The Amex Membership Rewards program has just introduced its latest transfer bonus, valid through the end of the year. In the past I would have taken advantage of this in a heartbeat, but with Japan continuing to be closed to visitors, this isn’t quite as valuable at the moment, in my opinion.
Transfer Amex points with a 30% bonus
The American Express Membership Rewards program in the United States is offering a 30% bonus on points transfers to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. This promotion is valid for points transfers through Friday, December 31, 2021.
Ordinarily points transfer at a 1:1 ratio (in 1,000 point increments), while through this promotion you’d get 1,300 Flying Club points 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. We previously saw a transfer bonus in September, so this is the second bonus of 2021.
Redeeming Virgin Atlantic points On Virgin Atlantic
If you want to redeem Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points for travel on Virgin Atlantic, here’s what you can expect to pay in terms of roundtrip award costs to & from London:
Route to/from UK
USA – Northeast
(Boston, Newark, New York JFK, Washington DC)
USA – Midwest & South
(Atlanta, Miami, Orlando)
Nigeria, China & Hong Kong
USA – West
(Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle)
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 (plus the UK Air Passenger Duty), especially for travel in Upper Class. You can expect that a roundtrip itinerary from the US to UK will run you about $1,000, in addition to all the points.
Redeeming Virgin Atlantic points on ANA
Virgin Atlantic has several airline partners, some of which are more lucrative than others. Probably the best use of Flying Club points is for travel in ANA first & business class. Here are the redemption rates:
Paying 95,000 and 120,000 points 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. All Nippon Airways’ new first & business class are amazing products as well. The major catch is that Japan’s borders continue to remain closed to tourists, and it’s anyone’s guess when they’ll reopen.
At the moment Amex is offering a 30% bonus when you transfer points to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. This is definitely more of a niche program, but with a specific use in mind, there’s a lot of value to be had.
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. The single best value is for travel on All Nippon Airways, as you could fly ANA first class roundtrip to Japan for 93,000 Amex points. The issue is that this redemption isn’t all that valuable right now, with Japan’s borders continuing to remain closed.
Do you plan on taking advantage of this Amex transfer bonus to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club?