30% Bonus on Citi ThankYou Transfers to Virgin Atlantic

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Citi ThankYou Rewards is running a promotion offering a 30% bonus when you transfer Citi ThankYou points to Virgin Atlantic through June 22, 2019. With only a few days left to take advantage of the deal, we've put together a short summary of some of the top redemptions to book through Virgin Flying Club.

Key Terms

  • Transfer points by 11:59 PM ET on June 22, 2019.
  • Receive a 30% bonus when you transfer to Virgin Atlantic.
  • Receive 1,300 Flying Club miles for every 1,000 ThankYou points.
  • The bonus is hardcoded into the transfer ratio.
  • Not all Citi ThankYou earning cards can transfer to partners. The Citi Premier® Card or the Citi Prestige® Card are the two most common options.

Virgin Atlantic Partner Airlines

Though Virgin Atlantic is not in an alliance, it has partnerships with these eleven airlines:

  • Air China
  • Air France
  • Air New Zealand
  • ANA
  • Delta
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • KLM
  • SAS Scandinavian Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines
  • South African Airways
  • Virgin Australia

Using Flying Club Miles

These partnerships provide many opportunities to redeem Flying Club miles and unlock tremendous value, especially with the 30% transfer bonus. Sweet spots include:

ANA First Class from Western USA to Japan
A roundtrip flight in ANA’s first class cabin from the Western USA to Tokyo only requires 110,000 Flying Club points (~85,000 ThankYou points when taking into account the transfer bonus). From Central USA to Tokyo, the same flight will cost 120,000 Flying Club points (~93,000 ThankYou points). One-way flight rewards are not allowed. Although there isn’t a clear distinction on Virgin’s website identifying which states fall into Western/Central/Eastern, it is worth calling the airline to confirm.

Here is the Flying Club award chart with ANA:

Delta One Business Class from the U.S. to Europe
If you have travel to Europe coming up this summer, this is a good bonus to jump on. Virgin Atlantic only requires 100,000 points to fly roundtrip from the U.S. to Europe in Delta’s business-class cabin. When taking into account the transfer bonus, you only need to transfer ~77,000 ThankYou points for this redemption. Comparatively, United charges between 120,000-140,000 MileagePlus miles for a roundtrip flight in its Polaris business-class product, and American Airlines requires 115,000 AAdvantage miles in business class. Even without the 30% transfer bonus, this redemption with Virgin Atlantic is a great value if you can find availability.

Here's the Flying Club award chart with Delta:

Note: Flying club has an additional pricing chart for Delta flights to/from the UK.

Our Take

This is a solid transfer bonus from Citi. Given that American Express is running a similar 30% transfer bonus to Virgin Atlantic, there is ample opportunity to take advantage of partner airline sweet spots. If you don’t have upcoming travel plans, a speculative transfer is not a good bet. You never know if a devaluation is around the corner, (as we saw with British Airways in May) so it’s best to hold on to your ThankYou points. However, if you have a specific redemption in mind, this bonus can make a lot of sense.

Furthermore, Virgin Atlantic allows you to put a reservation on hold for 24-72 hours (depending on the agent you get on the phone), which makes it possible to lock in your reservation before you make the transfer. Generally, transfers from ThankYou rewards will post to your Flying Club account instantly.

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  • Shame us Brits can’t really use the ANA route. It’s like hens teeth.

  • Oh! I will have to look into VS more on Air New Zealand. Good to know. Thinking of a trip to AKL and SYD. Would be nice to use Air New Zealand. I’d love to fly VS but I think I’d rather use DL miles to fly their Upper class. I was sticker shocked when I looked at what their biz using miles would be.

  • VA miles are only useful when you have a specific redemption and the award is available. I’m not sure speculatively transferring to this would make any sense. For FlyingBlue, i’ve seen that its usually much more easy to use those miles.

  • this is a great offer, unfortunately i don’t seem to have an immediate use which makes it a bit risky

  • I don’t collect both program yet but tempting a bit..

