Some links to products and partners on this website will earn an affiliate commission.
I have written extensively about some of the amazing deals you can get by transferring SPG Starpoints to their new partner Virgin America’s ‘Elevate’ loyalty programme. The process is a little convoluted, so do take a few minutes to flick through the earlier posts if you haven’t already read them!
To be honest, I’m still getting my head around just how incredible Virgin America’s award chart is for redeeming on their partner airlines, so I don’t yet have a full list of all the best deals to share – I’ll just carry on posting deals as I come across them.
London to/from New Delhi in Virgin Atlantic Upper Class for 20,000 Starpoints
First things first – in the vast majority of cases, whenever you transfer blocks of 20,000 Starpoints to a frequent flyer loyalty programme you get a 5,000 bonus, so 20,000 Starpoints (almost always) becomes 25,000 Miles/Avios, transferring 40,000 gets you 50,000 etc.
Virgin America’s ‘Elevate’ programme charges 25,000 Miles one-way for Virgin Atlantic Upper Class (Business) between London and New Delhi or just 40,000 Return. That equates to 20,000 Starpoints for a one way or 35,000 Starpoints for a Return, once you factor in the 5,000 transfer bonus.
For reference, and to show just how good this deal is, Virgin Atlantic itself charges 50,000 Flying Club Miles each way for Upper Class between London and New Delhi. British Airways want 62,500 Avios each way in Business/Club Off-Peak, or 75,000 each way Peak.
The number of Points/Miles needed for a flight is only half the story. Taxes and ‘surcharges’ can really add up, so it’s important to consider the cash cost as well as the Miles in order to make a fair comparison.
One-way from London to New Delhi:
Virgin America Elevate: 25,000 Miles + ~£425.00 ($620.00).
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club: 50,000 Miles + £326.65.
British Airways Executive Club: 62,500/75,000 Avios + £326.65
One-way from New Delhi to London
Virgin America Elevate: 25,000 + ~£210.00 ($310.00)
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles total charges: 50,000 + £175.00
British Airways Executive Club: 62,500/75,000 Avios + £190.00
Return between London and New Delhi (and vice versa)
Virgin America Elevate: 40,000 Miles + ~£630.00 ($920.00)
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club: 100,000 Miles + £471.35
British Airways Executive Club: 125,000/150,000 + £479.00
Taxes/surcharges are a little higher when using Virgin America Elevate Miles rather than Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles or BA Avios, but the saving in Miles/Avios is massive.
A Return from London costs about £160.00 more in fees, but requires less than half the Miles you would need with Virgin Atlantic, and less than a third of the number of Avios that BA charge – even on an ‘off-peak’ date!
The real standout value here is travelling Upper Class, but for completeness the other Cabins are as follows:
- Economy: 12,000 Elevate Miles one-way, or 20,000 Return
- Premium Economy: 17,000 Miles one-way, or 30,000 Return
The taxes/surcharges are lower than for Upper Class, but still substantial – and make these redemptions pretty bad value in my opinion, despite the low number of Miles required. You can check the full details on the Virgin America Elevate site, but the only option that would remotely interest me is one-way from New Delhi to London in Economy because the charges are relatively low at about £110.00 ($160.00).
You can get 2,500 free Virgin America Elevate Miles simply by signing up here and referring 4 friends/family members (500 for signing up, and 500 for each referral).
AND another 250 free Elevate Miles just for entering this Virgin America competition.