Virgin is offering 30% off the number of miles required for upgrades and award travel on several routes.
- Eligible routes: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa, Washington, Antigua, Islamabad, Lahore (*departures until 30 April 2023), Mumbai, Tel Aviv – London Heathrow and Manchester – New York.
- Book February 16 – 28, 2023 for flights departing February 16 – May 31, 2023.
- Not valid on Gold Reward Flights (double points awards) or points and cash bookings.
- Cash cost (taxes, fees, and surcharges) are not discounted.
Chase, Capital One, Citibank, American Express and Bilt points all transfer to Virgin so it’s easy to access these points if you don’t already have them.
Pay attention to the aircraft you’re flying, for instance Airbus A350s have the 2019 seat and there’s a new seat for A330s while you’ll want to avoid 787s.
Retreat Suite, Credit: Virgin Atlantic
In the fall they offered a 50% rebate which meant you needed to have all the points in your account up front but gave you travel at a lower cost. That was better, and still not always worth it because of the surcharges.
Virgin Atlantic’s miles are usually best used on partner redemptions that do not incur fuel surcharges which can be $1700 roundtrip on a Virgin Atlantic business class award. Note that it’s cheaper to book two one-ways than a roundtrip originating in the U.S. because fuel surcharges are lower (the one-way originating in the U.K. is half the cost, so you save $425 by not booking roundtrip).
Since you’re paying surcharges, and those can be a substantial portion of the paid fare when fares are lowest (which tends to coincide with when award space is available), the value of miles tends not to be outsized even when redeeming points at a discount.
This can be a good deal on upgrades, not just full redemption tickets, and the deal makes economy travel more reasonable where fuel surcharges are lower (but still – always compare to the cash cost of a ticket to see what the savings are). Northeast – London is just 7,000 miles one way after discount. It’s definitely a nice offer for Virgin Atlantic credit card customers with upgrade and 2-for-1 vouchers.
Virgin Atlantic awards do count towards elite status. And this 30% discount is a lot better than paying full price for Virgin Atlantic award travel, of course!
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