40% Membership Rewards Transfer Bonus to Virgin America

There is currently a 40% transfer bonus on Membership Rewards transfers to Virgin America. The normal rate is 200 Membership Rewards to 100 Elevate points.

Until September 30, 200 Membership Rewards transfer to 140 Elevate points.

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

While transferring 10 Membership Rewards to 7 Virgin America Elevate points might not sound great, Virgin America has an incredible award chart for flights on its partners.

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 40% 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.

The best cards to earn Membership Rewards are:

  • The Platinum Card® from American Express (personal) with 40k Membership Rewards after $3,000 in purchases in the first three months.
  • The Platinum Card from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz (personal) with 50k Membership Rewards after $3,000 in purchases in the first three months.
  • American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card (personal) with 25k Membership Rewards after spending $2,000 in the first three months
  • The Business Gold Rewards Card® from American Express OPEN with 25,000 Membership Rewards after spending $5,000 in the first three months

17 Responses to 40% Membership Rewards Transfer Bonus to Virgin America

  1. Great info, thanks! My family of four is planning a trip to Maui next August, and my wife and I have around 430,000 Membership Rewards points between us. We also have around 110,000 BA miles and we are both Southwest Companion Pass holders. We live in Upstate, NY, so we were planning to use our Companion Passes to get everyone to the West Coast and then use 100,000 BA miles for four R/T tickets from there. That said, we would rather fly direct out of the NYC/NJ area if possible. Is the 20K Virgin America/Hawaiian Airlines points sweetspot good from anywhere on the mainland? If so, would it make sense to convert the MR points this early to take advantage of the bonus?

    • The 20k roundtrip price only applies to direct Hawaiian Airlines flights. And the one exception is the New York to Honolulu route. That means that JFK to Maui is 41k Virgin America points per person, an awful deal. I would go with your original plan.

  2. How do I transfer the points? I can’t seem to find it on the membership rewards site. Thanks!

  3. You figured out on Virgin America’s chart for redemptions on Hawaiian Airlines that it takes 25K/45K in economy from HI to Aus/Philippines.
    Are there flights from HNL to MNL? If so, how would I book them?

  4. Would this be worthwhile if I ultimately wanted Hilton points? Trying to get 4,000 extra.

    • Sorry meant to type 40,000

      • That would be a terrible redemption, but if you’re desperate…

        To get 40K HH via Virgin @ 2:1, you’d need to transfer ~28.5K MRs to get 20K Virgin Atlantic using this promo.

        At a conservative 1.5cpp value for MRs, you’re exchanging $427 value to get 40K HH, which are worth around 0.3cpp = $120. Not a great trade!

        Why not sign up for a Hilton Amex? Or, if you already have one, go do some MS at grocery at 5x/6x (depending on the card).

        40K HH would only be $8K spend at 5x grocery. Gift card fees would be $95 plus whatever method you use to cash out.

  5. Thank for the heads up. I have already booked flights ATL- HNL next May, need to fly to OGG, stay 5 days with SPG, and fly back to HNL to catch flight to PVG. This is just what I wanted. I checked VA site and it only costs 5k for a round trip inter island ticket! So I just need 22k MR + $15 fees for 3 tickets. Am I right? Looks like I need to call to book. Is there any fee with the call? I am pretty new. Thanks for your help.

  6. Not to pop any balloons BUT… > Airline Excise Tax Offset fee (per example above) adds aprx $17 more (and the more you transfer, the higher the fees).
    > per MR website, Award travel booked over phone (for Virgin America) is subject to a $20 fee. Not so sure if its worth any transfer to VA due to these additional costs (??)

  7. I just transferred and the exercising tax is $12.95. Have not called VA since our trip is next May. The revenue ticket is $150 pp, so I got 2cpm. Not bad.

  8. what about using elevate points to book flights on SQ? can that be a good value? or only in economy? thanks

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