Citi Offering A 25% Bonus On ThankYou Points Transfers To Virgin Atlantic

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Citi ThankYou is offering a 25% bonus on points transfers to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club through March 2, 2017. This is the points currency accrued on cards like the Citi Prestige® Card.

flyingclub-bonus-citi

This is the third time the Citi ThankYou program has offered such a transfer bonus. There were similar transfer bonuses in August of 2015 and March of 2016.

Ordinarily points transfer at a 1:1 ratio (in 1,000 point increments), while through this promotion you’d get 1,250 Flying Club miles for every 1,000 ThankYou points transferred.

Should you transfer Citi points to Virgin Atlantic with a 25% bonus?

To start I should mention that Virgin Atlantic is in the process of devaluing their program even further, and the changes to mileage redemption rates are kicking in as of January 15, 2017. That means you have just over a week to redeem miles at the old levels.

virgin-flying-club

For a bit of context, here’s a comparison of some of their new and old award rates:

Roundtrip to/from London andEconomyPremium EconomyUpper Class
US - Northeast: Boston, Newark, New York JFK, Washington DCCurrent: 35,000 miles

New Standard: 20,000
New Peak: 40,000

Fuel Surcharges of $645.10 to $774.12
Current: 55,000 miles

New Standard: 35,000
New Peak: 55,000

Fuel Surcharges of $750.00 to $900.00
Current: 80,000 miles

New Standard: 95,000
New Peak: 115,000


Fuel Surcharges of $1120 to $1344
US - Midwest: Atlanta, Chicago, DetroitCurrent: 35,000 miles

New Standard: 25,000
New Peak: 45,000

Fuel Surcharges of $645.10 to $774.12
Current: 55,000 miles

New Standard: 45,000
New Peak: 65,000

Fuel Surcharges of $750.00 to $900.00
Current: 80,000 miles

New Standard: 95,000
New Peak: 115,000


Fuel Surcharges of $1120 to $1344
US - South: Miami and OrlandoCurrent: 42,500 miles

New Standard: 25,000
New Peak: 45,000

Fuel Surcharges of $645.10 to $774.12
Current: 70,000 miles

New Standard: 45,000
New Peak: 65,000

Fuel Surcharges of $750.00 to $900.00
Current: 100,000 miles

New Standard: 95,000
New Peak: 115,000

Fuel Surcharges of $1120 to $1344
US - West: Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, SeattleCurrent: 42,500 miles

New Standard: 30,000
New Peak: 50,000

Fuel Surcharges of $603.00 to $723.60
Current: 70,000 miles

New Standard: 55,000
New Peak: 75,000

Fuel Surcharges of $707.90 to $849.80
Current: 100,000 miles

New Standard: 135,000
New Peak: 155,000


Fuel Surcharges of $1153.93 to $1384.68

As you can see, Virgin Atlantic is introducing standard and peak award pricing, which covers the following dates:

  • Standard dates include: January 16, 2017 – March 30, 2017; April 19 – June 21, 2017; September 7 – December 12, 2017
  • Peak dates include: March 31 – April 18, 2017; June 22 – September 6, 2017; December 13 – January 3, 2018

Virgin-Atlantic-Upper-Class
Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

So generally Virgin Atlantic’s redemption rates were already on the high side given their carrier imposed surcharges, and they’re only getting higher, at least for Upper Class redemptions.

Virgin Atlantic also has several airline partners that you can redeem miles on, and some of those redemptions can represent a good deal. However, the really great deals are few and far between. For example, you can redeem 75,000 Virgin Atlantic miles for a roundtrip first class ticket on Air China between London and Beijing. Unfortunately that pricing only works in that market, though.

Air-China-First-Class
Air China first class

While there are potentially some good values to be had, my preferred use of Citi ThankYou points in general is for transfers to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Air France FlyingBlue, and Etihad Guest.

Bottom line

I wouldn’t speculatively transfer points to Virgin Atlantic in order to take advantage of this promotion, but there are instances where people will find value in this promotion.

Virgin-Atlantic-Clubhouse-London - 16
The awesome Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse London Heathrow

Virgin Atlantic is good about releasing business class transatlantic award availability, so if you value the convenience of a nonstop and don’t mind paying the carrier imposed surcharges, there’s value to be had. Everyone has to crunch the numbers for themselves. There’s also potentially value to be had for redemptions on select partners.

Are you considering taking advantage of the Citi ThankYou transfer bonus to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club?

(Tip of the hat to @IadisGr8)

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

More articles by lucky »

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Comments

  1. “For example, as Tiffany outlined in a previous post, one good use of Flying Club miles is for travel on Virgin America. ”

    No, it isn’t. Those airlines are not partners anymore.

  2. @Ryan, if you can find peak availability, maybe. Otherwise I’ve bought tickets cheaper than those fuel surcharges 🙂

  3. I have a transfer or lose points situation (within 60 days) after closing a Citi Prestige card. Is it worth it to transfer 14,000 TY points with the current VS promotion ? I know the devaluation hurts and I currently don’t have any future travel in mind. I’m not a Hilton guy and have 15,000 points currently with SQ. Any advice on where to dump 14,000 TY points ?

  4. So I’m looking at an off-peak award flight LAX>LHR in Premium Economy. It’s pricing out at 27,500+$148.6. Not a screaming deal due to the $148.6 out of pocket. Premium Economy fares on sale are around $1,150 so that would mean $1,150-$150=$1,000/27,500 gives us a redemption of 3.6 Cents per mile. Seems reasonable to me. Unless there are additional taxes and fees that have to paid. I don’t see where the $707.90 to $849.80 in fuel surcharges come from.

  5. Also with the transfer bonus 27,500 Virgin Atlantic miles means 22,000 Thankyou poings would have to be transferred. Not a bad deal for Premium Economy IMO.

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