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.
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 Atlantic 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.
How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (December 2023)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, the Reward+ card has a bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points):
You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for a year and comes with 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 20,000 Virgin Points.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points.
(Want to earn more Virgin Points? Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)