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Virgin Atlantic’s current points sale is one of the best that we’ve ever seen the airline offer but time is running out to take part. All Virgin Atlantic Flying Club members can buy points with a 60% bonus and Gold members are being offered a 70% bonus so, with points available from 0.89 pence each for UK accounts and from 1.60 cents each for US accounts, there’s a lot of scope to book some great deals courtesy of points purchased in this sale.
There are 5 tiers to the latest Virgin Atlantic points sale and this is what they look like if you have Gold status:
- Buy 1,000 – 4,000 points and get a 0% bonus
- Buy 5,000 – 24,000 points and get a 20% bonus
- Buy 25,000 – 69,000 points and get a 30% bonus
- Buy 70,000 – 119,000 points and get a 50% bonus
- Buy 120,000 – 200,000 points and get a 70% bonus
And this is what the tiers look like for every one else:
- Buy 1,000 – 4,000 points and get a 0% bonus
- Buy 5,000 – 24,000 points and get a 15% bonus
- Buy 25,000 – 69,000 points and get a 20% bonus
- Buy 70,000 – 119,000 points and get a 40% bonus
- Buy 120,000 – 200,000 points and get a 60% bonus
The Key Terms
- Purchases must be made by midnight GMT 21st December 2021 (Tomorrow)
- Up to 70% bonus is only available to Gold members on points purchases up to 200,000.
- Bonus points will be credited upon completion of purchase.
- Offer subject to change.
- All other Flying Club Terms and Conditions apply.
Full terms and conditions can be found via this link.
As far as UK Virgin Atlantic Flying Club accounts go this is what you’ll need to know:
Because Virgin Atlantic adds a £15 ‘handling fee’ to every transaction the cost per point will vary depending on the bonus on offer and the number of points you’re buying but, importantly, in this sale, the cost/point when you buy 120,000 points is almost exactly the same as the cost/point when you buy the full 200,000 points so there’s no need to buy the maximum number of points on offer to get the fantastic deal.
If you were to buy the maximum number of points this sale allows you to buy it would cost £3,015 and you would net 340,000 points:
340,000 points at a cost of £3,015 works out to a cost/point of ~0.89 pence
If you only have access to the 60% bonus, you can buy points at ~0.94 pence each
Based on what others have reported (my UK account doesn’t show US pricing), members whose Virgin Flying Club accounts are based in the US can buy miles from between 1.60 and 1.69 cents each.
- If you have been targeted for a 60% bonus you can buy miles at ~1.69 cents each
- If you have been targeted for a 70% bonus you can buy miles at ~1.60 cents each
As you can see, buying Virgin points from a UK-based account is considerably cheaper than buying them from a US-based account (that’s why I keep my account based in the UK!) but even at 1.69 cents/point, this sale is still one the best that we’ve ever seen Virgin Atlantic offer its US members.
Is It Worth Buying Points In This Sale
If you don’t have a plan for how to use the points you shouldn’t be buying points at all – stockpiling points in the hope of using them down the line is a bad idea as you never know when a loyalty program will devalue its offering.
Personally, I don’t like using Virgin Atlantic points for travel on Virgin Atlantic (with one exception) because of the high surcharges that the airline chooses to add to award bookings, but I LOVE using them for premium cabin awards on ANA.
ANA now has a reasonably new Business Class product (the Room) and even though I have yet to try out this product (the pandemic took care of that), I’m pretty sure that it’s the best Business Class seat in the world. Yes, it’s probably better than the Qatar Airways Qsuite (review).
So how do you use Virgin Atlantic points to book such an amazing product? It’s easy.
The Virgin Atlantic ANA award chart is a region-based chart and looks like this:
The points costs shown are for roundtrip travel as ANA one-way awards are not bookable with Virgin Flying Club points (open-jaws are allowed too).
