Why You Shouldn’t Take Advantage of the 25% Bonus Transferring Amex Points to Virgin Atlantic

American Express is offering a 25% bonus on transfers of Membership Rewards points to Virgin Atlantic through April 30.

Before the end of the year American Express was offering a 35% bonus on transfers to Virgin Atlantic. So 25% doesn’t impress.

Virgin Atlantic has one of the least valuable mileage currencies — my stretch for 8 good uses of the points shows how deep in the barrel I have to dig.

The program adds fuel surcharges to awards.

So while Virgin Atlantic itself has a decent business class product across the Pond, many prefer to book their awards through Delta SkyMiles (at a higher mileage cost) to avoid the fuel surcharges.

If you’re looking to bulk up on Virgin’s miles, consider their Bank of America-issued credit card.

American Express Membership Rewards points are too valuable, in my view, to be tempted to move them into Virgin Atlantic miles.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Is it worth transferring them to Air Canada (with their promo) or saving them for future use?

  2. 17,000 MR for one-way from LAX to EDI? (With $170 in taxes)

    How is there a cheaper way to fly that far in coach?

  3. Hit delete is fast as you can all
    Another reason not to book them besides their criminal fuel surcharges
    No one way awards on partner airlines and hidden restrictions when booking on Virgin America
    EX sorry Newark airport EWR doesn’t participate for redemption (huh?) only JFK
    Agents seem poorly trained on partners and their website sucks
    Did I mention their own award availability on their own metal makes BA look like gods or heroes?
    I’m done with them

  4. I have found some decent availability on Virgin on their own metal. US to LHR has lesser costs than the flight back with fuel surcharges and taxes. BA has the same outrageous fuel surcharges. I have seen excellent availability from ORD on econ-upper class. I just paid 40,000 and 400.00 for one way to LHR. All things considered that is not bad. I can use my Arrival points for the 400 fee anyway.

  5. For East-coasters, I think virgin atlantic is worthless.

    But for folks on the west coast, especially LAX, where getting peak non-stop award seats to Europe for a whole family is borderline impossible, Virgin Atlantic is probably one of the BEST options. Yes their fees suck, but ~40K miles and $400 in fees sure beats paying $1500 for that flight RT. Add in options for business, and it becomes one of the best options.

  6. I don’t understand why VA gets such bad press. I booked OW JFK-LHR in coach (during a recent promotion) for 13,000 miles (transferred from Chase) and $130 total. How is that not a good deal?

  7. @JB
    agreed it is a very good if not excellent deal but many of us don’t want to fly in cattle class and want flexibility in partners and reasonable expectations/ in availability in every class of service

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