Daily Drop's Guide to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

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Virgin Atlantic is the cheeky British airline brand that is captivating the hearts of travelers (we’ll briefly overlook those taxes and fees for just a moment 🙃). This airline program is one of the best kept secrets to get yourself familiarized with!

And if you’re thinking, “I don’t have any desire to cross the pond to our British neighbors,” keep on reading… because Virgin Atlantic’s program has opportunities that can take you all around the world and back.


➡️ Virgin Atlantic is the newest member of SkyTeam Alliance, joining the squad in March 2023. 

➡️ Virgin miles are worth around 1.5 cents each.

➡️ Join the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club for free here.

➡️ When you link your Virgin Flying Club Account with Virgin Red, you can redeem your miles for cruises, hotels, experiences, and more. 

➡️ Every major bank transfers to Virgin Atlantic 🎉

What is the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club?

Flying Club is Virgin Atlantic’s frequent flyer loyalty program. When you have a Flying Club account and you fly on Virgin Atlantic or its SkyTeam alliance partners, you’ll earn Virgin Atlantic points. 

There are other ways to earn Virgin points (which we’ll talk about later). But once you’ve accumulated enough, you can use those for free or significantly discounted travel!

Want to sign up for a Flying Club account? It’s free! 🎉

Why should you care about Virgin Atlantic?

Outside of the fact that it has a reputation for being one of the most fun airlines in the sky, Virgin is one of the main carriers of the UK, with hubs in London Heathrow, London Gatwick, and Manchester.

Its flights touch five continents, serving 35+ destinations, and with a respectable fleet of 41 aircraft.

If you’re trying to explore the castles of England or the raw and romantic scenery of Scotland, Virgin Atlantic might be a program to keep your eye on 👀

Like I said before, don’t tap out if you have no interest in British destinations, Virgin Atlantic’s program has been known to make dream trips happen to New Zealand, Japan, Italy, (and more!) all thanks to its partnerships.

Additionally, Virgin is part of SkyTeam alliance which gives you access to 19 other airlines 👇

All SkyTeam Alliance Parnters

Fun fact: Delta owns 49% of Virgin Atlantic. Their initial partnership is what brought the SkyTeam partnership to life!

And outside of the SkyTeam partnership, Virgin has a handful of non-alliance partnerships with airlines to help your miles go even further.

Other Virgin Atlantic Partners

How do you earn Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles?

Are you mentally planning a flight with Virgin Atlantic now? Great! Let’s earn you some miles so you can redeem them on flights, upgrades, and more!

And just like Virgin Atlantic gets a little weird and quirky, the ways you can earn these miles can get real niche. We’re keeping it simple here with the most common ways to earn Flying Club Miles.

1. Fly Virgin Atlantic

The first way to earn miles with Virgin Atlantic is to fly with them.

Sir Richard Branson himself agrees this is one way to earn that just makes sense.

As simple as that sounds, you will earn differently depending on what tier of status you have with Flying Club and what class of service you fly. Everyone starts at Red, so you begin earning here:

Once you work your status muscles a bit, you’ll earn more miles 👇

You can also earn Virgin Atlantic miles flying on SkyTeam partner flights and other partner airlines. Each airline has its own earning opportunities, which you can find here by clicking on the airline you want to earn with.

2. Credit card points

Virgin Atlantic does have its very own co-branded credit card issued by Bank of America, the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard. You’ll earn a generous welcome bonus to fill your Flying Club bank up (I’m picturing a very cute red piggy bank right now 😆).

Plus, you’ll earn a healthy 3X points on purchases with Virgin and 1.5X on all other purchases. As with all co-branded cards, you want to make sure this is an airline you’ll be loyal with and evaluate your spending habits to make sure it’s the best fit for you.

Really, the bread and butter for your Virgin Flying Club points will come from our favorite flexible points earning cards, which actually… let’s give this its own category 👇

3. Credit card points continued… The bread and butter

And Virgin flights have delicious warm rolls with butter 😍

The reason Virgin is so popular in the miles and points world is because all of the major banks are partnered with Virgin Atlantic. This means you can transfer your points at a 1:1 ratio, sometimes even more thanks to their frequent transfer bonuses.

Some of our favorite travel cards give you access to this sweet way of racking up more Virgin Atlantic miles!

We’re talking about:

Now, before you dance on over and transfer your hard-earned credit card points, be sure to read our guide to transfer partners. It’s generally not recommended to speculatively transfer points without a trip you’re ready to book.

4. Buying Virgin Atlantic points

The value of buying points with Virgin Atlantic isn’t mind blowing, but it is an option to keep nearby if you need to top off your points to make a trip happen.

Virgin loves a bonus, and they frequently offer bonuses on buying their points. So it’s worth a look if you need some points to buffer your account.

