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Now through September 30th, American Express Membership Rewards is offering a 40% bonus when transferring points to Virgin America’s Elevate program.

Normally points transfer at a ratio of 2 Amex points to 1 Elevate point, which is a lackluster normal ratio. With this promo, however, you can transfer 200 Amex points to get 140 Elevate points instead. This bonus is hard-coded so there is no need to register for it.

Amex is offering a 40% bonus on transferred points to Virgin America.
Amex is offering a 40% bonus on transferred points to Virgin America.

Last year American Express offered a 30% transfer bonuses from Amex to Virgin America, and they have gone as high as 50% in past, but if you’ve been considering moving some points into Elevate but were waiting for a bonus to do so, now is probably the time.

Virgin America
Virgin America

When redeming for Virgin America flights Elevate is a fixed-value rewards program where you can use points to purchase any flight at a value of between 1.6-2.3 cents per point depending on the fare and itinerary. The reason the normal 2:1 transfer ratio is pretty dismal is because it means you are getting between .8 and 1.15 cents per American Express Membership Rewards point – a low value which stands out even more since you can purchase Virgin America flights with Pay With Points at 1 cent per point (1.25 cents per point for Business Platinum cardholders and you earn Elevate points on those flights – you don’t earn points when redeeming for flights using Elevate points).

So, it would really never make sense to transfer Amex points into Elevate unless there was a lucrative transfer bonus. In my opinion, a 100% transfer bonus where you could get points at a 1:1 ratio would be great. However, with the 40% bonus, however, at least you’re getting between 1.12-1.6 cents per Amex point in value.

All in all, while I’m not amazed by this transfer bonus because the value of Elevate points are essentially capped at about 2.3 cents each, it’s still nice to squeeze 40% more value out of each Amex point, and you can get some pretty good values on flights by redeeming on Virgin America’s partners that beat the other point redemption options.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

With great transfer partners like United and Hyatt, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
5.00%
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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