Best uses for Virgin Points across Virgin Atlantic & Virgin Red (Sweet Spot Spotlight)


Virgin points are super easy to accumulate.  Points transfer 1 to 1 from most major transferable points programs.  Even better, transfer bonuses are common such that transfers to Virgin Atlantic are often better than 1 to 1.  Additionally, you can sign up for the Virgin Atlantic credit card (which often has a 65K welcome bonus) and then average more than 2 points per dollar on spend with that card.  With all of those points easily accessible, the question is what to do with them…

Since last publication, we’ve added Virgin Voyages as an occasional sweet-spot use of points.  Plus, Citi is offering a 30% transfer bonus to Virgin through March 18, 2023.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club vs. Virgin Red

Virgin offers two rewards programs.  One is the legacy Virgin Atlantic Flying Club program, and the other is the new Virgin Red program which offers awards far beyond flight awards.  Even though they have different names, it’s best to think of the two programs as one thing.  By joining Virgin Red, you can link your Virgin Atlantic account and then all points will appear together in both programs.  In other words, you’ll have equal access to all of your points regardless of whether you log into Virgin Red or Virgin Atlantic.

Transfer Partners & Transfer Bonuses

Virgin points can be transferred from most common transferable points programs:

Rewards ProgramAmex Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Chase Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Citi Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Marriott Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Capital One Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Bilt Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (Instant)60K to 25K (1 to 2 days)1 to 1 (Unknown)1 to 1 (~1 Minute)

Even better, transfer bonuses are common.  The following display shows current transfer bonuses, if any:

And, here are the expired bonuses (may be useful for predicting when to expect a new bonus):

North America, Europe, or Australia to Japan (ANA First Class)

ANA 777-300ER First Class The Suite. Image courtesy of ANA’s website.

This is one of the sweetest sweet-spots around, albeit slightly less sweet than it was prior to March 7, 2023 (when Virgin Atlantic devalued ANA first class awards without notice).  Virgin Atlantic points can be used to fly ANA (All Nippon Airways).  The following chart shows round-trip award pricing using Virgin Atlantic points (one-way awards are half the shown price):

As you can see, you can fly long-haul ANA business class between Japan and Australia, Canada, or the Western US for 90K miles round trip (or 45K one-way) or fly between Japan and Europe and the Central & Eastern USA and Mexico for 47.5K miles one-way. First class is not the amazing value that it once was, but Virgin still offers reasonable value for first class round-trip between Japan and either Australia, Canada, or Western USA for 145,000 points (or 72.5K one-way) or long-haul ANA first class round-trip between Japan and either Europe, Central USA, or Eastern USA for 170,000 points round trip (or 85K one-way).

Some of these round-trip flights (such as first class between JFK and Tokyo, as shown above) often sell for over $20,000 but can be had for great mileage rates.  Compared to the cash price you can easily get great value per point.

How to book: Call Virgin Atlantic.

US to New Zealand (Air New Zealand Business Class)

Virgin Atlantic charges only 125K round-trip or 62,500 points one-way for Air New Zealand business class non-stop flights between New Zealand and North or South America.  Unfortunately finding award availability is notoriously difficult.

How to book: Call Virgin Atlantic.

US to Europe (Delta One Business Class)

Use Virgin Atlantic miles to book Delta One business class from the United States to Europe for only 50,000 points one way.  This is for all routes other than to/from the UK.  Unfortunately, flights to/from the UK include extremely high award fees.

The trick to optimizing this award is to begin your journey in the United States.  If you book a one-way flight from the US to Europe you’ll pay only $5.60 in fees:

With a round-trip flight originating in the US, you’ll pay a reasonable amount in fees (fees will vary depending upon the European airport you return from).

If you book your flight departing from Europe, though, fees will be far higher:

FlightConnections shows that Delta flies from the US to these European airports:

If you want to go to airports other than those shown above, you can do that too.  Book a mixed partner award where you fly Delta across the Atlantic to either Paris or Amsterdam and then fly onward on Air France or KLM to wherever you really want to go.  Full details can be found here: New sweet spot — Virgin Atlantic mixed-partner award to Europe

How to book: book online (details here)

North America to Europe (Air France or KLM Business Class)

KLM 787 business class

Use Virgin Atlantic points to book Air France or KLM Business Class from North America for as few as 58,500 points one way (plus fees).  The 58.5K pricing is between Western & Central Europe (Zone 1) and Eastern North America (Zone 6).  Here is how Virgin Atlantic defines those zones:

Zone 1 (Western and Central Europe) includes: UK, Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Ireland, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Denmark, Balearic Islands, Finland, Italy, Malta, Norway and Sweden.

