If you travel on business, earning airline miles from your hotel stays is an easy way of running up your Avios balance.
You should never take airline miles by default, as it is normally better value to take hotel points from your stay in the relevant hotel loyalty scheme. This only makes sense, however, if you are confident of earning enough to get to a decent redemption.
If you are staying at a chain which you do not intend to visit again, you might as well take airline miles instead of hotel points.
British Airways has a huge number of hotel partners and it is even bigger when you include chains like NH Hotels who are partners with Iberia and who can be credited to Iberia Plus.
In the past, there were a number of hotel chains who did not work with Avios but who did partner with Virgin Flying Club. However, in the past five years Virgin Flying Club has been culling its hotel partners.
In the last five years, out have gone:
- Blue Sky Luxury (rental homes in Barbados, Antigua, Dominica, Jamaica, St Barts, St Lucia and St Martin)
- Jumeirah (a bit of a loss but given that Virgin Atlantic has dropped Dubai it was becoming less relevant)
- Marco Polo Hotels (a Hong Kong and China-based group)
- Millennium and Copthorne (a medium sized chain of 120 4- and 5-star properties around the world, with a decent UK spread)
- Morgans Hotel Group
- Red Carnation Hotels (a small luxury boutique chain with the bulk of its global properties in London)
Which hotels chains earn Virgin Points?
The following hotel programmes are partners with both Avios and Virgin Flying Club, so you get to choose which airline to credit, assuming you don’t want to take hotel points:
- Best Western Rewards
- Hilton Honors
- IHG Rewards
- Marriott Bonvoy
- World of Hyatt
This is what is left in terms of hotels which offer Virgin Flying Club points but do not offer Avios:
This new chain, slowly rolling out in the US and coming soon to Edinburgh and Glasgow, offers 1,000 points per stay.
Flying Club Gold members will receive a complimentary breakfast daily and upgrade whilst Silver members will receive a complimentary upgrade, based on availability.
Note that the Virgin Atlantic website lists Virgin Hotels under ‘Virgin Group partners’ and not ‘Hotel partners’.
You will earn 500 points for a 3+ night stay at YOTEL New York.
You will earn earn 100 Virgin points per stay at the following:
….. as long as you book direct.
The WorldHotels consortium of independent upscale hotels gives you 500 Virgin Points per stay as you can see here
Is it worth earning Virgin Points from a one-off hotel stay?
Even if you regularly stay at one of these chains, you may think twice before bothering with Virgin Points because you would never earn enough for a decent redemption.
This is no longer the case, however. The launch of Virgin Red (join here) has added additional ways to spend your Virgin Points, starting at just 200 Virgin Points for a Greggs sausage roll.
If you want to build up your balance to get a flight, you can top-off your Virgin Points with an Amex Membership Rewards, Tesco Clubcard or Heathrow Rewards points transfer or by getting the Virgin Atlantic credit cards.
You can even transfer Flying Club points into Hilton Honors or IHG Rewards points, allowing you to indirectly earn Hilton points whilst staying at another chain. The minimum number of Virgin Points required is 10,000 and the transfer rate is 1:1.5 into Hilton and 1:1 into IHG.
How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (June 2022)
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):
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 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.
SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is increased from 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 19th July 2022. This card is free for the first year.
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.
Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into 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.)