How to redeem your Virgin Flying Club miles for hotel rooms via Kaligo

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Virgin Flying Club has a partnership with hotel booking site Kaligo.com to offer an alternative way of redeeming your Virgin miles.  You can use them to pay for hotels globally offered by Kaligo.com.

British Airways allows you to redeem Avios for hotel rooms via this special ba.com page.  You get around 0.57p per Avios if you do this.  Today I want to see what sort of value Virgin Atlantic offers.

The Avios booking site is very clunky and has little information on the featured hotels, but Virgin’s effort is much better as you would expect from a Kaligo.com partnership.  It is also worth noting that British Airways uses a different hotel provider to Virgin Atlantic, so you should definitely look at both sites if you are thinking of using miles for a bed.

(Although, for clarity, you will always get the best value from airline miles by redeeming them for flights and not other products.  Any redemption which involves the airline writing a cheque to someone else to provide you with your reward is never going to end well.)

The Virgin Atlantic website has more details on this scheme here.

The Kaligo.com home page to redeem your Virgin miles is here.

Redeeming Virgin miles for hotels

How does it work?

Kaligo.com has placed its 550,000 hotels into three categories:

‘Standard’ – 20,000 Virgin miles per night (3-4 star hotels)

‘Premium’ – 30,000 Virgin miles per night (4-5 star hotels)

‘Luxury’ – 40,000 Virgin miles per night (higher end 5-star hotels)

Booking is a little fiddly:

Step 1 is to check availability and pricing via the Kaligo.com / Virgin booking page

Step 2 is to telephone Flying Club and redeem your miles for a voucher code

Step 3 is to repeat the booking process, this time continuing to the end by inputting the code given to you by the call centre

Because Kaligo.com has grouped its hotels into just three pricing bands, it is difficult to put a firm value on the value you are getting.  It seems to average around 0.55p per mile.

This is a better deal than the standard Virgin Atlantic ‘non-flight’ redemptions which work out at 0.4p (eg 12,500 miles for a £50 Virgin Voucher or Theatre Token).

Here are some random four-star hotels I picked in London for Saturday 18th May.  The price comparison comes from Expedia and so ignores any ‘member only’ rates the hotels may offer on their own site.

Thistle Holborn The Kingsley – 40,000 miles – £250 – 0.62p per mile

Park Lane Mews Hotel – 30,000 miles – £164 – 0.55p per mile

Marriott Regents Park – 40,000 miles – £229 – 0.57p per mile

Radisson Edwardian Vanderbilt – 40,000 miles – £219 – 0.55p per mile

H10 London Waterloo – 40,000 miles – £202 – 0.5p per mile

Danubius Hotel Regents Park – 30,000 miles – £162 – 0.54p per mile

As you can see, the results cluster around 0.55p per Virgin Atlantic mile.

Remember that you can convert Virgin miles directly into IHG and Hilton points

In general, you are getting similar value to converting your Virgin miles to IHG Rewards Club points (at a 1:1 ratio) or to Hilton Honors (at a 2:3 ratio).  Click through to see the details of those deals.

You get around 0.45p – 0.5p per mile via that route.  I value an IHG point at 0.4p and a Hilton point at 0.33p (so 0.5p per mile at 2:3).  You are restricted by what availability is offered for reward nights but both chains are generally good.   Note that these points transfers do NOT count towards elite status with IHG or Hilton.

One factor to consider is that you will NOT receive any status benefits on hotel stays booked via the Kaligo.com / Virgin portal.  You would receive status benefits on IHG Rewards Club and Hilton Honors redemptions.

Conclusion

Whether using your Virgin Flying Club miles for a hotel room via Kaligo.com is a good deal is a personal decision.  You should get better value – as always – by using your miles for a flight.

It is certainly not worth converting Tesco Clubcard vouchers to Virgin Flying Club purely to redeem them this way.  1p of Clubcard points gets you 2.5 Virgin miles which would only get you 1p – 1.5p of hotel.  It is far better to use your Clubcard points directly for hotels.com credit at a 1:3 ratio, so every 1p of Clubcard points gets you 3p of hotels.com discount.

