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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – The Platinum Card from American Express

For bookings made now through September 20, 2013, for travel from now through the end of its award availability schedule (about 11 months out), Virgin Atlantic is offering discounted economy awards of just 25,000 miles roundtrip between destinations in the US and London. Tickets normally require 35,000 miles, so this is almost a 30% mileage discount.

Screen shot 2013-09-10 at 3.00.59 PMVirgin Atlantic also recently lowered its enormous fuel surcharges, but you’ll still end up paying in the ballpark of $400-$500, even for these award tickets, as you can see from this sample itinerary from New York to London in November with taxes and fees around $444:

 

Screen shot 2013-09-10 at 3.09.13 PM

This same itinerary would cost you about $845 – so you’d be getting about 1.6 cents per mile in value.

One bit of good news is that you can also book discounted one-ways for half the miles, such as this one from New York to London for just 12,500 miles and $131 in fees and taxes:

Screen shot 2013-09-10 at 3.11.22 PM

Here is a page with the discounted cities listed and here’s the table with the award pricing:

Screen shot 2013-09-10 at 3.19.21 PMThe discount awards are available from the following cities:

Boston
Chicago
Los Angeles
Miami
New York JFK
Newark EWR
Orlando

And awards from the following cities are discounted from 42,500 miles to 35,000 miles:

San Francisco (33,000 miles)
Vancouver
Washington DC

Unfortunately, this discount is only on economy awards and not premium economy or Upper Class, so because of the still-high surcharges and taxes on these tickets, you are still limited as to the amount of value you can pull from each point. However, if you were planning to redeem a Virgin Atlantic economy award anyway, you might as well use this discount to do so using fewer miles.

Also remember that Virgin Atlantic is a transfer partner of all three transferable points programs, American Express, Starwood Preferred Guest and Chase Ultimate Rewards, so if you’re earning points on a card like the Amex Platinum Card, or the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold or Ink Plus, you can transfer those points to your Flying Club account for a redemption.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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