Virgin Atlantic Points

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

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Virgin Atlantic’s frequent flyers can collect miles 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 miles 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 make the best out of it.

Compare credit cards that earn Virgin Atlantic Points

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
Updated December 10th, 2019
Name Product Max. intro bonus Earn-rate with brand Default earn-rate Annual/monthly fees Rep. APR Incentive Representative example
5,000 points
1.5 points per £1 spent
1 point per £1.33 spent
£0
22.9% (variable)
Earn 5,000 bonus miles with your first card purchase made within 90 days of account opening. Earn 0.75 Flying Club miles for every £1 spend. Spend £20K a year on your card and choose an extra benefit - an upgrade to premium, or a Companion ticket. Double miles when you spend directly with Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays through the contact centre and online. Earn an additional 2,000 bonus miles if you spend £1K within 90 days of opening until 31.10.19.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.9% APR (variable).
15,000 points
3 points per £1 spent
1.5 points per £1 spent
£160 per annum
63.9% (variable)
Earn 15,000 bonus miles with your first card purchase made within 90 days of account opening. Earn 1.5 Flying Club miles for every £1 spend. Spend £10K a year on your card and choose an extra benefit - an upgrade to premium, or a Companion ticket. Double miles when you spend directly with Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays through the contact centre and online.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £160 per annum, your representative rate is 63.9% APR (variable).

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Approval for any credit card will depend on your status. The APR shown represents 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.

How to earn Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles

The most basic way to earn Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles is obviously to fly around with Virgin Atlantic quite a lot. For every ticket you purchase, you’ll earn a percentage of the miles your plane has covered in real life – so the longer the flight, the more you’ll earn.

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 miles in other ways:

  • With one of Virgin Atlantic’s credit cards. Virgin Atlantic offers two credit card options that let you earn miles for every purchase you make, no matter where. They differ from one another in that one doubles the Virgin Atlantic miles you can earn in return for an annual fee.
  • Adding a car hire or a hotel stay to your flight. If you also book your car or your hotel with Virgin Atlantic, you’ll get 2 extra miles for every £1 you spend.
  • With one of Virgin Atlantic’s partners. You can convert loyalty points from other schemes into Virgin Atlantic miles, including miles from a range of other airlines.
  • Buying them. If you’re close to a reward you really want, but are just missing a few thousands miles to get it, you can buy them. There’s a one-off £15 transaction fee, and then they cost £15 for 1,000 miles.

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

To complicate things further, miles and points aren’t the same thing with Virgin Atlantic. Every year you start with zero points and a basic Red membership. If you travel enough in one year, you can collect 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 – your credit card spending or loyalty points from other schemes will be useless for this. 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 miles 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.

How to spend Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles

Once you’ve collected a fair amount of miles, 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 one on the same plane, the second ticket will come for considerably fewer miles than purchasing a standard free ticket travelling by yourself would require.

Once you’ve got all the miles 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 miles schemes, there’s no easy miles-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 miles 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 miles go to the US West Coast) and on the class you want to travel in.

Pros and cons

Pros

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

Cons

  • Tier Points expire every year.
  • No flights to Europe.
  • You can’t convert your miles into hotel nights or other rewards.

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