Virgin Atlantic Flying Club may not be one of the mileage programs that you are the most familiar with, but it is definitely worth paying attention to for a few reasons.
You can earn Virgin Points by flying Virgin Atlantic or its partners — the number of points travelers earn depends on flight distance, cabin choice, ticket type, and elite status. You can also earn points by using a Virgin Atlantic credit card, shopping through an online portal, and booking car rentals or hotel rooms with partnering programs.
In this guide, we’ll be exploring all the best ways you can use Virgin Points for maximum value. We’ll be focusing on premium cabin awards on Virgin Atlantic’s partner airlines, so let’s get started!
Table of contents
- How To Boost Your Virgin Points
- The 14 Best Ways To Use Your Virgin Points
- Fly ANA First Class to Japan One-Way (55,000 to 60,000 Points)
- Fly Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Between the U.S. and U.K. (From 95,000 Points)
- Fly Air France or KLM Business Class From the U.S. East Coast or the Caribbean to Western Europe (48,500 Points)
- Fly Delta to Hawaii (From 40,000 Points)
- Fly on Delta One Suites (From 50,000 Points)
- Fly From New Zealand to Oceania on Air New Zealand (From 15,000 Points)
- Fly From New Zealand to the U.S. in Business (From 125,000 Points)
- Travel Within Australia on Virgin Australia (From 15,000 Points)
- Travel Within Africa on South African Airways (From 20,000 Points)
- Fly on ANA Within Japan (From 15,000 Points)
- West Coast Mainland U.S. to Hawaii on Hawaiian Airlines (From 40,000 Points)
- Fly Between the Hawaiian Islands (From 15,000 Points)
- Fly Transcontinental on Delta One (22,500 Points)
- Stay at Sir Richard Branson’s Private Island for 7 Days (1,500,000 Points)
- Using Virgin Points With Airline Partners
- Final Thoughts
Table of Contents
- How To Boost Your Virgin Points
- The 14 Best Ways To Use Your Virgin Points
- 1. Fly ANA First Class to Japan One-Way (55,000 to 60,000 Points)
- 2. Fly Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Between the U.S. and U.K. (From 95,000 Points)
- 3. Fly Air France or KLM Business Class From the U.S. East Coast or the Caribbean to Western Europe (48,500 Points)
- 4. Fly Delta to Hawaii (From 40,000 Points)
- 5. Fly on Delta One Suites (From 50,000 Points)
- 6. Fly From New Zealand to Oceania on Air New Zealand (From 15,000 Points)
- 7. Fly From New Zealand to the U.S. in Business (From 125,000 Points)
- 8. Travel Within Australia on Virgin Australia (From 15,000 Points)
- 9. Travel Within Africa on South African Airways (From 20,000 Points)
- 10. Fly on ANA Within Japan (From 15,000 Points)
- 11. West Coast Mainland U.S. to Hawaii on Hawaiian Airlines (From 40,000 Points)
- 12. Fly Between the Hawaiian Islands (From 15,000 Points)
- 13. Fly Transcontinental on Delta One (22,500 Points)
- 14. Stay at Sir Richard Branson’s Private Island for 7 Days (1,500,000 Points)
- Using Virgin Points With Airline Partners
- Final Thoughts
How To Boost Your Virgin Points
Virgin Points are some of the easiest to earn, thanks to handy transfer partners. In fact, Virgin Atlantic is transfer partners with 4 of the 5 major transferable currencies: Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Marriott Bonvoy, and Citi ThankYou Rewards.
Chase Ultimate Rewards Credit Cards
Chase points are so easy to earn and there are lots of valuable airline and hotel transfer partners. Chase Ultimate Rewards points also transfer to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club at a 1:1 ratio.
Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)
Business Owner? See our article on Chase business cards that earn Ultimate Rewards.
American Express Membership Rewards Credit Cards
American Express Membership Rewards transfer at a 1:1 ratio to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.
Recommended Amex Cards (Personal)
Business Owner? See our article on Amex business cards that earn Membership Rewards.
Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards
You can earn Marriott Bonvoy points and transfer those to Virgin Atlantic at a transfer rate of 3:1. Plus, for every 60,000 Marriott points that you transfer, you’ll receive an extra 5,000 Virgin Points bonus.
