The Amex Membership Rewards program has just introduced its latest transfer bonus, valid for the next several weeks. With a specific use in mind, this has the potential to be a good deal.
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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 Sunday, December 31, 2023.
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 saw the last transfer bonus from Amex to Virgin Atlantic at the very end of 2022, as well as in the spring of 2023.
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.
Award redemption rates on Virgin Atlantic are very reasonable, and a one-way Upper Class transatlantic award will typically cost you 47,500-57,500 Flying Club points. The catch is 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 well over $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 45,000-47,500 Flying Club points for a one-way business class ticket between the United States and Japan is a phenomenal value to start with. Then when you consider the 30% transfer bonus, that means you could be paying significantly fewer Amex points. First class can also be a good deal.
Virgin Atlantic is also in SkyTeam now, so it’s possible to redeem these points for travel on all SkyTeam partner airlines, based on the below distance based award chart.
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, and this bonus stretches your points even further. Virgin Atlantic points can also efficiently be used on SkyTeam partners nowadays.
Do you plan on taking advantage of this Amex transfer bonus to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club?