Zone 6 (East Coast North America & Caribbean) includes:  East Coast USA, East Canada, Antigua, Barbados, Bahamas, Cuba, Bermuda, Dominican Republic, French Guyana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Caiman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Martinique, Haiti, Porto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago and Saint Marteen.

  • Includes the following US states – Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Virginia, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida
  • Includes the following Canadian provinces – Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island

How to book: book online (details here)

North America to Europe (Air France Premium Economy)

Use Virgin Atlantic points to book Air France Premium Economy from North America to France for as few as 24,000 points one way (plus fees, as shown below).  The best pricing is from “East Coast North America & Caribbean,” but that includes states as far west as Wisconsin, Illinois, Tennessee, and Mississippi.

Here are the award prices and fees for Premium Economy to/from Europe:

  • East Coast North America & Caribbean
    • Point Price: 24K Standard / 34K Peak
    • Fees to Europe: ~$160
    • Fees from Europe: ~$240
  • West & Central North America & Central America
    • Point Price: 39K Standard / 49K Peak
    • Fees to Europe: ~$160
    • Fees from Europe: ~$240

FlightConnections shows that Air France flies from these East Coast North American airports:

How to book: book online (details here)

US to London (Economy Class)

Whether you want to fly Delta or Virgin Atlantic, you can use Virgin Atlantic points to fly cheaply from the East Coast to London.  Virgin Atlantic offers the same pricing whether flying Delta or Virgin Atlantic (but fees are higher when flying Delta) when flying towards the UK.  Flying from the US to London for 10K to 15K during standard season is a bargain even after accounting for award fees.  Here are the award prices:

  • East Coast US (Boston, Newark, New York JFK, Washington DC): 10K standard, 20K peak
  • Midwest & South US (Atlanta, Detroit, Miami, Minneapolis, Orlando): 12.5K standard, 22.5K peak
  • West Coast US (Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Seattle): 15K standard, 25K peak

As shown in the images below, when flying from the US to London, you can expect to pay about $150 in fees when flying Virgin Atlantic or ~$225 when flying Delta:

In the opposite direction I saw the opposite: approximately $185 in fees flying Delta vs. $265 flying Virgin Atlantic.  Unfortunately, Virgin Atlantic charges more for flying Delta in this direction (15K instead of 10K).

How to book: book online (details here for booking Delta flights)

Flights within Europe (Air France / KLM)

This graphic shows airports within 599 miles of Amsterdam (for KLM flights) and Paris (for Air France flights).

Virgin Atlantic has great rates for flights within Europe on Air France or KLM.  They charge between 4K and 8.5K for economy flights under 1250 miles in start to end distance (which is most within Europe), and between 8K and 9K for business class flights under 600 miles in distance.

Virgin Atlantic offers the following award chart for short distance flights on Air France or KLM:

As you can see above, for Air France or KLM flights under 600 miles, Virgin Atlantic charges only 4K points (off-peak) or 4.5K points (peak) for economy, or 8K or 9K points for business class.  That’s awesome.  Even more awesome is the fact that on flights with multiple segments, only the distance between the origin and destination are considered.  You can do things like fly from Marseille, France to Algiers, via Paris, for only 8,000 or 9,000 points in business class or 4,000 or 4,500 points in economy.

More details can be found here: Air France & KLM across Europe for less.

How to book: book online (details here)

Nonstop Flights (Delta Economy)

Virgin Atlantic offers a distance based award chart for Delta flights (except those between the US and Europe).  This means that short, non-stop Delta flights can be booked cheaply.

As you can see above, one-way flights start at only 7,500 points one-way.  On some routes, this can be a huge bargain compared to booking with Delta miles.  Usually the best deals are found on the shortest flights, but even long flights can be much cheaper when booked with Virgin Atlantic miles.  For example, for Delta’s crazy-long flight from Atlanta to Johannesburg South Africa, Delta wants a minimum of 60,000 points one-way:

If the same flight was available to partners, Virgin Atlantic would charge only 45,000 points for for the same economy ticket.

How to book: book online (details here)

US West Coast to Hawaii (Delta Economy)

This is just a specific example of decent deals for non-stop Delta flights.  Delta’s flights between the U.S. west coast and Hawaii are less than 3,000 miles and so they price out at only 15,000 points one-way.

