Virgin Money

30%-40% bonus when you buy Virgin miles or use ‘Miles Booster’ – good deal?

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Virgin Atlantic has launched its semi-regular bonus for buying miles and for ‘Miles Booster’.

The first offer is an ‘up to 40%’ bonus when you buy Virgin Flying Club miles.

The link to buy, transfer or gift miles is here.

The closing date for the bonus is 30th April.  It is a staggered bonus:

  • 15% bonus when you buy 1,000 – 9,000 miles
  • 20% bonus when you buy 10,000 – 29,000 miles
  • 30% bonus when you buy 30,000 – 69,000 miles
  • 40% bonus when you buy 70,000 – 100,000 miles

Virgin now allows you buy to a whopping 100,000 miles per year at a cost of £1,515!

Virgin Atlantic buy miles bonus

Is this a good deal?

As usual with these cases, the answer is “not really, unless you want to do an immediate redemption”.

To buy 30,000 miles, for example, comes out at £450. With the 30% bonus, you would actually receive 39,000 miles. This works out at 1.15p. You would struggle to get good value if you bought all of the miles you needed for a redemption at that price but of course topping up an account is a different matter.

(Before buying, think if you have any American Express Membership Rewards points, Tesco Clubcard points, Heathrow Rewards points or hotel loyalty points which you could transfer instead. Remember that Amex points transfer instantly if your accounts are already linked.  A cheaper way of getting 20,000 Virgin Flying Club miles would be to get the free – in Year 1 – American Express Preferred Rewards Gold credit card and transfer the 20,000 Amex points sign-up bonus.)

And, of course, you receive 5,000 Virgin Flying Club with the FREE Virgin Atlantic Reward credit card and 15,000 Virgin Flying Club miles when you take out the £160 Virgin Atlantic Reward+ credit card.  This is a better deal than buying the miles!  Full details of the Virgin Atlantic credit cards, and a few ideas to help you choose which is best for you, are in this article.

The second offer, ‘Miles Booster’, IS a potentially very good deal.

Miles Booster only works if you have a Virgin Atlantic cash or reward flight booked or have taken one in the last six months. You are able to buy an additional 200% of the base miles you will earn from the flight for just 1p each.

Click here for details.  If you have a New York economy flight booked, for example, you would earn 6,916 base miles from your trip.

Miles Booster allows you to buy up to 13,832 additional miles for just 1p each. Plus, with this promotion, you would get an extra 30% bonus as well.

If you maximised the Miles Booster option for a New York economy flight, you would be able to buy a total of 17,981 Virgin Flying Club miles for just £138.32. That is 0.77p each, which is well worth considering.

You can retrospectively buy miles via Miles Booster for any Virgin Atlantic flights taken in the last six months, cash or reward.  Yes, even previously flown or currently booked redemptions count.

Even if you don’t have any current bookings, you may be able to take advantage of this based on recent flights.  At this price, I would consider the Miles Booster deal if you know that you will be using them in the short or medium term.

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Comments

  1. O/T

    Had an email from VS credit card yesterday saying fee was due of £160.

    Called to cancel and wow the worst customer service ever!. Absolutely no interest in why I was leaving, no offer or attempt to keep me.

    As there was £11 of pending transactions they would not close account, would not take payment and were generally unhelpful. Fee is applied automatically and there are no refunds – so call back when account is clear……..

    • Why is it poor CS if they don’t try to retain you? I’d often be grateful for that.

      • ChrisBCN says:

        Any good, modern CS system will tell the agent what to offer to save you. If they don’t make enough money on you (or even lose money) they will happily let you go.

      • RussellH says:

        +1

        Much better for the CS person to do what you want, in this case cancel with no hassle or sales guff.

    • Two HFP readers have had pro-rata refunds off Virgin. My wife cancelled hers but didn’t get anything, although I need to check her bank account again.

      I was told – by a Virgin Atlantic employee – that they were looking at doing retention deals or similar. Clearly not.

    • I cancelled my Virgin Money fee card last week and thought the CS were very good, no hassle, and although there were some retention deals like balance transfer stuff the guy wasn’t pushy at all and didn’t go over them at all when he knew I wanted to cancel.
      Stark contrast to the experience I’ve had with Barclays in the past from their Indian call centres trying to keep you when you just want to cancel.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      just cancelled mine before the fee hit. But as you say had to pay down my account and cancellation won’t actually happen until it clears.

    • Andrew says:

      So, just to be absolutely clear…

      When you sent a Faster Payment for £11 to clear the account did it automatically reject?

  2. I looked at the miles booster yesterday, the links to buy didn’t seem to work and it also was indicating it was only for future flights ..

    • Matt B says:

      I’ve had trouble in the past so, ended up having to call them up to do it.

    • Notadarkride says:

      The site says it can only handle future flights and to call for taken flights.

