Last chance to transfer Amex points to Virgin / BA / Carlson for a bonus (and what I did)

A quick heads up that tomorrow is the last day to initiate a transfer of American Express Membership Rewards points from American Express to British Airways, Virgin Flying Club or Club Carlson to benefit from the (targeted) 20% – 30% transfer bonuses.

My original post is hereA discussion on whether it is worth opening a Virgin Flying Club account is here.

Amex Membership Rewards

Personally, I have transferred 53,334 points to Club Carlson.  With the 25% bonus, that will get me 200,000 points which is 4 x 5-star hotel nights in London.  These will be handy for friends and family over the coming year.  Note that these points took five days to arrive.

I also sent 19,000 points over to Virgin Flying Club.  That takes my balance to 50,000 and gives me the flexibility to book a one-way in Upper Class to most places, if I get a chance to get away without the family.  It would also be a good partner for my 50,000 American Airlines miles.

I didn’t send anything to BA as my Avios balance is high enough for the time being.

(To see our complete list of all current credit card bonuses, click here to visit our ‘Credit Cards Update’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

A new £20 coin for £20 available at Royal Mint - good for hitting card spend targets
'One day only' IHG Rewards Club 'flash' reward sale on MONDAY
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  1. Has anyone received their bonus miles yet? I transferred to Virgin on 4 September – the standard amount was pretty much instant but no bonus miles posted as yet. The T&C say until they have 11 October to post them, so they are running out of time!

    • Not really running out of time – I imagine Amex will wait until Tuesday, after the deadline, and then send a file to Virgin.

      Remember that the bonus varies from 20% to 30% (0% if you weren’t targeted) so Amex has to tell Virgin what to add.

  2. Yes, perhaps that was projection on my part… I’m the one running out of time, I need to book something with those bonus miles 😉

  3. Thanks for the reminder. I didn’t have my BA or VA accounts registered so didn’t get an e-mail. But I’ve just done 2 x 7.5k transfers and messaged Amex asking them to confirm that I qualify.

    • So as it seems, there’s no way of telling whether you’ve been targeted?

      • You got an email from Amex.

        If you didn’t get one, you could have emailed to complain. Some people, not all, got added in this way.

        You need to be sure you are opted in to receive email junk from Amex, and you need to set this up for every Amex you have registered online.

        • No need to complain. Just email and ask to be enrolled. I did this on 2 accounts and they were more than happy to do it. Although with the deadline looming it may be best to telephone instead.

        • Just to confirm Raffles comment. I sent a secure message once and received a reply stating that it was a targeted promo and I would have to wait for future offers.

          I sent a complaint message, stating that a colleague at work had been manually added to the eligible list. I then got a reply that on this occasion I would be included.

        • Thanks, I have re-emailed them, I had the email saying it was targeted and I had to wait for another offer ! so I’ve now messaged them again, but it probably wont happen with the deadline so close tho ! but worth a try 😉

        • Hey, it worked, I have a reply already ! I have been manually enrolled 🙂 Thanks everyone !

  4. My SPG points have left MR yesterday, but haven’t arrived at SPG, so I can transfer them to BA. Do you know how long they take to post? I know it’s the right account, as previous points are sat there. But I am waiting for my big bonus.

    • Why are you transferring from MR to SPG if you’re then transferring to BA? You only get 1 SPG point for ever 2 MR points, whereas with BA you get a 1:1 transfer rate. Even with bonuses, I can’t see that working out better.

      • The points go from American Express to Starwood automatically. Then from Starwood you have to transfer them across to BA. They don’t sit in your American Express account like other cards. When you transfer them out of Starwood you also get a 5000 bonus too, plus the current offer of 25%. So I need them to hit the account soon. Just been told by starwood it can take between 7 and 15 days for them to reappear.

        • Sorry just to clarify. This is a sign up bonus for taking out the American Express Starwood card.

        • Ah, I thought you were talking about a transfer from MR. What you are talking about isn’t strictly MR, but the SPG Amex points which is separate.

          When my Amex SPG spend transferred over to my SPG account, it did take a few days to appear, but not 7-15 days that SPG say. I’m afraid you’ll just have to wait it out.

        • I called up Amex yesterday because my starwood points did not transfer in time, so I would likely miss the 15th October deadline. I told them this and they promised to give me the extra 25% in case they miss the deadline. If you are in this situation, might be worth giving them a call to ask.

