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American Express has launched a new 30% bonus for Membership Rewards transfers to Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club reprising the deal we last saw on offer between May and June of this year.
While Amex often offers bonuses in excess of 30% for transfers to a number of its other transfer partners, this is as high as we see bonuses to the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club get so it’s always worth taking time to check this deal out when it comes around.
- Offer runs through 28 December 2019
- Points must be transferred in multiples of 1,000
- Transfers between Amex and Virgin Atlantic are usually instantaneous
Best Uses Of Virgin Atlantic Miles
Virgin Atlantic adds high surcharges to bookings on its own aircraft (especially for departures out of the UK) so, on the whole, it’s generally hard to get great value out of an Amex transfer bonus like this if you’re simply looking to book a Virgin Atlantic award (with once exception).
Using Virgin Atlantic Miles With Delta
Using Virgin Atlantic miles to book Delta awards for travel to or from the UK is generally a poor idea as the surcharges that get added to the awards are ridiculous….but it’s a different story when it comes to booking other Delta awards.
You can use Virgin Atlantic miles to book Delta awards to/from anywhere else that Delta flys without incurring any surcharge at all and when you take a look at Virgin’s award chart for redemption on Delta you’ll see just how much value there can be had.
Here’s an example of how much some awards would cost for anyone using the current 30% bonus that’s on offer from American Express:
- Delta One (Business Class) between the US and Europe for 77,000 Membership Rewards Points (roundtrip)
- Delta One between the US and Australia for 116,000 Membership Rewards Points
- Delta First Class between anywhere in the continental US and Hawaii for 58,000 Membership Rewards points (roundtrip)
- Delta First Class between anywhere in the continental US and the Caribbean for 47,000 Membership Rewards points (roundtrip)
Considering how much Delta will charge for the same awards these are incredibly good deals.
Using Virgin Miles With ANA
Using Virgin Atlantic miles for award bookings on Japan’s ANA can offer truly outstanding value (especially if you book ANA’s amazing new Business Class cabin).
Here’s what the Virgin Atlantic award chart for redemptions on ANA looks like:
Based on this award chart here are some examples of awards you can book using the current 30% transfer bonus that Amex is offering:
- New York to Tokyo: 74,000 MRP/93,000 MRP (Business Class/First Class)
- Los Angeles to Tokyo: 70,000 MRP/85,000 MRP
- Europe to Tokyo: 74,000 MRP/93,000 MRP
Don’t forget that these are costs for roundtrip travel so the value on offer here is amazing even after you add in the surcharges that Virgin Atlantic will add (which often come to $300 – $400 per person).
If you have a healthy Membership Rewards balance and you’re been considering an award booking on Delta or if you’re been considering a trip to Japan then this transfer bonus from Amex is well worth considering.
Points transfers between American Express and Virgin Atlantic are usually instantaneous so it should be relatively risk-free to check for award availability before you initiate a transfer and then transfer over some points when you’re sure that the award(s) you want to book is/are available.
I strongly advise against transferring over any Membership Rewards points without checking award availability and just hoping that you’ll find a good use for them – this transfer bonus will almost certainly be back in the first few months of 2020 so there’s no need to make any speculative transfers.