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Though not as high as recent transfer bonuses of 30-35%, American Express Membership Rewards, the points program of cards including the Platinum Card and the Premier Rewards Gold as well as the EveryDay cards, is offering a 25% transfer bonus to Virgin Atlantic for the month of April. Instead of the normal 1:1 transfer ratio, when you transfer 1,000 Amex points to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, you will end up with 1,250 miles.
You do not have to register for the bonus. As usual, it is hard-coded into the transfer page. I wouldn’t say this is the most exciting bonus – especially since, as I mentioned, it is lower than other recent Amex/Virgin Atlantic transfer bonus promotions – but if you were thinking of transferring your Amex points to Virgin anyway (or if you are a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus cardholder and were going to do so), this is a nice little boost.
Here is Virgin’s award chart to/from North America.
As you can see, if you wanted to catch a flight from New York JFK to London Heathrow, you would need the following amount of Virgin Atlantic miles and the amount of Amex points you would need to transfer with the 25% bonus.
- Economy: 35,000 miles = 28,000 Amex points
- Premium Economy: 55,000 miles = 44,000 Amex points
- Upper Class: 80,000 miles = 64,000 Amex points
That Upper Class redemption is pretty tantalizing and there is a fair amount of award availability this summer. Just remember that Virgin Atlantic levies high fuel surcharges that regularly top $1,100 on award flights to/from London as you can see in the example below, so you might get stuck paying a chunk of change on top of those miles.
Virgin Atlantic also has 13 airline partners on which you can redeem your Flying Club miles, including ANA, Delta, Hawaiian Airlines, Singapore, South African Airways, Virgin America and Virgin Australia, so there are some other opportunities to maximize this transfer bonus while avoiding fuel surcharges.
As with all similar promotions, be sure to plot out your travel strategy, do the math and initiate a transfer only if it makes sense for your individual travel needs and budget. If you do not have a specific, imminent redemption in mind, I would caution against transferring points speculatively since these bonuses appear periodically and you might want to take advantage of one the next time around instead.
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