35% transfer bonus from Membership Rewards to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club expires tomorrow!

Since late November American Express Membership Rewards has been running a 35% transfer bonus to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, and it’s worth noting that this bonus expires tomorrow, December 29, 2012.

As I explained in the last post, I see almost no instances where this transfer is worthwhile for an airline award redemption, given that Virgin Atlantic imposes massive fuel surcharges on award tickets.

That being said, the hidden value in this is that Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles can be transferred to Hilton HHonors points at a 1:2 ratio (in 10,000 mile blocks), so through this transfer bonus you can actually transfer points at a 1:2.7 ratio.

Hilton charges 145,000 HHonors points for a four night AXON award (for those with a co-branded Hilton American Express), which can be redeemed at up to their category seven properties.

145,000 points divided by 2.7 is ~54,000 (Membership Rewards) points, and if you divide that by four (the number of nights), that’s ~13,500 Membership Rewards points per night. Given some of the amazing properties you can redeem points at, I’d say that’s a steal. I’ll be going to the Conrad Koh Samui over spring break on my first AXON award, and am quite looking forward to that.

I’m getting involved with Hilton quite a bit more next year, so I even made a transfer using this bonus.

See, I wasn’t kidding. 😉

Anyway, if you’ve been considering taking advantage of this transfer bonus, now is the time to do it. Points transfer from Membership Rewards to Flying Club instantly, while transfers from Flying Club to HHonors take about a week.


  1. I just learned by calling Amex Membership Rewards that my American Express Blue card’s membership rewards points are not transferrable. If I have a Amex Gold card, then I will be eligible.

  2. @ JohnnieD — You can make the transfer as soon as the points are in your Virgin account.

    @ Jim H — Right, the Blue card doesn’t have “full” Membership Rewards points. That being said, if you sign up for any card that accrues the real Membership Rewards points (and not the “express” points) then all your points can be redeemed through that program, even those from the blue card.

    @ mangoceviche — Not that I can remember.

  3. How do 5K Virgin miles become 100000 points?

    Is that real? Your screenshot shows it that way unless I am squinted somewhere 🙂

  4. I’ve been thinking of doing this and noticed that the language at the Amex site says “before” January 29th, which would mean the deadline is today.

  5. I transferred a bunch of Amex MR points before reading the T&C thoroughly:( it costs $13.50 for every 1000 miles transferred? OR am i reading it wrong? (hopefully)

  6. @ Sundance — Assuming you transferred them to Virgin Atlantic, there’s no fee to then transfer them to Hilton HHonors. You just have to call Virgin Atlantic to make the transfer.

  7. oops, I went back and re-read the first posting about this on Nov 26. I guess the transfer is free -whew! but in small increments…

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