Virgin Airlines has long been known for its service, loud personality and high-end Clubhouse lounges. Today, the airline serves destinations across the world, including cities in the United States, United Kingdom, India and South Africa, among many others.
Virgin Atlantic’s spunky heritage stems directly from its founder, Richard Branson. Branson’s philosophy of “screw it, let’s do it” has served the airline well throughout its growth, and it still shows up today in its loyalty program, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club basics
You can join the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club for free by filling out a short enrollment form. As a member of the Flying Club, you can earn Virgin Points and redeem them for flights, with partners and more. Frequent flyers can also earn elite status, which comes with more perks.
Who is Virgin Atlantic Flying Club best for?
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is best for anyone who lives in or near one of Virgin Atlantic’s global destinations and wants to fly where Virgin Atlantic flies. Virgin Atlantic’s route network includes many major cities, but it is more restrictive than many full-service national airlines.
Still, if you want to go to these destinations, you’ll find that the carrier makes one of the most generous commitments to award space in the industry. In June 2022, it unveiled a commitment to make 12 reward seats — including eight seats in Economy, two seats in Premium Economy and two seats in Upper Class — available on every flight.
How to earn Virgin Points
Earning Virgin Points with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is easy and can be done in myriad ways.
Flying with Virgin Atlantic
You can earn Virgin Points by flying with Virgin Airlines. Instead of publishing a table requiring you to look up fare classes and determine your own earnings, Virgin Atlantic publishes a handy earnings calculator. Using the earnings calculator, you can find out how many points you will earn based on your routing, status level in the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club program and type of airfare you purchase.
Flying with airline partners
In addition to earning points for flying with Virgin Atlantic, you can also earn points by flying with any of the airline’s 10 airline partners, which include Delta, Air France, KLM, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia, South African Airways, Hawaiian Airlines and All Nippon.
Virgin Atlantic travel partners
You can earn Virgin Points by booking qualifying stays at one of Virgin Atlantic’s hotel partners. Virgin Atlantic’s hotel partners include Best Western, Marriott, Hyatt, IHG, Hilton, Yotel and WorldHotels. In most cases, you can earn a fixed number of points per stay. Hotel bookings made through Rocketmiles and Kaligo also earn Virgin Points.
Car rental partners
Travelers who need to rent cars can earn Virgin Points through one of the program’s six car rental partners: Avis, Alamo, Hertz, National, Enterprise and Sixt. Similar to earning points from hotel stays, car rentals are typically awarded points per rental.
Other travel partners
In addition to airline and car rental partners, Virgin Atlantic partners with a handful of other travel providers offering services such as visa processing assistance, travel add-ons, airport parking and airport lounge access. Partners include VisaCentral, e-Rewards, Holiday Extras, Heathrow Rewards, Purple Parking, Eurostar, No1 Lounges and Business Traveller.
Earn with The Virgin Group
Another option is to earn points with various brands in The Virgin Group. Currently, you can earn points on stays with Virgin Limited Edition hotels.
Purchase points through Points Booster
If you need extra Virgin Points to book your next flight, consider using Points Booster. Points Booster can be used on past, future and reward flights. To use this feature, simply log into your Flying Club account, find a booking and look for the “Points Booster” option to purchase additional points.
How to redeem Virgin Points
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club offers its members the ability to spend points on a variety of travel needs and services. Flying with Virgin Atlantic and its flying partners or upgrading flights with points will provide the most value for members and are among the best ways to redeem points.
You can use your points for:
- Flying with Virgin Atlantic or its airline partners
- Upgrading a Virgin Atlantic flight with points
- Linking your Flying Club account with Virgin Red to spend on treats, suites and more
- Transferring points to a friend or family member
- Purchasing experiences, products or services
- Booking hotel stays through eligible brands in The Virgin Group
- Booking vacations through Virgin Atlantic Holidays
- Redeeming points with car, hotel and other travel partners
- Donating points with charity partners
- Buying duty-free products through the Virgin Atlantic duty-free shop
Flying with Virgin Atlantic
Using your Virgin Points is as easy as selecting “show price in points” when you search for flights on VirginAtlantic.com. If award flights are available, you will see flight prices in points, plus additional taxes and fees that must be paid in cash. You can also use Points Plus Money to purchase flights with Virgin Points and cash, but you must have at least 3,000 points to use this feature.
Virgin Atlantic prices its award flights using peak and off-peak award charts. Virgin Atlantic’s award charts can be found under “Standard season rewards table” and “Peak season rewards table.” The program’s reward prices are fixed and do not float with the cash price of the flights. For an Economy Classic flight, reward flights start at 18,000 points in off-peak season and 22,000 points during peak season.
Uniquely, Virgin Atlantic promises that the airline will make at least 12 reward seats available on every flight. This doesn’t mean that you will necessarily find available seats on every flight, as someone else may have taken the seats you’re looking for, but if you are able to book flights when Virgin Atlantic opens its schedule, you have a pretty good chance of finding a seat available on the exact flight you want.