  5. Can I just clarify something – in the article you talk about “charge cards” – this is different from credit cards I am assuming? I have a platinum Amex credit card but haven’t received any email about the transfer bonus

  6. I wonder if clubcarlson is gonna be hit with a devaluation this or start of next year. Just think of all this points sitting on our accounts from various promotions(with the big one in mind) and the option to buy points from not so long ago.

    • Very likely. Not because redemptions are so cheap, but because their earnings rate (20 points per $1 plus status bonuses) is too high. Don’t transfer too many if you don’t have plans.

  7. Remind me, but you say the conversion was targeted. Is there a code i can use or o i have to ring hem to see if i qualify?

    • You would have had the email. If you didn’t, all you can do is email or ring to complain about not having the email – they will either opt you in or tell you to clear off. 50/50 chance of each looking at what has been happening!

  8. pazza2000 says:

    I also split my MR points between Club Carlson & Virgin, NO bonuses received for either yet. I was not targeted, nor did asking to be enrolled make me eligible -it took a complaint.

  9. As I didn’t get the email I just called to check if I would get the bonus but was told no! She said once I’d had my card for a year I’d start getting them. Boooo.

  10. For info, I didn’t receive an email, but did transfer points earlier in the month, they posted straight away, the bonus points posted at the end of last week. Circa. 50000 from MR to BA Avios. So this doesn’t seem to have been targeted, I have Gold Amex and received 20%.

  11. I just tried again via secure messaging and got an immediate YES! Just gotta get the right person in customer services I guess.

    • Talking about great CS. They’ve replied within an hour via secure message on a Sunday morning.
      “As you are a valued Cardmember, I have discussed this concern with my Manager and managed to get approval to manually enrol your account into this offer.”
      Now have to decide if to transfer MR to CC as I don’t have any plans of using them.

  12. Hi

    I’m fairly new to all of this and have found myself unable to make a decision as to what to do with my MR points as the 20% bonus deadline looms!

    I have 52,000 MR points, 26,000 BAEC points and about 7, 000 Avios and virgin miles each. I have an AMEX gold card which I plan to cancel as soon as my bonus points clear as my year is nearly up and have been using my diamond club AMEX again since hearing I get double points from it! Common sense tells me I ought to transfer it all to BAEC, however with recent posts discussing better availability and lower taxes with virgin, I can’t quite decide which to plump for!

    I have no travel plans and can’t travel until October 2014 but we were considering a trip for two big kids to Orlando one way and then an internal flight somewhere else in the US before flying home from there.

    We’ve moved house today and our brains are fried so any help would be especially appreciated! Thank you

    • I have a similar dilemma, splitting points between different schemes dilutes the ability to spend on rewards so it does really depend on what your travel plans are and whether thats going to be in economy or Biz (or BA First).

      With the recent, and perhaps regular, Virgin redemption sales in economy along with tesco clubcard conversion bonus i have a small stack of Virgin points now – enough to redeem during a future redemption sale (assuming it happens again). But also look at the other airlines which you can redeem virgin miles with, the list is on flying club website. In the case of Malaysian airlines i can redeem for the same seat with Virgin as i could with avios and one world but use less miles and pay less taxes, which is bizarre, but i am cautious about this changing in the near future.

      Orlando is a big Virgin destination, Virgin even fly to Orlando from regional airlines too (Glasgow and Manchester) as they can fill them. In terms of an internal flight you will soon be able to use miles with Delta.

      So the question is can you get enough redemption seats in the class you want on the airline of your choice (Virgin or BA), i’d try a few dummy bookings for your family to see what reward availability is like and on what flights (recent dummy bookings on Virgin have been on the daytime return flights from US rather than the evening overnight flight which is preferred).

      After saying all that, wait and see what BA come up with – Raffles advises that the Avios scheme is due a bit of a reshuffle, probably in the next month or two and i am hoping there will be an improvement in the scheme in response to Virgin’s improvements.

    • I would weigh up current bonuses/Virgin again vs Avios booking Aer Lingus through BA to the USA, as taxes are much lower and make economy a valid option.

  13. I didn’t receive the email offer on my Plat card,i emailed them yesterday asking to be added on, just got a reply that they r sorry to have left me out so they added 5000 MR points to my account. being 25% on my already 40k MR.

  14. I emailed them on Monday to be put on the eligible list but they only managed to reply to me yesterday when the deal had expired. The kind lady just asked me to make my transfer to my BAEC account and she will just manually add 20% to my MR account. All done and dusted in 5 mins, the 20% bonus is already in my account. If anyone feels is yet to do the transfer but feels too late then it may not be, worth a go.