Citi Offering 30% Bonus On Points Transfers To Virgin Atlantic

Filed Under: Citi, Virgin
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Update: This offer for the Citi Premier℠ Card has expired. Learn more about the current offers here.


Through June 22, 2019, the US Citi ThankYou program is offering a 30% bonus when you convert points into Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles. 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.

What’s interesting is that Amex Membership Rewards is also offering a 30% bonus on points transfers to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club through July 1, 2019, so you now have your choice of two currencies to convert at that 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

Probably the most well-rounded card for earning ThankYou points is the Citi Premier℠ Card. This card offers a welcome bonus of 50,000 ThankYou points after spending $4,000 within three months.

The card has a $95 annual fee, and offers triple points on travel and gas, and double points on dining and entertainment.

On top of that, the Citi Prestige® Card now offers 5x points on dining and airfare, so can be a great option as well.

In addition to the cards that directly earn ThankYou points, the new Citi Rewards+℠ Card earns ThankYou points in conjunction with one of the above two cards. That card earns 2x ThankYou points on the first $6,000 spent per year at supermarkets and gas stations, and rounds up every purchase to the nearest 10 ThankYou points.

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:

Roundtrip to/from London andEconomyPremium EconomyUpper Class
US - Northeast: Boston, Newark, New York JFK, Washington DCStandard: 20,000
Peak: 40,000

Fuel Surcharges of $645.10 to $774.12
Standard: 35,000
Peak: 55,000

Fuel Surcharges of $750.00 to $900.00
Standard: 95,000
Peak: 115,000

Fuel Surcharges of $1120 to $1344
US - Midwest: Atlanta and DetroitStandard: 25,000
Peak: 45,000

Fuel Surcharges of $645.10 to $774.12
Standard: 45,000
Peak: 65,000

Fuel Surcharges of $750.00 to $900.00
Standard: 95,000
Peak: 115,000

Fuel Surcharges of $1120 to $1344
US - South: Miami and OrlandoStandard: 25,000
Peak: 45,000

Fuel Surcharges of $645.10 to $774.12
Standard: 45,000
Peak: 65,000

Fuel Surcharges of $750.00 to $900.00
Standard: 95,000
Peak: 115,000

Fuel Surcharges of $1120 to $1344
US - West: Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, SeattleStandard: 30,000
Peak: 50,000

Fuel Surcharges of $603.00 to $723.60
Standard: 55,000
Peak: 75,000

Fuel Surcharges of $707.90 to $849.80
Standard: 135,000
Peak: 155,000

Fuel Surcharges of $1153.93 to $1384.68

Virgin Atlantic’s standard and peak pricing includes the following dates:

  • Standard dates include: May 19 through June 21, 2019, 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


Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

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 points, respectively.

While there are carrier imposed surcharges, they’re quite mild. I booked this exact award last year, and am taking the trip in the coming week.


ANA first class

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.

Bottom line

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!

Do you plan on transferring points to Virgin Atlantic with this bonus?

(Tip of the hat to @IadisGr8)

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Regarding Comments: The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  1. “The problem is that at the moment the card isn’t open to new cardmembers.”
    I think this is old text. Prestige is open for apps now.

  2. @Lucky, looking at the Citi website it looks like you can in fact apply for the Prestige card with a 50,000 point bonus. Not sure when this changed.

  3. I beg you to set an example and always specify at the top of each reward table whether it is one-way or round-trip. Maybe your discipline will set an example for all the other blogs.

    Thanks.

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