I ran a long piece yesterday dissecting the recently announced changes to Virgin’s Flying Club. On the whole, I thought they represented a genuine improvement, mainly to those who fly and / or redeem in Economy.
I mentioned ‘Miles Booster‘ in my piece, and specifically I said:
Miles Booster is just weird … I don’t see the point of it
When Miles Booster was launched in November 2012, I wrote about it here.
Basically, when you booked a Virgin Atlantic flight for cash, Virgin allowed you to buy additional Flying Club miles up to the 200% of the base miles that you would earn from the flight itself. If you took a flight to New York, return, you would earn 6,916 base miles in Flying Club, before any status or cabin bonus. Miles Booster allows you to buy 13,832 miles on top.
Good idea in theory. Bad idea in practice, because Virgin was charging the same price as the standard ‘buy miles’ price! As long as you hadn’t reach your annual cap on buying miles, ‘Miles Booster’ was therefore pointless. It was also expensive, at 1.5p per mile plus a transaction fee.
What I hadn’t noticed is that, at some point this year, Virgin cut the price of ‘Miles Booster’ miles sharply.
If you look at the official Miles Booster page you will see that Flying Club is now charging just 1p per mile you buy. They have also, in the new round of programme improvements, removed the £15 transaction fee.
This is now a genuinely good deal compared to buying miles via the normal channel. The standard ‘buy miles’ price for Flying Club is 1.5p each plus a £15 fee. ‘Miles Booster’ lets you buy them for 1p each with no fee.
Now, buying Flying Club miles for 1p each is still not a huge bargain. However, if you need to top off your account to reach a certain redemption level, then it is a pretty good deal.
More interestingly – assuming that the offer outlined on the official Miles Booster page is still running – they are offering 1,000 bonus miles for every transaction. This is a great bargain for Little Red customers! Last month, I booked a one-way from Manchester to London on Little Red. Assuming that Miles Booster applies to one-way flights, I could (in theory) buy 1,750 Flying Club miles for just £7.50. That is a steal however you look at it.
(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.)