Virgin Atlantic changes Hilton transfers AGAIN

Another sneaky change in the terms for Virgin Atlantic to Hilton transfers!  It devalued back in January from 100% transfer bonus to %50 transfer bonus (50,000 points used to equal 100,000 Hilton points now it is 75,000 Hilton points).  Now the transfer amounts must be in 10,000 increments!  The old rules were that the transfer must be:

  • minimum of 10,000 points
  • increments of 5,000 points

Now you must transfer 10,000 at a time, check it out:

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Virgin Atlantic transfer terms as of April 1 2014

The reason I am writing about this is that I don’t want others to end up like I did today!!!! I had around 4,000 orphan Virgin Atlantic miles  and I was looking to use them with the American Express Membership Rewards 30% bonus going on now.  I figured I can use the Hilton points and the transfer ratio is 1:1.95 so 1 Membership reward point=1.95 Hilton points with this transfer bonus and the 50% transfer to Hilton.  I made my transfer and I ended up with just over 15,000 Virgin Atlantic miles.  I then called Virgin Atlantic at 800 821-5438 and spoke to a customer service agent to transfer my miles to Hilton. He asked “how much would you like to transfer”, and I responded, “as much as possible which I believe is 15,000”.  He then took a look and tried to make the transfer but he then replied, “I can only do increments of 10,000”.  I was perplexed and stated “it should be increments of 5,000 after a 10,000 minimum”  and he said, “as of April 1st the increments changed to 10,000 at a time.”

I was angry as this is another sly devaluation or at least makes your miles harder to use and had I known I could’ve transferred less Membership Rewards points to make it as close as possible to 10,000.  I simply told him to transfer the 10,000 which left me with 5,000 orphan miles now.  So tonight I am going to need to transfer another 4,000 Membership rewards points to get back to 10,000 Virgin Atlantic miles and call Virgin Atlantic again to make another separate transfer.  I am just about out of Membership Rewards and I was waiting for a British Airways bonus but it has been about six months since any transfer bonus with them.

I know many of you are hanging on to your Membership Rewards for transfers to Singapore for a suites redemption or to Avios for short haul flights.  I only had about 12,000 Membership Rewards points left and my Business Rewards Gold card is about one year old and the annual fee is going to kick in at which point I will cancel. I needed to transfer these points out as I have no other Membership Rewards earning cards at this time (but it was nice to get 175,000 with the personal plat and the biz gold card).

-pointspinnacle