Similarly, you definitely should not transfer American Express Membership Rewards point to Virgin Atlantic purely to use them for a hotel.  You get better converting converting directly into hotel programmes, eg 2:3 into Marriott Bonvoy, 1:3 into Radisson Rewards and 1:2 into Hilton Honors.

On the other hand, if you got your miles via a credit card sign-up bonus or from taking Virgin Atlantic flights, you may be happy to settle for a lower return.  Kaligo.com seems to offer better value than the other ‘non flight’ redemptions offered by Virgin Flying Club.

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. Barry cutters says:

    Am I correct in thinking the sweet spot for this could be inflated price rooms due to date in city’s with high rates and low availability . NYC on NYE for eg. Or Japan during blossom season. ?
    Or would the rooms simply not show as available

    • I think Kaligo must have a cash price cap on what it displays or it would make no sense to offer this. No way is Kaligo going to sell you a £500 room when it gets £200 max from Virgin.

  2. Sorry OT – I’m trying to do check in and choose seats for a BA flight from BKK – LHR. My partner and I are flying but on separate tickets. She is able to check in online (at 24 hour window) however I am not. It looks to be because there are no seats left on the plane.

    Does anybody have any advice on this? What’s my best move here? Should I left her continue check in as she has an allocated seat it seems.

    Thanks

    • Genghis says:

      Yes. Get to the airport 3 hours before.

    • Rob – it could be a random security check.

      But yes get to airport early, if bumped you should be put you on an equivalent plane, but obviously stress you’d presumably want to travel with your partner.

    • Indiacharliepapa says:

      I had this issue lhr – jfk recently and ended up getting an op-up so may not all be bad news.

  3. If I hv no use for virgin miles would my best bet be to convert to Hilton points instead? 20000 virgin miles would give me 30000 hh points which would get me a night in a decent hotel somewhere?

    • It might get you a night in say DoubleTree Leeds I think. Hilton offer part pay with points so your points will be useful wherever you want to stay. Also Hilton is an Amex MR transfer partner so easy to top your account up.

      • Shoestring says:

        It’s not difficult to keep your Virgin miles alive for a few years until you decide on a use for them – this allows you to keep your options open. I’ve kept mine alive for 20 years now without flying Virgin. Earn points on Virgin Money, Wines or shopping portal to renew expiry date.

  4. “Whether using your Virgin Flying Club miles for a hotel room via Kaligo.com is a good deal is a personal decision. You should get better value – as always – by using your miles for a flight”

    Just as a comparison, 25k VS miles + $50 gets a one way airport upgrade from PE to UC, which some people pay £850 for on the day.

    I think it could possibly be worth for short notice bookings, but that’s why i think it’s good to have points on hand with a major chain chain instead.

  5. Any tips redeeming for DPS-HKG?
    Happy to fly economy but cash flights are £170 currently so a biz redemption looks interesting.

    Looks like Cathay and garuda only direct flights.

    Cathay is 25k through asia miles , or 37.5k Avios through BA.
    I can’t see a way to get any points to garuda/skyteam or what they will cost.

    Any other ideas please?

    • Cathay Dragon, CX and Garuda are all direct options. 37.5k avios is good value for >5hr flight IMO. CX and Dragon both use same ultra reclining seat I believe.

    • FlyingChris says:

      Not to HKG, but we recently redeemed 40k Delta SkyMiles for Garuda from DPS to KIX direct. Amex MR transfers 1:1 almost instantly into Delta (SkyTeam) if you find reward space.

  6. Sorry O/T but hotel related and a search revealed this has been asked before but couldn’t find an answer.
    I have a random Best Western stay coming up in the US. Have previously been status-matched to Diamond but have now soft landed to Platinum. Is is possible to status-match again or reinstate Diamond in any way other than stays? Not crucial for this stay but may be more useful later in year.
    Any advice?

  7. Where is the hotel classification category (standard/premium/luxury) viewable on the Kaligo website ? When on the website, all I can see is a cash price and the number of air miles that I will earn from the booking.

    • You need to use the link in the article. This takes you to a different Kaligo website which is the redeeming one – not the Virgin EARNING one.

      If you’re using an adblocker you won’t see the link – but you’ll see virtually nothing else in HFP articles either!

  8. Amazing, thanks 🙂

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