American Express Offering 30% Transfer Bonus to Virgin Atlantic

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American Express is offering a 30% transfer bonus to Virgin Atlantic through December 28, 2019. Virgin Atlantic is one of our favorite programs, thanks to a great lineup of partner airlines and competitive award pricing. With this limited-time deal, you can book some great trips with significantly fewer points than normal.

American Express Transfer Bonus: 30% To Virgin Atlantic
Transfer Bonus 30% To Virgin Atlantic

Key Terms

  • 30% Bonus is valid for transfers through December 28, 2019
  • Receive 1,300 Virgin miles for every 1,000 Membership Rewards points transferred
  • The promotion is hard-coded at a ratio of 1:1.3
  • Transfers must be completed in increments of 1,000 Membership Rewards; no limit on points transferred

Is It Worth It?

If you are after a specific redemption with Virgin Atlantic or one of its partners, then this transfer offer is one of your best options to boost your miles balance. Virgin Atlantic isn't a member of one of the global airline alliances, but their miles can be used to book flights operated by 11 partner airlines in addition to flights operated by Virgin itself.

Virgin Atlantic Airline Partners
Virgin Atlantic Airline Partners

Remember Virgin Atlantic is one of the few airline programs that partners with most of the transferable credit card rewards programs.

The links above will take you to our detailed guide on transfer partners for each program. If you'll looking for a quick summary, check out our guide to the best flexible rewards programs.

Before You Transfer

It’s generally a bad idea to transfer points without an immediate redemption in mind, since all frequent-flyer programs, including Virgin Atlantic, are subject to devaluations and other changes without notice. If you park all your points with Flying Club, they might be worth less by the time you get around to redeeming.

The other reason to do your homework before transferring is that Virgin and their partner airlines only offer a small percentage of their flights for bookings with points; just because you can buy a ticket with money doesn't mean it will be available as an award. If you need to go to Europe on a specific date, you might find that another Amex partner (like British Airways or Aeroplan) offers better itineraries. That said, if you're flush with Amex points, this is a great way to convert them into more Virgin miles than normal.

Our Take

Transfer bonuses like this one aren’t especially rare, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen one from Amex to Virgin specifically. There are lots of great Amex transfer partners, so it’s worth looking at the other options before you commit.

The biggest downside to Virgin Atlantic awards is that they levy obnoxiously high fuel surcharges on their own flights, and they pass along most fees from partner airlines. This means you can pay hundreds of dollars in fees with some itineraries. However, Virgin often makes up for those higher out-of-pocket costs with dramatically cheaper mileage rates compared to the competition. You can also find taxes and fees as low as $5.60 with the right partner airline, so there are plenty of great deals if you use the right strategy. Check out our post on Virgin Atlantic booking sweet spots for a few of our favorites.

Are you planning to take advantage of this deal? Let us know in the comments.

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  • Tempting and good to know about. I like bonuses but don’t have an immediate need so ill wait. Thanks for tube alert.

  • I wish we had this transfer opportunity in the UK.

  • Good offer. Thanks for share.

  • This sounds like a great opportunity if you’re looking to get some extra Virgin Atlantic miles

  • I love that Amex does these bonus transfers! I haven’t yet been able to take advantage of them. I see that I will in the future. I really should have gotten an Amex earlier so I’d have more points. Oh well. We all have to begin somewhere. I think I’ll try them out in Europe first before trying to use miles on them. I’ve heard some people like them and others do not.

  • always these few airlines that cycle with the transfer bonus… When will we see stuff like southwest transfer bonus?

  • Does anyone know if this can be used for Suite Awards?

  • very interesting, thanks for posting

  • Transfer bonuses are great. But only transfer what you need for an award since devaluation can occur at anytime.

  • This transfer bonus could balance out the increase in virgin atlantic points that is now needed for a Neckar Island redemption.

  • This transfer promo makes using ANA miles for TPAC travel an even better deal.
    Worth it if you are considering flying on ANA.

  • Dexter Ohama says:

    This can be a good deal for me. I don’t have enough in American for free travel, I have more in Virgin Atlantic. So if I can get the “boost”, this will put me over the top & I’ll get myself a free on eon VA….. Good deal ! Thanks for the post!

  • I appreciate your “Before You Transfer” section. Some folks will see the bonus number here and immediately transfer away. But, they so need to hit the brakes for a moment and properly weigh the decision.

  • Unfortunately, reports as to one of Virgin’s partners, South African Airways, seem to be having severe monetary problems.

  • I will not be transferring points to Virgin Atlantic. I avoid airlines which have fuel surcharges on award flights.

  • Don’t transfer the points If you do not fly VS’ own nonstop flights to LHR or MAN.

  • Love it when airlines offer 30% transfer bonuses, worth saving those points for.

  • Secret tip: Even without miles in your Flying Club account, you can make and hold award booking/s for 72 hours⁠—including on partner airlines. So, best practice should always be book first, transfer miles later!

  • The Arts Traveler says:

    The best deal on using Virgin Atlantic is on Delta from the US to Europe. You can reduce the taxes on a high tax exit country like France by booking a roundtrip rather than two-oneway tickets. Both VA and Delta have changed their online search engines recently and the changes are not consumer friendly. It’s much harder to search. You can’t search for months like you can on others. Bad Delta! Bad VA!

  • I haven’t been brave enough to transfer and fly this airline yet. I’ve heard great things about it.

  • I just can’t get over their high fees. I understand they have a great premium product, but if you are paying just as much for a paid ticket on another airline (albeit in coach) it takes a lot of the fun out of the redemption for me. I’ll pass.