Virgin Hotels has enhanced its partnership with Virgin Flying Club and Virgin Red by doubling the number of Virgin Points you will earn when you stay.
It has also retained the special perks for elite members of Virgin Flying Club.
The only odd bit is that the new Virgin Hotels property in Edinburgh is refusing to play ball and does not offer points.
Where are Virgin Hotels located?
Virgin Hotels are currently open in Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Nashville, New Orleans and – most recently – Edinburgh.
A second UK site in Glasgow is also close to opening.
Virgin Hotels has a confusing loyalty strategy
Branding-wise, it is all a little confusing.
Bizarrely, the Virgin Hotel in Las Vegas is part of Hilton’s Curio Collection, and you can earn and redeem Hilton Honors points there. You can see it on the Hilton website here.
The other US hotels have a marketing deal with Preferred Hotels, meaning that they can be booked via the Preferred Hotels site here. You can earn and redeem points in the i Prefer loyalty programme if you book via that route. The Edinburgh hotel cannot be booked this way, however.
Alternatively, you can book direct and earn Virgin Points.
How do you earn Virgin Points with Virgin Hotels?
The first step is to register with Virgin Hotels new loyalty club, The Know. You can add your Virgin Red or Virgin Flying Club number as part of your registration.
You should ensure that you are logged in to your The Know account when booking. You can only earn points for direct bookings made on the Virgin Hotels website.
Once you have completed your stay, you will be emailed a Virgin Red promo code within seven days. You can enter this into the Virgin Red app or website and your 2,000 Virgin Points will be instantly credited.
(Whilst this isn’t encouraged, you could presumably pass on the code to a friend or family member if you weren’t too bothered about earning Virgin Points from your stay.)
Importantly, you cannot earn Virgin Points for stays at the Edinburgh hotel.
What other benefits do you get for joining The Know?
The Virgin Hotels website is a little vague about the benefits of The Know, to be honest, but they could be worthwhile.
You are promised:
“That means Room Upgrades, the best Rates and special Daily Offers and Events throughout the hotel and in Commons Club when you book directly with Virgin Hotels. You’ll also have exclusive access to the daily The Spirit Hour when cocktails are on us.
“Remember, the more you let us Know, the more we can pander to your every desire and Personalize Your Stay. Maybe that means a mini-fridge stocked with your favorite sips. Or the perfect pillow to match your sleep style. Or treats for your fur baby. Plus zoom past the front desk by checking in and using your smart phone to open the door to your chamber, all through the exclusive use of our app Lucy.”
As it’s free, it clearly makes sense to join The Know if you are planning a stay.
The only exception is at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, image below, which does not participate in The Know.
Remember that you earn 2,000 Virgin Points per stay and NOT per night
We value 2,000 Virgin Points at around £20 when used for premium cabin flight redemptions. If you redeem them via Virgin Red for general merchandise, you will only receive around £10 of value.
For a one night stay, a £20 reward in Virgin Points is very good value.
For a long stay, it begins to look less interesting.
If you are booking a longer stay at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, booking via the Hilton Honors website may be more attractive. This is especially true if you have Hilton Honors status or if there is a generous bonus points offer running.
For the other US hotels, you may want to book longer stays via the Preferred Hotels website. You earn 2% cashback on your stay, albeit that this must be redeemed towards the cost of future Preferred Hotels stays.
It’s worth noting that Preferred Hotels will match any existing hotel status you have to its i Prefer programme, which would mean – at the top tier – a 50% points bonus, a welcome amenity and a ‘food and beverage offering’.
What benefits do I get as a Virgin Flying Club elite member?
If you have status in Virgin Flying Club, there are additional benefits for staying at Virgin Hotels. You need to book direct to qualify for these.
Got Silver status in Virgin Flying Club?
You receive a complimentary upgrade, subject to availability.
Got Gold status in Virgin Flying Club?
You receive a complimentary upgrade, subject to availability, and complimentary breakfast.
You can find out more on the Virgin Atlantic website here. Note that the Virgin Atlantic website is wrong when it says that you can add a Flying Club number during the booking process – you can’t. The only way to do it is to join The Know and add it to your profile, and then be logged in during booking.
You can sign up for The Know on the Virgin Hotels website here.
How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (August 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 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 20,000 Virgin Points.
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.
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.)