Book Cheap Premium Cabin Awards With Amex 30% Transfer Bonus to Virgin Atlantic

Aug 1, 2018

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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express, The Platinum Card® from American ExpressThe Business Platinum Card® from American ExpressAmerican Express® Gold Card

American Express is back with one of the better transfer bonus promotions in the points and miles game.

Now through September 12, you’ll receive a 30% bonus when transferring your Amex Membership Rewards points to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. Instead of points transferring at a 1:1 ratio, it’ll be a 1:1.3 ratio. Note that you’ll have to transfer your points in increments of 1,000, so your 1,000 points will convert into 1,300 miles.

Why is this such a good deal you say? Virgin is known for tacking on huge taxes and fees to its flights.

The key to maximizing Virgin miles is by not using them on Virgin at all, but to use them with its partners ANA and Delta.

Virgin Atlantic has a fantastic partner award chart — with business class flights on ANA starting at just 90,000 miles round-trip between the Western US and Japan. That means you’ll only need 70,000 Amex points for a round-trip ticket in a great business-class product.

If you really want to ball out, ANA first class from the US to Japan starts at just 110,000 miles round-trip, or 85,000 Membership Rewards points. Taxes and fees are reasonable around $200 on ANA premium cabin awards.

Krug Champagne in ANA first class.
Krug Champagne in ANA first class.

If you’re looking to stay domestic, Virgin’s chart for Delta is another great option. Since Virgin has fixed rates on its award chart, it’s a great option to book Delta flights because of Delta’s completely unpredictable award pricing. One-way economy awards are just 12,500 miles one-way or 22,500 miles for first class.

How to Transfer

  1. Log in to your American Express account
  2. Under the Membership tab, click “rewards,” then click “transfer points,” and select Virgin Atlantic
  3. Connect your Virgin Atlantic account if you haven’t already
  4. Select how many points you’d like to transfer and hit transfer
  5. Wait for miles to credit to your Virgin Atlantic account, which should be near instant according to our tests

If you don’t have enough Membership Rewards for your preferred redemption, both Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou points are transfer partners with Virgin — helping you top off your mileage balance.

Earn Membership Rewards

Although you probably won’t be able to earn it before the transfer bonus ends, there are plenty of cards that are offering large welcome bonuses. Regardless, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a transfer bonus like this, and it’s likely not the last time.

  1. The Platinum Card® from American Express — 60,000 point welcome bonus after spending $5,000 in first three months
  2. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express — 75,000 point welcome bonus; Earn 50,000 points after spending $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after spending an additional $10,000 in the first three months.
  3. Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express — 50,000 point welcome bonus after spending $5,000 in three months
  4. American Express® Gold Card – 25,000 point welcome bonus after spending $2,000 in three months

For more on how to maximizing this promotion, read: Unlock Incredible Value With Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

Featured image by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images.

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