Visit Hawaii and Australia With 50% Virgin America AMEX Transfer Bonus

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Through March 10, 2016, you’ll get 50% more points when you transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points to Virgin AmericaYou can redeem Virgin America points for award tickets on Virgin America and several partner airlines, including to Hawaii and Australia!

You’ll get 150 Virgin America points per 200 AMEX Membership Rewards points you transfer.  The usual rate is 100 Virgin America points per 200 AMEX Membership Rewards points.  So this is a nice bonus!

Remember, you’ll pay an excise fee of 0.06 cents per point (to a maximum of $99) when you transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to US airlines, including Virgin America.

Visit Hawaii And Australia With 50 Virgin America AMEX Transfer Bonus

Visit Sydney, Australia, for Fewer Points With the 50% Bonus on AMEX Membership Rewards Transfers to Virgin America

But keep in mind, Virgin America imposes high fuel surcharges on some international partner award tickets.

I’ll show you the best deals!

50% More Virgin America Points With AMEX Transfer

Link:   50% Bonus Virgin America Points With AMEX Membership Rewards Transfer

You’ll get 50% more points when you transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to Virgin America by March 10, 2016.

You usually get 100 Virgin America points for every 200 American Express Membership Rewards points transferred.  But this promotion gets you 150 Virgin America points.

Visit Hawaii And Australia With 50 Virgin America AMEX Transfer Bonus

You Get 50 Extra Virgin America Points for Every 200 American Express Membership Rewards Points You Transfer Through March 10, 2016

You earn American Express Membership Rewards points with these cards:

Personal CardsBusiness Cards
Premier Rewards Gold Card From American ExpressThe Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
American Express® Mercedes-Benz PlatinumThe Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressThe Enhanced Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN
AMEX EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express
Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
AMEX EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express
American Express® Gold Card
American Express® Green Card
Blue from American Express® Note: These are the ONLY AMEX cards that earn Membership Rewards points that can NOT be transferred to airline & hotel programs. But you can use these points on the Membership Rewards website for other redemptions. Includes personal AND small business versions of the card.

How to Use Virgin America Miles

Link:   Virgin America Award Chart

AMEX Membership Rewards points transfer instantly to Virgin America.

So if you can find an award seat, you can book it right away.  You can get the price of any award ticket with Virgin America’s award flight calculator.  And then check how many AMEX Membership Rewards points you’ll need to transfer.

Remember, Virgin America adds high fuel surcharges, to flights on partner airlines Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, and Emirates.  And you can NOT book partner award seats online.  You have to call Virgin America at 877-359-8474 to book.

Note:   Points transfers can NOT be reversed once they’re complete.

There are a few good ways to use Virgin America points.  Let’s look at some examples.

Hawaii

Folks on the West Coast can get a round-trip ticket to Hawaii on Hawaiian Airlines for:

  • 20,000 Virgin America points in coach
  • 50,000 Virgin America points in Business Class
Visit Hawaii And Australia With 50 Virgin America AMEX Transfer Bonus

Pack Your Hawaiian Shirts! Folks on the West Coast Can Get a Good Deal to Visit Hawaii

You can fly to Hawaii from:

  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • Oakland
  • Portland
  • Phoenix
  • Sacramento
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • San Jose
  • Seattle

You can also get inter-island award flights within Hawaii on Hawaiian Airlines for 3,000 Virgin America points each way (and 6,000 points for a round-trip award ticket).  That can be a good deal, too!

Visit Hawaii And Australia With 50 Virgin America AMEX Transfer Bonus

Fly Round-Trip to Hawaii for ~27,000 AMEX Membership Rewards Points!

With the transfer bonus, you can fly round-trip on Hawaiian Airlines to Hawaii in coach for ~27,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points.  That’s a great deal if you can find a seat!

Visit Hawaii And Australia With 50 Virgin America AMEX Transfer Bonus

Folks In New York Will Pay Much More for an Award Seat to Hawaii

Unfortunately, folks in New York will pay a lot more points for an award ticket to Hawaii.

But it could be worth using Virgin America points so you can save your other miles for international flights and pay less fuel surcharges.

Australia

You can also redeem Virgin America points for flights on Virgin Australia to Sydney or Brisbane, Australia.

Visit Hawaii And Australia With 50 Virgin America AMEX Transfer Bonus

Get a Fantastic Deal on an Award Seat to Australia!

From Los Angeles round-trip, you’ll pay:

  • 40,000 Virgin America points in coach
  • 60,000 Virgin America points in Premium Economy
  • 80,000 Virgin America points in Business Class

With the 50% bonus, you’d need to transfer ~53,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points for a round-trip coach ticket.  Or ~107,000 points to fly in Business Class!

