Since late November American Express Membership Rewards has been running a 35% transfer bonus to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, and it’s worth noting that this bonus expires tomorrow, December 29, 2012.
As I explained in the last post, I see almost no instances where this transfer is worthwhile for an airline award redemption, given that Virgin Atlantic imposes massive fuel surcharges on award tickets.
That being said, the hidden value in this is that Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles can be transferred to Hilton HHonors points at a 1:2 ratio (in 10,000 mile blocks), so through this transfer bonus you can actually transfer points at a 1:2.7 ratio.
Hilton charges 145,000 HHonors points for a four night AXON award (for those with a co-branded Hilton American Express), which can be redeemed at up to their category seven properties.
145,000 points divided by 2.7 is ~54,000 (Membership Rewards) points, and if you divide that by four (the number of nights), that’s ~13,500 Membership Rewards points per night. Given some of the amazing properties you can redeem points at, I’d say that’s a steal. I’ll be going to the Conrad Koh Samui over spring break on my first AXON award, and am quite looking forward to that.
I’m getting involved with Hilton quite a bit more next year, so I even made a transfer using this bonus.
See, I wasn’t kidding.
Anyway, if you’ve been considering taking advantage of this transfer bonus, now is the time to do it. Points transfer from Membership Rewards to Flying Club instantly, while transfers from Flying Club to HHonors take about a week.