Is Virgin Atlantic’s ‘Miles Plus Money’ feature a good deal?

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One of the changes introduced in the Virgin Flying Club revamp in 2017 was a new-look ‘Miles Plus Money’.  Today I want to review whether Virgin Atlantic’s ‘Miles Plus Money’ scheme is a good deal or not.

You can find full details on the Virgin Atlantic website here.

‘Miles Plus Money’ was Virgin’s response to ‘Part Pay With Avios‘ and, to some extent, schemes such as Norwegian Reward which only let you use your points for a discount on a future cash booking.

British Airways has spent a couple of years trialling different variations of ‘Part Pay With Avios.  We have seen changes in the maximum number of Avios you can use and we’ve seen changes, up and down, in what you got for them.  During promotions you have occasionally been able to get more than 1p per Avios point which was an excellent result.

How does ‘Miles Plus Money’ work?

Virgin Flying Club has taken a simpler approach:

there is NO tapering of value per point – you get the same value irrespective of how many you redeem

they do NOT run any promotions – the value per point remains static from month to month

The value is fixed at £16.50 for every 3,000 miles you redeem.  That means, to save you getting your calculator out, 0.55p per mile.  There is no limit to how many miles you can redeem.

It is worth noting that this rate has quietly got worse since ‘Miles Plus Money’ was launched in 2017, when you could get 0.6p per mile.

How does Virgin Atlantic Miles Plus Money work?

Here’s the small print:

you can only use ‘Miles Plus Money’ when booking a cash ticket online, but not in the app, on mobile or via the call centre

you can only use it on Virgin Atlantic operated flights, not codeshares or partners

the ticket can be for anyone – you do not need to travel

there are no blackout dates or inventory restrictions

you can upgrade or use vouchers as you can with a standard cash ticket

your ticket will earn miles and tier points as usual

There is only one catch, but it won’t apply to many people.  If you cancel a fully flexible ‘Miles Plus Money’, you lose the miles.  You don’t get the cash equivalent back either.  Very few leisure travellers book refundable tickets, however, so this is unlikely to impact you.  This rule does not apply if you cancel during the 24 hour ‘cooling off’ period.

Is Virgin Atlantic’s ‘Miles Plus Money’ good value?

No, not really.  I look to get around 1p per mile from my Flying Club miles when redeeming for mileage tickets so the idea of accepting 0.55p 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 Flying Club miles via Tesco Clubcard.  You would be using £1 of Clubcard vouchers for 250 Virgin miles worth £1.38 of flight discount.  This is not a very impressive return given some of the other Clubcard deals out there.

Imagine you earned your Virgin Flying Club miles via Heathrow Rewards (1:1 transfer rate).  You would be giving up £1 of Heathrow shopping vouchers for 55p of flight discounts!

Imagine you earned your Virgin Flying Club miles from the free Virgin Atlantic credit card.  At 0.75 miles per £1, you’d be getting (0.75 x 0.55p) 0.41p of flight discount per £1 spent on your card.  A good free cashback Visa or Mastercard like the John Lewis / Waitrose one will give you back 0.5p per £1 spent in pseudo-cash.

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 you should be turning your nose up at just getting 0.55p per mile for them.

You can learn more about ‘Miles Plus Money’ on virginatlantic.com here.

Virgin Atlantic miles plus money

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.

You should also take a look at our recent article on the top 10 reasons to get the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard credit card.

(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. Born2sKydive says:

    My plan is to use this feature when going for Gold status, as tho the value is pants when using miles plus cash, you still get the tier points. This reduces the cost of getting gold for me by lots making it an achievable goal.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Perhaps you get lots of free virgin miles or it’s all from flying but if any are from the miles back store or a credit card do yourself a favour and get a decent 1% card or onto a dedicated £ back site and use that to reduce the price of your flights.

      1p per £ back > 0.55p per mile

  2. AndyGWP says:

    Thanks for the tips in “Comments” the other day on how to quickly get 13k Virgin Miles

    I went for the exchanging of £50 Clubcard vouchers suggestion.

    Took exactly 24 hours for them to move across to my Virgin account 👍🏻

  3. So what is the best way of using Flying Club Miles? I’ve built up 290,000 and wanted to use them to Capetown.

  4. Peter K says:

    Only 0.55p per point, because 0.6p was just wasting money for VS obviously 🙄

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