35% Amex Transfer Bonus To Virgin Atlantic Ends Tomorrow = 80% Bonus to Hilton HHonors!

by on December 28, 2012 · 14 comments

in American Express, Hilton, Virgin Atlantic

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Just a reminder that the current transfer bonus of 35% from American Express Membership Rewards to Virgin Atlantic Flying ends tomorrow, December 29, 2012 at 11:59pm ET (I confirmed the end time with Amex).

The normal transfer ratio is 1:1, so with this bonus, instead of transferring 1,000 Membership Rewards points to 1,000 Flying Club miles, you’ll get 1,350 Flying Club miles instead, and points transfer instantly. The bonus will be hard-coded into the transfer page, so you won’t have to register or do anything special, just transfer miles as you normally would. Past bonuses have been in the 15-25% range, so 35% is pretty good in my opinion- especially if you know how to leverage your Flying Club miles.

Amex Virgin Atlantic

For instance, flying roundtrip from New York to London on an award ticket in Upper Class requires 80,000 miles plus $1,300. To end up with 80,000 miles, you’d only need 59,260 Amex points with this transfer bonus and while those $1,300 in taxes and fees are pretty hefty,  that’s still a pretty significant discount on tickets that can go for $4,000+ miles. An economy ticket will still cost you $700 in taxes and fees, but only 25,926 miles instead of the usual 35,000. That’s almost like flying a domestic roundtrip. Have a look at the rest of Virgin Atlantic’s redemption requirements here.

Also remember that Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles transfer to Hilton at a 2:1 ratio. This is a great way to make even more of those Amex points, which  transfer to Hilton HHonors directly at a ratio of 1 Amex point to 1.5 HHonors points. With this promo, however, 1 Amex point = 1.35 Virgin miles = 2.7 HHonors points, 80% more than transferring directly from Amex.

I actually took advantage of the transfer bonus and favorable Virgin-to-Hilton ratio to transfer 100,000 Amex points into 270,000 Hilton Honors points, plus I’ve got my two bonus weekend nights from signing up for the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card. I had some business expenses to put on my card – so I will earn Hilton Diamond status for next year through spending on it, so I plan to explore Hilton’s loyalty programs and hotels next year and take advantage of its elite GLON reduced award rates. Those 270,000 points from this transfer are enough for an 9-night stay at GLON rates at a Category 6 property like the Hilton Los Cabos in Mexico or the Conrad Punta del Este Resort in Uruguay.

I still have a bunch of Amex points left, so I’m probably also going to take advantage of the 30% Amex transfer bonus to British Airways that’s live until January 14, 2013, for future redemptions but I usually like to wait until the last minute to decide and I’m in no rush just yet.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Farsighted

    Okay, so I moved over 10,000 points from Amex Membership Rewards to Virgin Atlantic. 13,500 points showed up immediately. So… how do I transfer those miles to Hilton now? It doesn’t really say anything much on the Virgin site except to go to the Hilton site, and I got to Exchange, but it only lets you exchange Hilton points for something else. I want to exchange Virgin Points to Hilton points. It says “follow the instructions” but there are no instructions or toggles. ARGH!

  • Asdsa

    You need to call VA for it

  • Marc Hoffmeister

    I read in an earlier comment that I will have to call VA to transfer from VA to Hilton. Do you have any rough idea how long that transfer will take. The Amex to VA was immediate.

  • thepointsguy

    Takes a couple weeks usually

  • Kirchgoens

    I have 240,ooo AMEX points, and am tired of paying $150/year for the Gold card. Some years, I spend more in annual fees than I earn in points. If I was to liquidate the AMEX points before my next annual fee hits in about six weeks, what should I do? At first, the Virgin/Hilton path looks good, but Hilton has very poor rewards room availability overseas (where I usually am), so it now doesn’t look so good. Moving them over to Delta (where I have gold status) also looks like a non-starter given how weak those rewards are (and I gather that will get much worse this coming year). What do I do?

  • Elena

    Have you tried to call them to cancel your card? It’s likely that you will get a retention bonus if you’ve never received one. I received a 15,000 bonus 2 years ago. This year, I really wanted to cancel the card because I already have the SPG card and they offered me 17,500 points which basically covers the fee. But this time, it came with a spending requirement. They gave me 10,000 points as a retention bonus and if I spent $3000 in 60 days, they gave me an additional 7,500 points, which was fine for me since it was the holidays.

  • disqust101


  • Msmcmotown

    Remember that one can only transfer from VA to Hilton in 5k increments, so unless you have a spare 1500 pts sitting in your VA account, you’ll need to come up with those pts from somewhere, or else leave 3500 pts sitting in your VA account. Easiest option is to transfer another 1000 pts from Amex to VA, which gets you 1350 pts, and then buy something through the VA shopping portal for the rest–or just buy something large enough from VA shopping portal to cover the rest. Problem with buying through the VA shopping portal is that it often takes over 30 days for the points to post!.

  • Farsighted

    You’ve got to be kidding. Oh well, thanks for that info. Thanks!

  • AAJunkie

    I had the same problem this month. AmEx was renewing and I didn’t want to be rushed into using my points. I called them up and was transferred to the cancellation desk. There I was offered more miles (with a spend) or a $100 credit towards the fee. I took the credit and paid the $75. Now I have another year to decide where to transfer my points.

  • Sfobuddy

    We can transfer Hilton Honors points to Delta? This I did not know and this might be a better option for me. Thanks!

  • jacisme

    TPG, why do so many people frown upon the idea of transferring amex MR to Delta Skymiles? Is it because “skymiles are skypesos”? I live in Atlanta and Delta almost always has the nonstop domestic economy flights I want for 25k roundtrip. Is it still silly in my case?

    Also – Thinking about a trip to Sydney, Melbourne, and the South island of New Zealand – sometime in March. Would like to fly biz. Any suggestions on how to set this up? I’ve got decent miles in AA, United, and Chase. Email me if you have any tips for my case.


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