Recommended Marriott Bonvoy Cards
The 14 Best Ways To Use Your Virgin Points
To book any partner awards with Virgin Points (except Delta), you are going to have to get on the phone. It is best to confirm that space is available with another tool before you make the call.
For example, you can check South African Airways and ANA availability on united.com. The major exception to this is Delta Air Lines. Although Delta doesn’t release the same premium cabin availability to Virgin Atlantic as it releases to Delta SkyMiles members, Virgin Atlantic can show online search results easily.
If you’re using Virgin Atlantic to search for Delta Air Lines availability, you may be unable to search online for travel to certain cities, such as Seoul-Incheon (ICN). To get around this, you can simply use ExpertFlyer or delta.com (look for partner-level availability). Another option (if you’re still confused by the variable award buckets put forth by Delta) is to use Korean Air, which is clunky but somewhat reliable.
Once you have confirmed availability for the flights and dates you would like to travel, go ahead and give Virgin Atlantic a call at 800-365-9500. Remember that you cannot mix partners on award tickets.
When you have enough Virgin Points for a trip, you can get some ideas by looking below and choosing one that appeals to you.
Keep in mind there are tons of different ways to use your points — don’t be limited to just the options we have highlighted!
1. Fly ANA First Class to Japan One-Way (55,000 to 60,000 Points)
Without a doubt, this is one of the most valuable sweet spots in the entire world. This ranking isn’t just for Virgin Atlantic redemptions. Whereas most airlines charge upwards of 200,000 points for round-trip first class to Asia, Virgin Atlantic charges half of that.
This is a timeless and classic aspirational redemption on one of the best first class airlines in the world. These first class flights are on All Nippon Airways (ANA), which is one of the largest airlines in Japan.
Virgin Atlantic divides the U.S. and has incredible premium cabin values:
ANA First Class U.S. to Japan:
- Eastern and Central U.S. to Japan: 120,000 points roundtrip (60,000 points one-way)
- Western U.S. and Canada to Japan: 110,000 points roundtrip (55,000 points one-way)
ANA Business Class U.S. to Japan:
- Eastern and Central U.S. to Japan: 95,000 points roundtrip (47,500 points one-way)
- Western U.S. and Canada to Japan: 90,000 points roundtrip (45,000 points one-way)
Hot Tip: Check out our review of ANA’s 777 business class!
If you want to continue elsewhere in Asia, you will, unfortunately, be charged 2 separate awards, so this deal is only great for travel to Japan. Expect taxes and fees to be around $300 for a round-trip flight per person.
2. Fly Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Between the U.S. and U.K. (From 95,000 Points)
Onto the next option in our list of best ways to use Virgin Points: flying Upper Class! Economy standard-season award flights between the U.K. and the U.S. vary between 20,000 and 30,000 Virgin Points.
East Coast cities require fewer points than West Coast cities. Peak-season awards require 20,000 more points based on a round-trip booking.
Premium economy tickets can be booked for 35,000 to 55,000 points depending on the route during standard season dates, and Upper Class awards priced between 95,000 and 135,000 Virgin Points during standard season dates.
Hot Tip: Need Help Booking? Check out our step-by-step guide to booking Virgin Atlantic Upper Class!
Keep in mind that Virgin Atlantic imposes rather high fuel surcharges on its award flights, and you will also be subject to the high government and airport taxes when flying through the U.K.
For example, fees on round-trip flights between the U.K. and the U.S. range from $440 to $500.
We’ve seen plenty of airfare sales that let travelers purchase a flight to Europe in economy for that amount, so an economy class redemption might not be the best use of Virgin Points!
Surcharges on premium economy awards range from $790 to $830, while fees in the Upper Class start at $1,100 and go up to $1,210 round-trip.
To check for peak versus standard season dates and access the Virgin Atlantic award chart for Virgin Atlantic flights, visit this link.
If you’ve already purchased a flight, it is possible to upgrade an eligible existing reservation booked with cash. A flexible economy ticket can be upgraded to premium economy with points at a 50% discount, or to an Upper Class seat at 25% off. Economy Light tickets are not eligible for upgrades.
Hot Tip: Use the Amex Platinum card to get Global Entry and TSA PreCheck to make your trip go more smoothly.