  • Great program for redeeming on ANA and Delta intra-US flights.

  • ANA is the best use of Virgin Atlantic miles!!!, I always find them harder to use on Delta since there is never any availability on dates/routes I fly

  • JackHenry says:

    Why 50K? Seems this would not work for us based on the cautionary comments about possible devaluation… we are planning a European trip next year… we already have three trips booked this year.

  • JackHenry says:

    Why only over 50K?… it does sound good but our European trip would not be until next year as we have three trips scheduled for this year so based on the cautionary comments about devaluation sounds like it would not be good move for us.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Could be useful if you can find saver award flights on Delta to use. I’ll have to keep this in mind.

  • Michaelj1 says:

    As Warren Buffett informs us, optionality is a good thing!

  • I agree with you 100%. I never make speculative transfers because of the fear of further devaluations!

  • Do they charge fuel surcharges on partner redemptions?

    • It depends a bit on the partner and destination. Delta flights are generally low out-of-pocket-cost (with Europe being slightly higher). ANA is a bit higher, but still reasonable.

  • Never been able to use virgin atlantic miles. i feel they are pretty useless compared to other airline miles like Alaska.

  • Using the Virgin Atlantic Partnerships opens up a lot of flight options. AF/KLM and ANA in particular being attractive. Air China flights are usually cheap in cash terms so I’m not sure using the points on that one would be worthwhile.

  • Tim Cathcart says:

    Great info!! Thanks for the tips.

  • ron_vaughn@hotmail.com says:

    John, you are correct!

  • This is a very solid bonus, are there others coming up?

  • This is a nice little boost in Virgin Atlantic miles. I’ve been meaning to try ANA or Singapore Airlines.

  • Not quite the best timing for me. I wonder how often these bonuses are given.

  • Virgin, no thanks.

  • A very limited promotion: you have to be a member of both, and Virgin itself is not a member of any major alliance. And again, this is another promotion that only seems to offer value if you have over 50,000 miles to throw around.

    • It takes 60 seconds to sign up for a Virgin account. Why does it matter that Virgin is not part of a specific alliance if it has all those partners? I recently booked RT ANA F ORD-NRT for 120k Virgin points per person. That is an incredible deal

    • Honestly 50k miles isn’t that much lol. I accumulated 90k+ last year just from normal spending. This is with Chase though. I’m not sure how well Citi works with point accumulation.

  • If you would have a large sum to transfer over, would it be wise to transfer in smaller amounts? Or would a large lump sum be better?
    Has anyone ever had issues with transfering 500,000 points or something similar?

    • 1. It’s always wise to do a test transfer first to make sure the points post instantly. I always move 1K points first (especially with accounts I haven’t transferred to before). Other than that, it shouldn’t matter how many points you move. However, I would hesitate to move such a large number of points without a plan for using them. If you have a lot of Citi points, it might make sense to move enough for 1 or 2 trips, but I would want to keep them as flexible Citi TY points in case Virgin doesn’t work well for a trip later on.

  • great bonus! I love flying on VA!!

  • Virgin has some of the best redemptions in the business

  • Putting a reservation on hold is a great tip!

  • Citi TY points are the only transferable currency I don’t yet collect, but I may need to start. Certainly transfer bonuses are the way to go.

  • I am not a fan of Virgin’s program.

  • I am always nervous about these transfers, seems a trend of devaluation isn’t far behind them….

    • Not sure I can see what the motive would be there – unless Citi is involved, which seems highly unlikely – but that’s quite the devious move if there’s actually any purposeful link between the two. Entice and then devalue?

    • I’m a little nervous about that, too (the transfers), but that’s a nice mix of partners. Thanks for posting!

  • Alan Saul says:

    I like AwardWallet! It is great the my Europe travel business in the future.


  • Thanks. Being waiting for this. VS and redeem on DL and has some great redemption options.