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

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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 article is here.

A discussion on whether it is worth opening a Virgin Flying Club account is here.

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.

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – March 2023 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Successfully apply for either of the Barclaycard Avios credit cards by 2nd April 2023 and you will be entered into a free draw to win ONE MILLION AVIOS! Full details are on the application forms here (free) and here (paid). This competition is exclusive to Head for Points readers. T&C apply.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:

Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

60,000 points sign-up bonus (to 30th March) and free for a year Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

1% cashback (3% for 3 months if you apply by 31st March) and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (36)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • S says:

    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!

    • Rob says:

      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.

  • S says:

    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 😉

  • CliveJ says:

    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.

    • M says:

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

      • Rob says:

        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.

        • Anon says:

          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.

          • Sideysid says:

            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.

          • Corrine says:

            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 😉

          • Corrine says:

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

  • Heather says:

    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.

    • Miles Mania says:

      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.

      • Heather says:

        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.

        • Heather says:

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

          • Miles Mania says:

            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.

          • Toti says:

            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.

  • Shaun says:

    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

    • Rob says:

      Yes, this seems targetted to Gold, Plat and Centurion charge card holders. I think the Platinum credit card has been forgotten about now it is no longer publicly available.

  • M says:

    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.

    • Rob says:

      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.

  • Gordon says:

    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?

    • Rob says:

      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!

  • 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.

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