Transfer Amex Points To Virgin Atlantic With 30% Bonus (Last Chance)

Filed Under: American Express, Virgin Atlantic
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At the beginning of the month Amex introduced a very useful transfer bonus, and this is just a reminder of that, as the promotion is expiring in a couple of days. I’ve already transferred points using this promotion, and am considering transferring even more before it ends.

30% Bonus When You Transfer Amex Points To Virgin Atlantic

The US American Express Membership Rewards program is offering a 30% bonus on points transfers to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. This promotion is valid for points transfers through Saturday, December 28, 2019.

Note that this promotion may be targeted, though at least it seems to be pretty widely targeted. All the accounts I manage show the promotion, though the reason I say it’s targeted is because I don’t see the deal when I just go to the promotion page without logging in.

Ordinarily points transfer at a 1:1 ratio (in 1,000 point increments), while through this promotion you’d get 1,300 Flying Club miles for every 1,000 Membership Rewards points transferred.

For context, Amex seems to offer a 30% transfer bonus to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club once or twice a year. They already offered one over the summer, so this is the second promotion this year.

Earn Amex points with these cards

Redeeming Virgin Atlantic Miles On Virgin Atlantic

If you want to redeem miles for travel on Virgin Atlantic, here’s what you can expect to pay in terms of roundtrip award costs to/from London:

Roundtrip to/from London andEconomyPremium EconomyUpper Class
US - Northeast: Boston, Newark, New York JFK, Washington DCStandard: 20,000
Peak: 40,000

Fuel Surcharges of $645.10 to $774.12
Standard: 35,000
Peak: 55,000

Fuel Surcharges of $750.00 to $900.00
Standard: 95,000
Peak: 115,000

Fuel Surcharges of $1120 to $1344
US - Midwest: Atlanta and DetroitStandard: 25,000
Peak: 45,000

Fuel Surcharges of $645.10 to $774.12
Standard: 45,000
Peak: 65,000

Fuel Surcharges of $750.00 to $900.00
Standard: 95,000
Peak: 115,000

Fuel Surcharges of $1120 to $1344
US - South: Miami and OrlandoStandard: 25,000
Peak: 45,000

Fuel Surcharges of $645.10 to $774.12
Standard: 45,000
Peak: 65,000

Fuel Surcharges of $750.00 to $900.00
Standard: 95,000
Peak: 115,000

Fuel Surcharges of $1120 to $1344
US - West: Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, SeattleStandard: 30,000
Peak: 50,000

Fuel Surcharges of $603.00 to $723.60
Standard: 55,000
Peak: 75,000

Fuel Surcharges of $707.90 to $849.80
Standard: 135,000
Peak: 155,000

Fuel Surcharges of $1153.93 to $1384.68

Virgin Atlantic’s standard and peak pricing includes the following dates:

  • Standard dates include: January 6 through April 2, 2020, April 22 through June 19, 2020, and September 7 through December 11, 2020
  • Peak dates include: December 13, 2019, through January 5, 2020, April 3 through April 21, 2020, June 20 through September 6, 2020, and December 12 through December 31, 2020


Virgin Atlantic’s new A350 Upper Class

Generally Virgin Atlantic’s redemption rates are on the high side, at least for Upper Class. On top of that, there are significant carrier imposed surcharges, especially for travel in Upper Class. You can expect that a roundtrip from the US to UK will run you about $1,000, in addition to all the miles.

Sweet Spot: Redeeming Virgin Atlantic Miles On Partners

Virgin Atlantic has several airline partners, and there are a few partner redemptions that are especially lucrative.

Probably the best use of Flying Club miles is for travel in ANA first & business class. Here are the redemption rates:

Paying 95,000 and 120,000 miles for business and first class between the US and Japan respectively is a phenomenal value to start with. Then when you consider the 30% transfer bonus, that means you’re just paying 74,000 and 93,000 Amex points, respectively.

While there are carrier imposed surcharges, they’re quite mild. I booked this exact award last year taking advantage of exactly the same transfer bonus, so see this post for everything you need to know about the booking process.


ANA first class

Redemptions on Delta can also be a good deal. Virgin Atlantic no longer publishes the full charts for travel on Delta, but they look something like this:

My favorite redemption values are redeeming 50,000 miles for a one-way ticket in Delta business class to Europe, and if you fly anywhere except the UK, there are no carrier imposed surcharges.

Redeeming 60,000 miles for a one-way Delta business class ticket to Asia without carrier imposed surcharges is an excellent deal as well.

Bottom Line

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is a niche program. I wouldn’t speculatively transfer points to Virgin Atlantic without an immediate use in mind. However, with a particular use in mind, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club can be a phenomenal program.

