Virgin Red, the new company which oversees your Virgin Flying Club points, has bought a suite at the AO Arena in Manchester. This is a similar arrangement to the one which Marriott has at the O2 Arena in London.
(Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines jointly have their own suite at the O2, but oddly it is never used for the benefit of the frequent flyer scheme.)
The first concerts are now bookable. The pricing looks high. Marriott takes a big loss on its box – as it does with many of its other ‘Moments’ redemptions – because it believes it gives a halo effect to the Bonvoy programme. Virgin Red doesn’t seem to take the same view.
This is what you can book:
- Blossoms – 20,000 points for two tickets (3rd April)
- Celine Dion – 65,000 points for two tickets (15th April)
Packages come with car parking. They do NOT come with food and drink – it reads as if it is available in the suite but must be paid for. This is different to how Marriott runs its suite, when all food and drink is included.
This is very toppy pricing for Celine Dion, although I don’t know how well positioned the Virgin Red suite is. The Marriott one, to be honest, is poorly positioned if you want to be close to the artist.
If you assume that you can get 1p per Virgin Point on a premium flight redemption then you are looking at giving up £650 of flights for two tickets.
Marriott, at the very top end, would charge 75,000 Bonvoy points – which I value at £375 if used for hotel rooms – for Celine Dion. This is London pricing, however, and includes food and drink all night.
Virgin will, I’m sure, learn by experience what it can charge for concerts. In the short term it may benefit from the fact that there are few other ways to spend Virgin Points. It is also more aspirational than using 200 Virgin Points for a Greggs sausage roll …..
You may not be able to redeem though ….
You can ONLY redeem for these tickets if you have already been ‘invited’ to join Virgin Red as AO Arena redemptions are only possible via the Virgin Red app. The majority of Virgin Flying Club members will not receive an invitation until early 2021.
How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (May 2021)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, one has a bonus of 15,000 Points):
You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for a year and comes with 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 20,000 Virgin Points:
(Want to earn more Virgin Points? 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.)