Based in the United Kingdom, Virgin Atlantic is one of the international airlines partnered with the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. It offers a high-quality travel experience and several worthwhile partners of its own, so you can find excellent award airfare when you transfer Chase points to Virgin Atlantic.
This guide will explain how to transfer Chase points to Virgin Atlantic, as well as the best ways to redeem your points after you do.
What you need to transfer Chase points to Virgin Atlantic
You must have an account in the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club where you’ll send your Chase Ultimate Rewards points. If you don’t have one yet, you can register online free of charge. You also need a Chase card that allows transfers to travel partners. Any of these Chase credit cards qualify:
How to transfer Chase points to Virgin Atlantic
It doesn’t take long to transfer Chase points to Virgin Atlantic online. Here’s what to do:
- Go to your Chase Ultimate Rewards account. The simplest option is to log in on the Ultimate Rewards site. You can also access the Ultimate Rewards program from your Chase credit card account. If you have multiple credit cards with Chase, select one when you log in. You’ll transfer Chase points to Virgin Atlantic from the card you choose.
- Select “Transfer to Travel Partners” from the Ultimate Rewards home screen. This option is in a dropdown menu you can open by clicking “Earn / Use” at the top of the page.
- Go to the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club listing and select “Transfer Points.” Chase divides its travel partners into airline and hotel sections.
- Choose a recipient for the transfer. Use the dropdown menu to do this, and then enter the recipient’s Flying Club account number. When you transfer Chase points to Virgin Atlantic, the recipient must be either you or an authorized user on your account who lives at your home.
- Decide on a transfer amount. The minimum is 1,000 points, and you’re also only allowed to transfer in increments of 1,000. You get a transfer ratio of 1:1, which is the same as what you get with every Chase travel partner. So, 1 Ultimate Rewards point is worth 1 Virgin Atlantic point.
- Submit the transfer. On the review screen, you can look over all the specifics about the transfer before you finalize it. Transfers are instant, so once you hit “confirm” on this page, you’ll have your Flying Club points. Keep in mind that transfers are also final. There are no cancellations after you transfer Chase points to Virgin Atlantic. So it’s smart to pick out the award airfare you want before transferring points.
How to book award tickets with Virgin Atlantic
I’m going to preface this by telling you that it’s rarely a good idea to book an award ticket on Virgin Atlantic. They have high surcharges, and you can put those miles to much better use booking on a partner airline. But Virgin Atlantic’s site will only show you its own flights and most Delta flights, so you need to book everything else by phone, not online.
If you do need to use the Virgin Atlantic site, start by filling out the search form. Enter the cities where you’ll be traveling and your travel dates. Then, click “Advanced search.” This will give you the option to view prices in money, points, or points plus money. Select the one you want and perform a search.
The search results will display available flights, one leg of your trip at a time. Each flight includes its total cost in points plus any surcharges. The airline will prompt you to log in to your Flying Club account if you haven’t already, and then you can complete the booking.
Maximize value when you transfer Chase points to Virgin Atlantic
Unfortunately, Virgin Atlantic is one of the worst airlines for award ticket surcharges. Fees on award airfare can be over $500. When you’re paying such excessive award ticket fees, it drastically lowers how much value you get from your points. And this is a problem you’ll have no matter which Virgin Atlantic cabin you choose.
There’s still a good reason to transfer Chase points to Virgin Atlantic, though — its airline partners. You can use Virgin Atlantic points to book award airfare with the following airlines:
- Air France/KLM
- Air New Zealand
- All Nippon Airways (ANA)
- Delta Air Lines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Singapore Airlines
- South African Airways
- Virgin Australia
The highlight is Delta Air Lines. It’s one of the biggest airlines in the world, and you can often get a better deal booking award tickets on Delta using Virgin Atlantic points than with Delta’s own miles. You can also get great award airfare deals from a few other Virgin Atlantic airline partners — Air New Zealand, ANA, and South African Airways.
With the exception of some Delta flights, you won’t see partner award airfare on the Virgin Atlantic site. To find and book an award ticket, you’ll need to call the Flying Club line at 1-800-365-9500. You can use the partner airline’s site to search for award tickets before you call.
Should you transfer Chase points to Virgin Atlantic or redeem through Chase’s portal?
Chase cards offer another option to book travel with the Ultimate Rewards travel portal. You can redeem points through this Chase portal to book travel in cash. Each Ultimate Rewards point is worth $0.0125 per point if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. You get a higher value of $0.015 per point if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
If you want to book a Virgin Atlantic ticket, it’s usually better to use the Chase portal. You’ll avoid those massive award ticket surcharges, and you can earn Virgin Atlantic points on the flight. However, it’s generally better to transfer Chase points to Virgin Atlantic if you want to book award airfare with the airline’s partners. Those bookings can easily get you $0.02 per point or more.
Remember that it’s always smart to compare the cost of an award ticket (fees and all) with the cost of using the Chase portal before you decide. That way, you can be sure which option is the better deal.
The Virgin Atlantic Credit Card
Chase doesn’t have any airline credit cards with Virgin Atlantic, but Bank of America does. It’s called the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard®, and for a $90 annual fee, it offers:
- 60,000 bonus points for spending $2,000 on purchases within 90 days of account opening
- Up to 15,000 bonus points each account year for meeting spending minimums (7,500 bonus points for spending $15,000 on purchases during the account anniversary year, and another 7,500 points for spending $25,000 during that time)
- The choice of either one cabin upgrade or a companion ticket each account year after spending $25,000 on purchases
- 3 points per $1 on Virgin Atlantic purchases
- 1.5 points per $1 on all other purchases
If you fly with Virgin Atlantic regularly, the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® could be worth the annual fee. If not, you’re better off with more flexible travel rewards credit cards.
Using your Chase points with Virgin Atlantic
The Virgin Atlantic Flying Club certainly has its drawbacks, namely those big surcharges on award tickets. Its partners are the saving grace, as they can get you valuable redemptions after you transfer Chase points to Virgin Atlantic. Being able to use your points to book Delta airfare is an especially nice benefit. Virgin Atlantic also usually provides a very pleasant experience for flyers, so you may want to look for cash tickets that you can book directly through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
View more information: https://www.fool.com/the-ascent/credit-cards/transfer-chase-points-to-virgin-atlantic/