Guide to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club: Earn and redeem points for maximum value

Years after diving into the points and miles world, you may not realize that a loyalty program you had overlooked could have been one of your most powerful tools. This is certainly the case with Virgin Atlantic’s loyalty program, Flying Club. While I didn’t look closely at it for a long time because I didn’t immediately see it playing into my travel rewards strategy, I soon discovered that Virgin Atlantic offers something enticing: attractive partner award charts, a rarity among other airline programs nowadays. Despite changes to Virgin Atlantic’s partner award charts, Virgin points currently stand out for offering incredible value with many uses. In this article, we will go over the basics of Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and show you the sweet spots that make Virgin points so valuable.

There are four primary ways to earn Virgin points directly. The first is by flying. If you’re flying on Virgin Atlantic, you can use the airline’s earning calculator to determine how many points you’ll earn for your flight. If you’re flying one of the carrier’s partners, such as Delta Air Lines, Air France, or Hawaiian Airlines, you can opt to earn Virgin points by adding your Flying Club membership number to your reservation.

Another way to earn Virgin points is through credit card rewards. Flying Club is a transfer partner of every major transferable point currency, including Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points, and Marriott Bonvoy. This means that it’s easy to boost your Virgin points balance with the right credit card. Many of these programs offer cards that feature terrific welcome bonuses, allowing you to earn a significant number of points right off the bat.

If you’ve flown a Virgin Atlantic-operated flight, you can also use Flying Club’s Points Booster to score extra points for cheap. You can usually pay 0.01 British pounds (or $0.013) per point, but the program periodically offers bonus promotions. This is a great way to top up your points balance if you’re just a few points short of a redemption.

Additionally, there are several partners through which you can earn Virgin points by shopping or traveling. These partners include car rental companies like Avis, Alamo, Enterprise, Hertz, National, and Sixt, as well as Heathrow Rewards, Rocketmiles, Shops Away, and various Virgin Group partners.

Now that you know how to earn Virgin points, let’s dive into the award chart. The award prices Virgin Atlantic charges are reasonable, especially during the off-peak season. For example, a round-trip flight between the East Coast and the United Kingdom can be as low as 20,000 points. However, it’s important to note that Virgin Atlantic tacks on significant carrier surcharges to award flights. This means that while you may be able to save on the number of points required, you may end up spending more in fees and surcharges.

One way to mitigate these fees is by booking one-way award flights instead of round trips. This can often reduce the taxes and fees on award flights by hundreds of dollars. Another strategy is to book Virgin Atlantic flights to London but not from London, as fees tend to be higher for flights departing from London due to government-imposed surcharges.

The real magic of Virgin points lies in partner award charts. Virgin Atlantic is a member of the SkyTeam alliance, which means you can redeem Virgin points on all SkyTeam airlines, including Air France-KLM, Delta Air Lines, and recently added ITA Airways. Redemptions on SkyTeam airlines are distance-based, meaning you’ll need a certain number of points based on the flight distance. Additionally, Virgin Atlantic has partnerships with other airlines, such as Virgin Australia, Singapore Airlines, and Virgin America.

In conclusion, Virgin Atlantic’s loyalty program, Flying Club, offers incredible value with many uses. From earning points through flying, credit card rewards, and various partners, to redeeming points for attractive partner award charts, there are plenty of opportunities to maximize the value of your Virgin points. Whether you’re looking to book a round-trip flight to the United Kingdom or explore the extensive network of partner airlines, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is a loyalty program worth considering in your points and miles strategy.

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