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Earlier today, we shared the news of a limited-time Membership Rewards transfer bonus to Etihad Guest, and now it looks like Amex has added a similar promotion for Virgin Atlantic. Through May 31, when you transfer points from Membership Rewards to Virgin Atlantic, you’ll get a 30% bonus. You’ll need to transfer points in blocks of 1,000 — during the promo period, you’ll get 1,300 miles for every 1,000 Amex points you transfer.
Note that Virgin Atlantic adds hefty fuel surcharges to award redemptions. However, the number of miles you’ll need is quite reasonable. For example, you can currently book one-way economy awards from New York to London for just 12,250 miles + roughly $250, while Upper Class (business) will run you 40,000 miles + up to $500. Round-trip flights are much pricier, due to the UK’s very high Air Passenger Duty. A round-trip NYC-LHR economy award is currently 24,500 miles, but you’ll spend as much as $775 in taxes and surcharges. Upper Class, meanwhile, will run you 80,000 miles round-trip plus up to $1,350 — ouch!
That said, if fares are very high on your travel dates, it could make sense to book awards using Virgin Atlantic miles — just be sure to do your homework before you take advantage of this transfer bonus. See this post for details about how to book once you transfer your points. You can earn Membership Rewards points with a handful of Amex cards, including The Platinum Card from American Express, Premier Rewards Gold and The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express, among others.
Know before you go.
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