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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 (December 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 & 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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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.

  • captaindave says:

    I did this once using 99K virgin points to get 544.50 off the cost of a Vegas holiday. Funny enough, they didnt take the points from my account, so i converted 100K to Hilton.
    So far so good… but when the holiday was cancelled due to pandemic, they realised the mistake and i only got the cash refunded that i had paid on top of points… close but no cigar.

  • Barry cutters says:

    It’s quite frustrating at the moment like you say .
    I’m not interested in New York as have been 10x and continue to go each year – happy to pay for premium on virgin or ba as for the short flight that’s all we need.

    But I’ve got 250k points and have no real way of spending them . – there has simply been no availability for any destination for a year .

    • Mrs_Fussy says:

      Bombay and Delhi seem to have good availability and you can book flights to Thailand, Male.

    • Degsy says:

      Agreed. Availability has been really poor to non-existent on most routes these last few months.
      That said, VS does seem to be opening them up slowly and one or two routes eg IAD look back to normal. And a couple more look better in early 2023.

  • Noggins says:

    Doesn’t the 1p valuation need to be re-worked if the Virgin Holiday offer covers taxes and surcharges?

    • Rob says:

      No, because you are still handing over extra points to cover those taxes and charges, and at a poor rate (0.55p per point).

  • David Cliff says:

    Have BA ever explained why we cant use Avios to book a BA package holiday in this way ?

  • dougzz99 says:

    Just need to factor the lack of availability into the value. Something that can only be spent in such a restricted way can’t be worth what is was previously when there were a lot more ways to spend.
    I think typically Virgin points are harder to earn than Avios, and more difficult to spend. You’ve got to really like the VS product to make it worthwhile.

  • Dave P says:

    I am sat on circa 500k points, I have a Virgin Disney Orlando holiday booked. I am very reluctant to use the points, however, they are as a result of general spending, and I have not ‘bought’ the points. I can’t use them anywhere else so may bite the bullet and get a ‘free’ holiday.

    Moving onto Avios now, as I am not impressed with the Virgin availablity, shame as their lounge and planes are a delight.

  • David Cliff says:

    @dave p i totally agree. Im sat on 310,000 VS points but find then so hard to use! I will put them towards a Caribbean holiday next year 👍

    • Babyg says:

      I’ve only done one trip to the Caribbean (Barbados), and whilst i was impressed with Virgin, i wasn’t so impressed with Barbados, I feel it peeked in the 1990s and hasn’t moved on. That said if youre into all-inclusive type stuff your mileage may vary.

      • Rob says:

        I think there’s more to see in Barbados than most of the alternatives. The issue is that every prime beach slot is taken (with the exception of the abandoned Four Seasons project) and the hotels that have those slots are not investing. The gap between Sandy Lane and everything else is ludicrous.

        • barry cutters says:

          I’ve enjoyed sugar bay a few times and would recommend.

          • Mark says:

            Very nice I’m sure, but £6K for 10 nights next Feb a bit out of our price range. Considering the Butterfly Beach Hotel which looks good value – anyone have any experience?

  • Zoe says:

    We used to enjoy Sea Breeze but it has got much more expensive in the last few years. (Full disclosure I most likely like to spend less than the average HFP reader) Last time we went we stayed at an apartment at Maresol which was an easy walk from lots of dinner choices.

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