    • reddot says:

      Just rang the Flying Club to boost miles for a NYC flight taken two weeks ago and it was painless.

      • This has been my normal experience for past flights. Somehow, for all the other downsides of Virgin Flying Club, their phone agents are usually really good. Miles Booster is generally a good deal although I do caution people the reward availability mix this Summer and Autumn is changed from last year on the North American routes.

        • Matt B says:

          Looking at upper availability on rewardflightfinder it doesnt seem any different than usual – as in lots to NYC/Boston/Washington/Vegas and not much to LAX/ SFO and basically nothing to Orlando?

          We were able to book our NYC/Washington trip over May half term pretty easily, even changed the flight home when availability came up for better times.

        • Managed to get MAN-MCO in Sept quite easily, returning via BOS (train to/from Manchester Airport from Edinburgh is pretty painless and often extremely cheap, was £13 last time!)

  3. Chelseafi says:

    O/T I took out the free Virgin credit card in Feb when it was on bonus 10k points do I need to spend £1k within 3 months to receive it? I’ve already received 5k for first spend, sorry for question I just wanted to double check to make sure I put the spend on it. Thanks

  4. Worth buying semi-speculatively? Any chance we can soon be able to use Flying Club miles on KLM/Air France?

    • Alex W says:

      Yes I think I will buy speculatively at that price. If you don’t use them for flights, they can be transferred to IHG or Hilton if you need them for a big redemption such as Rangali.

  5. andyj300 says:

    How do you apply the miles booster to historic flights (within last six months)? I could find instructions for future, but not historic, Thanks!

  6. Chopin says:

    So, that means you could book a high mileage route(what is the longest flight for Virgin?) for a refundable ticket, take the mile booster deal, and cancel the ticket.
    This is looking too good to be true for me, did I misunderstand something?

    • Have seen reports of Miles Booster clawback on cancelled tickets.

    • This is no longer likely to work. The milesbooster 30% should now only credit within 7 days of 1st flight being flown. This has been the case for my last two flights for milesboost where I purchased in advance.

  7. OT but VA related – How do you put VA miles to good use? I was looking for LON-NYC return economy miles redemption , economy classic – 383 pounds full fare or 20.000 + 270 pounds with miles. LON-LAX 459 full fare or 42.500 + 335. Such a low value! Do you use miles for upgrades or upper class redemption? Any sweet spots in the program?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Flexibility, Premium cabins or short notice flights. Economy rarely has much value vs a non changeable economy ticket booked months out.

      But you aren’t comparing like for like redemption can be cancelled for full refund for a small fee your cheap economy ticket can’t.

      • One day Delta redemptions to Europe (not the UK) have £5 of taxes. Look at, for example, New York to Paris which is 50,000 miles plus £5 in Upper Class. Unfortunately the Virgin website doesn’t have most Delta destinations programmed in.

        • Thanks Rob. Great tip. Do you use VA website to find those?

        • Yes, but you can only find them on routes which are in the VS drop down menus. No ability to search for New York to Shannon, for example, which Delta flies directly because the VS website doesn’t understand Shannon. Same with NYC to Zurich, NYC to Madrid etc etc.

          The deals are there though, eg (one way)
          15th July – New York to Paris in Economy on Delta – 30,000 VS miles plus £5
          8th July – New York to Paris in Business on Delta – 50,000 VS miles plus £5

          Even works on West Coast:
          25th July – Los Angeles to Paris in Business on Delta – 50,000 VS miles plus £5

          This doesn’t work in reverse because Delta tickets out of Europe incur high taxes.

        • Thank you Rob! Just found those flights in your example.

  8. Amika Knight says:

    Rob, What does this mean i the last para of your article “Even if you don’t have any current bookings, you may be able to take advantage of this based on recent flights.” Is this again for flights taken in the last 6 months or longer?

  9. Cinimo says:

    Do you know the miles booster purchases go through as Virgin Atlantic to get double miles on the virgin credit card? Or do they use points.com or some other service?

    • Alex W says:

      It is Virgin but don’t think I got double last time I tried. Couldn’t be bothered to chase them for a few quids worth of miles.

    • They go through as something else, not Virgin Atlantic. Think it is pointsbooster.com or some similar name. It appears on the page when you purchase the points booster pack.

  10. Just to say this works for partner redemptions you have too (forward bookings at least, presume works retrospectively). Just boosted my upcoming ANA flight as well as VS ones – pretty decent deal with the 30% bonus.

  11. Andrew says:

    Are there any signs of Virgin Atlantic publishing their Points+Cash rates for domestic services yet?

    If I knew what they were going to be, I could potentially be tempted.

  12. Yorkieflyer says:

    When I bought a booster previously the base points posted before travel now it seems that they post afterwards?

  13. Sunny says:

    Does anyone recall or anticipate when Amex could have another bonus transfer rate to Flying Club?

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