The Amex US Membership Rewards program has once again launched a 30% points transfer bonus to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.
We’ve seen Amex US offer the same promotion to Flying Club a few times a year, and this is the first time we’re seeing it in 2022.
While the UK-based Virgin Atlantic primarily focuses on the transatlantic market, their Flying Club loyalty program has numerous partnerships with airlines around the globe, such as Japanese favourite ANA – and that’s what makes this transfer bonus a lot more interesting.
30% Transfer Bonus to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Until March 31, 2022, you can transfer Amex US MR points to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and receive a 30% bonus on point transfers.
Points are normally transferred at a 1:1 ratio and can only be transferred in increments of 1,000. With the 30% bonus, for each 1,000 US Membership Rewards points transferred, you will 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 feasible to get your first Amex US MR card this month, although you’d need to take action quickly.
Is This Transfer Bonus a Good Deal?
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. With a 30% transfer bonus in play, this sweet spot only gets sweeter.
You can pay only 55,000 or 60,000 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 want to take advantage of the best possible sweet spot, you should search for the New York–Tokyo route at 60,000 miles one-way, which features ANA’s brand-new “The Suite” First Class product.
With the 30% transfer bonus from Amex US MR, you’re really looking at 42,400 or 46,200 US MR points to book a dream flight in ANA First Class.
As a point of comparison, Aeroplan would charge 110,000 or 130,000 points for the same redemption – at least double the nominal cost of what Virgin Atlantic charges!
(In addition to the New York JFK route, you could also book one of ANA’s New 777 First Class routes to London or Frankfurt for the same price of 60,000 Flying Club miles or 46,200 US MR points.)
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.
Convert Canadian MR Points to Virgin Atlantic
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 1 Canadian MR point = 0.79 US MR points.
Factoring in the 30% bonus to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, the effective through-conversion rate is 1 Canadian MR point = 1.027 Flying Club miles.
This effectively means that you can fly ANA First Class for only 53,600 or 58,500 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 March 2022 Virgin Atlantic transfer bonus.
Amex US is offering a 30% bonus when transferring 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 (somewhat speculative) future trip to Japan.
Booking ANA First Class through Flying Club is one of the best-value sweet spots across all loyalty programs at the moment, and there’s no telling how long it’ll last in its current form. Make sure to take advantage before March 31, 2022 to rack up your Flying Club miles with a 30% bonus.