Is it worth redeeming your Virgin points to pay, in full or in part, for a Virgin Holidays package? Let’s take a look.
Virgin Atlantic has now ensured its medium term financial survival following its refinancing. There is no need to be worrying about the health of your Flying Club points.
That said, the Virgin Atlantic flying network is going to be seriously restricted for some time to come. You may be thinking about a holiday to a destination which is not covered by Virgin Atlantic.
Virgin Holidays has a feature that might interest you – the ability to pay, or part pay, for your holiday using your Virgin Flying Club points. But is it a good deal?
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.
What value do I get for my Virgin points?
Virgin Holidays does not make this information easy to find, for some reason.
The deal is as simple as it gets. You receive a £16.50 discount on your Virgin Holidays package for every 3,000 Virgin points you spend. This works out at 0.55p per point.
(Long term readers may remember that, when this offer launched 18 months ago, it offered £18 per 3,000 points. There has been a quiet devaluation.)
You can use miles irrespective of whether you book online, in a Virgin Holidays store or by telephone. You can also use Flying Club points to pay down an existing holiday balance, via Virgin Holidays ‘Manage My Booking’ page.
There is no restriction on how many points you can use. If you have enough, you can pay for the entire holiday with points.
You can get good deals on Virgin Holidays as a Flying Club member
Before I look at ‘points 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 point for every £1 spent
Silver members – save up to 7% plus earn 2 points for every £1 spent
Gold members – save up to 10% plus earn 2 points 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 ‘points plus money’ with Virgin Holidays a good deal?
No, not really. I look to get around 1p per mile from my Flying Club points 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 Virgin points for Kaligo.com hotel redemptions, Virgin Vouchers or similar non-flying redemptions. It is also better value than transferring your points into IHG Rewards Club or Hilton Honors points.
Imagine you earned your Virgin points via Tesco Clubcard. You would be using £1 of Clubcard vouchers for 250 Virgin points worth £1.37 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 Hotels.com credit for example.
Imagine you earned your Virgin points via Heathrow Rewards. You would be giving up £1 of Heathrow shopping vouchers for 55p of holiday discount!
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 points, you can genuinely get a totally free holiday.
If you earn all of your Flying Club points from flying for work – so you haven’t actually paid anything for them at all – then Virgin Holidays is an option to consider.
If you earned your Virgin points from the free Virgin Atlantic Reward credit card, Virgin Holidays isn’t a bad option. At 0.75 points per £1, you’d be getting 0.41p of holiday discount per £1 spent on your card. It is hard to beat a return of 0.41p per £1 from a free Visa or Mastercard these days. In fact, I am surprised that Virgin Holidays hasn’t launched its own credit card offering a similar level of reward.
How to earn Virgin Atlantic points from UK credit cards
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Flying Club points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!