American Express: New redemption partner – Virgin America

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A few weeks ago, we wrote about Continental going away as a redemption partner for American Express Membership Reward points after September 30th. Yesterday American Express announced that Virgin America is going to be a new airline redemption partner. The partnership begins on October 5th, 2011.

This is a poor replacement for Continental as the Continental network is significantly larger than Virgin America’s — Continental as part of Star Alliance which flies to over 180 countries while Virgin America is limited to the United States and Mexico

While the Virgin America onboard product is relatively nice compared to other domestic carriers, we rather have access to more destinations since domestic award tickets are a poor value to begin with. Let’s hope American Express is working behind the scenes and bring either American Airlines or US Airways onboard.

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2 Responses to "American Express: New redemption partner – Virgin America"

  1. George says:

    Actually, you can redeem Virgin America points for International flights on Virgin Atlantic, including Upper Class seats.

  2. TFD says:

    @George, yes. Now you can. But when we wrote the article in September, 2011, it was not yet a feature. Despite the fact that you can, the redemption is poor value. A better way would be transfer it over to ANA and Virgin Atlantic that way. JFK – LHR is only 68,000 miles via ANA for Virgin on Upper Class. Fuel surcharges apply.

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