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American Express has a 30% bonus when you transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points to Virgin Atlantic.
To get the bonus, simply transfer the points by May 31, 2014.
How You Can Use Virgin Atlantic Miles
1. Book Award Flights on Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic has high fuel surcharges. So an award flight will still cost you quite a bit. For example, a round-trip coach flight from Los Angeles to London can cost you 42,500 miles and ~$470 in fees.
However, this is still cheaper than a regular priced flight from Los Angeles to London which can cost ~$1,200.
You would need to transfer 33,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points to get the 42,500 Virgin Atlantic miles for this flight.
The same round-trip on United Airlines would cost 60,000 United Airlines miles but only $210.
If you book this same trip with American Airlines miles it would also cost 60,000 miles and ~$210.Virgin Atlantic usually has more award seats available, so paying fewer Membership Rewards points (or Virgin Atlantic miles) could be worth the extra cost in tax and fees! You can search for award flights on the Virgin Atlantic website, and then transfer your Membership Rewards points to Virgin Atlantic.
2. Transfer Virgin Atlantic Miles to Hilton
Another way to use Virgin Atlantic miles is to transfer them to Hilton. That’s because you can transfer to Hilton at a 2:3 ratio.
For example, 39,000 American Express Membership Rewards points will get you ~50,000 Virgin Atlantic miles.
And then you can transfer your ~50,000 Virgin Atlantic Miles to Hilton at a 2:3 ratio to get 75,000 Hilton points. Top tier Hilton hotels cost ~95,000 points, but there are lot of mid-tier and low-tier Hilton hotels where it could make sense to transfer points.
To transfer Virgin Atlantic miles to Hilton you have to call the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Helpline at 800-365-9500. Also note that it can take up to 30 days for the points to transfer, but in my experience it takes ~15 days.
If you decide to transfer your American Express Membership Rewards points to Virgin Atlantic, make sure you have a strategy for using the points. Because once you transfer, you can’t get your points back to AMEX.
You can get a 30% bonus when you transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points to Virgin Atlantic by May 31, 2014.
However, Virgin Atlantic charges high fuel surcharges on award flights, so keep that in mind before transferring. That said, you could still find a good way to fly on Virgin Atlantic and either save cash or more valuable American Airlines or United Air miles!
It could also make sense to transfer your points to Virgin Atlantic and then to Hilton at a 2:3 ratio.
The 30% transfer bonus from AMEX to Virgin Atlantic could be useful if you have a specific redemption in mind.