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Virgin Atlantic now a member of SkyTeam – use points on partners
It’s been discussed for a long, long time, and the day is finally here. Virgin Atlantic is officially a part of SkyTeam. Let’s take a look at what that means, some of the benefits, and how you could Virgin Atlantic miles to book SkyTeam partners.
I’ve been fortunate enough to fly Virgin Atlantic many times in the past. There is no doubt it is a very sleek, sexy, and stylish way to fly. The biggest problem? The surcharges are just outrageous. With that being said, Virgin committed in 2022 to release 2 award seats per flight. So… you can often find award space and if you’re booking last minute flights, it’s still a good deal when comparing to cash rates ( most of the time ). It’ll be interesting to see if this award space is bookable by SkyTeam partners and how many surcharges are passed along.
What airlines are a part of SkyTeam?
Here’s a full list of the current members – note that you could redeem Virgin Atlantic points on Air France/KLM and Delta for quite some time.
What benefits do Virgin Atlantic Elites get when flying on SkyTeam partner airlines?
What SkyTeam airlines can you use Virgin Miles to book
Currently the following airlines are bookable online at Virgin Atlantic with more to come later in 2023. But you should be able to use Virgin miles to book any of the SkyTeam airlines if you find award space, you’ll just need to call in.
- Air France, China Airlines, Delta, KLM, Korean, Middle East Airlines and Xiamen Air.
Distance based award chart
It appears that most of the SkyTeam partner redemption charts are based off of distance instead of region. As an example…here is a look at China Airlines. The distance from Taipei to LAX for instance is roughly 6800…or 100k Virgin miles.
Using Delta to gain elite status with Virgin Atlantic
I fly Delta quite a bit, but not really enough to gain status especially with the spend requirements. Additionally, I like in Atlanta and even if I had Delta it wouldn’t make a big differnece. I do, however, fly Virgin Atlantic back and forth to UK a few times year. Last year, Virgin Atlantic changed their tier qualifying an allowed reward flights to earn Tier Points as well.
This means I’d have a much better chance at gaining Virgin Atlantic status and gain SkyTeam Elite status, de facto benefits of Delta Silver ( Priority Boarding, Seating, and extra checked bag ), simply by booking reward flights on Virgin and crediting my Delta flights to VS. I’d also earn Virgin Atlantic miles which personally I think are more valuable than Delta SkyMiles.
I hope we don’t see a big devaluation of Virgin Atlantic in the near future. We’ve seen a lot of lucrative transfer bonuses, mileage sales, and large sign up bonuses on their cobranded credit card. The distance based chart isn’t exactly pretty, but it’s not the worst I’ve seen, and they didn’t gut the ANA redemption ( which is clutch ). I’ll likely pursue Virgin Atlantic status over Delta
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based.
60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months
80k offer in branch currently – I think this should be online soon
Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards
Super solid welcome offer.
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.
- 3x on dining
- including eligible delivery services for takeout
- 3x on select streaming services
- 3x on online grocery purchases
- (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
- $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
- The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
- 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 Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
- Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
- Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
- No foreign transaction fees
- Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
- Primary rental car coverage is my favorite
There is currently an 80k offer after $4k spend in 3 months available in branch, and up to 90k after $6k spend in 6 months. I suspect some version of this will be online soon if you don’t want the hassle of going into a branch.
We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.
Historically 60k is a very, very good offer. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back. .
Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.
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.