Ends Tomorrow! Transfer AMEX Points To Virgin Atlantic And Get A 30% Bonus: Book Discounted Delta Awards, Incredible ANA First Class Bargains, And More!

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Update: This offer ends tomorrow!


Originally posted on 12/3:

You can login here get a 30% bonus when you transfer American Express Membership Rewards Points to Virgin Atlantic until 12/31. The miles typically transfer instantly.

Virgin Atlantic miles never expire!

In general, Virgin Atlantic charges high fuel surcharges that kill the value of many of their awards.

For example a round-trip coach ticket from JFK to London on Virgin Atlantic is just 20K miles (under 16K AMEX points), but the taxes and fuel surcharges add $476. Premium Economy is 35K miles+$876. Business class is 95K miles and you’ll also owe $1,756 in taxes and fuel surcharges. Ouch!

If you only need a one-way ticket from NYC to London it’s not as bad. 10K miles+$149 in coach, 17.5K miles+$284 in premium economy, or 47.5K miles+$724 in business class.

You can save money by booking travel on 2 one-way trips. A one-way ticket from London to NYC is 10K miles+$260 in coach, 17.5K miles+$470 in premium economy, or 47.5K miles+$596 in business class.

Or for example a round-trip coach ticket from JFK to Tel Aviv on Virgin Atlantic is just 38K miles (under 30K AMEX points), but the taxes and fuel surcharges add $527. Premium Economy is 67K miles+$777. Business class is 151K miles and you’ll also owe $1,377 in taxes and fuel surcharges.

If you originate in Tel Aviv then the round-trip coach ticket from Tel Aviv to JFK on Virgin Atlantic is 38K miles plus $407. Premium Economy is 67K miles+$355. Business class is 151K miles plus $449.

If you only need a one-way ticket from NYC to Tel Aviv you’ll pay 19K miles+$243 in coach, 33.5K miles+$368 in premium economy, or 75.5K miles+$668 in business class.

You can save money by booking travel on 2 one-way trips. A one-way ticket from Tel Aviv to NYC is 19K miles+$224 in coach, 33.5K miles+$198 in premium economy, or 75.5K miles+$245 in business class.

Flying on Delta:

There are some notable sweet spots on partner airlines:

Virgin Atlantic miles can be a bargain for flying on Delta. They also can saver award space, even when there’s none available on Delta.com!

Click here to access the Virgin Atlantic award booking page.

If you have problems typing in your desired airport you will need to click the location icon as shown below and manually search for your destination by country and state. If your destination still isn’t available you will have to call Virgin Atlantic to book award travel to that destination.

If the option to search for miles isn’t available you also may need to try selecting another airport, click on pay with miles, and then switch the airport. For example NYC to LAX didn’t work for me at first, but I switched the destination to San Francisco, clicked on pay with miles, and then switched back to Los Angeles.

On the search page you can select one-way or round-trip, exact dates, flexible within 1 week, or within 5 weeks. You can also change the class of service by clicking on “Show advanced options.” When you are viewing the award calendar you can toggle it to show direct flights only.

You generally won’t want to use Virgin miles for Delta flights to the UK, as they tack on fuel surcharges.

However you can fly on Delta to the rest on Europe for just 30K miles in coach or 50K miles in business class each way.

 

 

 

For the rest of the world besides Europe, Virgin has a distance based award chart for travel on Delta:

 

You can check what a ticket will cost by checking the distance between city pairs on GCmap.com.

For example a flight from Cleveland to NYC will be 7.5K Virgin miles in main cabin (under 6K AMEX points) or 17.5K in first class (under 14K AMEX points) with this is a zone 1 award as the flight distance between Cleveland and NYC is under 500 miles.

 

Vs 14K in main cabin with Delta miles or 22.5K in first class with Delta miles:

 

Detroit to NYC is also a zone 1 award.

 

 

JFK to Tel Aviv costs 35K miles each way in coach as a zone 8 award. That’s under 27K AMEX points!

 

Similar to BA Avios, you have to pay for each segment separately.

That means if I want to fly from Cleveland to Tel Aviv via JFK, it will cost 42.5K miles (35K for JFK-TLV+7.5K for CLE-JFK):

 

 

Infant lap child awards on international flights are a bargain. While Delta charges 10% of the paid fare, which can be astronomical on one-way flights, Virgin charges just 1,000 miles in coach or 5,000 miles in business class each way:

 


Flying on ANA:

ANA is an incredible Japanese airline with great first class suites that have very comfortable beds and amazing service. I reviewed them here towards the end of the 4th part of my Island Hopper adventure.

 

ANA Scotch offering from Tokyo to JFK, May 2015

 

You only need 110K Virgin Atlantic miles to fly round-trip from the west coast to Japan or 120K miles to fly round-trip from the east coast to Japan in first class.

Virgin Atlantic now allows for one-way travel for half the round-trip rate in the chart below!