These are the highlights in this award chart:
- Europe to Tokyo: 95,000 points/120,000 points (Business Class/First Class)
- New York to Tokyo: 95,000 points/120,000 points
- Los Angeles to Tokyo: 90,000 points/110,000 points
The current Virgin Atlantic sale allows you to buy enough points for any of these awards and this is how much they will cost assuming you buy points in this sale at 0.89 pence each (UK) or $0.0169 (USA) – I’m assuming that most US-based accounts won’t have access to the 70% bonus.
Business Class Fares (UK pricing/USA pricing)
- Europe to Tokyo: ~£846/$1,606 + taxes & fees
- New York to Tokyo: ~£846/$1,606 + taxes & fees
- Los Angeles to Tokyo: £801/$1,521 + taxes & fees
First Class Fares (UK pricing/USA pricing)
- Europe to Tokyo: £1,068/$2,028 + taxes & fees
- New York to Tokyo: £1,068/$2,028 + taxes & fees
- Los Angeles to Tokyo: £979/$1,859 + taxes & fees
If you’re buying Virgin Atlantic points in GBP these fares are staggeringly good and even if you’re forced to suffer the higher USD pricing, it’s hard to think of many better deals in the miles and points world.
When you consider that it costs 135,000 – 155,000 Flying Club points to fly round trip between the West Coast and Europe in Business Class on Virgin Atlantic or Delta these ANA awards look amazing.
Sadly it’s not all good news. There’s a downside to Virgin using a region-based award chart for ANA redemptions.
Per Virgin Atlantic:
Take New York – Japan – South Korea in Business Class as an example. To book this with Virgin Flying Club points will take two award bookings:
First, you have to book the New York – Japan segments for 95,000 points and then you have to book the Japan – South Korea segments for a further 35,000 points.
The total roundtrip cost is 130,000 points and that’s not such a great deal anymore – the best deals to be had are on non-stop routings.
Searching For & Booking ANA Awards
You can’t book or search for ANA awards via Virgin Atlantic’s website so you have to look to other Star Alliance airline sites for help…but don’t buy any points until you’ve checked that awards are actually available for the dates you can fly.
I find ANA’s website a bit clunky so my go-to sites are Aeroplan or United.com which are both easy to use and quite reliable when it comes to showing true award availability.
Once you’ve found an award you’d like to book you’ll have to call up your local Virgin Atlantic reservations line where the agents should be able to book your chosen itinerary.
Using Virgin Points For Delta Bookings
Another very good use for Virgin Atlantic Points are Delta Business Class awards that don’t include flights to/from the UK.
Up until 31 December 2020, Virgin Atlantic had just one award chart for all Delta awards that did not include flights to/from the UK. From 1 January 2021, that award chart now only applies to Delta awards for non-stop itineraries between the United States and Europe (excluding the UK).
This award chart represents one of the few sweet spots in the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club program as there are no carrier-imposed surcharges if you originate in the United States and are not traveling to the UK.
50,000 points purchased in this sale would cost ~ £445/$845 (UK pricing/USA pricing) and that’s an amazing deal for a one-way transatlantic Business Class award.
Virgin Atlantic sells its points through Points.com so there’s no scope to earn a travel/flight/airline bonus by using a credit card that offers bonus points for shopping in one of those categories.
What this means is that this is a good opportunity to use a credit card on which you’re working towards a welcome bonus (like the bonus being offered by the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card right now)…
Virgin Atlantic is now selling points with bonuses as high as 60% and 70% depending on a Flying Club member’s elite status. This sees UK-based Flying Club accounts able to buy points from £0.89 pence each and US-based Flying Club accounts able to buy points from 1.69 cents each. If you’re considering buying points to book flights on Virgin Atlantic the value probably still isn’t quite there, but if you’re considering an ANA Business Class booking or a Business Class award on a Delta-operated transatlantic flight that doesn’t touch the UK, this sale offers truly excellent value.
Featured image: The Virgin Atlantic A350-1000 Upper Class Cabin