30% Transfer Bonus from Membership Rewards to Virgin America Opens Up Great Deals to Hawaii and Europe

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There is currently a 30% transfer bonus on Membership Rewards transfers to Virgin America.

Until April 30, 2014, 200 Membership Rewards transfer to 130 Elevate points. (The normal rate is 200 Membership Rewards to 100 Elevate points.)

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What are the sweetspots on the Virgin America chart that might make a transfer worthwhile?

Taking advantage of this transfer bonus is not a good idea if you want to fly Virgin America domestic flights. Virgin America offers a fixed-value program for redemptions on its own flights, so this transfer bonus would get you about 1.45 cents of value of per Membership Reward toward Virgin America flights. We can do better.

Virgin America has an incredible award chart for flights on its partners.

Bottom Line

One of the best things about having a pile of Membership Rewards is these occasional transfer bonuses. (Wouldn’t it be great if Ultimate Rewards offered them?)

The current 30% transfer bonus to Virgin America can be a great deal for people who want to use Elevate points to fly Hawaiian Airlines or Virgin Atlantic, but not those who want to fly Virgin America itself.


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8 Responses to 30% Transfer Bonus from Membership Rewards to Virgin America Opens Up Great Deals to Hawaii and Europe

  1. What did you have to do to arrange to get notices such as the notice of the transfer bonus between MR and Virgin America above?

  2. While 54 K to fly upfront is great shelling out 1.1K sucks. Basically in my view your paying 1.1 K to fly to Europe and an upgrade fee of 54 K miles.

  3. Do they charge tax on the transfer to Virgin?

  4. I don’t know if paying $1,100 in fees plus all of those for round trip in Upper Class is worth it, especially for flights that max out at 6 hours.

    The sweet spot of this redemption is really in economy class on Virgin America or in economy on Virgin Atlantic.

    It generally costs around 19,000 to 20,000 Elevate points to fly round trip from JFK to LAX or SFO. That is a max of 30,800 MR points to fly what is generally regarded to be the best economy transcon service offered right now. Not bad.

    Or it costs 20,000 Elevate points to fly round trip from JFK to LHR plus only $260 or so in fees. Again, 30,800 MR points plus $260 for a 6 hour economy flight across the pond seems like a much better deal to me than 54,000 MR poitns plus $1,100 in cash.

  5. @Anthony, where are you finding the $260.00? This is what my Virgin America redemption chart looks like.
    Economy 15,000 $450 taxes and carrier-imposed fees
    Premium Economy 25,000 $760 taxes and carrier-imposed fees
    Upper Class 35,000 $1130 taxes and carrier-imposed fees

  6. Don’t know why this is an “incredible” deal to use 30,800 MRs to transfer to Elevate when you could send 25000 MRs to Avios and get same west coast to Hawaii redemption. And if you can take advantage of an Amex transfer bonus to BA, it’s even less points.

    • Not exactly. BA Avios partners with AA and Alaska. Virgin partners with Hawaiian. You are correct that BA’s price is better, but there are different partners, so space is different.

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