Virgin caps taxes on UK redemptions at £30 and charges just 7500 miles – now a decent Clubcard / Amex MR redemption

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One of my criticisms about Little Red, the new Virgin Atlantic domestic airline I outline here, was that redemption flights via Virgin Flying Club were likely to be very uncompetitive due to the taxes that Virgin levies on redemptions.

Well, it seems that Virgin had spotted this one coming.  They have decided to match the Reward Flight Saver taxes deal that BA offers and they have undercut British Airways on the number of miles needed!

You can see the announcement on this page. (EDIT: link removed as dead)

Little Red

In summary, redemptions on Little Red to/from Heathrow to London, Edinburgh and Aberdeen will cost just 7,500 Flying Club miles plus £30 taxes.

This is a better deal than using Avios, where you will need 9,000 Avios points plus £30 to fly the same routes.

You need to remember that Virgin has a thinner schedule than BA, although you get at least three flights per day to each destination.  It is still early days for the Little Red services, so it is not clear how easy it will be to get redemption seats in the long-term.

Virgin Flying Club is a Tesco Clubcard, BAA WorldPoints and American Express Membership Rewards partner, so even if you never fly with Virgin you can move miles into Flying Club fairly easily.  You can also pick up Virgin miles fairly easily through their promotions – you can currently get 5,000 miles for opening a Virgin Money ISA and 3,000 miles a night for staying in certain Hilton hotels in London and Scotland, for example.  You can also get 20,000 or 30,000 Virgin miles from the sign up bonuses for the American Express Gold and Platinum cards respectively, or 10,000 Virgin miles from converting the Starwood Amex sign-up bonus.

Be aware of their cancellation policies, though.  You lose 25% of your miles if you cancel, and 100% if you cancel within 7 days.

(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles? Click here to see recent articles on Virgin Atlantic, Little Red and Flying Club, and click here for the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

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  1. Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    Not bad, but I think the hardened frequent flyer will be swayed by the fact that a UK domestic Avios redemption effectively gets you a free leg to Paris/Berlin/Milan etc.

    Do VS now offer free domestic connections on longhaul redemptions?

  2. Jovan says:

    And will it be half that (3750 miles and £15) for one way? If so, that would be nice way to clear last remaining 3770 from my account 🙂

  3. Kieran says:

    Do you lose 100% of the miles if you cancel Amex Platinum within 7 days?

    • No, sorry, I was referring to Virgin redemptions and Virgin miles. I should have edited that last chunk a bit better!

  4. andy21 says:

    It seems that fares are yet to be loaded as when you try and book a domestic route you’re unable to select the option to search for flying club fares

    • Geoggy says:

      And when you are searching for flying club redemptions none of the domestic destinations are in the drop down list

  5. andy21 says:

    Ah I see, ‘will offer’ – so it’s not live yet.

    • Wonder if the call centre can do it? I think all 3 services are now launched, so no excuse not to have online booking.

      • pazza2000 says:

        I can confirm the call centre can do it, with no ‘off-line’ service fee levied.

  6. Rasper says:

    I like in Northern Ireland so this isn’t exactly relevant to me, however even if I lived on the UK mainland I’d never redeem milage points just to get to Heathrow, as the avios free connection means you can effectively get a free return to zone one on top of this.

  7. One correction. The current Virgin / Hilton promotion in London and Scotland earns 4,000 miles per stay. It is the 1,000 + 3,000 bonus miles.

  8. plongs3 says:

    Disappotinting that Manchester isnt included,

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