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Virgin Atlantic sours Delta sweet spot mileage redemptions

Delta One Suite

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Virgin Atlantic sours Delta sweet spot mileage redemptions

Update: We have amended this post after learning that Virgin Atlantic has kept their Delta chart to Europe in tact, and the devaluation affects US to Asia flights only.

We know that all good things come to an end, and Virgin Atlantic decided to do their worst with their Delta redemption charts without warning and in the middle of the night.  Should we be surprised? Virgin Atlantic did a similar thing to the Air China chart increasing prices by 300%. While I think the prices had to surely come up at some point, some head’s up would go a long way in customer trust and loyalty. Virgin Atlantic has had loads of financial strains over the past year as it faced seemingly an unending amount of existential crises.

Delta One Suite
courtesy of Delta.com

Virgin Atlantic is transfer partner of multiple currencies

There are 5 transferrable currencies currently in existence. Capital One is the only one that doesn’t have transfer capabilities to Virgin Atlantic. That means there are numerous ways to accrue massive amounts of Virgin Atlantic miles and their Delta redemptions have always been a great sweet spot

If you’d like more information on earning transferrable points and which cards may be right for you, click those links for more info.

Miles Credit Cards

Here is what you used to be able to do with Virgin Atlantic with a Delta Redemption:

50k One way US to Europe in business – Virgin has confirmed that the flights into Europe will stay unaffected.

a screenshot of a flight ticket

60k One Way US to Asia in business

Virgin Atlantic search Delta Suites

Now, let’s take a look at what we can do now

The new levels of redemption are split into 3 different categories: Standard+Peak to/from UK, and then Distance based. Each category is then defined by Main Cabin vs Delta One/Business

Standard Season/Peak Season to/from UK

These rates aren’t that egregious when it comes to miles – they range from 90k to 135k roundtrip, but the taxes and fees are downright ludicrous. These rates are pretty much akin to what Virgin charges on their own metal, so while the taxes and fees are super high, they are commensurate with Virgin Atlantic’s own redemptions.

a screenshot of a flight schedule
Virgin Atlantic Delta Redemption to UK Standard Season
a screenshot of a flight schedule
Virgin Atlantic Delta Redemption to UK Peak Season

Here’s a look at the distance based Virgin Atlantic Delta chart for Asia Only

This is where you see an absolute obliteration of currency value. It’s not even funny how much they tore it up on long haul, premium cabin redemptions.

The flight from Minneapolis to Tokyo that I would have run 60k miles would just sneak in under 165k one way since the flight distance is 5982.  That means Atlanta to Asia flights will clock in at that top rate.

a screenshot of a flight schedule
Virgin Atlantic Delta Redemption Table

Overall

There was a solid week or so where we thought the redemptions had completely exploded, but…while it’s not ideal that the Asia routes have been devalued, at least the US to Europe routes ( aside from those mentioned in the UK examples ) have stayed in tact. 50k to Europe on Delta Metal is still a helluva deal.

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card


4.8
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Welcome Offer

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 

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Annual Fee

$95

Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
    • That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠
    • Some people have seen Chase branches offering the following:
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  • $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit via Chase Travel℠
    • The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
  • 2x on all other travel
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus
    • Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel℠ and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver ( primary ), purchase protections, etc.
  • Points are transferrable to 14 Ultimate Rewards partners
  • Redeem in Chase Travel℠ for 1.25 cents per point
  • No foreign transaction fees
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We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is exceptional starter card and offers transferrable Ultimate Rewards, and pairs well with other Chase cards.

If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash® , Ink Business Unlimited® you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners

Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

2 Comments

  • The Arts Traveler January 3, 2021

    Well, this is most unwelcome news. That trip to Paris on Delta metal using Virgin Atlantic miles is now dead.

    I only have about 20,000 Virgin Atlantic miles. What can you do with that? Is it possible to book domestic Delta flights with those and if so how do you do that? Do these miles have any use whatsoever now?

  • Sho'nuff January 2, 2021

    It’s getting to a point where I’m going to stop caring about redemption and just use the portals to buy flights without all the hassle. This is a total bummer, I was planning on doing HNL to HND and it’s only 35k for biz. I think according to this chart, that’s now 80k. Virgin sucks for doing this without notice or a runway.

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