American Express Membership Rewards Transfer Bonus – British Airways & Virgin Atlantic

Here are the latest American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonuses:

  • 20% to British Airways
  • 30% to Virgin Atlantic

It’s been a little bit since some good transfer bonuses so let’s dig in a bit.

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New York to London for 13K Miles & $98 in Coach

Update: This is ONLY available for booking until June 17th. Virgin Atlantic is running this as a promotion, something I didn’t realized at the time of the original post. So please, get your ducks in a row and take advantage of this great deal!

What’s the deal???

Angelina from Just Another Points Traveler has brought a real gem to light in her latest post.

With the help of Mile Collector, she detailed a great post about the cheapest way to get to Europe. So here it is:

You can fly one-way from either Newark (EWR) or New York (JFK) to London Heathrow (LHR) for 13,000 Virgin Atlantic Miles and $97.50!

new york london virgin atlantic

Newark-London: 13K Miles + $97.50

new york london virgin atlantic

New York-London: 13K Miles + $97.50

This deal is also scalable to Boston and Chicago, where it costs only an extra 1,000 miles:

new york london virgin atlantic

Boston – London: 14K Miles + $97.50

Chicago - London: 14K Miles + $97.50

Chicago – London: 14K Miles + $97.50

Is this a good deal?

Undoubtedly YES!

As she details in her post, the comparable awards are as follows:

  • United – 30,000 miles + $5
  • American – 30,000 miles + $2.50 (or 20,000 miles + $2.50 during off-peak times)
  • British Airways – 20,000 Avios + $253

Actually, the American Airlines off-peak award at 20K + $2.50 is a better award, in my opinion, but off-peak to Europe is only Oct 15 – May 15. 

New York - London: 20K AA Miles + $2.50

New York – London: 20K AA Miles + $2.50

However, for dates outside that range, 13k + $98 sounds like a great deal to me!

There seems to be a lot of availability, whether it be this summer or as far out as the schedule goes (May 2014).

Key Links & Things to Note

  • If you are not a Flying Club member, click here to register.
  • You can search award flights from the Virgin Atlantic home page.
  • Obviously, you must have a Chase Ultimate Rewards earning card (Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold/Plus) or an American Express  Membership Rewards earning card (Green, Gold, Platinum) to transfer miles to partner Virgin Atlantic.
  • The same award can work in reverse (London – NYC/BOS), but you incur a lot of surcharges when flying out of the UK.
London-New York: 13K Miles + about $281

London-New York: 13K Miles + about $281

  • To avoid the huge cash outlay, try flying out of another country. Take the Eurostar train to visit Paris or Amsterdam and then fly home from there. The taxes will drop to a very reasonable amount.

Wrap Up

Sure, it may not be the glamorous First Class trip for $500 that people are looking for. But considering how easy it is to earn Chase and Amex points, I’d say it’s a heck of a deal to a popular destination and a major European gateway.

Joann and I are busy right now trying to figure out a plan to redeem this award and also visit a few other cities while we’re there.

For our return, we’ll either use United or American miles for a one-way back to NYC. Stay tuned to see how that develops.

If you have any tips or suggestions about where to visit in under 10 days aside from London, please let us know in the comments!

Loving London Indeed!

Loving London Indeed!