20% bonus when you convert Amex points into VirginAtlantic miles

October 08, 2010
Fares from Washington DC:

    This strikes us as a very good deal. Throughout the month of October, when you transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to your VirginAtlantic Flying Club frequent flyer account, you'll get a 20% bonus. So let's say you transfer 10,000 Amex points: you'll actually get 12,000 miles in FlyingClub.

    Another cool thing about FlyingClub, we've found, is that Virgin Atlantic seems to have reward seats available whenever we look, unlike some other airlines. We've done some spot checks at random over the last few weeks, and had no trouble finding free seats in all classes on various travel dates.

    Of course, let's face it, the seats aren't really "free." An UpperClass roundtrip between New York JFK and London LHR for midweek October travel, available for 90,000 miles currently, comes with $568 in taxes and "fees." But still, were we to buy that flight, it would cost $5601 round-trip including tax at current prices.

    Also, when you consider that you could easily spend that many miles or more for a business class flight between New York and Los Angeles, costing around $2400 round-trip, on some US-based carriers (we're thinking of you, Delta), you're much better off spending them on a much more expensive first-class experience to London, with Virgin's enormous fully-lie-flat seat beds and other perks. And now, with the 20% bonus, that 90,000 mile trip will actually just cost you about 74,000 miles. A jolly good deal, indeed.

    --George Hobica, Airfarewatchdog.com