Virgin Atlantic To Hilton Points Transfer Ratio Being Devalued

Over the years Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles have been pretty easy to wrack up, given the generous sign-up bonus they’ve offered on their co-branded credit card. I got the card a couple of years ago, and ended up deciding to transfer my Virgin Atlantic miles to Hilton HHonors. They had a generous 1:2 transfer ratio, so given that the card had a 50,000 mile sign-up bonus, that was basically equivalent to a sign-up bonus of 100,000 Hilton points.

Admittedly Hilton massively devalued their Honors program last March, so this feature was much valuable prior to last March. Still, Virgin Atlantic miles aren’t all that valuable in my opinion due to the high fuel surcharges they impose for most awards, so in some cases it can still be a good value.

Unfortunately per Virgin Atlantic Flying Club’s website it appears as if they’ll be devaluing the transfer ratio soon:

Flying Club members can exchange their miles for Hilton Honors points, which can then be redeemed for Honors rewards such as free hotel nights, experimental rewards, premium merchandise and much much more.

Please note from 6 February 2014 the exchange miles to points rate is changing. Flying Club members will be able to exchange miles at the following rate: 2 Flying Club miles for 3 Hilton Honors points.

You can currently exchange miles at a rate of (up until 5 February 2014): 1 Flying Club mile for 2 Honors point.

Minimum Level: 10,000 miles and then in increments of 5,000. Just call the Flying Club Helpline with your Honors account number.

*Please note your name on your Flying Club membership account must match exactly with the name on your Hilton Honors account for a successful transfer. Your transfer will take up to 30 days and a booking cannot be made until the transfer is complete.

So starting February 6 the transfer ratio will be 2:3 rather than 1:2. You can transfer a minimum of 10,000 miles, and beyond that have to transfer in increments of 5,000 miles. Keep in mind these transfers aren’t instant, and can often even take a few weeks.

On the plus side at least they provided some advance notice… not much, but better than making a change without notice.

(Tip of the hat to Mommy Points)

Filed Under: Hilton, Virgin Atlantic
  1. The only reason I’m hanging onto my VS miles is because I’m banking on them to commit to their a380 order. This devaluation kinda ruins my backup plan if VS ditches their plans to purchase a380s.

  2. So if the transfer does not occur for 30 days, do you think they will honor the 2:1 ratio as long as you initiated the transfer before the devaluation?

  3. @ Bo — I assume the rate would be based on when the transfer is requested and not when the points post.

  4. Wow! Right one week after I applied for BofAm’s VA MasterCard. This whole ‘miles&points’ game is becoming more and more difficult is not to say one day pointless.
    Is there any alternative to it, such us transfer to another account, i.e. Hawaiian Airlines, etc. in order to transfer miles to Hilton thereafter???

  5. Dang that sucks. I have 2 Virgin Atlantic accounts, one with 11k and another with 54k. I really want to take advantage of LAX to LHR flight. But I’m not sure what I’m going to do.

  6. @Bill;
    I disagree with you; points do have a value. It is not a standard value like a cent, dollar, yen etc… but it has some exchange value to it. I agree that the value is very flexible and changes constantly but if you are able to compare “standard room” at x hotel during this time was y amount in 2012 and now it is y+z amount it means I need to give an extra z points today which means it has been devalued. Since it does carry some intrinsic value (hard to measure, I agree) it is therefore possible for that value to have been devalued.

  7. @Rami

    I don’t think he’s saying that. He’s saying ratios simply represent relationships between numbers, and thus hold no intrinsic value. It’s a misnomer, yes, and a very technical one. But who cares? We get the point.

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