40% Virgin America Transfer Bonus From Amex Through September 30

by on September 16, 2013 · 8 comments

in American Express, Virgin America

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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.

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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  • fatherof5

    Hi TPG,

    the way i see it, the 2:1 ratio Virgin:AMEX is the SAME as the 1:1 ratio for Delta:AMEX since Virgin consistently requires HALF the points for the “same” flight.
    For example Virgin requires 16093 elevate = 32186 AMEX MR points for round trip JFK-LAX on 2-18-13 thru 2-22-13. The same flight (same dates and times) on Delta requires 32500 points. Since we are discussing the transfer of AMEX MR points in this scenario, Virgin requires LESS points so i am confused why you say Virgin ratio is lackluster. My daughter flies LAX -JFK three times per year for the past 2 years and each time the rule of thumb has been the same – Virgin requires half as many Elevate points as Delta SkyMiles, so the fact that Virgin transfers at a 2:1 ratio makes perfect sense to me…what am i missing here?

  • John K

    That’s a very specific route, but I think the TPG is really mentioning OVERALL value of the transfer. Better value CAN be had elsewhere. I.e. Transfer to BA and do a short run trip. But as always, the points are only worth what you make of them.

  • Dave

    When do you anticipate an Amex to BA or aeroplan transfer bonus?

  • shonuffharlem

    Man would love a guess as to when next bonus offer is just missed this one…I see this post (it’s great) but not updated for 2013:

  • Melissa

    I just came across this post (today is 10/4) and was so upset because I’d been hoping for something like this and had received no notification from Virgin or Amex about it. Both companies deny that there even WAS such a promotion. Is your info actually reliable?

  • Melissa

    Both Amex and Virgin deny the existence of this promotion. Is your info actually reliable? I received no word from either company. Where does info for these promos come from?

  • thepointsguy

    Yes, it’s very reliable. Agents aren’t always up to date. If you look in the screenshot above, the transfer ratio is 200 Amex points to 140 Virgin points whereas normally it’s 200 Amex to 100 Virgin (as it is currently).

  • LeGauche

    I really don’t see how transferring to VX is a good deal in any circumstance if you want Main Cabin Select or First. Reward tickets are crazy expensive (approx 29,000 points one-way just for NR MCS or 69,000 for NR First).

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