Last Chance: Fly FIRST CLASS To/From Japan For As Little As £625!!!

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Until 11pm on Friday (midnight GMT, 30th April 2021), Virgin is offering a bonus of up to 50% on points purchases.

“Top up your Flying Club account now and receive up to 50% bonus points on purchases of up to 150,000 points! Available for a limited time only.

  • 1000 – 4000 points = 0% Bonus
  • 5000 – 24,000 points = 15% Bonus
  • 25,000 – 69,000 points = 30% Bonus
  • 70,000 – 99,000 points = 40% Bonus
  • 100,000 – 150,000 points = 50% Bonus”

If you purchase 100,000+ (pre-bonus, so 150,000+ total), you will pay just slightly over 1p per point:

In general, that’s an ok price, but not really compelling enough to get me excited, given Virgin’s redemption options. There is one big exception though: if you want to fly ANA Business/First Class to Japan.

Business / First Class Bargains

We covered it in more detail here, but it is possible to fly ANA’s excellent Business / First Class products, by redeeming Virgin Points. The key details are as follows:

One-way flights can now be booked between the UK/Europe and Japan for:

  • Economy: 32,500 Virgin Points
  • Business Class: 47,500 Virgin Points
  • First Class: 60,000 Virgin Points

Returns cost twice as much.

From the UK, you should expect to pay about £235 in taxes/surcharges for Business or First Class:

In the opposite direction, it shouldn’t be much more than £25:

To be clear, for a First Class return you would need £260 + 120,000 Virgin Points. If you paid ~1p each for those points in the Virgin sale, your total ‘out of pocket’ cost would be ~£1,460. That’s for flights that retail at over £11,000!

If you wanted to fly Business Class instead, your total for a return would be just over £1,200. That’s a very good price, but I’d strongly recommend pushing the boat out and booking First if you can find availability.

Bottom line

If you happened to be in Japan already (or used other points/miles to get there), you could potentially pay just ~£625 (60,000 Virgin Points + £25 tax/fees) to fly ANA First Class one way from Tokyo to London, assuming you bought enough points in total to benefit from the full 50% bonus. That has to be one the greatest redemptions in the world of points/miles right now.

From the UK, a one way would be bumped up to ~£835, primarily due to Air Passenger Duty, which is still an extraordinary deal.

Always check award availability first before buying points.

If you do want to stock up, remember that the 50% bonus ends on Friday! 


  1. Applicable Buy points purchases made through between 30th March and midnight GMT 30th April 2021 inclusive will be eligible to receive bonus points. When you buy 5,000-24,000 points you will earn 15% bonus points, 25,000-69,000 = 30% bonus, 70,000 – 99,000 = 40% bonus, 100,000 – 150,000 = 50% bonus. The points will be credited at the point of purchase and will appear on the members’ account within 24 hours.
  2. A member can purchase a total of 100,000 points each calendar year, in increments of 1,000 points. Between 30th March and midnight GMT 30th April 2021 a member can purchase a total of 150,000 points each calendar year, in increments of 1,000 points.
  3. Members will have the right to cancel any purchases of points for up to 14 days after the date of purchase provided that none of the purchased points have been redeemed. If any of the purchased points have been redeemed then members will not be entitled to a refund for any of the purchased points including those that have not been redeemed. Once the 14 day cooling off period has expired any points purchased and received by members are non-refundable and non-transferable, except as expressly permitted by the terms and conditions of Flying Club.
  4. All Buy points transactions are subject to a £15/$25 transaction fee.
  5. Buy points Terms and Conditions apply, and can be found on Virgin Atlantic website:


    • cinereus says

      Not even good for single travellers recently. All the availability is being snapped up long before the 330 day horizon for partners.

  1. Guy M says

    Hi Joe

    Thanks for the heads-up, much appreciated. But I wondered, have you or anyone on the IF Team actually ever managed to book this redemption? There only ever seems to be at most, one F seat released maximum in advance? As others have commented, for First, it is then only really worth doing for solo travellers, not really worth buying those points if a couple (or more) travelling?

    Do you know any ANA routes that can/do release two F seats?

    I think it might be good to let your readers know that, also some info on the routes would be helpful? e.g. Which routes have the ‘new’ ANA First Class and which only have the old one? And when the F space is released, these kind of details?

    Otherwise it seems a bit dangerous, encouraging people (e.g. couples) to buy points for something they almost certainly won’t ever be able to redeem for? Hope that make sense?


    • Joe Deeney says

      Hi Guy,

      You raise a good point. Back in ‘normal’ times, yes (eg., but obviously things are quite uncertain these days in terms of routes/aircraft, let alone award availability, and the article could probably have done more to acknowledge that. And, of course, getting multi-seats has never been easy – hence Craig’s excitement in the linked article about the Munich route.

      As I generally fly alone, multi-seat availability isn’t the first thing I think of, but for many readers it’s vital and I should take that into account.

      On the broader point of including routes/availability opening up/etc, I think doing a full proper guide with all that could be very useful, as it really is an incredible redemption. It’s probably more sensible to wait now until travel patterns settle down a bit (hopefully not too far in the future at this point!), but it’s definitely a good idea.

      I did explicitly state that everyone should, “Always check award availability first before buying points”, so I hope that would have prevented anyone from purchasing points without doing so, but I will go back and now put that in bold just to be even clearer.

      Thanks for the comment and your thoughts!

      • Guy M says

        Hi Joe

        No worries and thanks for responding, that all makes sense.

        I just want to also say that I think you, Craig and the rest of the IF team do an excellent job, e.g. never seem as focused on securing credit card commissions as some other global FF sites seem to be! Rather, you just seem to want to try and help people out with useful tips, great stuff 🙂

        One other question for you: do you know when is the earliest date when ANA normally releases the one (or in a blue moon, more than that) F award seat on eligible routes to partner airlines, from yours and Craig’s experience? e.g. Is it 330 days before departure as I think I heard that somewhere, or another date? (I know that their rival Japan Airlines releases 360 days before to their own members.)

        Many thanks again


        • Joe Deeney says

          My pleasure – many thanks for the kind words!

          Unless things have changed during COVID (I really haven’t been searching for award space much in the last year 😉 ), I’m pretty sure it’s 355 days, but less for partners ie. virgin. I’ve always assumed 330/331 (time difference), but did read 328 somewhere. And, more space can be added later of course. You might want to take a look at paying for an ExpertFlyer subscription to set up award alerts.

          • Craig Sowerby says

            I believe that ANA members do get a month long head start on everybody else.

    • cinereus says

      One option is to invest in some ANA miles which you can use to “reserve” F seats then cancel and rebook with VS when they become available. It’s slightly quicker over the phone than WhatsApp.

      • Joe Deeney says

        Very interesting – does the cancelled award seat go straight back into partner availability?

      • Guy M says


        Thanks for this suggestion … but ANA only allows roundtrip reservations for their own metal awards though right? Not one-way like Virgin now does for ANA awards? So that would require a lot of ANA miles to even do this?! And could they then be converted afterwards into anything else?


        • Craig Sowerby says

          ANA has one of the best award charts in the game. But those miles are really hard to get.

          I don’t think anybody in Europe has hundreds of thousands of ANA miles lying around for the sole purpose of holding award space for a month.

      • cinereus says

        This is correct. Annoyingly have had to pay it twice in Oct 2020 and Apr 2021 for Covid as the flights weren’t cancelled by ANA.

  2. Alex says

    Other flights to/from Japan are also cheap; I checked and see that British Airways offers 31000 Avios + £ 26.20 for an economy flight from Tokyo to London on Japan Airlines

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