Virgin Atlantic Points

Fancy a free flight to New York? You may be able to pull it off with Virgin Atlantic's miles scheme.

Virgin Atlantic’s frequent flyers can collect loyalty points in a bunch of different ways, and use them to get free tickets to travel from London or Manchester to one of Virgin Atlantic’s destinations in the US, the Caribbean, Asia or Africa.

Like most airline reward schemes, Virgin Atlantic’s offers many different ways of earning and spending, so it can be a bit complicated to navigate. Our guide looks at it from all sides and helps you figure out how to get the most out of it.

How to earn Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points

The most basic way to earn Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points is to book flights with Virgin Atlantic whenever you want to go on holiday. For every ticket you purchase, you’ll earn a percentage of the base flown points.

The percentage will depend on the class you travel in, from 25% for the cheapest economy class (Economy Light) to 400% for a flexible ticket in the upper class.

However, you can also earn Virgin Points in other ways:

  • With one of Virgin Atlantic’s credit cards. Virgin Atlantic offers 2 credit card options that let you earn points for every purchase you make, no matter where. They differ from one another in that one doubles the Virgin Points you can earn per £1 spent, but you’ll need to pay an annual fee in return.
  • Adding a hire car or a hotel stay to your flight. If you also book your hire car or your hotel with Virgin Atlantic, you’ll earn extra Virgin Points for every £1 you spend.
  • With one of Virgin Atlantic’s partners. You can collect loyalty points when flying with partner airlines, such as Delta, AirFrance and Korean Air. You can also convert loyalty points from other schemes into Virgin Points, including American Express Membership Rewards points and Tesco Clubcard points.
  • Buying them. If you’re close to a reward you really want, but are just missing a few thousand points to get it, you can buy them. There’s a one-off £15 transaction fee, and points cost £15 for 1,000 points. So if you bought 1,000 points, you’d pay £30 in total. You can buy a total of 100,000 points each calendar year, in increments of 1,000 points, either for yourself or for other members.

How do Virgin Atlantic Flying Club’s Tier Points work?

To complicate things further, Virgin’s Flying Club has 3 different membership tiers. Every year you start with zero Tier Points and a basic Red membership. If you travel enough in one year, you can collect Tier Points that will give you the status of Silver member (400 points) or Gold member (1,000 points).

You can only earn Tier Points and upgrade your status by travelling with Virgin Atlantic. The number of points you collect for every flight depends on the class you travel in – a complete table can be found here.

Silver and Gold customers earn more points when they fly (30% and 60% more respectively), so if you are a loyal customer it’s easier and quicker to earn free flights. Virgin Atlantic’s Tier Points expire every year, so if you don’t fly enough, you’ll lose your membership upgrade.

If you’re a Red member, your membership won’t expire as long as you earn or spend Virgin Points within 3 years.

How to spend Virgin Points

Once you’ve collected a fair amount of points, you can trade them for:

  • Free flights. You won’t be surprised to hear that a company called “Virgin Atlantic” doesn’t travel to Europe. However, it does have a list of hot destinations for both vacation and business, from New York to Tel Aviv to Hong Kong.
  • Upgrades. Have you always dreamed of flying in upper class, just for once? This is your chance to do it for free, although you’ll need a lot of miles to get there.
  • Companion seats. If you’re planning a holiday with a partner or a friend, this is probably the cheapest way to get a free ticket. As long as you also pay for a regular ticket on the same plane, the second ticket will come for considerably fewer points than purchasing a standard free ticket if you were travelling by yourself.

Once you’ve got all the points you need, you can log in to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club’s website and use them to book your flights.

How much are Virgin Atlantic air miles worth?

As with most points schemes, there’s no easy points-to-pounds conversion, so it’s probably better to look at it the other way around: what would you like to treat yourself with and how many points will it take to get there?

The answer will depend on whether it’s standard or peak season (Easter, summer, Christmas), on where you want to go (the cheapest flights go to Israel, while the ones that will require the most points go to the US West Coast) and on the class you want to travel in.

Expert analysis: Be aware of charges on points bookings

jordoncox profile pic
Jordon Cox

Contributor

Once you’ve earnt enough Virgin points for a flight, don’t assume that it’s totally free. An economy return flight will still cost you around £200-£300 in fuel surcharges and taxes, that you have to pay in order to secure the booking. If you’re looking to fly in Premium Economy it’s £500-£600, and for business it's £700-£800 per ticket. The same is true if you’re upgrading cabins with points - you’ll have to pay an extra surcharge.

While this still saves you a fair amount on the cost of a standard ticket, it’s worth considering other options for redemption of your points if you only have a small amount. You can use your points for part or full payment towards Virgin Holidays, Virgin Wines and even Greggs food and drink at no cost. You can also transfer Virgin points to hotel loyalty schemes such as IHG and Hilton, where you may be able to redeem free hotel nights.

Virgin Atlantic Points Calculator

Does your credit card earn you Virgin Points? Use our calculator to find out how many Virgin Points you could get.

Virgin Atlantic Points calculator
£
Virgin Points

Use the fields above to calculate how much cashback you will earn.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Many different ways to earn points.
  • Good earn rate.
  • Introductory points boost with Virgin Atlantic credit cards.
  • Dedicated online portal to manage your points and book flights.

Cons

  • Tier Points expire every year.
  • No flights to Europe.
  • You’ll still need to pay fuel surcharges and taxes.

Our verdict: Are Virgin Atlantic points any good?

If you’re keen to travel further afield than Europe, signing up to the Virgin Atlantic Points scheme could help you achieve your dreams faster. There’s a host of different ways to earn points and plenty of ways to spend them too. However, the scheme can be a little complicated, particularly with the different membership levels and Tier Points expiring after a year. So it’s worth comparing the scheme to others on the market before making your decision.

Compare credit cards that earn Virgin Atlantic Points

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
1 - 2 of 2
Name Product Finder Score Finder score Max. intro bonus Earn-rate with brand Default earn-rate Annual/monthly fees Representative APR Link Incentive Representative example
Virgin Money Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit Card
3.9
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
N/A
1.5 points per £1 spent
1 point per £1.33 spent
£0
26.9% APR (variable)
Earn 3,000 bonus points with your first card purchase made within 90 days of account opening. Earn 0.75 Flying Club miles for every £1 spend and 1.5.miles for every £1 spend with Virgin Atlantic or Virgin Holidays. Spend £20K a year on your card and choose an extra benefit - an upgrade to Premium, or a Companion ticket. Points value varies dependent on reward (min 3000pts)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 26.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 26.9% APR (variable).
Virgin Money Virgin Atlantic Reward Plus Credit Card
4.0
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
15,000 points
3 points per £1 spent
1.5 points per £1 spent
£160 per annum
69.7% APR (variable)
Earn 18,000 bonus points with your first card purchase made within 90 days of account opening. Earn 1.5 Flying Club miles for every £1 spend and 3 miles for every £1 spend with Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays. Spend £10K a year on your card and choose an extra benefit - an upgrade to Premium, or a Companion ticket. Points value varies dependent on reward (min 3000pts)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 26.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £160 per annum, your representative rate is 69.7% APR (variable).
loading

Approval for any credit card depends on your status. The representative APRs shown represent the interest rate offered to most successful applicants. Depending on your personal circumstances, the APR you're offered may be higher, or you may not be offered credit at all. Fees and rates are subject to change without notice. It's always wise to check the terms of any deal before you borrow. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables is provided by Moneyfacts.

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables has the source: Moneyfacts Group PLC. In other cases, Finder has sourced data directly from providers.

More guides on Finder

Go to site