With the 30% bonus, some might find it worthwhile to book on Virgin Atlantic for the convenience. Virgin Atlantic is good about releasing business class transatlantic award availability, so if you value the convenience of a nonstop and don’t mind paying the carrier imposed surcharges, there’s value to be had.

However, the real value here is booking with partners.

ANA first class roundtrip to Japan for 93,000 Membership Rewards points? That’s an unbelievable value.

The same is true of many redemptions on Delta, where Flying Club charges less than SkyMiles would. 39,000 Amex points for Delta one-way business class to Europe, or 47,000 Amex points for Delta one-way business class to Asia? What a deal!

Have you already transferred points to Virgin Atlantic with this transfer bonus, or do you plan on doing so before the promo ends?

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Comments
  1. It could be just me but finding 2 seats returning from Japan has been very tricky. I eventually gave up and “settled” for a seat in biz and one in first. And I think it’s still a fantastic use of membership points

  2. Great deal!

    You may also want to highlight this can be an exceptional use of points on the new ULR range of Newark to Auckland starting October 2020. If NZ releases award space on the route that is.

  3. I just missed out this deal. Transferred MR to VS last week. The bright side is that I booked 4 AKL-SFO J awards in December.

  4. This is an awesome offer. I’d love to fly ANA first roundtrip from east coast but the dates are hard to figure out…
    On the other hand, I got the offer for Amex to Hilton transfer for 50% extra (1:3 ratio). Lucky, maybe a post noting that offer can help out some people as well?

  5. I looked for economy seats on Delta flights with Virgin and something seems to have changed dramatically. Flights within the US/Canada were priced at 50k roundtrip and flights West Coast to Hawaii at 65k roundtrip, huh??? That doesn’t align with the award chart – has there been changes?
    Ben, can you double check on this?

  6. Can UK Amex customers benefit from this promotion? A UK based Amex member has gifted me 100K amex points and I’m thinking this is a good promotion to redeem. I too am based in the UK

  7. The fact Virgin Atlantic Flying Club calculates miles per segment, plus their unified but high Delta domestic miles is super annoying, it erased the no surcharge upside and force people to self connect, which is something I hate a lot.

  8. @Lucky

    I really enjoy reading your reviews.
    I am looking at organising business/first class flights from Sydney (Australia) to Europe & back as a present to my mother for her 75th in a couple of years.
    Is it now possible to book one-way awards on ANA using Atlantic Miles?
    I ask this because on the website LoyaltyLobby there is an article stating a one-way award on ANA in F was booked & ticketed for only 60K Atlantic Miles.

  9. I wish Delta would release even 1 single seat between JFK-BOM in either direction. Been checking for a while and nothing shows to be available.

  10. I’d love to use this offer on an AMS-MSP-SFO flight that is showing up on Delta’s website with 80k miles, but for some reason won’t populate on Virgin’s website. Does Delta not open up their saver awards to partners ?

  11. Any advice finding 2 F or J seats on ANA to Haneda through April ? Jfk appears to be none , which gateway to try ? I’m in NYC

  12. @Alex R,
    ANA has service to IAD, ORD, IAH, LAX, SFO, and SEA from the US. I listed them in order of convenience from NYC. Good luck finding those seats!

  13. I got two Delta One seats from ATL-PVG for about 46,000 each with 30% bonus. Great deal. But almost impossible to replicate.

  14. @Alex R – you need to look farther out. I booked my upcoming March trip last May. 10-11 months out is the only thing available with any reliability.

    I like that bloggers promote this (it’s how I learned about it), but now everyone with any transferrable point is trying to get in on it. Devaluations won’t be too far ahead…

  15. @Izz One of the flights I was most interested in redeeming was JFK to BOM in Delta one. I’m glad I didn’t transfer to Virgin Atlantic now that I hear that its soo difficult. The ANA flights to Japan would be cool but I I was just in Japan a month and a half ago and tend to go every year so I just cant bring myself to go back yet again on my next trip.

  16. Lucky and everyone, first off thank you for all the stories and comments. So educational and helpful. I hated that I missed the last transfer but was determined this time around I would transfer points and fly the ANA new FC product out of JFK even if I was already booked on JAL FC To Tokyo in August. Finally, after searching United’s website (which was very difficult showing 175000 miles on its calendar but when you clicked on it, other lower options would show) since this transfer bonus was announced almost daily and checking every date from Jan to November, I was able to book ANA new first class product from JFK to Narita (after confirming on ANA website that the flights was the new suite) late October and returning 2 weeks later using VA points. Nov 11 was still available from JFK to HND in the new FC as of last night, but good luck finding a return unless you are ok flying back in the older product. Meanwhile more options using ANAs own mileage program but after the hard work and flexibility, have 57000 more point left in my account to use for something else. Again thank you everyone…..

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