(EXPIRED) 30% transfer bonus from Amex Membership Rewards to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

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American Express is once again offering a 30% transfer bonus to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club for the next few weeks.

a screenshot of a card

The Deal

  • Get a 30% bonus when transferring American Express Membership Rewards to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

Key Terms

  • Expires December 31, 2023.

Quick Thoughts

Virgin has made some no-notice devaluations over the last year or so, so be careful about transferring speculatively. That said, even post-devaluation the 30% bonus can represent good value. The ANA first class sweet spot got less sweet in March when award pricing with Virgin increased by 32%-42%. This transfer bonus mitigates much of that increase, so the new 72,500 miles one way from the west coast and 85,000 miles one way from central or eastern US rates effectively become 58,000 and 66,000 Membership Rewards respectively which is still an excellent deal.

Best Uses of of Virgin Points

  • ANA First Class from the US for 72.5K (West Coast) - 85K (East Coast).  For a long time, the sweetest of Virgin Points sweet spots was for First Class awards from the US to Japan on ANA. Unfortunately, Virgin devalued those awards in March 2023, but even with substantial increases these awards are still a solid value if not the amazing value they used to be. ANA has one of the best first class products around, often selling for over $20,000. This is an incredible points value...especially now that you can now book one-way awards for half the price shown above. It's worth noting that ANA flights can't be booked on the VA website, so you have to call or message via Twitter (see below).
  • US to UK Economy for 10K (East Coast) - 15K (West Coast). Virgin Points can be used to fly to London at great value.  Virgin Atlantic offers the same pricing whether flying Delta or Virgin Atlantic, but fees are higher when flying Delta.  Flying from the US to London for 10K to 15K during standard season is a bargain even after accounting for moderate award fees ($150-225).  Note that flights originating in the UK have considerably higher fees.
  • Delta Business from US to Europe for 50K.  Virgin Points can be used to book Delta business class from the US to Europe for only 50,000 points one way, with minimal surcharges when flying from the US.  Flights to/from the UK and originating in Europe include extremely high award fees.  Mixed Partner Awards can be an excellent value as well.
  • Air France or KLM flights within Europe.  Virgin Atlantic has great rates for nonstop flights within Europe on Air France or KLM.  They charge between 4K and 8.5K for nonstop economy flights under 1250 miles in distance (which is most within Europe), and between 8K and 9K for business class flights under 600 miles in distance.  Details here: Air France & KLM across Europe for less.

Things to Know

  • Virgin Points purchases are processed by points.com and DO NOT qualify as airfare.
  • Virgin Points do not expire.
  • Many itineraries can be booked online at virginatlantic.com.  This includes some partner flights such as Delta, Air France, and KLM.
  • For partner flights that cannot be booked online, it is sometimes possible book via Twitter by sending a direct message on Twitter to @VirginAtlantic. If they respond that they cannot sell any flights which do not fly via the UK, tell them that you are not looking to purchase a flight but rather to redeem points to book an award ticket.
  • Virgin Atlantic charges separately for every leg of the trip. When multiple legs are required, it is often cheaper to book the same flights with Air France Flying Blue miles or (sometimes) Delta SkyMiles.
  • Point transfers from Amex, Chase, or Citi to Virgin Atlantic are usually instantaneous.  It's best to find available award space before transferring points and then transfer and book the award.
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