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How you could book a 9-hour transatlantic flight in Virgin Atlantic Upper Class for 28,750 Virgin points

Nov. 03, 2022
5 min read
st. lucia / st lucia
How you could book a 9-hour transatlantic flight in Virgin Atlantic Upper Class for 28,750 Virgin points
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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.

Virgin is offering a rebate of 50% of the number of Virgin points required for all award seats to and from the United States and the Caribbean for travel from Oct. 28, 2022, through March 25, 2023.

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.

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Related: Leisurely luxury: A review of Virgin Atlantic’s A350 leisure configuration in Upper Class from Manchester to Orlando

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.

Related: Lounge lovin’: Virgin Atlantic Upper Class on the Boeing 787-9 from London to New York

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.

Bottom line

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.

Featured image by MARC ROMANELLI/GETTYS
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees