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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.

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.

Virgin Atlantic 350

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. (The bonus does not show until you get to the order page.)

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.

(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.)

Buying points: 25% Avios bonus, 20% Virgin bonus, 40% Hyatt bonus, 35% American Airlines discount
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  1. Corrine says:

    really wish they’d thrown Caribbean/Antigua in there too… just about to book 🙁

  2. Karan says:

    Hi I just tried to book London-Detroit and says flying club miles can’t be used for this route. Is there a fix to that please?

    • Starts June 1st. You’ll get an error for dates before that.

      • Karan says:

        Thanks heaps mate yeah that was great. I have them a call and was able to book for June-July.

    • They take a while to be added to the system. Manchester Atlanta wasn’t showing for ages online but there were lots of seats available on ringing. Just give them a call.

  3. Deenesh says:

    Sorry if this has been answered many times before. To earn the upgrade voucher do you need to spend the required amount on solely the Amex card or is it combined between the Amex and Visa?

    • 3. Spend £5,000 on card purchases on the Virgin Atlantic Black American Express® Credit Card by the end of any year and you will receive a Premium Economy reward upgrade that, subject to availability, enables you to convert an Economy reward redemption (an Economy flight bought with your Flying Club miles) into a Premium Economy reward redemption on Virgin Atlantic. Plus, spend another £5,000 on the Virgin Atlantic Black American Express® Credit Card in that year and earn another Premium Economy reward upgrade. The main cardholder can earn a maximum of two Premium Economy reward upgrades per card account in any one year. Premium Economy reward upgrades are valid for 12 months from the date they are added to your Flying Club account. Card purchases exclude cash advances, money transfers and balance transfers. A year is defined by the 12 month period starting from the date your Virgin Atlantic Credit Card Account was opened. MBNA will notify Virgin Atlantic of your eligibility within 30 days of the end of the year

      • Jude says:

        Is each upgrade voucher valid for a return? And also does the £5000 spend need to come solely from the main cardholder or can it be the combined cardholder and any supplementary cardholders?

        • I’ve also asked this on the other thread re credit cards? No answer yet but gather the vouchers come through on the 13th month. However, I do not want to renew so will my vouchers be in jeopardy?! One poster said as long as a transaction has not gone through after the new year, MBNA will refund once I cancel but what about the payment due from the month before? Does this classify as a new transaction? Any body done this please?

          • One voucher is valid for a return or 2 one ways of you get a helpful agent. The spend can come from any card holder but has to be amex spend not visa.

          • EvilGazebo says:

            When you say 2 one ways, do you mean it might be possible to use my 2 vouchers to upgrade 4 of us on a one way transatlantic? Renewed interest in these vouchers if so!

          • As long as you don’t spend after the anniversary date and cancel as soon as the vouchers MBNA will refund, at least that’s what has been happening in practise.

          • Paul Irving says:

            I cancelled my black card after 9 months, and only the anniversary, I still got the vouchers credited to my fc account.

          • idrive says:

            confirmed, they come on 13th month. Anniversary 16/03, got the vouchers +1 end of April. I kept the card though.

  4. The_Real_A says:

    OT – 25% bonus on the purchase of avios ( I dont think this has been reported yet

  5. george says:

    Slightly off topic, I know that LHR-PHL route is not on sale but how come i cannot book a redemption ticket for points?

    • Because that’s a flight on Delta metal not VS. You can use points but you have to phone and book as a partner award.

  6. Neil Cullen says:

    I’m thinking of taking advantage of the recent reward seat sale with Virgin. I’m thinking Man to Atlanta, then using Delta from Atlanta to MCO. I know I need to collect my bags at Atlanta, but the question is, if I fly MCO as a paid flight on Delta, then Atlanta to MAN on a reward seat, will my luggage be transferred right through from MCO to MAN? They will be separate tickets but as I say with Delta and Virgin

    • Neil Cullen says:

      Sorry I should have said I have to collect my bags on the outbound, it’s the return MCO to MAN I’m asking about.

      • Jonathan says:

        Well I had a similar issue a couple of years ago flying from Torronto to Dubai via LHR. Because both flights were on different itineraries the first leg (in Torronto) tagged the bag to LHR, it took me about an hour at check-in to find someone who agreed to re tag the bag to my final destination. In short, it’s not the norm but if you find a decent crew member. If you don’t get the bag tagged correctly you’ll have to go through passport control, baggage reclaim, back through check in and security. You normally don’t have enough time to do all this and go duty free shopping 🙂

      • Not sure on delta but you I’ve booked separate tickets from sfo to las on virgin america and then las to man on virgin atlantic and they were happy to check bags through to Manchester. Can’t see why Delta would be any different.

  7. 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?

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

    • 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.

      • 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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

    • 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!

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