 

That means you only need 55K Virgin miles to fly one-way from the west coast to Japan or 60K miles to fly one-way from the east coast to Japan in first class.

Compare that to 121K United miles for the one-way flight!

Unfortunately, you do need to call Virgin Atlantic to book travel on ANA at 800-365-9500. You can search for ANA award space on United.com.

You can fly in ANA first class to Tokyo/Narita from Chicago, Houston, JFK, Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Washington DC.

You can fly in ANA first class to Tokyo/Haneda from Chicago, JFK, or Los Angeles.

Search for first class saver awards on United.com to TYO and then call Virgin Atlantic to book:

 

 

They’re rolling out new first class suites and business class suites that look amazing!

New ANA First, with a 43″ 4K LED, a door for privacy, windows, and more:

 

The middle seats have a partition for privacy that goes up and down so that companions can talk to each other:

 

New ANA business:

 

Business class is staggered with forward and rear facing seats that also have privacy doors and middle partitions and go up and down:

 

Want to earn Virgin Atlantic miles?

  • You can transfer AMEX, Chase, Or Citi points to Virgin Atlantic at a 1:1 ratio or Marriott points at a 60K:25K ratio.

AMEX cards with transferable Membership Rewards points include:

If you, a member in your household, or an authorized user has one of the following Chase cards, you can transfer points into miles:

Chase no-annual fee cards that are fantastic for earning points, but require one of the cards above for points transfers include:

  • Chase Ink Cash has a record high 75K signup bonus and earns 5 points per dollar on cable, TV, telecom, cellular, office supply stores, and gift cards from office supply stores, plus 2 points per dollar on dining and gas ($0 annual fee). Read more here.
  • Chase Ink Unlimited has a record high 75K signup bonus and earns 1.5 points per dollar everywhere ($0 annual fee). Read more here.
  • Chase Freedom Flex has a 20K signup bonus, plus earn 5 points per dollar on up to $12K in groceries for 1 year, plus 5 points on rotating categories, 5 points per dollar on travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, and 3 points per dollar on dining and drugstores ($0 annual fee). Read more here.
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited has a 20K signup bonus, plus earn 5 points per dollar on up to $12K in groceries for 1 year, at least 1.5 points per dollar everywhere, 5 points per dollar on travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, and 3 points per dollar on dining and drugstores ($0 annual fee). Read more here.

If you or a friend has one of the following Citi cards, you can transfer points into miles:

  • Citi Premier has a 60,000 point bonus for spending $4,000 in 3 months, 3 points per dollar on airfare, hotels, travel agents, groceries, gas, and dining. $95 annual fee. Read more here.

Citi no-annual fee cards that are fantastic for earning points, but require one of the cards above for points transfers include:

  • The Citi Double Cash card offers 2% cash back or 2 points per dollar spent everywhere that can be transferred into ThankYou points. If you also have a Citi Premier Card you can transfer points into miles. No annual fee. Read more here.
  • The Citi Custom Cash Card offers 5 points per dollar on up to $500 in purchases in your top eligible spending category each billing cycle. This is marketed as 5% cash back, but will actually come in the form of 5 ThankYou points per dollar spent! Eligible categories include Restaurants, Gas Stations, Grocery Stores, Select Travel, Select Transit, Select Streaming Services, Drugstores, Home Improvement Stores, Fitness Clubs, and Live Entertainment. You will also get 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. No annual fee. Read more here.
  • The Citi Rewards+ Card offering 15,000 points for spending $1,000 in 3 months. This card can’t transfer points on its own, but can transfer points if you have one of the Citi cards above. This card automatically rounds up rewards earned on every purchase to the nearest 10 points, meaning you earn 10 points on a $0.50 Amazon balance reload. Earn 2 points on $6K in annual spending at supermarkets, 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, and a 10% points rebate when you redeem points, up to a 10K points rebate per year. If you also have a Citi Premier Card you can transfer points into miles and get a 10% points rebate on transferred or redeemed miles. No annual fee. Read more here.

Marriott cards with transferable points include:

 

Will you transfer points from AMEX to Virgin Atlantic to take advantage of this bonus? What other award sweet spots do you take advantage of?

HT: lakewood34, via DDF

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5 Comments On "Ends Tomorrow! Transfer AMEX Points To Virgin Atlantic And Get A 30% Bonus: Book Discounted Delta Awards, Incredible ANA First Class Bargains, And More!"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.

Chaim

Undergoing a F/R and not want to risk losing my 500k MR points. Suggestions on where to move it?

kosherconcierge

air canada?

W

Trying to book a Virginia Atlantic award operated by Delta… The way there is charging 5 dollars fees and the way back 200

YItz

Are Virgin points still expiring after 36 months of inactivity?

mikey smith

How much does Virgin Atlantic charge for an infant traveling with a parent in business or first on ANA?

wpDiscuz