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When and how to book Delta awards with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Sept. 20, 2022
11 min read
Delta premium select
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U.K.-based Virgin Atlantic Flying Club may not be well known here in the U.S. However, it has so many great partner redemptions that it's worth getting to know the program if you’re looking for good-value award redemptions. There are plenty of gems in the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club program, from cheap premium-cabin awards to Japan to business class flights to the South Pacific.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club has individual award charts for each of its partners — one of which is Delta Air Lines. While Virgin Atlantic drastically devalued its award chart for Delta partner awards about a year and a half ago, there are still a couple of good Delta redemptions that will save you thousands of points when compared to booking with Delta SkyMiles.

So, today we'll look at when you should use Virgin points to book Delta flights and how to do it.

Collecting Flying Club points

Virgin points are some of the easiest points to earn. ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

Before we get into how to use Virgin points, it’s important to note just how easy it is to collect Flying Club points — even without flying Virgin Atlantic or its partners.

Flying Club is a transfer partner of most of the major point currencies:

It's worth noting that Bilt Rewards points and Capital One miles transfer to Virgin Red, not directly to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. However, you can easily use points in your Virgin Red account with Flying Club. Check out our full article on the differences between Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and Virgin Red for more information.

That means that you’ve got plenty of options for how to earn transferable points to transfer to Flying Club. Here are some of the best welcome bonuses currently available on travel rewards cards that earn these types of transferrable points:

You can earn Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points directly by signing up for the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard®. Currently, you can earn up to 35,000 bonus points within the first year:

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  • 30,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 or more on purchases within the first 90 days of account opening
  • 2,500 points for each of the first two authorized users added to your card, up to a total of 5,000 bonus points

Most cobranded airline credit cards aren’t worth using as a non-bonus spending card. However, the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard earns 1.5 points for every dollar spent. At TPG’s valuation of 1.5 cents per point, that means you should get a return of at least 2.25 cents per dollar spent.

The information for the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Finally, if you’ve flown Virgin Atlantic — on a cash or award ticket — check to see if you can buy a Points Booster to pick up some cheap Flying Club points. A periodic promotion drops the price under one cent per point.

Related: Virgin Atlantic adds the ability to earn Tier Points on award flights, extends elite status by additional 6 months

Virgin Atlantic's Delta award chart

Virgin Atlantic has a distance-based Delta award chart — with two exceptions. ANDREW KUNESH/THE POINTS GUY

While Delta did away with its award charts years ago, Flying Club has stated award rates for Delta-operated flights. Up until Jan. 1, 2021, Virgin Atlantic used a lucrative region-based award chart for partner awards on Delta. Now, however, you’ll see three Delta award charts on Flying Club’s website.

  • U.S. to U.K. nonstop flights.
  • U.S. to Europe (excluding the U.K.) nonstop flights.
  • All other Delta reward flights.

In particular, the award chart for the U.S. to U.K. nonstop one-way flights is as follows:

VIRGINATLANTIC.COM

Meanwhile, the award chart for flights from the U.S. to the rest of Europe is as follows:

VIRGINATLANTIC.COM

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club now prices other one-way Delta flights according to the following table:

VIRGINATLANTIC.COM

For a round-trip ticket, you’ll need to pay double the cost of a one-way ticket. Also, note that Flying Club members can’t currently book Delta Premium Select awards.

Related: How to get Virgin Atlantic elite status without stepping on a plane

Sweet spots for Delta flights

You can redeem Virgin Atlantic points to fly in Delta One. ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY.

At the beginning of 2021, a widespread devaluation removed most of the sweet-spot redemptions for Delta-operated flights from the Flying Club program. As such, there’s really only one outstanding sweet spot left: flying nonstop between the U.S. and Europe (excluding the U.K.). After all, one-way nonstop flights cost just 30,000 points in Delta Main Cabin and 50,000 points in Delta One. Luckily, Delta operates many nonstop flights between the U.S. and Europe. Plus, you’ll pay minimal taxes and fees on these awards.

