Almost certainly not coincidentally, Virgin Atlantic has gatecrashed the Avios sale with own January reward sale.
Almost all economy routes are reduced by 25%. And, apart from Easter and the Summer school holiday period, you can book for any point you want over the next 355 days.
Here are the rules:
Book by 27 January
No travel between 4 April – 21 April and 16 July – 2 September (so OK for the rest of the next year!)
Economy travel only
Grenada and Tobago excluded
All other routes, including Little Red, included
100% miles redemptions only (no ‘Miles Plus Money’)
Can be combined with the Virgin credit card upgrade vouchers to Premium Economy
Open jaw flights (ie fly to San Francisco, come back from Los Angeles) OK
Virgin taxes on economy redemptions are already lower (by roughly £100) than British Airways for economy redemptions. Even without a promotion, the miles required are also lower than Avios for some destinations (a New York seat will cost you 35,000 miles return, compared to 40,000 Avios with BA.).
Here is a sample of charges for Economy flights from London on Virgin Atlantic using miles, WITHOUT knocking off the 25% discount:
New York £241 (British Airways: £355) 35,000 miles (40,000 Avios)
Barbados £237 (British Airways: £329) 45,000 miles (50,000 Avios)
Las Vegas £213 (British Airways: £353) 42,500 miles (50,000 Avios)
Johannesburg £362 (British Airways: £397) 50,000 miles (50,000 Avios)
Dubai £243 (British Airways: £335) 38,500 miles (40,000 Avios)
This sale is therefore pretty aggressive. A return to New York will cost you 26,250 Virgin Flying Club miles compared to 40,000 Avios. The taxes will be £241, saving £114 over BA.
Remember that Virgin also has a few departures from Manchester, so this sale is especially interesting if you live in northern England.
Because of the two week booking period, there is plenty of time to convert some Tesco Clubcard vouchers to Virgin Flying Club if necessary. The conversion rate is 625 per £2.50 voucher, so a little higher than the Avios rate. You can also convert American Express Membership Rewards points to Virgin – these go across INSTANTLY as long as your Amex and Virgin accounts are already linked.
(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.)