Reminder: Only a Few Days Left for the Amex Virgin Atlantic Transfer Bonus

Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club is often an overlooked program. Their program passes along carrier surcharges and flights out of London carry steep taxes. However, the airline has some really cool niche redemptions that can make Flying Club an incredibly valuable program in the right situation. To make things even better, Amex is currently offering a transfer bonus to Flying Club, allowing you to unlock some great points redemptions for even less.

The offer

American Express is currently offering a 30% transfer bonus on Membership Rewards points to Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club. Typically, you’d get 1 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club for every Amex point. You have to transfer points to Flying Club in 1,000 point increments, meaning you’d get 1,300 points for every 1,000 points you transfer in this case.

How to check if you’re eligible

This offer is supposedly targeted. To check if you’re eligible, head on over to your Amex Membership Rewards account. Under transfers, you should see Virgin Atlantic Flying Club tagged with an offer. If it looks like this, you’ve been targeted.

I haven’t heard of anyone not being targeted, so most accounts should have this offer.

One of the best uses of Amex points

IF you’re looking to maximize the bang for your buck when it comes to Amex points, Virgin Atlantic offers you the best opportunity. However, you won’t get the best value on Virgin Atlantic flights. Instead, you’ll want to use Virgin miles to book travel on Japanese carrier, ANA. Flying Club’s redemption rates for flights on ANA are as follows:

All rates listed are for round trip flights. You aren’t able to book one-way award tickets on ANA using Virgin miles, but these are still fantastic rates. Especially in premium cabins.

When you factor in the Amex transfer bonus, you’d need:

  • 92,308 Amex points for round trip first class between the Eastern US and Japan
  • 84,616 Amex points for round trip first class between the Western US and Japan
  • 73,077 Amex points for round trip business class between the Eastern US and Japan
  • 69,231 Amex points for round trip business class between the Western US and Japan

It’s tough to beat Virgin’s rates even before the transfer bonus. When you add the Amex bonus in, you just won’t find a better rate in first class with points. Virgin Atlantic does pass on carrier surcharges and fees, but they should be pretty mild. ANA offers one of the best first class products in the sky. They’ve also started flying their incredible new business class on the New York and London routes, so this bonus represents a fantastic opportunity to try it out.

Not for long

This bonus only lasts until December 28th, so you only have one week left to transfer points before the bonus disappears. Technically, you could transfer points to Virgin now and book your flights after December 28th. However, I generally wouldn’t recommend speculative points transfers. Airlines can change their award charts at any time and keeping them stored in a flexible points currency is the only way to protect against that.

Final Thoughts

While not the most popular program, Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club offers some really cool niche redemptions. The current Amex bonus makes one of the best uses of Amex points even better. You’d be hard pressed to find a better value for first class anywhere else. I know I’ve been trying to find an excuse to fly ANA first since the bonus came out.

Do you plan on taking advantage of the Virgin Atlantic transfer bonus?

Author: Stephen Hoechst

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