3. Fly Air France or KLM Business Class From the U.S. East Coast or the Caribbean to Western Europe (48,500 Points)
Air France is one of Virgin Atlantic’s closest partners. Although Virgin Atlantic doesn’t share Air France’s membership in the SkyTeam alliance, it’s possible to redeem Virgin Points to fly Air France.
In this case, the highest cabin you can book is business, but you’ll enjoy a fully lie-flat bed, excellent French catering, and great service. And believe it or not, you can even redeem Virgin Points on lots of routes cheaper than you’d redeem Air France points!
If you redeem Virgin Points between Zone 1 and Zone 6, you can book business class during off-peak dates for 48,500 points (58,500 points during peak dates). Also, you can redeem Virgin Points on KLM flights for the same amount.
Here’s what Zone 1 includes:
- U.K., Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Ireland, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Denmark, Balearic Islands, Finland, Italy, Malta, Norway, and Sweden
Here’s what Zone 6 includes:
- East Coast U.S., East Canada, Antigua, Barbados, Bahamas, Cuba, Bermuda, Dominican Republic, French Guyana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Martinique, Haiti, Porto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, and Saint Marteen.
- Includes the following U.S. states – Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Virginia, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida
- Includes the following Canadian provinces – Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island
As you can see, you can fly from much of Western Europe to either the eastern U.S., eastern Canada, or the Caribbean. Here are a few example routes you can take:
- Chicago (ORD) – Amsterdam (AMS) – Naples (NAP) on KLM business class for 48,500 points during off-peak dates
- Helsinki (HEL) – Paris (CDG) – Punta Cana (PUJ) on Air France business class for 48,500 points during off-peak dates
- Miami (MIA) – Paris (CDG) on Air France business class for 48,500 points during off-peak dates
4. Fly Delta to Hawaii (From 40,000 Points)
Instead of providing a unique chart for awards booked on Delta, Flying Club simply applies its own award chart for redemptions. Of course, Delta itself does not publish an award chart, but these redemption values are on par with Delta’s low-level awards.
For example, a domestic round-trip award within the continental U.S. and between the U.S. and Alaska/Canada costs 25,000 Virgin Points — an industry standard. Flights to Europe come to 60,000 points, which is also similar to most U.S.-based carriers.
Award flights to the Caribbean come to 35,000 points, and awards to South America are 45,000. The sweet spot seems to be on award flights between the U.S. and Hawaii. Those require just 40,000 Virgin Points, compared with 45,000 SkyMiles that Delta charges.
Another notable exception here is that routes between the U.K. and the East Coast U.S. start at just 20,000 points in economy and 90,000 points in business/first class. Those destinations include New York (JFK), Boston (BOS), and Philadelphia (PHL).
However, remember the potential for high fuel surcharges as these flights originate overseas.
When travel originates in the U.S. (for flights to Europe), you will not need to pay the U.K. Air Passenger Duty, which is usually around ~$200. This move can save you a bundle in fuel surcharges!
5. Fly on Delta One Suites (From 50,000 Points)
We’ve put together the comprehensive guide on the best ways to book Delta One, which also includes Delta One Suites, its newest business class product. Delta One Suites features sliding doors, comfortable Westin bedding, and an awesome soft product.
One of the best ways to book Delta One Suites is with Virgin Points. Here’s a quick breakdown of some hot routes and their mileage prices:
|Route||Virgin Points Cost (One-Way)|
|U.S. to Europe (excluding the U.K.)||50,000|
|Detroit (DTW) – Amsterdam (AMS)||50,000|
|U.S. to Asia||60,000|
|Atlanta (ATL) – Seoul-Incheon (ICN)||60,000|
|Atlanta (ATL) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)||60,000|
|Detroit (DTW) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)||60,000|
|Detroit (DTW) – Beijing (PEK)||60,000|
|Detroit (DTW) – Shanghai (PVG)||60,000|
|Detroit (DTW) – Seoul-Incheon (ICN)||60,000|
|Los Angeles (LAX) – Shanghai (PVG)||60,000|
|Los Angeles (LAX) – Tokyo-Haneda (HND)||60,000|
|Minneapolis (MSP) – Seoul-Incheon (ICN)||60,000|
|Minneapolis (MSP) – Tokyo-Haneda (HND)||60,000|
|Seattle (SEA) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)||60,000|
|U.S. to South West Pacific||75,000|
|Los Angeles (LAX) – Sydney (SYD)||75,000|
As you can see, there’s a massive emphasis on delivering the best business class product to hubs in Asia. The icing on the cake is that fuel surcharges are not passed on, reducing your out-of-pocket costs to as little as $5.60 per person!
