Chase Sapphire Reserve℠

Amex Membership Rewards 30% Transfer Bonus To Virgin Atlantic May 1-31

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

From May 1 – 31, American Express Membership Rewards, the points program of cards like the Platinum Card and the Premier Rewards Gold as well as the new EveryDay cards, will be offering a 30% transfer bonus to Virgin Atlantic.

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 7.55.04 AM

There’s no need to register – the bonus will be hard-coded into the transfer page starting May 1. While this isn’t the most lucrative transfer bonus we’ve seen from Amex, it’s still decent, and a good alternative if you were already considering transferring either Membership Rewards points or if you were going to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards from your Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold or Ink Plus accounts at the usual 1:1 ratio to either program.

Comparison to Virgin America 30% Bonus

Unfortunately, the Amex 30% transfer bonus to Virgin America ended yesterday, April 30. But if you didn’t get in on that, at least now you have another choice. For future reference, though, I thought it would be interesting to compare the two bonuses in case this situation comes up again and you want to use your Amex points for travel on Virgin Atlantic.

Here’s the Virgin America award chart for Virgin Atlantic:

Screen shot 2013-10-19 at 5.41.40 PM

Amex points transfer to Virgin America at a ratio of 2:1, but with the recent transfer bonus, you would get a 2:1.3 ratio. So for awards, you’re looking at using the following amounts of Amex points:

Economy: 15,000 Elevate points = 24,000 Amex points
Premium Economy: 25,000 Elevate points = 39,000 Amex points
Upper Class: 35,000 Elevate points = 54,000 Amex points

Here’s the Virgin Atlantic award chart:

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 7.59.55 AM

The taxes and fees on these tickets are approximately the same as what redeeming Virgin Atlantic miles would incur. Now here are the redemption levels from JFK-LHR using Virgin Atlantic miles and the amount of Amex points you’d need during the current transfer bonus:

Economy: 35,000 miles = 27,000 Amex points
Premium Economy: 55,000 miles = 43,000 Amex points
Upper Class: 80,000 miles = 62,000 Amex points

So if you have a choice in the future, you should probably go with the Virgin America transfer bonus, unless you have some miles in your Virgin Atlantic account and just need to top up for your specific award. Just remember to watch out for those high fuel surcharges on Virgin Atlantic redemptions!

For more information, also be sure to check out these posts:

Comparing Current Amex Transfer Bonuses to British Airways (20%) and Virgin Atlantic (30%)

Top 10 Lesser Known Amex Membership Rewards Transfer Partners

A History of Amex Transfer Bonuses

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

Apply Now
  • Receive 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • No matter where you're traveling, when you use your Premier Rewards Gold Card there are no foreign transaction fees from American Express.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
  • There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $195.
  • Terms and limitations apply. See Rates & Fees
Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Balance Transfer Fee Credit Rating
N/A Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $195 See Terms Excellent Credit