Having been in school for over a month now, my want to journey has made me miss this previous summer season’s fast-paced journeys. So whereas now will not be the correct time to for me to leap continents and take off exploring, it doesn’t imply I can’t begin planning for subsequent summer season.
As luck would have it, this month American Specific introduced 12 limited-time switch bonuses with a few of its strongest switch companions. In flip, this successfully places most of the greatest Amex Membership Rewards redemptions on sale. Most of those switch bonuses finish Sept. 30.
With Japan inching nearer to reopening, I needed to see if I may maximize the 30% switch bonus with Virgin Atlantic to e-book my first journey to Asia.
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Let’s check out how I did it — and why you may need to do the identical.
Virgin Atlantic’s ANA candy spot award chart
Among the finest potential methods to redeem Virgin Atlantic Flying Membership factors is on ANA on account of its extraordinarily cheap award chart. As you possibly can see, from the West Coast to Japan is barely 90,000 factors, not one-way, however round-trip.
|Economic system class
|Japan-Europe/Central and Jap USA/Mexico
Now that we are able to e-book one-way award tickets, the costs come out to half the round-trip price. This implies that you may e-book Los Angeles to Tokyo in top notch for simply 55,000 factors. That is lower than half of what another loyalty applications cost.
Though top notch sounds unbelievable, when enterprise class from Tokyo to my residence airport of Dulles Worldwide Airport (IAD) grew to become obtainable, I knew I couldn’t flip down the chance — particularly whereas Amex is providing a 30% switch bonus to Virgin Atlantic.
How I booked ANA enterprise class for 37,000 Amex factors
Incomes Virgin factors is straightforward sufficient with its intensive checklist of switch companions. You may switch practically all main reward currencies to Virgin, together with American Specific Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Chase Final Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, Capital One miles and Marriott Bonvoy.
Fortunately, that is the place Amex’s 30% switch bonus was in a position to assist me. For each Membership Rewards level I transferred, I bought 1.3 Flying Membership factors. Be aware that this switch bonus ends Sept. 30, so act rapidly if you wish to make the most of it to your personal journey to Japan.
|Flying Membership factors wanted
|Membership Rewards factors wanted
Since you possibly can solely switch in intervals of 1,000, transferring 37,000 Membership Rewards factors was simply sufficient for me to e-book the ticket. So, I logged in to American Specific, entered my Flying Membership data, keyed in 37,000 factors and the switch was submitted.
How I booked the flight
Whereas I used to be in a position to make use of my most popular Star Alliance award search engine to search out the provision on United, sadly, it’s not potential to e-book ANA awards reserving on-line with Virgin Atlantic. (TPG’s Katie Genter does a superb job of explaining the best way to discover ANA award availability right here).
After discovering the provision, I referred to as Virgin Atlantic to substantiate. Regardless of the lengthy wait instances famous on the web site, I may get by way of to an agent in a short time. The agent confirmed that an award seat was obtainable and advised me that 47,500 miles had been required to e-book.
Sadly, the taxes and costs for the reservation had been larger than common. On account of excessive gasoline costs, the ticket value $409.27 along with the factors. That is greater than the everyday sub-$150 in taxes and costs pre-pandemic, nevertheless it was value it for practically 13 hours in enterprise class.
The agent couldn’t maintain award house for ANA, however most transfers are on the spot, permitting you to switch factors and make sure the ticket whereas on the cellphone.
Sadly, this time the switch wasn’t on the spot for me and I needed to wait 5 hours for the factors to look in my account.
As soon as the factors had been in my account, I referred to as Virgin Atlantic and booked my tickets in minutes.
Regardless of the switch delay, I used to be in a position to e-book a ticket that may have value practically $8,500 for 37,000 Membership Rewards factors, plus the taxes and costs. Which means I bought an insane 22 cents per Membership Rewards level, 11 instances larger than TPG’s present valuation of two cents per level.
Not solely will I be capable to fly again from my first journey to Asia in type, however I can accomplish that for fewer miles than what United costs for a seat in economic system on the identical route (regardless of larger taxes and costs).
Even higher, ANA provides one of many world’s greatest business-class merchandise and reserving by way of Virgin Atlantic’s candy spot is one thing I’ve all the time needed to check. Having American Specific add a switch bonus this month was the cherry on prime of a sundae, and a proposal I merely couldn’t refuse.