6. Fly From New Zealand to Oceania on Air New Zealand (From 15,000 Points)
Intra-New Zealand redemptions come to just 15,000 Virgin Points in economy, but business class is not available.
Awards between New Zealand and Australia (including the Pacific Islands) cost 20,000 Virgin Points in economy and 30,000 points in business class, which is pretty reasonable.
As with other award flights, these can only be booked over the phone.
Hot Tip: If you’re staying in a hotel, you might want to use a hotel credit card like the Marriott Boundless card or Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card. You’ll get Gold elite status benefits and earn additional points for your stays!
7. Fly From New Zealand to the U.S. in Business (From 125,000 Points)
One of the better ways to fly to New Zealand is nonstop via Air New Zealand. If you value a nonstop route and you don’t need generous award availability, you can redeem Virgin Points for nonstop Air New Zealand business class flights.
A nonstop, round-trip flight between Auckland (AKL) and Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO) costs 80,000 Virgin Points in economy and 125,000 points in business class.
In practice, however, those awards are virtually unavailable. The key exception is this: During the first half of a year, Air New Zealand may periodically dump a huge number of business class award seats for travel during the low season (June to August with most awards in July).
For those still interested in trying out the airline, awards between New Zealand and Asia tend to be more available for booking through partners. Per the Flying Club chart, these round-trip flights can be booked for 60,000 points in economy and 80,000 points in business class.
8. Travel Within Australia on Virgin Australia (From 15,000 Points)
Redeeming Virgin Points on domestic Virgin Australia routes can be a good option if cash flights are expensive.
Redemption rates vary depending on the distance flown. For example, round-trip economy tickets less than 400 points will cost 16,000 Virgin Points. For example, Perth (PER) to Cocos Islands (CCK) comes to 40,000 points, and Hobert (HBA) to Brisbane (BNE) costs 30,000 points. Fuel surcharges do not apply to domestic tickets.
Passengers can book one-way award flights for half the price of a round-trip award, meaning it’s possible to combine a few one-way awards for a tour of Australia.
Hot Tip: Check out more fantastic cabin photos of Virgin Australia’s business class in our review!
9. Travel Within Africa on South African Airways (From 20,000 Points)
Flying Club provides rather lucrative options for award travel within South Africa, as well as between South Africa and the following Southern Africa destinations:
Beira, Mozambique; Blantyre, Malawi; Bulawayo, Zimbabwe; Gaborone, Botswana; Harare, Zimbabwe; Lilongwe, Malawi; Livingstone, Zambia; Lusaka, Zambia; Maputo, Mozambique; Maseru, Lesotho; Matsapha, Swaziland; Ndola, Zambia; Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe; Walvis Bay, Namibia; and Windhoek, Namibia.
Round-trip economy tickets on these routes come to 20,000 points, and business class tickets are 30,000 points.
A slightly higher cost of redemption applies to award flights booked between South Africa and the following Central and Northern African destinations:
Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire; Dakar, Senegal; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Entebbe, Uganda; Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo; Lagos, Nigeria; Luanda, Angola; Mauritius; Nairobi, Kenya; Accra, Ghana; Pointe-Noire, Congo; Cotonou, Benin; Brazzaville, Congo; and Douala, Cameroon.
Round-trip tickets on these routes would be 40,000 points for economy, and business class tickets come to 50,000 points.
Open-jaws are allowed, but the point of origin and return must be the same. A maximum of 4 legs is allowed.
Hot Tip: When you’re flying multiple legs and you need to check your bag, the chances of it getting lost increase. You can minimize that risk by getting baggage insurance from a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.
10. Fly on ANA Within Japan (From 15,000 Points)
Flying Club offers an interesting opportunity to redeem points for ANA-operated flights. The award chart shows the same redemption level — 15,000 points — for all round-trip intra-Japan flights in economy class, no matter the distance.
Whether a flight is 600 points or 4,000 points, it doesn’t matter: it will cost 15,000 Virgin Points to book.
