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NEW: You can now spend Virgin Points on LATAM flights to and around South America

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Well, this is good timing. Last week we published this article on how to spend Virgin Points on non-SkyTeam partner airlines, and we said that you couldn’t spend on LATAM – only earn.

On Friday we ran this article on a very interesting new LATAM route. From December, you can fly direct with LATAM from London Heathrow to Lima in Peru.

This means that it is a great time for Virgin Atlantic to start allowing Virgin Points redemptions on LATAM.

Virgin Atlantic LATAM flight redemptions on points

Full details are on the LATAM page of the Virgin Atlantic website here.

Even better, redemptions with LATAM can be booked online via the Virgin Atlantic website. There is no need to call, unless (and it’s not unlikely ….) you get the famous – and incorrect – ‘someone else took your seats whilst we were processing your payment’ error message.

There are two pricing charts shown on the Virgin Atlantic website which is confusing. One lists pricing for specific routes and the other lists pricing based on distance bands. None of the bands go above 4,000 miles which is odd.

I am guessing that the new Heathrow to Peru flight will price the same as the Heathrow to Sao Paulo flights. These are, one way:

  • Economy – 40,000 Virgin Points each way
  • Premium Economy – 72,500 Virgin Points each way
  • Business – 102,500 Virgin Points each way

Taxes and charges will need to be added.

Note that, for Sao Paulo, it is cheaper (at least in points) to use Air France KLM which is 87,500 Virgin Points each way off-peak or 97,500 Virgin Points peak in Business Class. LATAM redemptions do not have peak or off-peak dates.

Virgin Atlantic will be launching its own Sao Paulo flights next year, of course. The full reward pricing for those has not been confirmed – and tickets are not yet on sale – but we know that off-peak pricing will be 18,000 points in Economy, 36,000 points in Premium and 70,000 points in Upper Class each way.

Redeem Virgin Points on LATAM

You can’t book the direct Lima flights on LATAM yet but ….

I couldn’t find any Virgin Points seats between Heathrow and Lima available yesterday. This doesn’t mean they won’t appear, of course, as the route has only just been announced.

It is also important to note that, like Sao Paulo, you can already redeem Virgin Points on KLM or Air France to Lima and you will need fewer of them – 87,500 points each-way off-peak and 97,500 points peak.

You can also book on LATAM with a change in Sao Paulo or, interestingly, via Los Angeles. The routing there is Virgin Atlantic to LA connecting to LATAM for a direct Los Angeles to Lima service.

Here’s a quick comparison of Virgin Points vs Avios pricing

I’ve no intention of looking at every single route and class to compare Virgin Points and Avios pricing.

Just to show that some flights do show via both programmes, here is Rio to Lima using Virgin Points (25,000 points + $25.90):

…. and here is the exact same flight using Avios (13,000 Avios + £29.80)

LATAM on Avios points

In this case, Avios is your best bet unless you would prefer to run down your Virgin Points balance instead or are obsessed with paying the smallest possible amount in taxes and charges.


Whilst this article has been primarily talking about using Virgin Points for the LATAM direct flights to Sao Paulo and Lima, this isn’t the biggest improvement. After all, Virgin Atlantic will soon be flying to Sao Paulo itself and you can reach Lima on Air France and KLM for fewer points than the direct LATAM service.

What is more important is that being able to redeem on LATAM opens up lots of interesting options for getting around Latin and South America. This is a good boost for the Virgin Flying Club programme.

Of course, don’t forget to compare LATAM reward pricing on Virgin Points with Avios redemptions on LATAM via British Airways Executive Club, Iberia Plus or Qatar Airways. As my example above shows, the Avios route may be cheaper.

You can find out more about earning and spending Virgin Points and earning Virgin Flying Club tier points on LATAM on this page of the Virgin Atlantic website.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

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.

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

30,000 bonus points (SPECIAL OFFER TO 2ND OCTOBER) 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 a huge range of valuable 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 bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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 (12)

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

  • ChrisBCN says:

    -OR- get a peak direct business flight for only 5,000 points more than having to go via CDG/AMS. Look how much time and hassle you can save for only 5,000 points!

    (Not aimed at you regions people 😉)

  • BJ says:

    -OR- save 15,000 from the regions and avoid a transit in the House of Horrors 😀

  • Leanne says:

    Do not seem to be able to redeem/find for LATAM Peru flights, which would be very timely for me as about to book a few!

  • Dan says:

    When will other Skyteam airlines be available to book via Virgin website? Thinking TAROM in particular

    • AL says:

      Eventually, yes. The partner pages on the VS website list if available online or have to call. If you can’t see it offered, call and ask.

  • Dan says:

    So we know if Brazil to U.K. flights will have chargers? I seem to remember Avios not having them out of Brazil.

  • Ash says:

    Article infers Avios redemption around south/Central America via BAEC,.Iberia and Qatar vary? In points and taxes? Correct?

  • Mzb says:

    Virgin received Brazilian government approval to launch its flight to GRU around 3 weeks according to Brazilian media. Should those flights not appear soon? (Remember an august timeframe when they were announced)

  • meta says:

    I don’t why would anyone want to pay more than double off-peak in Virgin Points to go direct or via CDG/AMS? Iberia 85k Avios off-peak return or 125k peak plus cheap taxes.

    • AL says:

      Usually, “for those of us with an aversion to IAG” works well as answer here, but I find myself agreeing with you here

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

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