Visit Hawaii And Australia With 50 Virgin America AMEX Transfer Bonus

Fly in Style to Australia in Business Class for ~107,000 AMEX Membership Rewards Points

That’s a great price!  And, fuel surcharges on this route are ~$130 round-trip, which isn’t a lot.

For comparison, you’ll pay 80,000 Delta miles each way for the same Business Class award seats on Virgin Australia.  So you’d save over ~50,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points with this deal on round-trip flights!

Award flights from Los Angeles to Australia on Qantas cost 45,000 Qantas miles each way in coach.  And 96,000 Qantas miles each way in Business Class!

Here’s my guide about how to find and book award seats on Virgin Australia.

London, Singapore, & Beyond

Virgin America also partners with Emirates, Singapore Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic.

Visit Hawaii And Australia With 50 Virgin America AMEX Transfer Bonus

You Can Redeem Virgin America Points for an Award Seat on Emirates, Singapore Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic, but Be Aware of High Fuel Surcharges

But it’s usually NOT a good deal because you’ll pay hundreds of dollars in fuel surcharges.  I don’t like paying these junk fees!

But it’s something to keep in mind if you have lots of Virgin America points.  Or if you have set dates and can only find award seats on 1 of these airlines.

Within the US

Of course, you can also redeem Virgin America points for flights on Virgin America.  But when you do, the number of points you’ll need is tied to the retail cost of the ticket.  This only applies to flights on Virgin America – NOT for partner award flights.

Visit Hawaii And Australia With 50 Virgin America AMEX Transfer Bonus

Using Points for Virgin America Flights Only Makes Sense in Certain Situations

Unless you can find a cheap sale fare, there are better ways to spend your points.  For example, I found a 1-way flight from New York to Las Vegas for $276, or ~12,000 Virgin America points.

You’d have to transfer ~16,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points to pay for the flight.  But considering most airlines charge 12,500 miles for a 1-way domestic award flight in coach, this isn’t a good deal unless you have set dates.  Or can’t find an award seat on another airline.

It’s worth checking your travel dates to see if you can get a deal!

Bottom Line

You can get a 50% bonus when you transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to Virgin America through March 10, 2016.

You can get an excellent deal on award seats to Hawaii on Hawaiian Airlines (and there are NO fuel surcharges!).  Or to Sydney and Brisbane on Virgin Australia!

Virgin America also partners with Emirates, Singapore Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic.  But award flights on those airlines have high fuel surcharges.  So they’re usually not a good deal.

You can also get award seats on Virgin America flights, but it’s only good in certain situations because the number of points you need is tied to the cost of the ticket.

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5 responses to “Visit Hawaii and Australia With 50% Virgin America AMEX Transfer Bonus

  1. Is the 0.06 cent/point transfer fee calculated on the number Amex Membership Rewards points used for the transfer or the number of points you receive in transfer to the Airline.

    For example, under this promotion “You’ll get 150 Virgin America points per 200 AMEX Membership Rewards points you transfer.” So assuming you transfer 200 Amex points (i realize that be below a minimum level to transfer, cause I think you need to transfer 1,000 point increments or maybe that’s only Chase) and get 150 Virgin America points. Would the transfer fee be based on the 200 Amex points transfer (200 x 0.06 cents per point) or 150 Virgin American points received (150 x 0.06 cents per point). Thanks.

  2. one of your links to a prior story on this shows LAX-SYD business class taxes of $926 and above you note a low of $130 for the same flights! Which is it and which site will tell you? The VA site did not show SYD as a valid destination. When searching Delta for availability, which level should we be looking for?

  3. The Thank You Points website says this, ” For each conversion of points into the Frequent Flyer program of a U.S. airline, a fee of $0.0006 per point, with a maximum fee of $99, will be charged to your Card account.”

  4. I meant to write Membership Rewards, not Thank You points. 🙂

  5. @Brian – It’s based on the number of AMEX Membership Rewards points you transfer. So in your example, you’d be charged to transfer 200 AMEX Membership Rewards points, which would become 150 Virgin America points with the 50% bonus promotion.

    @Tom – Virgin Australia dropped their fuel surcharges in January 2016. So that may explain the price difference.

    I got the information and price from this page on the Virgin America website:
    https://www.virginamerica.com/cms/elevate-frequent-flyer/redeem-points

    Sydney will show up as a destination if you set your trip to begin in Los Angeles.

    Delta only displays low-level partner award seats. So just search by date until you find an open seat.

    Hope that helps!

    @Lisa Remy – Thank you for your assistance! 🙂