Virgin Atlantic has launched the best points and miles redemption deal you are likely to see this year. I’ve just made good use of it and there’s still time for you to use this deal, too.
To get this rebate, redeem your Virgin points between Oct. 28 and Nov. 7 for a flight operated by Virgin Atlantic to or from any destination it flies in the U.S. or the Caribbean between now and March 25 next year.
You can fly on any date and in any cabin. Just link your Virgin Red account to your Flying Club account and you’ll receive 50% of your Virgin points back after you travel.
Cash fares, upgraded with Virgin points, will also receive 50% of the rewards back.
As you might imagine, there is no discount on the fees, taxes and surcharges payable on redemptions. Gold Reward Seats (reward seats booked with double points) are excluded, but Upgrade Rewards and Companion Rewards — including those earned on Virgin Atlantic credit cards — are eligible for this offer.
Flights operated by partner airlines like Air France, KLM and Delta are also excluded.
NICKY KELVIN/THE POINTS GUY
I’ve been sitting on a six-figure balance of Virgin points since the pandemic due to canceling a big redemption. I typically like to visit the U.S., but the pound sterling isn’t holding up well against the U.S. dollar currently. So, I have no urgent desire to visit the United States.
However, when I saw the offer included all Caribbean routes, it immediately sparked my interest. I have wanted to visit the tropical island of St. Lucia for many years and got close last winter when I had to cancel my birthday trip there due to an unexpected positive COVID-19 test.
I found a redemption seat flying KLM business class to the Caribbean for 47,500 Virgin points. This flight isn’t eligible for the 50% rebate, but I’m still excited about it as I’ve never flown a long-haul flight with the airline before.
For the return flight, I found a direct flight from Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) in St. Lucia to Heathrow Airport (LHR) in London flying Virgin Atlantic in Upper Class on its older (non-“neo”) Airbus A330. These aircraft feature the oldest herringbone seats — which I’ve never been a massive fan of — but they are still fully flat with direct aisle access.
For the nine-hour overnight flight, sleep will be the top priority. Given that this is a leisure route and not a business one, I can understand Virgin using an older aircraft type.
Virgin Atlantic’s older Upper Class. NICKY KELVIN/THE POINTS GUY
This one-way off-peak flight would normally cost 57,500 Virgin points. However, by booking it using the generous 50% rebate offer, I will receive 28,750 Virgin points back, so the true cost of the flight will be 28,750 points.
I paid the full fees, taxes and surcharges of 1,236.10 East Caribbean dollars, the equivalent of $457, of which there is no discount or rebate.
The booking process was the same as a normal redemption online, but make sure your Virgin Red account is open and linked to your Flying Club account before booking. You will know if it is when you can see the same balance of Virgin points in your Flying Club account as your Virgin Red account.
I found it very odd there is no reference to the 50% rebate on the booking page or in my confirmation email. If Virgin wanted to promote this offer, it could have been promoted in eligible searches to encourage people to book.
This whole “rebate after you travel” seems like a needlessly complicated way to operate this promotion. It would be much better to discount the cost of eligible flights upfront.
Still, paying under 30,000 Virgin points (plus under $460 in fees, taxes and surcharges) after the rebate is a great deal for a one-way business-class flight (and by far my best use of Virgin points ever).
I’m thoroughly looking forward to escaping the London winter and exploring this piece of paradise while enjoying a proper sleep on a nine-hour flight home, which should be easier than those lightning-quick New York-to-London flights.
This incredible offer is available for a limited time, so make sure you book before Nov. 7 if you want to take advantage.