The Amex Membership Rewards program has just introduced its latest transfer bonus, valid for the next few weeks. With a specific use in mind, this has the potential to be a good deal.
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 Thursday, December 29, 2022.
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 two or three times per year. Prior to this, we had already seen two transfer bonuses so far this year from Amex to Virgin Atlantic — one in March and one in September.
Should you transfer Amex points to Virgin Atlantic?
Virgin Atlantic is definitely a frequent flyer program with more niche redemption opportunities. In addition to being able to redeem Flying Club points for travel on Virgin Atlantic, there’s also good value to be had for redemptions on Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways, and Delta.
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.
Beyond that, 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. You can find the redemption rates below.
Paying 95,000 and 120,000 points (respectively) for business and first class roundtrip between the United States and Japan 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.
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 there.
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, assuming you can find availability.
Do you plan on taking advantage of this Amex transfer bonus to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club?