50% Transfer Bonus AMEX to Virgin America Means 47k Roundtrip Flat Beds to Europe


Through March 10, 2016, American Express is offering a 50% transfer bonus from Membership Rewards to Virgin America Elevate Points.

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 12.38.20 PMThe normal transfer ratio is 200 Membership Rewards to 100 Elevate Points, but for the next month, the ratio will be 200 Membership Rewards to 150 Elevate Points.
Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 12.38.31 PM

How Membership Rewards Work

As a quick refresher, there are two ways to use Membership Rewards:

  1. The dumb way: use them like cash to purchase flights, car rentals, hotels, or cruises at a paltry rate of 1 cent per point
  2. The smart way: transfer them to one of the 16 airline partners or three hotel partners. Then your points are whatever miles you chose, subject to that award chart and those rules.

16 Airline and 3 Hotel Partners

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 12.49.10 PM Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 12.49.18 PM

Best Uses of Virgin America Elevate Points

Virgin America points are worth about 2 cents each toward Virgin America flights. They are usually worth more than that when redeemed on award charts for Hawaiian Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and Virgin Australia flights. The only one of those partners on which Virgin America collects fuel surcharges is Virgin Atlantic.

Bottom Line

Through March 10, American Express Membership Rewards enjoy a 50% transfer bonus to Virgin America Elevate Points, bringing the transfer rate to 200 MR -> 150 Virgin America points.

This unlocks some incredible deals on partner airlines like Hawaiian, Virgin Atlantic, and Virgin Australia.

Hat Tip Doctor of Credit

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  1. I noticed that you left out Singapore air and Emirates. Is it because of high fuel surcharges on Emirates and lack of availability on Singapore?

  2. Scott-

    Is this a good enough deal that you would cash in some MR points speculatively, if you had 250-500,000 MR points just laying around?


    • Not completely speculatively. Maybe if I knew I wanted to book one of the good value awards but wasn’t sure exactly when, then I might transfer before I had it fully figured out.


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