Please Don’t Be Tempted by Citibank’s 25% Transfer Bonus to Virgin Atlantic

Citibank is offering a 25% bonus transfers from ThankYou Rewards to Virgin Atlantic through April 6.

Virgin Atlantic charges 40,000 miles each way between the East Coast of the US and London. So that’s not a lot of points, with this offer 32,000 ThankYou points is enough for a one-way business class ticket across the Pond.

However the program adds fuel surcharges to awards. So while Virgin Atlantic itself has a decent business class product across the Pond, many prefer to book their awards through Delta SkyMiles (at a higher mileage cost) to avoid the fuel surcharges.

Virgin Atlantic has one of the least valuable mileage currencies — my stretch for 8 good uses of the points shows how deep in the barrel I have to dig.

In my opinion, if you’re looking to bulk up on Virgin’s miles, consider their Bank of America-issued credit card.

I love to see Citibank continuing to run transfer bonuses, though. They’ve been adding mileage transfer partners, and running promotions, and all-around building a very healthy program.

I’d rather save the points than take advantage of this offer, though bear in mind that Virgin Atlantic does run some reasonable sales on economy awards and caps the taxes and fees on those awards so folks who travel economy may find some value.

ThankYou Rewards transfer partners are:

  • Air France-KLM
  • Asia Miles
  • Etihad Airways Guest
  • EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
  • Garuda Indonesia GarudaMiles
  • Hilton HHonors
  • Malaysia Airlines Enrich
  • Qatar Airways Privilege Club
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Virgin America Elevate
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

I tend to favor Singapore Airlines and Etihad transfers myself, and though we haven’t seen Citi transfer bonuses to Singapore, we’ve seen them to Etihad.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Get outta here. Virgin Atlantic is a fine transfer partner and the bonus is great. Use it from East coast to London and it’s a great redemption option. Also great for using on Delta flights.

  2. It’s also great to use Virgin Atlantic miles to book Virgin America flights in the US – 25% off a 25k roundtrip flight from NY-LA for instance!

  3. I was tempted. I was trying to use Virgin Atlantic on Virgin America for LAX>CUN. Then called back a little later about a couple Delta remdeptions. THEY NEVER HAVE ANY AVAILABILITY FOR PARTNERS! Any tips? Flying Blue was showing availability for the same Delta flights, why can’t Virgin Atlantic? Any tips for trying to book on Virgin America? Harder to tell availability for a fixed program like that.

  4. It’s almost impossible to use Virgin Atlantic miles for business in Europe unless you’re going from NYC or BOS TO London. The reason is because there are so many flightsto London but not to other cities. My advice is to never waste transferring miles to Virgin Atlantic. Get the Bank of America card with the extra 50,000 bonus for 12k spend beyond initial bonus. I’ve churned this card a few times and now have almost 125k points.

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