How to book: book online (details here)

Virgin Voyages Cruises

Virgin occasionally offers point sales on Virgin Voyages cruises.  During these sales, it has been possible to book a cruise for two for as few as 80,000 points.  There are no additional taxes or fees required.  If the dates for these sales match your needs, this can be a fantastic use of points!  To find current offers, check this page for “Limited Time Only” deals.

Sales we have seen so far:

Necker Island Celebration Week

In 2016 I redeemed Virgin Atlantic points for an all-inclusive week for 2 on Sir Richard Branson’s private island (Necker Island). It is now once again possible to book Necker Island with Virgin points.  Details here.

This is the ultimate splurge.  Sir Richard Branson (founder of Virgin businesses) lives and works on his private island named Necker Island.  Each year he designates around 8 weeks as “Celebration Weeks”.  During Celebration Weeks, guests can book the all-inclusive week for 2 adults starting at around $38,000.  Alternatively, those with lots of Virgin points can book the same week for 1.7 million points.  While that’s a crazy number of points, it amounts to an excellent 2.67 cents per point value compared to the cash rate (or 2 cents per point value compared to a special “free night” rate).

Full details about this award and how to book, can be found here: Book Necker Island with Virgin points.

[Expired] US to South Africa (South African Airways)

Marriott Protea Hotel Kruger Gate Marriott Rewards sweet spot

Note: At the time of this writing, South African Airways is no longer flying between the US and Africa.  If/when that changes, I’ll remove this deal from the “expired” list.

Virgin Atlantic charges only 150K round-trip or 75K points one-way for South African Airways business class non-stop flights between South Africa and the US.  Note that award space is notoriously difficult to find.

What about Dakar Senegal? The sweetest sweet-spot on Virgin Atlantic’s partner award charts is arguably the ability to fly South African Airways between the US and Senegal for only 25K one-way in business class.  Unfortunately, South African Airways has stopped flying that route, so that sweet-spot no longer applies.

How to book: Call Virgin Atlantic.

[Expired] Hong Kong to London (Virgin Atlantic)

As of October 5, 2022 Virgin Atlantic has announced that they have discontinued service to/from Hong Kong.

Flights from Hong Kong do not include fuel surcharges.  As a result, Virgin Atlantic flights from Hong Kong to London are really cheap.  Here are the one-way prices:

  • Economy: 12.5K standard or 22.5K peak + ~$42 in fees
  • Premium Economy: 22.5K standard or 32.5K peak + ~$42 in fees
  • Business: 57.5K standard or 67.5K peak + ~$45 in fees

How to book: book online at Virgin Atlantic.

Want to learn more about miles and points? Subscribe to email updates or check out our podcast on your favorite podcast platform.
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Wanted to add a recent comment here but the ANA thing is more or less kaput.

You can (1) no longer rely on Star Alliance partner availability to know if there is something available on Virgin… they DO NOT MATCH anymore (2) you have to therefore call in and give them 20 minutes of your day to check availability.

I suppose if you (a) find the right agent and (b) have rather flexible dates it’s still possible to do this. But for normal travel where you have dates in mind, you kinda have to forget it.


To me VS points was hard to use for flights from Washington DC. Were there some good examples to use it?


TLV-LHR Virgin A330-300 in Upper Class (nonstop, 5.5 hrs) for 19.6k Virgin Points +$110 through end of May (after a Citi 30% transfer, maybe that would be <14k). Does Virgin consider TLV part of Europe for their award pricing?


The biggest issue is fuel surcharges on several of these. The ANA award may be cheap but surcharges are sky high. Cheaper to book with UA or AC if you look at the price holistically.


Virgin points no longer expire. Is that correct ?


Unfortunately most of these sweet spots are dependent on DL releasing partner award space which is almost never.


I hear you although another 3 are ANA, a private Island and a cruise.

I guess there just aren’t too many bookable VS sweet spots.

The current 30% off sale is great though and isn’t there also a reduced or free companion award available?


Serious question: how possible is it to actually book the ANA First award? I mean, even if you look 330 days out (or whatever it is, after all the ANA people have already had a shot at the award chart), that’s only one of the directions—you still need the reverse and you’d have to wait more days.

Yes, you guys hit the amazing jackpot with your ANA tickets back from Japan because ANA opened the floodgates for a while but even that was only one way.

Just wondering how “real” this award is, or if it’s just something shiny that gets dangled in front of all of us.


@Greg- On Seat-aero, how do you search for ANA Space- Is it through Virgin Atlantic? Thanks


You can no longer rely on Star Alliance partner information.

