Few people know that you can redeem Virgin Points for holidays on Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island retreat in the British Virgin Islands.
Necker Island was badly damaged by Hurricane Irma in 2017. After substantial rebuilding, the resort reopened in late 2019. Covid hit and then, in 2021, points redemptions were suspended whilst cancelled bookings were rebooked.
Now they are back – and they are one of the best value Virgin Points redemptions.
Necker is usually booked by private groups and only a handful of weeks per year are available for individual travellers. You are restricted to booking on those weeks.
A week on Necker Island during those weeks where the island is not let on an exclusive basis will cost you $37,800 for a couple. That is £31,000. Flights are not included in this price but it is all inclusive.
Whilst the cost has crept up over the years to 1.7 million Virgin Points for a one week stay for a couple, this does still represent good value if you were prepared to pay the cash price. You are getting 1.8p per point.
You might think that 1.7 million points is a lot, and of course it is. However, I know there are a fair number of HfP readers, mainly business owners, who spend six figures per month on their credit cards.
The good news is that the requirement to have Virgin Flying Club Silver or Gold status to book this award has been scrapped. You no longer need to even be a Flying Club member. This is because redemptions are now being handled by the Virgin Red app rather than the airline.
The bad news is that points redemptions are limited to 15 couples per year.
I know someone who has stayed on Necker, for cash, and recommended it. Sir Richard Branson is normally there – he lives on the island – and is around for meals. You can treat it as a cheap business consultancy session if you want!
You can find out more on the Virgin Red app or this page of the Virgin Red website.
If you want to earn more Virgin Points, our review of the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard credit card is here (15,000 bonus points) and our review of the free Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard credit card is here.
How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (December 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):
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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
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.)