Yesterday I wrote about how Amex is offering a 30% bonus on points transfers to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, meaning that 1,000 Amex points convert into 1,300 Flying Club miles.
While I don’t find Flying Club redemptions on Virgin Atlantic flights to be especially valuable due to the high surcharges, I highlighted the incredible value of redeeming Flying Club miles for travel in ANA first class. For example, for just 120,000 miles you can fly roundtrip first class between the US and Japan, which is an exceptionally good deal.
However, there’s one other great award redemption value I wanted to specifically mention, for anyone who is considering this transfer bonus.
It’s possible to fly one-way from the US to Europe on Delta for 30,000 Flying Club miles in economy, or 50,000 Flying Club miles in business class. When you factor in the 30% transfer bonus, that’s like paying 24,000 Membership Rewards points for a one-way economy ticket or 39,000 Membership Rewards points for a one-way business class ticket.
Note that there are carrier imposed surcharges if you’re flying roundtrip from the US to Europe or one-way from Europe to the US. However, the surcharges don’t apply if you’re flying Delta one-way from the US to Europe, as long as you don’t fly to the UK. If you do fly to the UK you’ll not only pay more miles, but will also pay $500 one-way for carrier imposed surcharges, since Flying Club has aligned pricing for Delta and Virgin Atlantic when redeeming miles between the US and London.
So you can redeem 39,000 Amex points for a one-way Delta business class ticket from the US to Europe (with the exception of the UK).
Next summer Delta is launching nonstop flights from Los Angeles to Paris and Amsterdam, and at the moment saver level award availability in business class is wide open. So being able to redeem for a nonstop flight from California to Europe in summer is an awesome deal, especially as there are multiple award seats on many flights.
Here’s availability from Los Angeles to Amsterdam:
And here’s availability from Los Angeles to Paris:
Those flights would also cost you just 39,000 Membership Rewards points plus $5.60 in taxes.
For a while Delta awards were bookable on Virgin Atlantic’s website, though that’s not the case anymore. So if you want to book these flights, you’ll have to ring Virgin Atlantic Flying Club at (800) 365-9500. The agents there are friendly and can verify availability and pricing for you. They can even put tickets on hold for up to 24 hours, so you can hold the ticket, transfer points from Amex (instantly), and then call back to book.
Note that it’s possible that Virgin Atlantic will add carrier imposed surcharges to these redemptions at some point in the future. After all, the terms of the chart state “taxes, fees and carrier imposed surcharges apply to all reward flights.” However, up until now that hasn’t been the case for one-way Delta flights from the US to Europe other than to the UK (for a long time they weren’t even charged when flying to the UK, but that recently changed), and I just called to ask about pricing again, and that’s still the case as of now.
If you have any upcoming transatlantic travel, 39,000 Amex points for one-way travel in business class is pretty tough to beat!
Anyone plan to take advantage of this great value?