I tried multiple times when the awards were very clearly available on Star Alliance and Virgin repeatedly said “no, we don’t have that”. I asked if something had changed and the reps clearly said “we don’t have that; it’s possible other partners do”.

Willy McCovey lll

@ Ckitsap

“Just wondering how “real” this award is, or if it’s just something shiny that gets dangled in front of all of us.”

Kudos to Ckitsap,great quote…… I have been looking for years for something out of SEA.


It does seem so rare–BUT, the fact that the ANA first class sweet spot is published and made aware to people meant that, when the floodgates did open, it didn’t take me any processing time to know I was going to use Virgin points, and I was ready to transfer as soon as the seat was confirmed as available by the Virgin phone rep. I personally see value in repeating such info.


@Kirk, I sense that the key element here was that you were able to quickly jump on the newly-available seats. Did you have some sort of notification set up? Did you stumble on it by accident? I’d love to know how you did it.


With rising fuel surcharges, definitely check your options for booking ANA awards, especially for business class. First class availability is…sporadic, but business class has better availability, especially if you are looking close (<2 weeks from departure). For an upcoming flight, I could pay 45k Virgin miles + $400 in fees, or 55k Aeroplan miles + $90 fees. With Aeroplan I can also book online and pick seats right away, so for me it was a pretty easy choice.


I just checked one-way BOS to CDG business thru July, all have $897 fee. Are your BOS to CDG flight examples recent? Thanks!


Hong Kong to London (Virgin Atlantic) is no longer available. VA made the decision to stop offering flights between HK and London.


Recently looking up Virgin Atlantic awards to Europe and noticed that whenever I put in a route that was served by delta direct… the point button went grey. Has delta stopped offering award tickets availability to VA on their metal? I know the VA website is clunky on its best day, but this seemed more deliberate as I could still get cash prices to appear.


ANA first class is a unicorn heard about it but never seen available to book.

Dave C

I’ve booked it 3 times since 2020, but had to cancel them all. All for 2 people


A typical occurrence, or a side effect of the global pandemic? I’d say the latter.


Should clarify that ANA only has The Suite from JFK-HND, other US routes have the older first class.


Not true, ANA the Suite has been consistently available NRT/HND to LAX from January to April.


true, but ‘available for points’ is a different matter


Is there any way to check Air New Zealand availability besides calling Virgin?


Very helpful article! I’m sitting on a lot of VS points that I plan to use over time for ANA first from West coast to Japan (which btw, they just started using their updated cabins for I learned on a flight in late March). But I’ll have to try out a few of these options.

FYI, I think this language is mixed up for the mileage:

Virgin Atlantic has great rates for nonstop flights within Europe on Air France or KLM. They charge between 4K and 8.5K for nonstop economy flights under 1250 miles in distance (which is most within Europe), and between 8K and 9K for business class flights under 600 miles in distance.”


Think it would be good to highlight if/where there are better options to redeem on the same flights. For example, while Virgin to Europe on AF/KLM or within Europe on the same airlines could be a sweet spot for redeeming Virgin points, redeeming on AF/KLM directly is often an even sweeter spot. Biz on AF/KLM to anywhere in Europe is regularly as low as 55k one way from the US east coast


Can Virgin points be used for Delta from US to S. America? Thanks.


SAA isn’t flying to South Africa, and likely will never again.


We booked SEA-AMS with Virgin miles (last year) on Delta One for March , but now can’t get in, so are trying to reschedule for later this year. I seriously can NOT find even one seat any week from now through October (even using Expert Flyer). Is there any trick to finding space since they made their change?


Hey Jana, I had almost the exact same trip booked last year and had to rebook. I spent weeks looking and I was able to find SEA-AMS on Delta One Suites in late April but couldn’t find anything on the return. I have to fly Virgin on the return and pay the exorbitant fuel charges otherwise the trip wasn’t going to happen.


Anyone finding Delta One awards space to Europe? I’m glad that VA affirmed this sweet spot, but it would be sweeter if it actually existed.


I can’t find jack (trying to reschedule a flight).


Haven’t seen anything BOS-CDG in quite some time


Delta West Coast to Hawaii nonstops are 15k now. While that’s more points than Turkish (United), BA (AA/Alaska) and potentially Southwest, it’s still a decent deal.


SLC-HNL also works at just under 3,000 miles 🙂


I remember reading somewhere that first class ANA flights can now be booked way for half if the stated roundtrip price. Is this correct?

Takhliq Khan


The fee listed for Air France is incorrect. Economy on Air France from US to Paris will cost you $160 in fee while Business will be $295.