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If you’re considering booking travel between the US and the UK anytime within the next year, you might want to pay attention to Virgin Atlantic’s current award sale. From now through May 20, you can book award flights for 25,000 miles round-trip in economy, through the end of Virgin’s schedule in April 2016. These same flights usually cost 35,000 miles and up, netting you a discount of more than 25%.
Don’t worry if you don’t already have enough miles to book—Virgin Atlantic is a transfer partner of Citi ThankYou Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards (which recently offered a 25% transfer bonus), and you can convert points from these programs at a 1:1 ratio. You can also add just enough miles to top off your account for a redemption, of course, and if you have friends or family members with Virgin miles to spare, now would be a good time to cash in any overdue favors.
Unfortunately when redeeming with Virgin Atlantic, you’ll need to pay surcharges in addition to the miles you’ll spend on each booking—in this case, £249 (about $384) for most redemptions or £222 (about $343) if you fly between Atlanta and Manchester. The Points Guy currently values Virgin Atlantic miles at 1.5 cents each, so you’ll be using points with a cash equivalent of $375 for each of these redemptions, plus surcharges—these discounted rates may still be a good deal during the summer, when airfares are high, but be sure to do the math if you’re booking for fall or beyond. With some great bonus categories and an annual fee that’s waived for the first year, the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card has a lot going for it. If you don’t have PRG, now’s as good a time as any to add it to your wallet, as Amex added some great new benefits several months back.
With some great bonus categories and an annual fee that’s waived for the first year, the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card has a lot going for it. If you don’t have PRG, now’s as good a time as any to add it to your wallet, as Amex added some great new benefits several months back.