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Virgin sale: up to 40% fewer miles needed for USA economy redemptions

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Virgin Atlantic has launched a new reward seat sale, focussing exclusively on destinations in the USA.  Full details can be found here.

Virgin has occasional economy redemption sales where you can save 25% on a flight.  However, this sale is offering mileage discounts of up to 40%! 

Participating destinations are priced at a flat 25,000 miles return plus £249 of taxes and charges.

Virgin Atlantic 350

These rates are cheaper than comparable Avios redemptions at off-peak periods – and substantially cheaper than ‘peak period’ Avios redemptions.  Taxes on Virgin Atlantic are also, in economy, far lower than on British Airways.

Even better, this sale coincides with the current 20% transfer bonus on Tesco Clubcard vouchers to Virgin Atlantic.

Here are the rules:

Book by 20th May

No restriction on travel dates – you can book up to 11 months ahead

Economy only

The following routes are included:  Boston, New York JFK, Washington, Chicago, Atlanta (from Heathrow and Manchester), Detroit, Miami

Tax is fixed at £249 per person (£222 from Manchester to Atlanta)

100% miles redemptions only (no ‘Miles Plus Money’)

Open jaw flights (ie fly to New York, come back from Boston) OK as long as both destinations are in the sale

Virgin taxes on economy redemptions are lower (by roughly £100) than British Airways for economy redemptions.

This is what you would pay for a similar Avios redemption.  Remember that all of the Virgin routes cost 25,000 miles + £249 in taxes and charges:

New York JFK – 26,000 Avios off-peak / 40,000 peak + £338

Boston – 26,000 Avios off-peak / 40,000 peak + £338

Washington – 26,000 Avios off-peak / 40,000 peak + £338

Chicago – 26,000 Avios off-peak / 40,000 peak + £338

Atlanta – 33,000 Avios off-peak / 50,000 peak + £338

Detroit – not a BA route

Miami – 33,000 Avios off-peak / 50,000 peak + £338 

This sale is pretty good. A return to New York will cost you 25,000 Virgin Flying Club miles compared to peak Avios pricing of 40,000 Avios. The taxes will be £246, saving £108 per person over BA.

It does not specifically mention whether these sale tickets can be combined with the Virgin credit card upgrade vouchers to Premium Economy, but that is not normally a problem.

Because of the two week booking period, there is plenty of time to convert some Tesco Clubcard vouchers to Virgin Flying Club if necessary.  There is currently a 20% bonus of Clubcard conversions so the rate is 300 miles per £1 of Tesco voucher.

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.

Virgin is also offering a 20% bonus if you buy Flying Club miles via this link before June 3rd. If you are a few thousand short then this is also an option. 

There is also a 20% bonus on ‘Miles Booster’ which I will look at in a day or so.

Full details of the Virgin Flying Club reward seat sale can be found here on their website.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (February 2024)

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):

Virgin Money is offering double points on spending until 14th April (£5,000 cap) to new customers when you apply for the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard. Click here to learn more.

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 bonus points and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

A generous earning rate for a free card at 0.75 points per £1 Read our full review

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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 40,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 40,000 Virgin Points.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points.

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 9th April) and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

Huge 60,000 points sign-up bonus (until 9th April) and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn 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.)

Comments (71)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Kim says:

    Hi I’m hoping to book some flights for hubby and me to Miami. We both have Flying Club accounts but never booked reward flights before so looking for some advice. I need to transfer some tesco points to make up the 25000 each. Should I put 50,000 into one account and book both flights together (leaving about 7000 unused in the other account) or would it be ok to put 25,000 into each and maybe book both outward flights from one account and both returns from the other?

    • RT says:

      Dont see why you can’t do 25k in each 🙂

    • Pol says:

      You can do either. Virgin are quite happy to let you book reward flights by using more than one account to split the miles as long as you have enough from each account for one segment. I’ve booked 2 returns for my brother (2 upper class returns costing 160,000 total) using 80,000 miles from his account 40,000 from his wife’s and 40,000 from my dads. Whichever you decide call to book and you can book 2 returns and instruct them to split it anyway (50,000 from yours or ,25,000 from each or 37,500 and 12,500). This way all flights will be on one pnr.

      • Kim says:

        Thanks, that makes sense. I just looked at booking two one way tickets and it charges in dollars for the return so phoning would get around that. Thanks for your help!

  • Europe-US for 25,000 Miles Roundtrip, Tourists Shatter Priceless Artifact Taking Selfie, and Much More.. - View from the Wing says:

    […] News and notes from around the interweb: Virgin Atlantic is offering roundtrip economy awards between London and Boston, New York JFK, Washington, Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, and Miami for just 25,000 miles and £249 taxes. […]

  • Kst78 says:

    Well now I’m mad I just booked round trip from Atl to london in October ..60k points via Delta…wonder if there is a way to get upgrade or something.

  • Joe Yates says:

    I booked a flight the other day at it was at normal mileage!

    10,000 miles difference, do I just ring up or is it easier to cancel and rebook

    • Rob says:

      I would ring because, if you are polite, they might waive the cancellation fee or simply refund the difference in miles as a goodwill gesture.

      Obviously do NOT cancel and rebook unless more reward seats are showing because there is no guarantee that the ones you cancel will go back into reward availability.

      • Joe Yates says:

        One of the team wasn’t very helpful saying it would take 2 weeks to get my miles back, and as i only had 20,000 remaining i couldnt book without buying extra miles.
        I said I’ll email CS if needed, Rang back an hour later they waived the charges, and allowed me to change the return trip for free. 10,000 miles back in my pocket!
        Keeping my eyes out for Hotel point deals now!

  • emerging businesses says:

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This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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