Flying with airline partners
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club often offers a few sweet-spot awards, including trans-Atlantic flights on Delta Air Lines. Your first step in finding these awards is to search on the Virgin Atlantic website; some results will be shown alongside the other flight results if they are available. Note that some partners, like Hawaiian Airlines, cannot be booked online.
Upgrading a Virgin Atlantic flight with points
If you have already booked a flight and want to upgrade it, look into upgrading with points. Virgin Atlantic offers upgrades to Premium Economy or Upper Class. Upgrade awards are priced using an award chart, with prices varying based on region and peak/off-peak seasonality. To upgrade your flight with points, you must call Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club status levels
When you fly with Virgin Atlantic or its airline partners, you will earn Tier Points in addition to your Virgin Points. Members who earn a certain number of Tier Points qualify for elevated status in the Flying Club program. The membership tiers are Red, Silver and Gold.
Red is the basic membership level in Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. It’s granted to every member who signs up for the program.
You’ll earn Silver status when you earn 400 Tier Points in the Flying Club program. Until March 31, 2023, you can earn Silver status after earning 300 Tier Points. Silver status includes the following notable benefits:
- 30 percent more Virgin Points on flights
- Premium check-in
- Free seat assignment in Economy Light
- Priority waitlist for flights
Gold is the highest tier of status in Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. You’ll typically earn Gold status when you accumulate 1,000 Tier Points in the program, but until March 31, 2023, you can earn Gold Status after earning 800 Tier Points. Gold status includes all of the benefits of Silver status, plus the following notable benefits:
- 60 percent more Virgin Points on flights
- Upper Class check-in
- Access to Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses and London Heathrow Revivals
- Extra luggage allowance in every cabin
- Complimentary exit row seats in Economy Classic
- 2,000 bonus points on your birthday
- Silver membership for a friend
- Cabin upgrade award when you earn 2,000 Tier Points in a year
How much are Virgin Points worth?
According to The Points Guy, Virgin Points are worth about 1.5 cents per point. But how much value you’ll get from Virgin Points will vary depending on how you use them and how you value the free flights you can get from the program. Since the program’s redemptions are based on an award chart, you may find that some redemptions, especially in international premium cabins, offer incredible value.
How do Virgin Points compare?
Here’s how Virgin Points compare to rewards from other popular airline loyalty programs:
|Airline loyalty program||Value*|
|*Valuations provided from The Points Guy|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||1.5 cents|
|Alaska Mileage Plan||1.8 cents|
|American AAdvantage||1.77 cents|
|Delta SkyMiles||1.41 cents|
|Frontier Miles||1.1 cents|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards||1.5 cents|
|United Mileage Plus||1.21 cents|
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club transfer partners
Virgin Atlantic partners with many airlines, including Delta, Air France, KLM, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia, South African Airways, Hawaiian Airlines and All Nippon. Virgin Atlantic Flying Club members may be able to find valuable redemptions with some of the airline’s partners, such as premium cabins for a particularly low price.
Additionally, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is a transfer partner of many major credit card loyalty programs: American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou points and Capital One miles. All points or miles with these programs will transfer at a rate of 1:1.
Top credit cards that earn Virgin Points
Virgin Atlantic currently offers one credit card in the United States that earns rewards in the Flying Club program, the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard®.
However, since the program is a transfer partner of nearly every major credit card rewards program, there are plenty of top travel credit cards that you can use to earn Virgin Points. Pay special attention to cards that earn American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou points and Capital One miles, all of which can be transferred to the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.
Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard*
The Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard, which is issued by Bank of America, comes with plenty of opportunities to earn points. New cardmembers can earn 30,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 or more in the first 90 days of account opening. Cardmembers also earn 3X points on Virgin Atlantic purchases and 1.5X points on all other purchases.
As for ongoing rewards and perks, cardmembers can earn up to 15,000 bonus points every account anniversary; up to 5,000 bonus points when they add additional cardmembers to their account; a companion reward in the same cabin class or a cabin upgrade whenever booking a ticket through Virgin Atlantic after spending $25,000 or more each year; and 25 Tier Points for every $2,500 spent (max. 50 points per month). Note that this card includes a $90 annual fee and that the offers mentioned with this card may be subject to change.
FAQs about Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
As of Sept. 24, 2020, Virgin Points no longer expire.
Yes, you can log into your Virgin Atlantic account and transfer points to another Flying Club member’s account. You can also book a flight for someone else using your points.
Yes, you can buy Virgin Points either by logging in to your account online and buying points directly or by purchasing points through Points Booster. You can purchase points in increments of 1,000 points. Note that you must pay a $25 transaction fee when you buy points.
*All information about the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® has been collected independently by Bankrate and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.