You can now redeem Virgin miles on Virgin Holidays – but should you?

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Virgin Holidays has introduced a new feature – the ability to pay, or part pay, for your holiday using your Virgin Flying Club miles.  But is it a good deal?

This is not a surprising move.  A couple of years ago, Virgin Atlantic introduced ‘miles plus money’ for flights.  This is ‘proper’ part payment, in that you can use as many or as few miles as you want, and you can pay the ENTIRE cost if you wish.  British Airways, in contrast, caps the amount you pay for a cash flight using Avios as part-payment.

Virgin Holidays, which is being run more closely with the airline these days, has now followed.

Use Virgin Flying Club miles on Virgin Holidays

Full details can be found on this page of the Virgin Flying Club website.

If you want to learn more about Virgin Holidays, however, you need to go to their own dedicated website here.

The deal is as simple as it gets.  You receive an £18 discount on your Virgin Holidays package for every 3,000 Flying Club miles you spend.  This works out at 0.6p per mile.

The execution is a little messy at the moment however:

You can use ‘miles plus money’ when booking Virgin Holidays online

You can use ‘miles plus money’ to pay down an existing holiday balance, via Virgin Holidays ‘Manage My Booking’ page

You CAN’T (yet) use ‘miles plus money’ if you book your holiday in a Virgin Holidays shop

You CAN’T (yet) use ‘miles plus money’ if you book your holiday over the phone with Virgin Holidays

What is not clear to me is if you can book with a deposit in a shop or over the telephone and then use your miles online to reduce your future payments.

There is no restriction on how many miles you can use.  If you have enough, you can pay for the entire holiday with miles.

Virgin Holidays pay with miles

You can get good deals on Virgin Holidays as a Flying Club member

Before I look at ‘miles plus money’, I wanted to remind you that there are good deals for Virgin Flying Club members who book with Virgin Holidays.

Depending on the colour of your Flying Club membership card:

Red members (you get Red just for signing up) – save up to 7% plus earn 1 mile for every £1 spent

Silver members – save up to 7% plus earn 2 miles for every £1 spent

Gold members – save up to 10% plus earn 2 miles every £1 spent

These discounts work on top of existing special offers.  The discount triggers automatically online – visit the Virgin Holidays website and when you go through to the booking page or ‘Enter passenger details’, click on ‘Frequent Flyer information’ and enter your Flying Club number.

Is ‘miles plus money’ with Virgin Holidays a good deal?

No, not really.  0.6p is the exactly the same deal you get if you use ‘miles plus money’ with Virgin Atlantic.  I look to get around 1p per mile from my Flying Club miles when redeeming for mileage tickets so the idea of accepting 0.6p via this route is not attractive.

It is better value than using your miles for Kaligo.com hotel redemptions, Virgin Vouchers or similar non-flying redemptions.  It is also better value than transferring your miles into IHG Rewards Club or Hilton Honors points.

However …..

Imagine you earned your Virgin miles via Tesco Clubcard.  You would be using £1 of Clubcard vouchers for 250 Virgin miles worth £1.50 of holiday discount.  This is not a very impressive return given some of the other Clubcard deals out there.  £1 of Clubcard vouchers would get you £3 of Uber credit or £3 of Hotels.com credit for example.

Imagine you earned your Virgin miles via Heathrow Rewards.  You would be giving up £1 of Heathrow shopping vouchers for 60p of holiday discount!

Imagine you earned your Virgin miles from the free Virgin Atlantic Reward credit card.  At 0.75 miles per £1, you’d be getting 0.45p of holiday discount per £1 spent on your card.  A good free cashback Visa or Mastercard like the Amazon one will give you back 0.5p in shopping vouchers per £1 spent.

On the other hand, there are upsides:

You have no problems with reward availability.  You can book any holiday offered by Virgin Holidays with no restrictions.

You can pay for the entire cost of your trip.  There are no taxes and charges to pay.  If you have enough miles, you can genuinely get a totally free holiday.

If you earn all of your Flying Club miles from flying for work – so you haven’t actually paid anything for them at all – then ‘miles plus money’ is an option to consider.

If you have been collecting Virgin miles via a partner instead then I would think twice.  Even if you are struggling to find reward flights, remember that Air France and KLM reward availability should be added to Flying Club soon.

You can find out more on this page of the Virgin Flying Club website.  If you want to learn more about Virgin Holidays, their website is here.

How to earn Virgin Atlantic miles from UK credit cards

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Flying Club miles from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Flying Club miles.  That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.

(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles?  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.)

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Comments

  1. Hi,

    Can you pay just the minimum deposit with miles? without paying any cash?

    • If you book online, yes I believe so. They are ambivalent about how you mix cash and miles.

  2. Also, any idea whether any member of the booked party can pay part of balance off with miles? I have 200k, my wife has 60k and daughter 20k. Only seems to be an option for lead party member as far as I could go?

    Thanks

    Nick

    • No idea – I only know what I put in the article.

      • Thanks Rob. Not yet done it, but rang customer relations to confirm.

        Only lead guest can make payments from their flying club account. Also, you can book over phone or in store and make payments with miles through my booking.

        Nick

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