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EL AL flights will be bookable with Virgin Points from next Wednesday

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Last week Virgin Atlantic announced three new codeshare deals.

Two of these – SAS and Saudia – were with SkyTeam (or future SkyTeam) partners so didn’t mean much in terms of earning Virgin Points and tier points.

The third, however, is a genuinely new airline – EL AL.

EL AL business class

As of this Monday, Virgin Atlantic is selling and putting its own flight numbers on EL AL flights between London and Tel Aviv. This will be reciprocated with EL AL flight numbers on Virgin Atlantic’s flights to Tel Aviv when they relaunch on 5th September.

As long as you book EL AL via the Virgin Atlantic website, or another route which ensures that your flight ticket shows a VS flight number, it will earn Virgin Points and Virgin Flying Club tier points.

You will be able to redeem Virgin Points on EL AL

What wasn’t clear after the initial announcement was whether the partnership would include reciprocal frequent flyer redemption.

Over the weekend EL AL sent an email to members of its Matmid frequent flyer scheme telling them that redemptions on Virgin Atlantic would be possible.

This made is very likely that Virgin Atlantic would follow suit, and it has.

Virgin Atlantic has now confirmed that you will be able to use Virgin Points for EL AL flights from 19th June.

Importantly, this arrangement will cover the entire EL AL network and not just the London to Tel Aviv route.

This announcement is more important than it might appear because redemptions on EL AL are currently tricky for UK residents. The airline is not in any major airline alliance and has a limited number of partnerships.

Neither American Express or HSBC Premier points can be converted into Matmid. The main route for redemptions has been to transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to Qantas Frequent Flyer and book via that partnership as we covered here.

We don’t know how many Virgin Points will be required for EL AL flights or how high the taxes and charges will be.

Information should appear on this partner page of the Virgin Atlantic website very soon. (EDIT: pricing is now available at that link)

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (July 2024)

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 18,000 Virgin Points and the free card has a bonus of 3,000 Virgin Points):

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

18,000 bonus points and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

3,000 bonus points, no fee and 1 point for every £1 you spend 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 40,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 40,000 Virgin Points.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points AND (to 27th August) £400 to spend at Amex Travel 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 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 (15)

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

  • BJ says:

    El Al just placed an order for 30x 737 MAX.

    • memesweeper says:

      That’ll keep them on my personal “no fly” list for a couple of years more then.

      • BJ says:

        It’ll probably be a couple of years before they get them unless Bieing still have a syoclpile going cheap. I often wonder what the global airline fleets would look like in the absence politics in order decisions. It would be great if Rhys and Rob could do an article exploring this but I appreciated the difficultoes involved.

      • Nick says:

        Excellent, more availability for me then. Please avoid BA F as well. Cheers.

    • StanTheMan says:

      I’m sure they will miss your business.

    • Bernard says:

      A sign of going for the cheap option instead of the safest choice.
      There are plenty of industry experts who seem to avoid the max. They must know something.

  • Charlieface says:

    I don’t see the pricing on that link at the bottom, what am I missing?

    • Rob says:

      It’s not there. Will be tomorrow.

      • Mark says:

        Don’t see any points available with EL AL and no pricing on above link yet either?

      • Charlieface says:

        Doesn’t compare favourably with Virgin themselves, or with BA:
        El Al want 26k, 32k, 70k per one way eco, prem, biz respectively.
        Virgin want 11k, 20k, 30k for the same.

      • Charlieface says:

        BA want 13k-15k for eco and 24k-27k in biz.

        On the other hand, BA is now narrow-body with a Larnaca stopover. But Virgin has widebodies only, and El Al is usually a widebody also.

      • Dov says:

        I can’t see any elal fights on vergine points on my vergine flying club booking

        • Rob says:

          Eh? I just picked random dates (10-18 September) and they are there, and seemingly for pretty much every other day too.

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

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