Earn a 30% Bonus on Citi ThankYou Transfers to Virgin Atlantic
Earlier this month, we saw American Express offer a 30% bonus on transfers from their Membership Rewards program into Virgin Atlantic. And the bonuses aren’t over.
Now Citi is out with their own bonus and through June 22, 2019, you will receive a 30% bonus when converting Citi ThankYou points into Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles.
This now means that for every 1,000 Citi ThankYou points you transfer, you will receive 1,300 Virgin Atlantic miles. You can also currently earn 60,000 Citi ThankYou points on the Citi ThankYou Premier card. This matches the highest offer ever and you can learn more about it under the points rewards section of our Top Credit Cards Page.
You may not use Virgin Atlantic or know much about their Flying Club program, but you should. It has some excellent partnerships that you can use to your advantage, like booking Delta flights or going to Japan on ANA. And this bonus just makes it even sweeter.
The Basics on Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic is a quirky airline with a quirky frequent flyer program. The airline flies from several U.S. gateways to London-Heathrow (LHR), as well as between several international hubs like Dubai (DXB) and Hong Kong (HKG). But you’ll rarely see us recommend using Virgin Atlantic miles to fly Virgin Atlantic flights.
While its award chart offers some pretty decent rates for getting to Europe and back, the fees it charges on award tickets are exorbitant. You can expect to pay $500 or more for just an economy roundtrip ticket flying in and out of LHR. That’s just not worth it.
Luckily, there are some incredible partnerships where you can save a ton of miles by booking with Virgin Atlantic, with far more reasonable fees. Add in this transfer bonus from Citi, and it’s a no-brainer. You can transfer points to a Virgin Atlantic account from all three major banks as well as Marriott Bonvoy. All of them, including Citi, transfer on a 1:1 basis.
However, with this current 30% bonus, Citi is a much more attractive option. If you transfer 50,000 Citi ThankYou points, you’d get 65,000 Virgin Atlantic miles. These transfers generally take a day or two to complete.
Virgin Atlantic’s website can be a tad difficult to navigate. Getting award flights to show up on a given route can take a few tries. One good trick is to search for airports by country or region and pick them, rather than manually typing in the city name or airport code.
Major Delta Deals
We don’t need to tell you that trying to understand and use Delta SkyMiles can be frustrating. There’s no award chart, so the airline’s pricing when booking a flight with miles can be all over the map. Often, a Delta award flight can be obscenely expensive.
Enter Virgin Atlantic. You can easily use Virgin Atlantic to book the exact same Delta flight and save a boatload of SkyMiles.
The London-based airline offers a far more stable – and frequently cheaper – alternative to book Delta flights than using SkyMiles outright. And considering you can transfer Amex points to both airlines, that’s useful to keep in mind.
Case in point, it’s next to impossible to find decent rates in the fantastic new Delta One suites with miles. The airline regularly charges 300,000 SkyMiles or more for a spot in the enclosed suites on a flight to Europe or Asia.
But with this Virgin Atlantic transfer bonus, 39,000 points is all you need to book a Delta One Suite.
It costs just 50,000 Virgin Atlantic miles to fly Delta One to Europe and 60,000 miles to get to Asia. Factor in the transfer bonus, and you’d need to transfer just 39,000 points to book the flight to Europe. Or just 47,000 points to get to Asia.
Here’s an example.
Delta is charging at least 180,000 SkyMiles to get on the flight from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Tokyo-Haneda (HND) in the new Delta One Suite.
But you can book the exact same flight – same plane, same seat, same day – through Virgin Atlantic. And you’d need only transfer 47,000 Amex points to get the 60,000 miles to do it.
This is a $5,500-plus ticket, with great food and a cozy suite with a lie-flat bed for the long flight across the Pacific Ocean. Booking that for just 47,000 is one of the best deals you’ll find in the world of points and miles.
It can require some flexibility to lock in flights at these low rates. Read our guide on booking Delta flights with Virgin Atlantic miles, and you’ll be ready to start hunting for the deal of a lifetime.
Fly in Style with ANA
You can also use this transfer bonus to score an amazing deal on a trip to Japan on one of the world’s best airlines. Oh, and did we mention it’s in First Class?
ANA is one of Japan’s flag carriers, and it lives up to its five-star reputation. Its first class cabin is spacious, private, and offers some of the best catering in the aviation world.
We’ve written before about the incredible value of using ANA to get to Japan for cheap in business class. But Virgin Atlantic also has a sweet spot for booking ANA flights, and this transfer bonus makes it even sweeter.
How to Get Citi ThankYou Points
Transferring Citi ThankYou points to Virgin Atlantic with a 30% transfer bonus is great, however not if you don’t have Citi ThankYou points. However, right now is a great time to earn Citi ThankYou points as the Citi ThankYou Premier card is currently offering a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months.
You can learn more about it under the limited time card offers section of our Top Credit Cards Page.
Keep in mind that because this transfer bonus lasts just over a month, you don’t have a ton of time to earn these points for the purposes of utilizing this promotion. However, there is never a bad time to start earning ThankYou points for a future promotion like this one.
Virgin Atlantic isn’t the most popular or useful frequent flyer program, but it shouldn’t be ignored. And with this transfer bonus, it should absolutely be on your radar to book some incredible trips on the cheap. This is just another reason why earning points in flexible points programs should be a top priority.
Lead Photo (CC BY 2.0): Delta News Hub via Flickr
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.