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American Express is offering a 30% bonus when transferring Membership Rewards points to Virgin Atlantic through May 22, 2017. Minimum transfer is 1,000 Membership Rewards points. For each 1,000 Amex points, you will receive 1,300 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles. Bonus miles will be awarded at the time of transfer. Offer expires at 11:59 p.m. MT on May 22, 2017.
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points are among the least valuable currencies, especially after they raised most award redemptions on their own flights early this year and terminated their partnership with Virgin America. Like British Airways, Virgin Atlantic adds fuel surcharges to award tickets. In general, it is not a good idea to transfer your valuable points to Virgin Atlantic. But there are two exceptions.
Flying to UK during standard season, as low as 20,000 points roundtrip
You can find complete Virgin Atlantic Flying Club award chart here. Virgin Atlantic has two types of award redemptions on their own flights. – standard and peak season. Standard season for 2017 include January 16 to March 30, April 19 to June 21, and September 7 to December 12. All other dates are included in peak season.
Roundtrip awards during standard season start at 20,000 points from U.S. Northeast and up to 30,000 from West Coast. Peak season awards are essentially double the points required for standard season. With this promotion, you will be using as little as 15,385 Amex points per person to fly to UK during standard season! If you want to visit U.K during the peak holiday season, roundtrip would cost you between 30,770 to 46,154 Amex points before the 30% bonus, which is still a great deal considering how expensive airfare could be during that time of the year.
Virgin Atlantic sometimes offer as much as 30% discounts on transatlantic economy and premium economy awards. Discounts combined with transfer bonuses would mean that you can take the family to the United Kingdom super cheap. But there is no guarantee that award discount promotion will return in the near future.
Redeem Flying Club points on airline partners
Virgin Atlantic has several airline partners, and each has different redemption chart. Partner award redemptions are roundtrip and must be booked over the phone. Fuel surcharges will be added to partner awards as well.
There are some sweet spots. One of them is flying with ANA using Flying Club points. As you can see from the chart below, roundtrip to Japan from Western USA costs 60,000 points in coach, 90,000 points in business, and 110,000 points in first class. This compares to, if using United miles, 70,000 miles in coach, 140,000 miles in business, and 220,000 miles in first class! Traveling from Central and Eastern USA to Japan only cost 5,000 to 10,000 more depending on the class of service.
30% bonus for transferring Amex points to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is a great promotion, especially if you plan to take the family to UK during the standard season, or flying to Japan on ANA.
Do you plan to take advantage of this promotion?