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Virgin Atlantic just launched a promotion enabling members to buy Virgin Points with up to a 70% bonus. When maximized, you can grab points for just 1.48¢ each — or even cheaper if you're based in the United Kingdom. Take advantage of this promotion until October 3, 2023.
Note: Although this 70% bonus promotion ends on October 3, 2023, it will continue with 60% bonus points until October 28, 2023.
A Note on Buying Points and Miles
At AwardWallet, our primary goal is to show people how to get the best value for their hard-earned points and miles. Likewise, we evangelize the power of using the right card for every purchase. This maximizes your earning potential and builds your stash of points organically through everyday purchases. This means we're not typically proponents of buying points or miles — we prefer to earn them for free!
However, like any good rule, there are exceptions. If you're just short of your next award redemption, buying the last few points could be cheaper than paying cash for the flight. Moreover, if you (or an employer) plan to pay cash for an expensive ticket, buying enough points for an equivalent reward redemption could mean saving a lot. In any case, before you buy points, be sure you're comfortable with the comparable value you're receiving.
Buy Virgin Atlantic Points Key Terms
- This offer is available through 11:59 p.m. BST on October 3, 2023.
- Virgin Atlantic members can buy up to 200,000 points per year with this promotion (before the bonus).
- Virgin Atlantic sells Virgin Points in increments of 1,000.
- For the first 14 days after purchasing, members may request a refund provided they haven't redeemed any of the purchased points. After the initial 14 days (or after redeeming any of the purchased points), the transaction is non-refundable.
- All transactions for buying Virgin Points incur a $22 handling fee.
- Virgin Atlantic deposits purchased points within 24 hours of completing the purchase.
- You can find all the terms and conditions here.
Data points from AwardWallet users show that points purchases arrive within a day, so transfers meet the terms and conditions but aren't instant.
For this promotion, members can purchase a maximum of 200,000 points before the bonus — up from the usual 100,000 maximum Virgin typically allows.
Purchasing 200,000 points with the bonus will yield a total of 340,000 Virgin Points for $5,000. Factoring in the $22 handling fee puts the total at $5,022. That equates to a value of 1.48¢ per point.
Also, note that Virgin Atlantic will base your pricing on where your account is registered. Pricing for U.K.-based customers tends to be much cheaper (even after factoring in the exchange rate) than those paying in other currencies.
Why can't I buy Virgin Points?
One quirk members have run into in the past is that they could not purchase Virgin Points without any prior account history. That means that if you haven't earned or redeemed a single point, you could run into this notice:
Thankfully, there's a quick fix for this. Simply make a small points transfer to your account. Virgin is a transfer partner of five of the major transferrable points currency. So, that means you can make a minimum transfer from one of the following currencies and gain the ability to buy Virgin Points:
Situations Where Buying Virgin Points Makes Sense
Before 2021, we could have filled this section with dozens of fun business-class sweet spots, often featuring Delta flights. Unfortunately, in early 2021, Virgin Atlantic quietly quashed many of our favorite Delta premium-class partner redemptions.
Don't despair, though. There are still several situations where Virgin Points can offer outsized value. But, as noted in the above-linked devaluation post, you may just have to fly economy wit Delta to find good value.
Short-haul domestic U.S. flights in Delta economy
One of the best deals for Virgin members is booking short-haul domestic Delta flights for just 7,500 Virgin Points. That might seem like a niche use, but AwardWallet recently dug into this and found 382 Delta routes that you can book for 7,500 points!
- Mileage rate: 7,500 points each way + $5.60 taxes/fees
- Cost of buying 7,500 Virgin Points at 1.48¢ per point: $111
Los Angeles to Tokyo in Delta economy
- Mileage rate: 32,000 points each way + $6 taxes/fees
- Typical cash price: $661
- Redemption rate: 2.05¢ per point
- Cost of buying 32,000 Virgin Points at 1.48¢ per point: $474
London to New York in Virgin Upper Class (business class)
- Mileage rate: 47,500 points + $760 one way
- Typical cash price: $6,897 one way
- Redemption rate: 12.9¢ per point
- Cost of buying 47,500 Virgin Points at 1.48¢ per point: $703
New York to Tokyo in ANA first class
- Mileage rate: 85,000 points each way, 170,000 points round-trip
- Typical cash price: $21,931 round-trip
- Redemption rate: 12.9¢ per point
- Cost of buying 170,000 Virgin Points at 1.48¢ per point: $2,516
This has often been touted as the greatest sweet spot in all of award travel. Period. Unfortunately, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club has recently devalued its ANA first-class award flights. It still stands as a good deal, but with a devaluation of up to 42% in some cases, the label as the greatest sweet spot in all of award travel has definitely taken quite a hit.
One of the highlights of ANA's first class is the Suntory Hibiki 21 whiskey served on the London, Frankfurt, and JFK routes. For 170,000 points, Flying Club members can book themselves from the East Coast to Japan in ANA first class. Round-trip. That's still one heck of a deal.
Plus, Virgin Atlantic allows members to book one-way awards on ANA for half the round-trip price. That means first-class awards from the U.S. East Coast to Japan will cost only 85,000 points!
To book ANA awards with Virgin Atlantic's Virgin Points, follow these steps:
- Search United.com or ExpertFlyer for ANA award availability.
- Once you've found availability, note the dates and flight numbers.
- Call Virgin Atlantic (800-365-9500) and provide them with the dates and flight numbers.
- Once the agent has confirmed award space, transfer points to your Flying Club account. (This excludes Marriott since Bonvoy–Virgin transfers can take up to two days).
- Pay for the award ticket plus the taxes and fees.
Maximize Your Purchase
If you decide to buy Virgin Points, you want to use the right credit card to increase your earnings. Unfortunately, this won't count as an airfare or travel purchase on your credit card. That's because the sale is processed by Points.com. Thus, you should use one of these credit cards:
- Any credit card where you're working on a sign-up bonus right now. These are the best welcome offers available right now.
- Any credit card with perks you can unlock through spending, such as hotel free night awards, hotel elite status, or airline elite status.
- Your best credit card for everyday spending, such as the Citi® Double Cash Card or Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
Virgin is offering a 70% bonus when you buy points through October 3, 2023. If maximized, you can grab 340,000 Virgin Points for as little as 1.48¢ each — or maybe even cheaper if you purchase in GBP.
Virgin Atlantic offers many excellent sweet spots. And when Virgin Atlantic joined SkyTeam on March 2, 2023, it added more than a dozen new partners. For several of these partner flight options, buying points for 1.48¢ provides a significant discount compared to paying the cash rates.
If you see yourself booking a high-value Virgin Atlantic award soon, you may want to consider buying now to lock in this price.
Would you buy Virgin Atlantic Virgin Points for 1.48¢ each?
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