30% Transfer Bonus From American Express Membership Rewards to Virgin America

Get 30% more Elevate® points when you transfer Membership Rewards® points to your Virgin America Elevate account. Offer ends April 30, 2014. Terms, conditions, and restrictions apply.

Instead of the normal 200 Membership Rewards points to 100 Elevate points, the limited time bonus turns that ratio into 200:130.

You can calculate how many points you need for partner redemption on this page.

Transferring MR points to Elevate points rarely makes sense due to the non 1:1 transfer ratio. Hopefully, this is just an appetizer of Membership Rewards transfer bonuses to come.

Let’s hope for better transfer bonuses in the coming months (come on, Avios!), especially with great new products out in the EveryDay & EveryDay Preferred credit cards.

40% American Express Membership Rewards Transfer Bonus to Virgin America

For a limited time, American Express is having a 40% transfer bonus to Virgin America. This will be available for all transfers until January 31, 2014, which is less than 10 days away.

Points must be transferred in increments of 200 Membership Rewards points.

Since VX is a US-based airline, you must pay an Airline Excise Tax Offset Fee of $0.0006 per point transferred.

How I’m Going To Leverage This Transfer Bonus

I have to fly to Vegas for a bachelor party in April. It must be pretty busy the weekend we’re going according to the fares I’ve been seeing for the past few months.

vegas-matrix

With fares like that to Vegas, I’d rather just redeem points, of which I have plenty.

I first checked for award space on American, Delta, US Airways, and United. Nothing.

I then checked the fixed point programs like JetBlue and Virgin America, but since the amount of points for an award is directly tied to the cost of the fare, I didn’t find much help there.

vx-nyc-las

When this promotion surfaced, it seemed to be the best solution to my problem. I certainly don’t want to pay cash and I definitely don’t want to use 36K Amex MR points.

By leveraging this transfer bonus, I only have to spend 25K Amex MR, which sounds a lot more reasonable to me.

Wrap Up

Traditionally, transferring precious American Express Membership Rewards points to fixed point programs like Virgin America and JetBlue are “losing” propositions in the miles & points community.

However, if you’re in a situation like me where you need certain dates, a nonstop flight, and all other airlines have no award availability, you could find this 40% transfer bonus a real life saver like I just did.

New York – San Francisco / Los Angeles Fare Sales

Seems there’s a nice fare war going on between American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Virgin America, and United Airlines.

Between either New York and San Francisco or New York and Los Angeles, the fares on all three airlines are at $238 for the nonstop flights.

I’m sure you all know that that’s a really good deal for those flights.

The sale looks like it continues until the week before Christmas with plenty of availability.

The best availability looks like Delta right now. Also, Delta & United have risk-free cancellation policies that the other two airlines don’t. You can cancel a ticket for FREE as long as you do so within 24 hours of purchasing the ticket.

It’s very handy for sales like this because you can buy now and figure out details later. If things don’t pan out, just cancel the ticket before 24 hours and you won’t lose a penny!

Sample Dates

Virgin America:

Delta Airlines:

American Airlines:

 United:

Hat tip to The Flight Deal