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How to redeem Virgin Points for a Necker Island holiday

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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 a decent value, albeit unachievable for most, Virgin Points redemption.

Necker Island

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 $39,500 for a couple.  This is £31,000.  Flights are not included in this price but it is all inclusive. Early bookers can benefit from ‘pay 5, get 2 free’ free night offers which bring down the cost.

The reward pricing model has changed

Virgin Red used to offer Necker Island on an ‘all points’ basis. This sounds like a good idea – no cash required, after all – but the points requirement was getting silly.

It had reached 1.7 million Virgin Points for a one week stay for a couple. This did still represent good value if you were prepared to pay the cash price as you were getting 1.8p per point, but the number of people who were sitting on 1.7 million Virgin Points was slim.

(At one point, you also needed to have elite status in Virgin Flying Club PLUS 1.7 million points. This blocked the people who were most likely to have 1.7 million points – company owners spending huge sums on co-brand credit cards. You no longer need elite status with the airline to book.)

The rules are now different. The cost is:

  • Minimum three-night stay: 630,000 Virgin Points plus $5,700
  • Additional nights: 210,000 Virgin Points plus $1,900

A seven night stay will now cost 1,470,000 Virgin Points plus $13,300.

It’s a far poorer deal than it was. Based on the current cash price of $39,500, you are getting 1.4p per Virgin Point.

The upside is the lower minimum stay requirement. A five night trip would be 1,050,000 Virgin Points plus $9,500. This is more achievable than the old rate of 1.7 million, albeit still a worse deal overall.

Of course, before you book, I recommend you read the review of Necker Island from reader Tom that we published last year.

That said, I know someone else 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.

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 (10)

  • paul says:

    I would be bored to death in a place like that.

    OK for burning on a sunbed and bit of a swim – but countless all incl options for that around the World.

    As for having a wrinkly old guy turn up in his budgie-smugglers; NO THANKS.

  • Kevin says:

    Is it correct that when booking a virgin cruise direct with virgin on a virgin credit card it is just standard points earned unlike virgin flights and holidays ?

    • Rob says:

      I believe only standard points, yes.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      It’s Virgin Atlantic credit card not a Virgin credit card so absolutely makes sense. Unless Virgin Atlantic holidays sold you the cruise (I don’t think they sell them though)

      • AL says:

        They do, but they’re not the most obvious choice: They are well-hidden on the website (menu, holiday types, all holiday types, cruise holidays). I would have thought they’d be pushing Voyages more front and center than they do, especially for the MIA crowd.

      • Michael says:

        They do. Though for European cruises they are at pains to explain they can’t book flight transfers for you.

        As FC Gold, last year I booked a Rockstar cruise through Virgin Holidays using Virgin + card and got approx 50000 miles and a few hundred tier points. We got nearly enough miles to book another cruise on points at the time!

    • Bervios says:

      There are sometimes cash back deals on the Virgin money credit card. 10% offer on just now for VV.

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