For example, flying from Ozora (MMB) to Osaka (KIX) round-trip is usually around $300, which gives you a 2 cents per point value. Similarly, round-trip flights from Miyakojima (MMY) to Fukuoka (FUK) or Tokyo (NRT) are typically at least $250.
Neither business class nor first class redemptions are available, and these redemptions can only be made by phone.
11. West Coast Mainland U.S. to Hawaii on Hawaiian Airlines (From 40,000 Points)
Flights from the West Coast to Hawaii and back require 40,000 Virgin Points in economy and 80,000 Virgin Points in first class. East Coast cities cost a bit more at 80,000 Virgin Points in economy and 130,000 Virgin Points in first class.
This redemption clearly benefits those located on the West Coast!
In comparison, it is possible to book cheaper awards to Hawaii using British Airways Avios or Air France/KLM Flying Blue points for 25,000 and 30,000 points, respectively, provided there’s availability on American Airlines or Delta Air Lines.
When booked directly with Delta, United, or American, this ticket would cost 45,000 SkyMiles, 45,000 MileagePlus miles, or 45,000 AAdvantage miles at the Saver level. At least Flying Club provides redemption rates that are competitive with U.S. airlines!
The best part about these redemptions is that Hawaiian Airlines doesn’t charge exorbitant fuel surcharges on award tickets.
12. Fly Between the Hawaiian Islands (From 15,000 Points)
For those already on the islands, it is possible to use Virgin Points to island-hop!
An inter-island itinerary requires just 15,000 points in economy or 30,000 in first class. Because one-ways and open-jaws are allowed to be booked with Hawaiian Airlines, the legs can be booked as separate segments, allowing travelers to visit multiple Hawaiian islands on the same trip.
13. Fly Transcontinental on Delta One (22,500 Points)
Delta Air Lines only charges 22,500 points one-way for business class within the U.S. (except Hawaii) and Canada. Specifically, an area of huge value is on the premium transcontinental route between Los Angeles (LAX) – New York (JFK).
These are among the most expensive business class tickets, and using 22,500 points plus $5.60 can get you 6 hours in fully lie-flat business class. This is a great opportunity, especially considering the cash price of these tickets.
Hot Tip: Be sure to double-check whether you’re getting a lie-flat seat before you book your flight!
14. Stay at Sir Richard Branson’s Private Island for 7 Days (1,500,000 Points)
NOTE:Necker Island redemptions using Virgin Points are currently suspended as the resort works through a backlog of COVID-19 cancellations. We are hopeful that Virgin Atlantic redemption stays will return soon.
Sir Richard Branson, the famed CEO of the Virgin Group, lives on his own private island— known as Necker Island — in the British Virgin Islands.
Why is this important?
Because you can redeem (a boatload) of Virgin Points to stay on Necker Island during certain Celebration Weeks. It won’t come cheap, though, at a whopping 1,500,000 points for 2 people sharing 1 room in the Great House for 7 nights.
For perspective, Great House rooms cost $5,000 per night during Celebration Weeks, so your 7-night stay is worth $35,000. Starting in 2021, though, Celebration Week stays will be priced based on a 7-night stay, instead of per night. In 2021, the stay will cost $36,050. Therefore, you’ll get a value of 2.3 to 2.4 cents per point.
But your stay doesn’t just include the room. Your stay includes all food and drink (including alcohol), activities on the island, and return boat transfers to Necker Island from Virgin Gorda or Beef Island. Your flights are not included, however.
Also, you need Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Silver or Gold elite status to book this redemption. Reservations can only be made up to 11 months in advance of the arrival date.
Using Virgin Points With Airline Partners
Flying Club members can earn points by flying the following airlines:
Redeeming Virgin Points is allowed on all partners except SAS. Award seats can be booked up to 331 days in advance.
Hot Tip: For more information on Virgin Atlantic’s loyalty program, check out the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club loyalty program page.
While Virgin Atlantic Flying Club often charges higher fees than many competing airlines for its operated flights, it does still offer a handful of good redemptions that you shouldn’t count out… especially since Virgin Points are so easy to get a hold of!
We hope our list of the best ways to use Virgin Points was helpful. Now, all that’s left is to go earn some points and start saving up. Happy redeeming!
The information regarding the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
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