jamaica before.
The cost for these two trips, roundtrip, for two people would cost only 80,000 Avios!
I decided to look for some other flights for fun. I found a weekend in February where we could go to Nashville for the weekend. I love Country music and had always wanted to go; Brittany went to school in Nashville so I thought this would be a great bonus trip.
The cost for this trip for two people would be only 18,000 Avios (roundtrip)!
These three trips ended up only costing me 98,000 Avios. However, because of that American Express transfer bonus I mentioned at the beginning of this article, the cost was much less. It cost me 70,000 MR points for these 3 trips! This shows how valuable British Airways Avios can be at the right times.
Stay tuned to hear how all of these trips went!