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Book the first Manchester AO Arena tickets on Virgin Points

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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.

Virgin Red Room suite AO Arena Manchester

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 …..

If you are not already a member of Virgin Red, you can register for free here and can then link it to your Flying Club account.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (March 2023)

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, the Reward+ card has a bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points):

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

A generous earning rate for a free card at 0.75 points per £1 Read our full review

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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points.

Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

60,000 points sign-up bonus (to 30th March) and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn 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.)

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