AMEX has a 30% Transfer to Virgin Atlantic until September 12, 2018. While Virgin Atlantic miles aren't that great for flying Virgin Atlantic, due to the high fuel surcharges, they are good to use for booking ANA First Class, if you can find award availability for your dates. Keep in mind it's often harder to find award availability for two people on the same flight, and Virgin Atlantic miles must be used to book a roundtrip award. Here are the offer details:
- Transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club with a 30% bonus
- Transfer must be in increments of 1000 points
- Transfers are typically instant but can take up to 48 hours
- Transfers may not be reversed
- Offer valid until 11:59pm MT on September 12, 2018
ANA First Class Award Cost and Booking
If traveling from the East Coast to Japan, ANA First Class is 120,000 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles, which is 93,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points. That's a steal for this roundtrip award (again, assuming you can find award availability for your dates) as that's just 46,500 AMEX points each way. The roundtrip fare for ANA First Class is often over $20,000, so you're looking at over 20 cents per AMEX Membership Rewards point. This is about as good as it gets in terms of value per AMEX point redeemed.
In terms of booking, I recommend first checking that award space is available using United.com; you'll need to ensure that you can see ANA First Class available at the Saver award level for your dates. Then call Virgin Atlantic at 800-365-9500 to request the space, which agents can generally put on hold for a day or two, while you transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points to Flying Club (transfers are typically instant).
What is ANA First Class Like?
Do the Bonus Miles Post at the Same Time as the Transferred Points?
Yes; per the terms, “Additional Virgin Atlantic Flying Club will be awarded at the time of transfer.”
So It's Not Possible to Book a One Way ANA Award with Virgin Atlantic Miles?
No; you could simply not fly the return, but that would be a waste of miles–in that case you'd be better off booking JAL First Class between the U.S. and Japan for 80,000 AAdvantage miles, or 70,000 Alaska miles.
Can I Buy AMEX Membership Rewards Points If I Need More Points to Transfer to Flying Club?
Yes, you can–see How to Buy AMEX Membership Rewards Points.
Where Should I Stay in Tokyo?
If you'll be taking the shinkansen within Japan, the Shangri-La Tokyo and the Four Seasons Tokyo at Marunouchi are both great options, as they offer Meet & Greet service for arrivals and escorted departure service for departures at Tokyo Station. Aman Junkies will want to try the Aman Tokyo, the first “vertical” Aman, which has a very zen feel, and a gorgeous swimming pool with skyline views. And if you have an early arrival or late departure, The Peninsula Tokyo is a good choice, since with PenClub Peninsula Time, you'll either have guaranteed early check-in and late check-out, or access to another holding room until your room is ready or until you depart. Another favorite, especially for its Club Lounge, is the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo.
Do you plan to transfer any AMEX Membership Rewards points to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club with the 30% transfer bonus?
Minimum transfer is 1,000 Membership Rewards points. Redeem for this exclusive offer from 12:00 a.m. MT on August 1, 2018 to 11:59 p.m. MT on September 12, 2018, to receive 30% additional Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles. Additional Virgin Atlantic Flying Club will be awarded at the time of transfer.