Discover how to unlock the world with Virgin Flying Miles

Virgin Atlantic has only a limited number of long haul routes. Although this includes 32 cities on 5 continents these are mainly in the United States and Caribbean, with a few destinations in South Africa and India as you can see below. If you want to travel to somewhere a little off the beaten track, you may therefore struggle with Virgin Atlantic. However, rest assured there is another simple way to unlock the world with Virgin Flying Miles. Let’s find out more but if you wish to check the latest Virgin Atlantic route map, click here.

a map of the world with red dots
Where will your Flying Miles take you

Sky Team

Virgin Atlantic is part of the Sky Team Alliance and you can use your Flying Miles to make bookings with any partner airline. The Alliance opens up a huge network of over 1000 destinations across the globe with partners in South American and Asia as you can see below.

a group of logos of airline
Airlines that are in the Sky Team Alliance

This means that destinations that were out of reach with Virgin Atlantic now become feasible.

How it works in practice

To illustrate this, let’s use an example. I want to book flights to Lima In Peru. British Airways (my other principle airline reward programme) do not fly to Lima or anywhere remotely close so I cannot book a reward flight with them.

I log instead into my Virgin Atlantic Account and go to ‘Book’ on the main navigation menu.

a screenshot of a flight schedule
Virgin Atlantic Flying Miles redemption page

Enter your start and end destination. This option actually works better for me as Virgin Atlantic typically fly from London and I live in the North. With partner airlines, I can fly from Manchester via Amsterdam to Lima which is far more convenient.

Note, to pull up the redemption flights, you need to click on the advanced search on the right to select book with points (please ensure you check your Virgin Flying Miles balance first) and Upper Class if you wish to travel in style. This brings up all the options and once you find a flight you are happy with simply go ahead and book.


How to accumulate Virgin Flying Miles

Now of course different destinations will need more or less Virgin Flying Miles. For instance, Manchester to New Orleans requires 137,000 Flying Miles per person (plus taxes). My Lima flights require 175,000 Flying Miles each so you will need to ensure you have sufficient to cover your journey. There are several ways you can accumulate these miles.

American Express Gold card

You can use the American Express Gold card to accumulate membership rewards that are super flexible. Use this link to sign up and if eligible, you will receive 22,000 Membership rewards after you spend £3,000 in your first 3 months. Do make sure you qualify before you take the plunge as card holders can transfer those rewards to 12 airlines including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates and Singapore Airlines. Find the full list here.

Note, this British Airways card offers higher rewards as you earn 1. 5 AVIOS per pound spent rather than 1 Membership Reward per £1 but it has an higher annual fee.

Virgin Atlantic Credit cards

Your other option to earn Virgin Flying Miles is to apply for a Virgin Atlantic credit card which allow you to earn Flying Miles on all your spend. There are two different cards with different earning rates ranging from 0.75 per £1 or 1.5 Flying Miles per £1 spent. You can check out the fine details here and I have highlighted a summary below.

a close-up of a credit card
Summary of the two different Virgin Atlantic card options

If you want the cheapest card, the Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit card has no annual fee but it will take twice as long to accumulate Flying Miles as it will with the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Credit card which has an annual fee of £160. Check them out to see which is best for you. This post may help you to decide.

Which Is The Best Air Miles Credit Card In The UK?

Any other airline alliance hacks?

If you have any other top tips for using Airline Alliances, please stick them in the comments below.

This post may contain affiliate links which pay me a small commission should you click on them and make a purchase. Creating blog content takes up a lot of time including researching, fact checking, editing and more and for very little reward. It would be great therefore if you could use these links if anything catches your fancy. These small commissions help towards the cost of running the site, and the occasional glass of wine.
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About Anne

Anne is the founder and editor of Frommilestosmiles. If she isn't travelling, she is thinking of travelling or planning her next trip. She has visited over 90 countries on six continents and sampled everything from backpacking to bank bursting travel. Her mission is to help you enjoy more luxurious travel without the luxury price tag through the use of airline and hotel rewards and other money-saving travel tips

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