American Express Membership Rewards offering 30% transfer bonus to Virgin America Elevate through September 2, 2012

Through September 2, 2012, American Express Membership Rewards is offering a 30% bonus on points transfers to Virgin America Elevate. The usual transfer ratio is 200:100 (Membership Rewards:Elevate points), so through this promotion the transfer ratio will be 200:130.

This isn’t very exciting for redemptions on Virgin America, given that their award pricing is based on the cost of a ticket, so even with the transfer bonus you’re looking at a maximum of ~1.5 cents per point of value.

The one potentially interesting thing about this transfer promotion is the possibility of redeeming on Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia, ever since the Virgins hooked up in March. For example, New York to London roundtrip in Upper Class on Virgin Atlantic would cost you 35,000 Elevate points:

Through this promotion that would take only 54,000 Membership Rewards points (while the next best deal for booking that ticket would be ANA, which charges 63,000 Membership Rewards points for the same ticket).

Or Virgin Australia business class from Los Angeles to Sydney would run you 80,000 Elevate points:

Through this promotion that would take 124,000 Membership Rewards points (while the next best deal for booking that ticket would be Delta, which charges 150,000 Membership Rewards points for the same ticket).

It’s worth noting that there are also huge taxes/fees/fuel surcharges associated with both tickets, though that’s the case with Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia in almost all cases. So while I don’t think either of the above scenarios are amazing deals, they are among the best options if you want to fly one of the Virgins, and are worth mentioning at the very least.

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