American Express Membership Rewards is offering a 40% bonus on transfers to Virgin America through September 30.
Instead of receiving 100 points for every 200 transferred, you’ll receive 140 Virgin American points for 200 Membership Rewards points.
Not the biggest transfer bonus they’ve offered, last November the offer was 50%. But certainly better to make a transfer when there is a bonus then when there isn’t one.
Virgin America’s points are worth 2.2 cents apiece towards Virgin America travel, so it’s not a great deal for Virgin America travel. Normally you’re only getting 1.1 cents per Amex point transferring to Virgin America. This offer bumps that up to a bit over 1.5 cents per Amex point in value. Still, it can be a good deal to top off an account towards a specific award.
Where’s there is potential value is in partner awards. For instance, 30,000 miles is enough for a one-way San Francisco – London award in Upper Class on Virgin Atlantic, but that purchase will need to be paired with $600 in taxes and fees.
In this example, 43000 American Express points will yield enough Virgin America points for a one-way business class award ticket (plus taxes and fuel surcharges) on Virgin Atlantic from San Francisco to London. That’s a lower mileage cost than booking through Virgin Atlantic directly.
Using San Francisco – London Heathrow, though, this isn’t actually a savings of Membership Rewards points for a straight Virgin Atlantic roundtrip. Since the route is a bit less than 11,000 flown miles, ANA noramlly charges 85,000 points plus taxes and fuel surcharges for the flights.
Virgin America with this offer is the best redemption option if you want a one-way.
And of course Virgin America partners with Virgin Australia as well, so Delta isn’t the only way to get to Australia in business class on miles.. You’ll save Membership Rewards points compared o transferring to Delta, but pick up fuel surcharges.