Since mid-May, the US Citi ThankYou program has been offering a 30% bonus when you convert points into Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles. This post is just a reminder of that, because this promotion expires tomorrow, Saturday, June 22, 2019. So this is your last chance to take advantage of this promotion.
Points ordinarily convert at a 1:1 ratio, though during this promotion you can convert 1,000 Citi points into 1,300 Virgin Atlantic miles.
There’s no limit to how often you can take advantage of this promotion, and the bonus is hard coded into the transfer ratio, meaning that you can earn the bonus on multiple transactions.
If you’re not able to transfer points by tomorrow, do keep in mind that Amex Membership Rewards is also offering a 30% bonus on points transfers to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club through July 1, 2019, so you have another option for acquiring Virgin Atlantic miles at a favorable rate.
It’s awesome to see how frequently Citi offers transfer bonuses, which makes their points even more valuable, in my opinion.
The best cards for earning Citi ThankYou points
As a reminder, you can earn ThankYou points several ways.
Redeeming Virgin Atlantic miles on Virgin Atlantic
If you want to redeem miles for travel on Virgin Atlantic, here’s what you can expect to pay in terms of roundtrip award costs to/from London:
Route to/from UK
USA – Northeast
(Boston, Newark, New York JFK, Washington DC)
USA – Midwest & South
(Atlanta, Miami, Orlando)
Nigeria, China & Hong Kong
USA – West
(Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle)
Virgin Atlantic’s standard and peak pricing includes the following dates:
- Standard dates include: September 9 through December 12, 2019, January 6 through April 2, 2020, April 22 through June 19, 2020, and September 7 through December 11, 2020
- Peak dates include: June 22 through September 8, 2019, December 13, 2019, through January 5, 2020, April 3 through April 21, 2020, June 20 through September 6, 2020, and December 12 through December 31, 2020
Generally Virgin Atlantic’s redemption rates are on the high side, at least for Upper Class. On top of that, there are significant carrier imposed surcharges, especially for travel in Upper Class. You can expect that a roundtrip from the US to UK will run you about $1,000, in addition to all the miles.
The sweet spot: redeeming Virgin Atlantic miles on partners
Virgin Atlantic has several airline partners, and there are a few partner redemptions that are especially lucrative.
Redeeming Virgin Atlantic miles on ANA
Probably the best use of Flying Club miles is for travel in ANA first & business class. Here are the redemption rates:
Paying 95,000 and 120,000 miles for business and first class between the US and Japan respectively is a phenomenal value to start with. Then when you consider the 30% transfer bonus, that means you’re just paying 74,000 and 93,000 Amex or Citi points, respectively.
While there are carrier imposed surcharges, they’re quite mild. I booked this exact award last year, and took the trip just a couple of weeks ago.
Redeeming Virgin Atlantic miles on Delta
Redemptions on Delta can also be a great deal. Virgin Atlantic no longer publishes the full charts for travel on Delta, but they look something like this:
My favorite redemption values are redeeming 50,000 miles for a one-way ticket in Delta business class to Europe, and if you fly anywhere except the UK, there are no carrier imposed surcharges.
Redeeming 60,000 miles for a one-way Delta business class ticket to Asia without carrier imposed surcharges is an excellent deal as well.
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is very much a niche program. I wouldn’t speculatively transfer points to Virgin Atlantic without an immediate use in mind. However, with a particular use in mind, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club can be a phenomenal program.
With the 30% bonus, some might find it worthwhile to book on Virgin Atlantic for the convenience. Virgin Atlantic is good about releasing business class transatlantic award availability, so if you value the convenience of a nonstop and don’t mind paying the carrier imposed surcharges, there’s value to be had.
However, the real value here is booking with partners.
ANA first class roundtrip to Japan for 93,000 Citi ThankYou points? That’s an unbelievable value.
The same is true of many redemptions on Delta, where Flying Club charges less than SkyMiles would. 39,000 Citi points for Delta one-way business class to Europe, or 47,000 Citi points for Delta one-way business class to Asia? What a deal!
If you haven’t yet transferred points with this promo, this is your last chance to do so.
Have you already, or do you plan on transferring points to Virgin Atlantic with a bonus?