The Amex US Membership Rewards program has once again launched a 30% transfer bonus to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.
We tend to see Amex US offer the same promotion a few times a year, and it has come up once again for the first time in 2023.
While the UK-based airline primarily focuses on the transatlantic market, its Flying Club loyalty program has numerous partnerships with airlines around the globe, such as the five-star Japanese carrier ANA – and that’s what makes this transfer bonus a lot more interesting.
Until June 14, 2023, you can transfer Amex US Membership Rewards points to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and receive a 30% bonus.
Points are normally transferred at a 1:1 ratio between the two programs, and can only be transferred in increments of 1,000. With the 30% bonus, for each 1,000 US Membership Rewards points transferred, you’ll receive a total of 1,300 Flying Club miles.
This transfer promotion is only for those who dabble in US credit cards and have access to US MR points. If you’ve yet to get started with US credit cards, it’s possible to get your first Amex US MR card this month, although you’d need to take action quickly.
One of the optimal uses of Amex US MR points is to transfer to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and then redeem for ANA First Class and business class.
You might recall that the redemption cost for the First Class flights increased earlier this year by up to 42%. While that’s certainly not ideal, the current transfer bonus essentially brings the award prices closer to what they were before.
You can pay only 72,500 or 85,000 Flying Club miles for a one-way flight in ANA First Class, depending on whether your US gateway airport is on the West or East Coast.
If you’re happy with ANA business class, including its premier product “The Room” on certain routes, it’ll cost just 45,000 or 47,500 Flying Club miles for a one-way flight, depending on your origin city in Canada or the United States.
If you want to take advantage of the best possible sweet spot, you should search for routes that feature ANA’s brand-new “The Suite” First Class product. While there’s some variance, you can usually find “The Suite” on routes departing from or arriving in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
Even if you don’t wind up in “The Suite”, you’re still in for a treat with ANA’s legacy First Class product.
With the 30% transfer bonus from Amex US MR, you’re really looking at just 56,000 or 66,000 US MR points to book a dream flight in ANA First Class. For ANA business class, the one-way prices drop down to the equivalent of 35,000 or 37,000 US MR points, respectively.
As a point of comparison, Aeroplan would charge 110,000 or 130,000 points for the same redemption in First Class – which is well above the cost of what Virgin Atlantic charges!
If you have any aspirations of taking advantage of this sweet spot – one of the best opportunities all around at the present moment – then timing the transfer around a 30% bonus like this one will be your best move.
Don’t forget, there’s also the possibility of converting Canadian-issued Amex MR points to US MR points for those who have an Amex relationship on both sides of the border.
In doing so, you can effectively convert your Canadian Amex MR points to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club at a somewhat favourable ratio.
Amex describes this process as an “International Transfer.” As long as the American Express cards are under the same name, points can be transferred from one credit card account to the other.
When converting Canadian MR points to US MR points, the prevailing foreign exchange rate is applied. Right now, the exchange rate is sitting at around 1 Canadian MR point = 0.74 US MR points.
Factoring in the 30% bonus to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, the effective through-conversion rate is 1 Canadian MR point = 0.96 Flying Club miles.
This effectively means that you can fly ANA First Class for only 75,600 or 88,600 Canadian Amex MR points, which is a much better deal than, say, transferring 1:1 to Aeroplan, where you’d need to pay 110,000 or 130,000 points instead.
To have your Canadian MR points transferred to US MR points, you’ll have to call Amex in the originating country to initiate your International Transfer.
Keep in mind the process can take 1–2 weeks to complete, and every cardholder is limited to one International Transfer per 12-month period, so it’s best to act quickly and decisively if you’d like to apply your Canadian Amex MR points to this December 2022 Virgin Atlantic transfer bonus.
Amex US is offering a 30% bonus when transferring American Express US Membership Rewards points to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. The Flying Club program has one of the lowest mileage rates for flying ANA First Class, so this could be a great opportunity to lock in a future trip to Japan.
Booking ANA First Class through Flying Club is one of the best sweet spots across all loyalty programs at the moment, even after the devaluation, and booking ANA business class is also an outstanding deal.
Make sure to take advantage before June 14, 2023 to rack up your Flying Club miles with a 30% bonus.