It’s important to note that if your account is registered in the U.S., you’ll pay $25 per 1,000 points. You’ll also pay a $22 transaction fee. If your account is registered in the U.K., you’ll pay £15 per 1,000 points and a £15 transaction fee.

You’re generally looking at getting a value somewhere in the range of 1 - 1.04 cents per point, depending on if they’re running a bonus and where you live. So it’s fine… nothing fantastic. And you can definitely get more value using other methods.

How do you get elite status and benefits?

When it comes to earning elite status, Virgin keeps the instructions fairly simple. This is especially compared to some of its flying buddies who make earning elite status read like a complex word problem that you need a code to crack 🥴

By the way, when you earn status on Virgin, you earn reciprocal status on Delta which makes this even more worth it for Americans.

You’ll earn elite status with Virgin through earning tier points. The more tier points you earn, the higher the status you are awarded.

There are three tiers of status: Red, Silver, and Gold. Bless you, Virgin for making this a simple one to explain.

Red Tier: What everyone gets by joining the free Flying Club program
Silver Tier: 400 tier points
Gold Tier: 1,000 tier points

The way you earn tier points? That’s simple, too.

You can fly Virgin, fly on most Delta flights, and spend on their co-branded card.

But the real question is, are there perks to be excited about?! I think so…

Silver gets you perks like free seat assignment, priority check in, priority boarding, and priority baggage—no matter your class of service.

But if I were you (and if I were me… because I’m going for this after reviewing the perks), I would go for Gold.

Gold gets you Upper Class check in no matter your class of service, bonus points on flights, and the real kicker here — Clubhouse access and access to the London Heathrow Arrivals Lounge 😍 

There is nothing, NOTHING, like a shower after a long-haul flight.

Not to mention, Gold status also gets you access to Delta SkyClub on eligible itineraries, extra bags when flying Delta, and Comfort+ Upgrades 👌

Perks also include various benefits when flying with Air New Zealand, Singapore Air, and more…

Let’s just leave it at—Virgin Flying Club status is a pretty sweet one to have in your pocket.

How do you redeem Virgin points?

The most straightforward way to redeem your Virgin Atlantic points are through flights with Virgin Atlantic and its partners.

Once you’re on Virgin Atlantic’s website, you’ll just punch in your trip details, hit Advanced Search, and select Points, like this:

From there, you’ll want to view a few date options, as always, flexibility can be key in an award search.

Speaking of flexibility, Virgin Atlantic has one of the best tools in the biz for searching award space. They have a reward seat checker that allows you to view exactly how much space is on a flight 🙌

Once you’re on the site, you can select your travel destination details, and you’ll view a calendar like this:

This tool is in Beta, and right now you can only search limited routes originating in the UK. But, once you’re on your results, if you hit the See return red text under the destination details, you can view reward space departing from the U.S.

It’s a pretty handy tool to help you plan how you’ll redeem your Virgin points!

When should you use miles instead of cash?

We have a favorite answer that applies here, and that is—It depends!

There are so many factors when it comes to what’s worth the points vs. what’s worth the cash.

For starters, run the numbers:

(cash price - taxes and fees) / (miles cost) = value per mile

One thing we haven’t touched on yet that applies to Virgin Atlantic more so than other airlines… is the taxes and fees.

When you run your award search to London or Edinburgh, you might notice a cash number with your points that make you go - AH 😱.

They’ll certainly be less than paying cash out of pocket, but higher than other award searches you’ve run.

U.K.-based airlines flying to and from the U.K. have higher taxes and fees, so when flying Virgin Atlantic, these will be unavoidable.

It’s important to consider these in your equation and ultimately determine if it’s worth it for you. Here’s an example of what that might look like 👇

Orlando (MCO) to Edinburgh (EDI)
Class of service: Upper Class
Points: 57,000
Taxes and fees: $981
Cash price: $6,000

($6,000 - $981) / 57,000 points = 0.088

Remember Virgin Atlantic points are worth a minimum of 1.5 cents per point, so 8.8 cents per point feels pretty sweet! And seeing as there are no other options for non-stop flights from Orlando to Edinburgh, I would probably book this one.

Quick economy class example:

Seattle (SEA) to London (LHR)
Class of service: Economy
Points: 15,000
Taxes and fees: $150
Cash price: $798

($798 - $150) / 15,000 points = 0.43

You can see how your points can go pretty far with this program! And how you can even spend less than any cash flight available.

Bottom Line

Virgin Atlantic is one to keep your eye on! With its U.K. hubs (and access beyond), plus its sweet spot partnerships, you’re in for some amazing adventures.

Their status is worth it if you frequent London, or are a bitter Delta loyalist and would rather earn your miles elsewhere 😬 

Overall, I think Virgin Flying Club is one of the best of the best for travelers!

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