Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Amex MR transfers to Virgin Flying Club now instantaneous!

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

Well, this is a first for the UK!

In the US, it is normal for American Express Membership Rewards points to transfer instantly to airline and hotel partners.  This is not the case in the UK, where it usually takes 4-5 days.

(The best transfer partner is usually Tesco Clubcard who can get points across to British Airways or Virgin Atlantic overnight.  The worst is Starwood Preferred Guest who took 30 days to do a Lufthansa transfer for me earlier this year, and I know only move Emirates transfers once per week.)

Virgin Atlantic

However, I just did a transfer to Virgin Flying Club to benefit from the current 25% bonus I was targeted for.

When I did it, I got this message:

“Your Membership Rewards points will be transferred instantly to your Virgin Atlantic Frequent Flyer Account.”

I was, frankly, highly dubious of this!  I logged into my Virgin account, though, and they were there.  (This was only the base mileage – the 25% bonus miles were always meant to post in arrears.)

This is a fantastic improvement, and means that you can look up reward flights on the Virgin website and instantly transfer the points across from Amex in order to book.

This does not apply to all partners, though.  I have no idea about British Airways but having done a Club Carlson transfer this week I can confirm that those points do not go across in a hurry – I am guessing 4-5 days.

(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles? Click here to see recent articles on Virgin Atlantic, Little Red and Flying Club, and click here for the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

Comments (21)

  • darrenf says:

    Have read bad things about SPG transfers here and on FlyerTalk – but I’ve only transferred SPG points twice, once to AA and once to BA, both inside the last 2 months, and neither transfer took more than 72 hours. In fact to BA it was quicker than the redeposit of Avios from a cancelled booking, which I had to chase by phone.

  • Diane says:


    I have managed to transfer my SPG points to BAEC a couple of days ago – did take several phone-calls to Amex, but they have gone from my Starwood account, so hopefully will be en-route in cyberspace . Can someone please advise what happens when I cancel my SPG amex – where does the pro-rata refund go ? Also, is there a recommended time frame to cancel in.
    ( My husband also has done this – his points plus the bonus went through in a couple of days – but he did have to make one phone call to Amex to link the card to his SPG account)

    • Rob says:

      Refund goes onto your SPG account! Keeping logging in to your Amex account online and you will see it appear. They can transfer it to any other Amex card you have, which is what I always do, or presumably do a bank transfer or cheque.

    • Stevo says:

      When I cancelled by SPG Amex I rang the 0800 number and was asked what I would like them to do with the pro rata refund – they offered to transfer the credit to another card (I have BA Amex & Gold Amex) – I was told this would take about week all in and sure enough it did.

      First it credits to the cancelled card and then they transfer it manually to another card (but I did not have to chase them – all done in the first call).

      One thing to note, if you would like some of your credit limit transferred to another card then ask before cancelling as it can’t be done afterwards.

  • Nick says:

    Does anyone know if the bonus is still on offer when converting amex mr points to virgin flying club?