The U.S. American Express Membership Rewards program is offering a 30% bonus on transfers to Virgin Atlantic through November 30.
One of the popular uses for Virgin miles in the past was converting to Hilton at one-to-two, 50,000 Virgin miles would yield 100,000 Hilton points. But since the March 28th Hilton devaluation that doesn’t appeal nearly as much. A 100,000 point HHonors balance to me is now just two nights at the Embassy Suites Portland instead of the Conrad Koh Samui.
Still, it’s better even normally to transfer American Express points to Virgin to Hilton than it is to transfer straight to Hilton. This bonus makes it better still.
Just like British Airways, award travel entails paying fuel surcharge on itineraries where a paid ticket would also — although they’ve reduced fuel surcharges on economy awards (those aren’t the awards I’m looking for).
The 30% bonus to Virgin Atlantic is a bigger boost than the 20% transfer bonus to British Airways, but in general BA’s program is more flexible and with more sweet spots since short-haul non-stops are especially cheap in the British Airways program and BA has oneworld airlines as partners.