I have been wanting to fly Virgin Atlantic Upper Class for some time and have continually lamented my inability to earn tons of Virgin Atlantic points in the UK. It seems I have been missing a trick! During some recent research, I had a lightbulb moment when I realised that Virgin Atlantic is an American Express Reward partner. All those American Express Membership Rewards I transferred to AVIOS could just as easily converted into Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles. (Huge groan time….)
American Express Membership Rewards
Here’s a reminder of how American Express Membership Rewards works. American Express reward cards give holders 1 reward point for every £1 spent. These can be converted into points in many frequent flyer programmes including Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. Hoorah!
Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Sale Fares
Now, of course, you could simply avoid all the hassle and purchase a Virgin Atlantic Upper Class fare in a sale. Even in the sale though, those seats do not come cheap. Recent fares from Orlando to London were priced at $1691 per leg or $1982 per leg from Atlanta to Heathrow. Frankly, I don’t fancy paying $3382 or $3964 per person for long-haul flights.
What I really want is a Virgin Atlantic Upper Class reward flight but have always struggled to figure out a way to accumulate Flying Miles quickly. I mistakenly, it transpires, thought there were less options to earn. That may be the case (I will cover that in a post coming soon so sign up here if you want to be notified once that one is live) but it turns out there is a very simple answer to this conundrum.
Here’s how it works.
Beat the Virgin Atlantic Upper Class sale fares plan
- Sign up for an AMEX GOld or AMEX Platinum card. Use my referral link for the AMEX Gold and you will earn 22,000 points when you spend £2,000 in the first three months. Total rewards – 24,000
- Promote the hell out of your chosen card (note, you will have much more success with the AMEX Gold than Platinum card as few of your friends will be willing to pay £450 a year. Unless you hang out with the Eton set that is….). Each referral (up to a maximum of ten) will earn you an additional 9,000 Reward points. Additional rewards – 81,000.
- Save the last of your ten referral points for your significant other. Sorry if you do not have one, this will take you a little longer. Additional rewards – 9,000
- Your partners signs up for their own AMEX Gold card using your referral and repeats the above process. The only difference is that they cannot recommend you so have to find ten friends to refer the card to. Additional rewards – 90,000 plus 24,000
Amazingly, this simple plan nets you a whopping 224,000 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles.
How many Flying Club Miles do I need?
So what does that convert into?
Well, here are the charts for Virgin Redemptions. Apologies for the quality – they did not convert well but you can view the original Virgin Atlantic Reward Chart here.
These are round fares so as you can see, this gives you enough Flying Miles to be able to fly Upper Class to anywhere in the world. You will have taxes and fees on top and these will vary but for two should be in the region of £1,000 to £1,500!
Now that is what I call a win! Where’s my passport?
Where would you go?
Where would you go with 224,000 miles? I think I might be tempted to go to New York!