Amex Transfer Bonuses to British Airways (20%) and Virgin Atlantic (30%) Launch Tomorrow

by on October 14, 2013 · 27 comments

in American Express, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic

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American Express just announced that it will be launching two simultaneous transfer bonuses starting tomorrow, October 15, 2013.

From tomorrow through December 31, 2013, Amex will be offering a 20% bonus on points transfers to partner British Airways. Also starting tomorrow and running just through November 30, 2013, Amex will be offering a 30% transfer bonus to Virgin Atlantic.

Membership Rewards has 16 airline partners.

Membership Rewards is offering transfer bonuses to BA and Virgin Atlantic.

There’s no need to register for these bonuses as they will just be automatically hard coded into the transfer pages for British Airways and Virgin Atlantic respectively.

While these aren’t the most lucrative Amex transfer bonuses that we’ve seen, even recently, they’re still something to consider if you were already thinking about transferring your points to either airline, or if you were instead going to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards from your Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold or Ink Plus accounts at a mere 1:1 ratio to either program.

I’m on a plane at the moment heading back from a busy weekend at the Chicago Seminars, but wanted to get this out there in case anyone was considering a transfer since you should wait until these go into effect and maybe even wait and see if Amex offers any other partner transfer bonuses in the near future.

I’ll write up some more detailed posts in the coming days on these transfer bonuses along with ideas on when they could be worth taking advantage of, but in the meantime, for more information, also be sure to check out these posts:

Top 10 Lesser Known Amex Membership Rewards Transfer Partners

Transferring Amex Membership Rewards to British Airways Avios Versus Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

A History of Amex Transfer Bonuses

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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  • hess

    Now to me a 30% bonus to Virgin Atlantic and then 1 : 2 Hilton miles seem worth the 2 step transfer.

  • A.J.

    I agree! Never gone this route before so let me make sure Ive got this right… 25k MR points = 32,500 virgin points = 65,000 HH points correct?

    Also does anyone know how lomg points take to get from virgin to Hilton? And is there a fee ?

  • Hc

    Wow I just transferred 28,000 to virgin Atlantic a few days ago…..

  • flycturtle

    hopefully they will one day have another Delta transfer bonus

  • hess

    The Virgin site says: “Spend Miles. Flying Club members can exchange their miles for HHonors points. Exchange miles at a rate of 1 Flying Club mile for 2 HHonors points. Minimum transfer 10,000 miles and then in increments of 5,000 miles. Just call the Flying Club Helpline with your HHonors account number. Please note your name on your Flying Club account must match exactly with the name on your HHonors account for a successful transfer. Your transfer will take up to 30 days and booking cannot be made until transfer is complete.”

  • disqust101

    Really? HH are worth about 0.3cpm, so even with the transfer bonus, you’re only getting 0.78cpm for your MRs. Terrible value.

    The BA 20% is far better if you need for short/mid range flights (only 25K r/t west coast to Hawaii = ~2cpm value)

  • DownwithPointsGuyUpwithMiles

    What has been the most lucrative transfer of BA Miles? Should I hold or transfer? I’m in no rush to use the miles, but I do need to cancel my amex card in the next 6 months….

  • cj

    I followed the link, and transferred 70k miles to VS. The miles posted immediately, but 8hrs later, still no sign of the bonus miles

  • Piccard

    “bonuses starting tomorrow, October 15, 2013.”

  • Piccard

    That is today, my bad.

  • cj

    as mentioned, it is the 15th. I followed the active link on the amex page also.

  • thepointsguy

    50%… wouldn’t bank on that coming back again..but you never know. Sadly I have no inside info on any 2014 bonuses

  • thepointsguy

    Here’s to hoping!

  • thepointsguy

    You can still ask Amex for the bonus- never hurts to ask!

  • thepointsguy

    While Hilton did devalue, it is possible to get more than .3 cents per point, but its all about the math and I wouldn’t recommend doing a VA-> Hilton transfer unless you know you’ll get good value

  • flyingcturtle

    Hoping to use them to fly to Kilimanjaro, if not will transfer to Asia of ANA

  • disqust101

    Yeah, but it’s also possible to get much more value from BA…

  • Korndog

    I have about 300,000 Amex points and 145,000 United miles. I’m trying to find the best (cheapest) way of flying my family of six from NY (Newark is preferable) to Europe next June or July. I am flexible on destination but ultimately want to end up in Germany/Austria. Is it worthwhile for me to use this opportunity to convert Amex points to Avios and fly through London? If there is a better option, I’d love to hear them.

  • chuck

    Using them on British Airways would cost a ton in fees (literally 600+ per ticket). You could convert them to Avios and use them on Air Berlin flights (less than $200 in fees/person easily). 50k miles to berlin per person round trip. Points guy has some posts on how to use Avios for Air Berlin.

  • A.J.

    Thank you !!

  • cj

    As I did the transaction on Oct 15th, and the promotion was active as of Oct 15th through Nov 30th, I called Amex who said I needed to speak to Virgin. I called Virgin on the number provided and was told by not one, not two, but three different reps:

    1. The promotion ended on August 13th (which led me to read to them that the promotion is currently on the Amex site listing valid from Oct15-Nov30)

    2. They know of no such promotion, and as such cannot honor the mileage bonus. (which led me to talking the rep step by step through the links on Amex site to the point where he could see, and read the promotion.)

    Despite this, all three reps said that as they had not be informed about the promotion, they would NOT be able to honor it. To their defense, all of them were very nice, and all three of them were happy to go through the steps, and certainly seemed happy to try and help, but in the end said they could not honor the agreement as no one at Virgin knows anything about the promotion.

    It finished with a supervisor saying if he hears of any change, they will call me back.

  • Madelyn

    Has anyone had success with getting the bonus miles after their transfer?
    BTW…Great seminar..thanks!

  • LB

    I am trying to redeem MR points to travel from MIA to MAD. Is it better to transfer MR points
    to BA or Delta?

  • Foppan

    Has anyone been successful in transferring to Virgin? Given cj’s issues (see below) I am hesitant to even try.

  • Larry Hertel

    I bought 850,000 points from my in-laws and have one shot at transferring them. Any thoughts on BA versus Virgin or splitting them up?

  • Korndog

    Thanks Chuck. I am so thoroughly confused after reading all of the information on the site. I wish there was an easy way of figuring out the best use of points.

  • MJC

    My redemption rate is shown as 3 Membership Rewards Points = 2 Virgin Atlantic Points. Is this promotion specific to only certain markets?

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