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.
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.
How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (December 2023)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, the Reward+ card has a bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points):
You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for a year and comes with 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 20,000 Virgin Points.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points.
(Want to earn more Virgin Points? Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)