Amex MR transfers to Virgin Flying Club now instantaneous!

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.)

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  1. Just tried with BA:
    ” Thank you. We have received your request to transfer your points to your selected partner.
    Please allow 3 days for your points to be transferred to your frequent flyer account.”

  2. This has been the case for MR to Flying Club on my account for a few years now. Not sure if it was a staggered introduction.

  3. alex vickers says:

    For atleast 3 years it has been instananous for me, as soon as a rep transferred them from amex i would log out of flying club and then back in and there they were.



  4. Agree with other posters, I’ve not transferred to VS for about 5 years but when I did it was an instant transfer, which I agree is a big improvement over BA or SPG.

    • I take it back then! I have never read this anywhere, hence me thinking it was new.

      Still no sign of the Carlson points I moved on Monday.

      • Carlson take roughly a week IME, although at least do seem to work now (first couple of times I tried they failed after a few days) – I wish all transfer ratios were like them and I look forward to receiving the bonus points next month!

  5. Mine didn’t post immediately.

    I transferred 135,000 MR on Monday evening. I logged straight into my Virgin account after seeing the ‘instantaneous’ message and they hadn’t posted. In fact, they didn’t post until Wednesday morning.

    I checked my MR account on Tuesday incase the points had been lost; they hadn’t and the transaction was there with status ‘pend’.

    Perhaps there is a limit on the number of points being transferred before manual intervention is required…

    Still, I’m looking forward to my 30% bonus 🙂


  6. It definitely is meant to be an instant transaction. When I’ve spoken to the MR team, they always seem to promote VS over BA due to the instant credit.

  7. I transferred 50,000 to BA on 17/09 and as of just now they haven’t posted yet. Status on the Membeship Reward portal is “in progress.”

    • Odd, someone just posted on my Facebook feed that they did a BA this week and it took under 24 hours.

      If this was your first ever BA transfer it will take ages, as Amex initially asks BA to verify your account details and only after that is done is the transfer made.

      • That would explain it, although I had confirmed the account previously so it appeared on the quick transfer list.
        Thanks Raffles

        • Transferred 64,500 points to BA on Thursday evening to bring my MR points balance down to 1 and they appeared this morning.

          10 days seems a long time based on my experience of my first transfer to BA which I did earlier this year the 1,000 points were in my account the day next day.

      • AviosNewbie says:

        Amex did something really stupid for me last month: I had called up to transfer my MRs to BAEC and asked them if they had my BAEC number, to which they said yes. I didn’t bother confirming the BAEC number, but what they did was to create a new BA account for me and then transfered the points! I waited for 10 days and then called them up again, when they confirmed the transfer, which I obviously couldn’t see as the points went to a different account.

        So had to call up BA to combine the points.

        It was very annoying, but Amex gave me 5000 avios for the inconvenience! 🙂

  8. Jim Logan says:

    I have an Amex Gold Card but haven’t had any notification about a bonus for transferring points to Virgin. Any idea why?

    • Some did, some didn’t.

      They tend to go to people who have shown some interest, either by linking their MR account to BA or having done a previous transfer.

      You also need to have opted in to receiving offers by email. You must opt in separately for every Amex card you have.

      Some people emailed Amex and got included, others were told to get lost! Search for my recent post on this. Last day to transfer is 30th.

  9. 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.

  10. Hi

    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)

    • 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.

    • 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.

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