Virgin Flying Club is currently running a new bonus for buying Virgin Points – see here.
The maximum bonus is 60% or 70%. To put this in perspective, before 2020 Virgin Atlantic had never even run a 50% bonus. 15% to 30% was the best you could expect.
Some people have had emails offering 70% – my wife did – but when logged in they only see 60%. My email only offered me 60% in the first place. Some readers in the comments say that they can buy with a 70% bonus however.
What is interesting is that you can double up this deal with the current offer of a 30% discount on all redemption flights to the USA completed by 30th September.
The closing date for the bonus is 31st July.
The bonus is staggered. For those offered a 60% maximum bonus:
- 20% bonus when you buy 3,000 – 19,000 points
- 40% bonus when you buy 20,000 – 64,000 points
- 50% bonus when you buy 65,000 – 99,000 points
- 60% bonus when you buy 100,000 – 200,000 points
At the top end, 200,000 Virgin Points, which comes to 320,000 points with the 60% bonus, will cost you £3,000. This works out at 0.94p each.
0.94p is good value for a direct miles purchase. Most Virgin Atlantic commercial partners will be paying the airline more than 0.94p for their miles.
If you can buy with a 70% bonus, you are getting 0.88p at the top end.
What sort of deals can you get with 0.88p / 0.94p miles?
The issue with Virgin Points is that there are virtually no short haul opportunities to spend them. The best deals are long haul Business Class flights across the Virgin Atlantic network and of course the route network is limited.
You can see the Virgin Atlantic reward chart on this page of their website.
The addition of SkyTeam partners earlier this year has given you more options, as I discuss below.
There is no point paying 0.88p / 0.94p per point unless you want premium cabin flights.
The Virgin Red app (download here) has a huge number of interesting redemptions but they are almost all based on giving you 0.5p per point. Similarly, using your Virgin Points to part-pay for a cash Virgin Atlantic flight or a Virgin Holiday will get you around 0.55p as we show here. This isn’t any good if you paid 0.94p for them.
Remember that USA redemptions are currently 30% off until 30th September
Where this deal would really shine is the current redemption sale.
As this article shows, redemptions to the USA in all cabins are reduced by 30% as long as you travel by 30th September.
Even if you had to buy all the points you needed, you would be making a good saving over a cash fare, especially if you were travelling midweek without a Saturday night stay.
There are good deals with SkyTeam partners
Don’t forget …. Virgin Atlantic joined the SkyTeam airline alliance in March.
This has opened up redemptions across new partners such as Aeromexico, Czech Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Korean Air and Vietnam Airlines. Existing partners such as Delta, Air France and KLM are obviously still available too.
Don’t forget the 2-4-1 voucher with the Virgin Atlantic credit cards
If you do choose to buy points, remember that you receive 15,000 Virgin Points with the £160 Virgin Atlantic Reward+ credit card. You may prefer to do this than buying another 15,000 points.
Our full review of the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ credit card is here. This article also gives you an overview of how the 2-4-1 voucher issued by the Virgin credit cards works. Buying points for 0.94p and redeeming them with a Virgin Atlantic 2-4-1 or upgrade voucher would offer excellent value.
You can also convert American Express Membership Rewards points into Virgin Points at the ratio of 1:1, as well as converting Tesco Clubcard points at the rate of 1:2.
The link to buy Virgin Points is here. This new offer ends on 31st July.
How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (September 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):
SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard is doubled to 30,000 Virgin Points if you apply by 2nd October. You receive 15,000 Virgin Points with your first purchase and a further 15,000 points if you spend £3,000 within 90 days. Apply here.
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.
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.)