VIRGINATLANTIC.COM

You may also get value when using Flying Club to fly nonstop one-way between the U.S. and U.K. on Delta-operated flights. After all, you can normally fly between the U.S. and U.K. in economy class for 10,000 to 15,000 miles on standard dates and between 20,000 and 25,000 in peak season. However, you’ll need to pay high taxes and fees on these tickets, reducing the appeal. Still, this may be a good option, especially if you’re flying in standard season and cash rates are high.

VIRGINATLANTIC.COM

The distance-based chart for other Delta-operated flights may also provide some value. Especially for domestic Delta-operated flights, I recommend focusing on routes of 2,000 miles or less. After all, the distance-based chart has bands for 500 miles and under, 501 to 1,000 miles, 1,001 to 1,500 miles and 1,501 to 2,000 miles that may let you snag a Delta reward for less than you could with other programs.

VIRGINATLANTIC.COM

Remember, to get the rates discussed in this guide, you’ll need to book award flights with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club itself. You’ll have to transfer points from Amex Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards Capital One, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards or Marriott Bonvoy to Flying Club and book your award flights directly on Virgin Atlantic’s website or over the phone.

Related: 3 great ways to redeem Virgin Atlantic points now that Delta awards are devalued

How to search Delta flights

While Flying Club and Delta have had a partnership for years, it was a hassle to book these tickets before Virgin Atlantic added Delta award redemptions to its website in 2017. Luckily, now you can search and book Delta flights on the Virgin Atlantic website.

VIRGINATLANTIC.COM

To search, start here and enter the requested information. Don’t forget to change the “Show Price In” choice from Money to Points. I also recommend selecting “Show Flexible Dates” if you have flexibility.

Virgin Atlantic's website doesn't show a handful of airports when you search by entering the three-digit airport code. If this happens to you, click the "Full Airport List" button and select your airport.

VIRGINATLANTIC.COM

Selecting “Show Flexible Dates” will display a small range of dates and prices.

VIRGINATLANTIC.COM

Earlier this year, Flying Club quietly removed the price calendar from its website. That feature allowed you to see all of the award prices of a calendar month, which made award searches simple. Now, you'll have to go week by week to check award space,

When you click on a given date, you'll arrive at the screen with flights you can select.

After confirming your flight details, you’ll need to log in to your Flying Club account. At this point, you’ll get a message if you don’t have enough points to book the award.

VIRGINATLANTIC.COM

Luckily, you can transfer American Express Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards to Flying Club. The points will typically reach your account instantly.

Related: Amex Membership Rewards vs. Chase Ultimate Rewards: Which is the best?

Bottom line

Delta’s decision to remove its award charts in 2015 has led to some incredibly high award ticket prices over the years. However, there are often ways to book these flights for significantly fewer points than Delta would charge. Despite recent devaluations, one option to consider for select routes is Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

It’s always worth taking a few minutes to check Virgin Atlantic’s website before booking an award ticket on Delta. Just remember that the reverse holds true as well: Make sure that you check Delta’s website before booking an award with Flying Club. Read our post on the best ways to redeem Virgin Atlantic points now that Delta awards are devalued to learn how to maximize the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club program.

Additional reporting by Katie Genter and Kyle Olsen.

Featured image by ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY
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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  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
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Best for earning alternative rewards for travel purchases
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

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10XEarn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel partner site
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    Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel

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  • Annual Fee

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  • 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.

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Why We Chose It

The revamped Wander Card from Credit One Bank earns cardmembers up to 10 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also great for international travel. However, points earned from this card can only be used at a fixed value, so it may not be the best option for those striving to get maximum value from their rewards.

Pros

  • This card has no foreign transaction fees and earns up to 10 points per dollar on travel purchases through the Credit One Bank travel partner site.

Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees