Maximizing value from Virgin's Flying Club

Virgin Atlantic is another Airline that partners with both Chase and American Express which means it is another airline whose points are relatively easy to accumulate. Unfortunately, the majority of Virgin Atlantic redemptions on the majority of their partners will come with exorbitant taxes and surcharges; so it is not recommended to collect Virgin Atlantic miles as one of your main points currencies. However, there are several niche award uses that can be very good value if you know where to look. These sweet spots are made even more valuable by the fact that American Express often has an offer of a 20-30% bonus when you transfer your Membership Rewards points to Virgin Atlantic. When you combine this offer with some of the pre-existing sweet spots you can come up with outstanding value for your Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles.

  • ANA First Class from the US to Japan

    By far and away the best value redemption for Virgin Atlantic miles is booking ANA First Class roundtrip from the US to Japan. In fact, this is one of the highest value premium cabin redemptions that exists within any airline’s award chart at the moment. ANA has an exceptional First Class product and being able to book it for under 50% more than what most airlines would charge for Economy is an absolute steal. Note: this deal only works if you are not continuing on elsewhere in Asia.

    How to book: Search and book on Virgin's web site.

    Cost: 110,000 miles roundtrip in First Class from the West Coast, 120,000 miles roundtrip in First Class from everywhere else in the US

  • Economy Flights from the Mainland US to Hawaii on Delta or Hawaiian

    Virgin Atlantic essentially uses a different award chart for each one of its partner airlines. When it comes to Delta, Virgin Atlantic usually charges the same number of Flying Club miles as Delta would charge Skymiles on that route using its own program. When you factor in the common transfer bonus from American Express, this can often mean it’s good value to book Delta flights with Virgin Atlantic in general. Specifically however, Virgin Atlantic actually charges slightly less for Delta flights to Hawaii than Delta would charge for its own flights which makes it an especially good deal. The same award price is charged for travel on Hawaiian Airlines.

    How to book: Search and book on Virgin's web site.

    Cost: 40,000 miles roundtrip in Economy

  • Inter-Island Flights within Hawaii on Hawaiian

    Once you are in Hawaii, further flights within Hawaii using Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles is often good value. Virgin Atlantic also allows stopovers on these itineraries which provides a great opportunity to visit many islands in the same trip. Do remember to check the cash flights of these flights though as sometimes they can be quite reasonable and thus you can save your Flying Club miles for a more valuable redemption.

    How to book: Search and book on Virgin's web site.

    Cost: 15,000 miles one-way in Economy

  • Domestic Travel within Australia on Virgin Australia

    The biggest issue with Virgin Atlantic’s program is their often very high fuel surcharges; but thankfully these do not apply on domestic itineraries which makes using Flying Club miles to fly within Australia on Virgin Australia often a great value. Award prices vary based on the distance between your origin and departure cities, but as long as the cash price of the ticket is not particularly cheap, you should get very good value.

    How to book: Search and book on Virgin's web site.

    Cost: 15,000-40,000 miles roundtrip in Economy

  • Flights on South African Airways within Africa

    Cash flights within Africa are almost always unbelievably expensive. Couple this with the fact that most African airlines do not belong to an alliance, and it’s obvious that traveling around Africa can be challenging. This makes Virgin Atlantic’s partnership with South African Airways even more valuable because thanks to those sky-high cash prices, award flights on South African Airways booked with Virgin Atlantic miles are usually extremely good value. As an added perk, stopovers are allowed!

    How to book: Search and book on Virgin's web site.

    Cost: 20,000-40,000 miles roundtrip in Economy, 30,000-50,000 miles roundtrip in Business

  • Domestic Flights within Japan on ANA

    Regardless of distance traveled within Japan, Virgin Atlantic will always charge a very reasonable, fixed amount of miles for round trip domestic travel on ANA. This means that the longer the flight is, the better value you are getting. Round trip travel is required on ANA.

    How to book: Search and book on Virgin's web site.

    Cost: 15,000 miles roundtrip in Economy