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Is it worth using Virgin Points for a Virgin Holidays discount?

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Is it worth redeeming your Virgin Points to pay, in full or in part, for a Virgin Holidays package?  Let’s take a look.

We’ve had constant complaints from HfP readers in recent months about poor Upper Class reward flight availability on all routes except New York.  The Virgin Atlantic flying network in Asia is also going to be restricted for some time to come.  You may also be thinking about a holiday to a destination which is not covered by Virgin Atlantic.

These are all reasons why you may be interested in alternative ways of travelling with Virgin Points.

Using Virgin Points on Virgin Holidays

Virgin Holidays has a feature that might interest you – the ability to pay, or part pay, for your holiday using your Virgin 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.

You don’t discover the rate until you make a booking, start to input the guest names and then input your account number in order to earn Virgin Points from the booking.  It is only at that point you are offered the chance to spend Virgin Points too.

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 three years 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 Virgin 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.  This is one of the strongest benefits in my opinion.

Using Virgin Flying Club miles with Virgin Holidays

You can get extra perks at Virgin Holidays as a Flying Club member

Before I look at whether 0.55p per Virgin Point makes sense, I wanted to remind you that there are extra perks for Virgin Flying Club members who book with Virgin Holidays.  You get these whether you pay with cash or points.

The perks changed in November 2021.  You would previously receive a cash discount based on your Virgin Flying Club tier.  This is no longer the case.

Instead, depending on the colour of your Flying Club membership card:

Red members (you get Red just for signing up) – earn 2 Virgin Points for every £1 spent on Virgin Holidays or a Virgin Atlantic ‘flight and hotel’ package

Silver members – earn 3 Virgin Points for every £1 spent on Virgin Holidays or a Virgin Atlantic ‘flight and hotel’ package

Gold members – earn 4 Virgin Points for every £1 spent on Virgin Holidays or a Virgin Atlantic ‘flight and hotel’ package

You also earn tier points when you book

The lead booker will also receive Virgin Flying Club tier points, at the rate of 20 points for every £500 spent.

You can earn a maximum of 400 tier points per holiday.

You earn this on top of any tier points you will receive if your Virgin Holidays booking contains a Virgin Atlantic or partner airline flight.

Using Virgin Points to book Virgin Holidays

Is it good value to use your Virgin Points at Virgin Holidays?

No, not really.  I look to get around 1p per mile from my Flying Club points when redeeming for premium flights so the idea of accepting 0.55p via this route is not attractive.

0.55p per point is better value than using your Virgin points for hotel redemptions, Virgin Vouchers or similar non-flying redemptions.  It is also better value than transferring your points into IHG Rewards or Hilton Honors points, or redeeming them for anything via the Virgin Red app.

However …..

Imagine you earn 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 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 on dates or travel class.

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 Virgin 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.  This isn’t a terrible deal given that most cashback Visa or Mastercard cards only return 0.25% or worse.  In fact, I am surprised that Virgin Holidays hasn’t launched its own credit card offering a similar level of reward.

You can find out more about using Virgin Points for a Virgin Holidays discount on this page of the Virgin Flying Club website.  If you want to learn more about Virgin Holidays, their website is here.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (September 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):

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 & two 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.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of 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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus 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.)

Comments (19)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Gulz says:

    @Rob not sure if you noticed, but just saw that now AF/KLM redemption flights are bookable on VS website. No need to call VS call centre to check availability and taxes anymore.
    Unfortunately there is no equivalant of RFS in VS – which means that the taxes are substantially more than BA. I was searching for London to Berlin return – it costs 8000 points in economy and taxes of £90 (from LHR) or £105 (from LCY). In business it is 16000 points plus £105 (from LHR) or £120 (from LCY) taxes.
    AMS to BER, the miles are the same, but both the economy as well as business taxes are €73.
    LCY to AMS is 8000 points + £87 in economy and 16000 points + £100 in business.
    LHR to AMS is 8000 points + £70 in economy and 16000 points + £83 in business.

    Don’t see much scope for arbitrage yet, but now that online search has opened up, I am hoping we’ll see some advantage spots soon!

    • Rob says:

      Been there for ages – problem is that the booking falls over for me before payment.

      • Gulz says:

        You can now search for non VS destinations which wasn’t an option before. Also starting point can now be AMS/CDG and I don’t remember this working in the past.

        • Rob says:

          It’s always been possible but AMS etc would not pop up automatically, you had to go through the ‘select an airport by name’ menu.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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