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

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I just took advantage of a 30% transfer bonus from American Express Membership Rewards to Virgin Atlantic to book four Delta One seats from the US to Europe later this year for a net cost of less than 39,000 Membership Rewards points per seat. If you can find availability that fits your needs, Virgin Atlantic still offers a couple of great sweet spots that get sweetened further yet by this transfer bonus.

The Deal

  • American Express Membership Rewards is offering a 30% transfer bonus to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club through 3/31/22. This can create some fantastic sweet spots.

Key Terms

  • Expires 3/31/22
  • Transfers that result in more than 999,999 Flying Club miles will not be accepted

Quick Thoughts

This transfer bonus is scheduled to run through the end of this month, so there is time yet to take advantage if you find the right opportunity.

Virgin Atlantic has long been loved for a couple of key sweet spots. Unfortunately, during the pandemic, they quietly took away many of the various sweet spots for booking Delta award tickets. However, one key sweet spot for Delta flights remains: US cities to/from Europe cost just 50,000 Virgin Atlantic miles in business class on Delta.

While Delta flights that are available to partners have dried up significantly, you can still find some space now and then. For instance, I just booked 4 passengers in Delta One from New York to Amsterdam for later this year for 200,000 Virgin Atlantic points and $22.40.

I already had some Virgin Atlantic points, so I didn’t need to transfer the full amount. However, even if I had to transfer all of the miles it would have only been 154,000 Membership Rewards points to cover the 200K points necessary to book this flight thanks to the bonus. That was no big deal for me thanks to the haul I brought in when buying my new van. While I don’t make a habit of valuing my points based on one-way international business class fares that I would never pay, in this case the points only represent a little over 25% of the points earned from that car purchase and that’s certainly a good value for business class tickets to Europe that would otherwise be pricey.

Better yet would be paying just 60,000 points one-way — just over 46,000 Membership Rewards points one way for ANA First Class from the East Coast to Tokyo. I haven’t seen many of those seats available for a while, but if you can find availability this is a great chance to get a phenomenal deal. Business class to Japan on ANA is also an excellent deal via Virgin Atlantic considering the transfer bonus and the fact that Virgin Atlantic points do not expire.

I don’t recommend transferring speculatively. While that’s always solid advice, it seems particularly poignant given the fact that Virgin Atlantic quietly devalued Delta awards overnight without notice during the pandemic (before rolling back those changes on transatlantic routes). I wouldn’t want to transfer speculatively and risk another unannounced award chart change. On the other hand, if you can find availability, it can be worth jumping on a deal like this since you don’t have to worry about point expiration if plans change.

Speaking of changing plans, Virgin Atlantic is currently offering free changes to awards booked before the end of April into 2023 (including unlimited date and destination changes and one name change). While they technically have a cancellation fee, my past experience with it is that the fee is waived when the taxes are less than the fee (as would be the case departing the US). I wrote about how they even retroactively fixed that on an itinerary where I had previously been charged a cancellation fee.

Overall, this will be a great deal for those able to take advantage.

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Gubmintmole

Just tried searching for Delta One availability on any day between JFK and AMS and DTW and AMS for just one ticket as far out as the search engine goes and came up with nothing. Do they release availability on a random basis? I live closer to JFK, but could drive to DTW if I could find any award tickets

[…] American Express is running a 30% transfer bonus to Virgin through March 31. Here are the best uses of Virgin Atlantic miles and of course premium cabin redemptions on ANA (while they last) are my favorite sweet spot – especially as Japan re-opens. Being able to pool points more more card partners to redeem for these is a real plus. […]

Frank

I haven’t tried Virgin Atlantic for over 2 years and can’t seem to get the site to offer anything. Is there a trick to this?

Also, you have been comparing various sites that find awards – would any of them find this?

Frank

Good points. I don’t live in a hub city, the nearest is a 2 or 3 hour drive. I do always look at direct flights from major airports: NYC, ATL, DFW, SFO, LAX, even SEA. But I was finding nothing on Virgin Atlantic, besides going through LHR which is too costly.

The trouble with Point.Me is that it is one day at a time and slow. It needs at least a week at a time and I could then accept the slowness. Also I found it not accurate compared with United’s website.

I think it’s only useful when you know which day you want to travel and just need to find the best way to pay for it.

Frank

OK, but how do you get virginatlantic.com to allow, say, BOS-FCO? I seem to remember you have to trick the site somehow to allow for the FCO.

Frank

I rememnber now, put your destination as the starting point and then it lets you select which state in the US you want and then the airport … then you reverse it. Very strange.

But it still has no Delta One.

BenA

I think you were very lucky to find Delta availability . Since covid I have not been able to find any on VA

Richard

I can not figure out how to book Delta one with my Virgin miles? I want to go Boston to CDG IN May and have the points in my account. Any help would be appreciated

Richard

Hey Nick, Thanks for the quick response. For future reference, how can you book delta one with Virgin points? I am in Boston and it seems Delta is alway 350-700k for Delta one and I can book and go anytime June- October.

Justmeha

“Transfers that result in more than 999,999 Flying Club miles will not be accepted”
Sounds like they don’t want people Booking Necker island

Lantean

You could do more than one transfer…

Justmeha

The wording seems to preclude it.
At least that’s what seems to me.

Angel

Word of caution: AF/KL inventory showing on their site might not be there for booking. I had that just happened, called VS and they said it has been an issue lately and they are trying to fix the problem

tjp74

My search shows 1 day with availability on SEA-AMS out of entire calendar. ah… good for the people who can pack and go any time. This is only time I wish I didn’t have school age children.

George

the only time?

tjp74

LOL