50% Rebate On All Virgin Atlantic Redemptions, Not As Great As It Sounds

Virgin Atlantic is offering a 50% rebate when redeeming their points for award travel on their own flights by November 7 for travel through March 25, 2023. While there are ways to get more value out of this than it first appears, simple business class redemptions – even with 50% of your points back – aren’t such a good deal.

  • You still pay full taxes and fees, it’s only the miles that will be rebated (you get half the points back in four weeks)

  • To take advantage of this offer you need to first link your Virgin Atlantic Flying Club account to Virgin Red. Easy enough, but they’re trying to promote the loyalty currency linking Virgin brands. (If you’re already using points in a Virgin Red account, there’s no additional step to take.)

  • Rebate is offered on routes between the U.S. and U.K., and between the U.K. and the Caribbean only.

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.

I’m going to temper excitement for this deal somewhat. Let’s have a look at a date when business class roundtrips on Virgin Atlantic between the US and London are modest, remember they’re offering the points rebate during a less peak travel time.

Remember you are still paying taxes and fees. Miles on Virgin Atlantic redemptions only cover the cost of the fare. So here you’re only saving $800, and you still pay the rest of the taxes and junk surcharges: $1745!

You’ll pay 47,500 miles roundtrip after rebate (instead of 95,000 miles) plus $1745, and even with the 50% rebate you’re only getting 1.7 cents per mile in value against the $800 the miles save you.

I’d say that The Points Guy calling this “the redemption deal of the year” is just silly. Isn’t the Avianca LifeMiles award sale going on right now, offering New York JFK – Brussels for 25,500 miles one way, better? Fewer miles and no fuel surcharges. Indeed, the everyday redemption price using Avios through Iberia for business class roundtrips between the Northeast and Madrid are a better deal.

You can get a rebate on upgrades, not just full redemption tickets, and the deal is better for Virgin Atlantic credit card customers with upgrade and 2-for-1 vouchers. You’ll also get better value (on a cash saved versus miles spent basis) for economy redemptions in many cases, where Northeast – London runs just 5000 miles after rebate and the surcharges are naturally lower.

Virgin Atlantic awards do count towards elite status. This 50% rebate is a lot better than paying full price for Virgin Atlantic award travel! But you’ll often still find better value redeeming Virgin’s points for travel on their better deal partners while those awards last.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. It says only for flights FROM the UK to US. How do we know if the US to UK gets rebates too? Is the promo even on the US site?

  2. This truly has to be the worst FF program I have ever been in
    With 25 plus years at the game.
    And in 2022 I am still calling to ask an agent if they have availability for a partner?What?
    Because these lazy slobs cant list partner availability on their website?
    99% of the time or greater the answer is no availability .And on the rare occasion they say yes
    they want a cancellation fee if I do book and need to cancel
    Biggest mistake of my life.
    I deeply regret the very day I signed up in this program.Its a total liability being a member
    Richard Branson is an interesting man but his incompetence with his team to compete against BA and others effectively fairly says to me what inferior management he has put in place..
    I struggle to get rid of hundreds of thousands of Virgin A miles shy of giving them away.
    Not sure even then they are fully usable
    Finally they charge extortionate frees to book on their own metal but I would argue everything is worse in Upper Cabin.Leg room, food, overall experience etc
    I will celebrate when I am free of this cement block around my leg and dated out of touch program.I would take trade Spirit miles over Virgin I’ll bet you can use them easily

  3. @dwondermeant Just convert them to Hilton or IHG points. The value isn’t amazing but at least you can empty your account.

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