How to earn and spend points on US reward flights with Virgin Red

Shutterstock
Shutterstock
Anna Brech
by Anna Brech
27 September 2021
Here’s everything you need to know about the new US travel rules and how to make the most of them by earning points with Virgin Red.

Hip-hip-hooray – all aboard for the USA. Virgin Atlantic reported a 600% surge in flight bookings to the United States this week after the US government said it would allow fully vaccinated passengers from the UK to travel to the country from November. 

The move signals the end of an 18-month ban on travel to the States because of Covid-19, and it’s happy news indeed for Virgin Red members. 

The new rewards club from Virgin lets you earn and spend points on Virgin Atlantic flights to all kinds of fabulous US destinations. Members can earn points anytime they book across all cabin classes – Economy, Premium and Upper Class – and earn double points with the Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit Card

You can also use your Virgin Points to treat yourself to an upgrade or a direct route to some of America’s best and most mesmerising cities: from New York to Los Angeles.

Here’s everything you need to know about the new US travel rules and how to make the most of them with Virgin Red. And remember — you’ll need to be part of both Virgin Red and the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club to access Virgin Atlantic rewards with Virgin Red. That means that if you haven’t already, you’ll need to join the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club – it’s easy and free to do so right here.

Note: The below information is correct as of 27 September 2021. But travel information is changing quickly so please check directly with official UK travel guidance on this link for all the latest advice and updates before your trip. 

Shutterstock
Shutterstock

When can I travel to the US?

From November 2021, all British citizens who are fully vaccinated will be able to travel to the States. An exact date hasn’t been announced yet, but it’s expected that UK travellers will be able to travel to US destinations from early November onwards. 

What are the entry requirements for travel to the US? 

Along with your flight bookings, you’ll need an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) visa to travel to the US. Make sure you leave plenty of time for this to be processed. Find out more and apply on this link from the US Department of Homeland Security. 

It’s also a good idea to book travel insurance before you depart and check the small print carefully to ensure you’re covered in the event of cancellation, illness etc. You can book your travel insurance with Virgin Atlantic, Covid-19 cover included. You’ll also need proof of your vaccination status, as per below. 

Shutterstock
Shutterstock

What tests and certificates will I need to travel to the US?

Anyone visiting the United States from November needs to show proof of vaccination and a negative Covid test taken within three days of departure. You’ll likely need both a vaccination and test certificate for this — details are still to come on this point. It’s worth noting that children under 12 travelling to the US are exempt from the requirement. 

Airlines will collect passenger information to aid contact tracing based on passenger locator forms. The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office will provide more details on Covid-related entry requirements as details are confirmed: stay tuned on the Government’s travel requirements website for updates.

Will I need to quarantine when I travel to the US?

No. From November, when travel restrictions lift, you’ll no longer need to go into quarantine on arrival in the US or when you return to the UK at the end of your trip.

Will I need to wear a face mask on Virgin Atlantic flights to the US? 

Yes. Virgin Atlantic requires that face masks or face coverings are worn onboard flights and throughout the airport. You can only remove them to eat or drink (when reasonably necessary to do so), to take medication, or if you are at risk of harm or injury to yourself or others. 

Left your face covering in your luggage? No problem. Passengers receive an onboard complimentary Health Pack with medical-grade masks, surface wipes, and hand gel on all Virgin Atlantic flights.

How can I earn points on Virgin Atlantic flight bookings to the US with Virgin Red? 

Let us count the ways! There are so many delicious options for earning points on US reward flights with Virgin Red:

Earn points on Economy flights to the USEarn points on Premium flights to the US 

Earn points on Upper Class flights to the US

Earn points whenever you use the Virgin Atlantic Credit Card

How much you earn depends on where you go and what class you fly. An Upper Class flight to Los Angeles, for example, will nab you a tidy 20,000+ points*. However you travel, with Virgin Red and Virgin Atlantic, you’ll be racking thousands in no time: all ready to spend on more adventures

How can I spend points on Virgin Atlantic flight bookings to the US with Virgin Red? 

From the bright lights of the Manhattan skyline to the golden shores of LA, you can spend Virgin Points on a huge range of US reward flights with Virgin Atlantic:Fly to New York from 20,000+ points*

Fly to destinations in northeast America from 20,000+ points*

Fly to destinations in West Coast USA from 30,000+ points*

To celebrate this landmark moment of travelling once again, you could also treat yourself to an upgrade using Virgin Points:

Upgrade to Premium from 8,700+ points*

Upgrade to Upper Class from 23,700+ points*

Even better, Virgin Atlantic have doubled the number of reward seats available to book across the Virgin Atlantic network, so there are even more options to spend your points.  

What if you need to change or cancel your Virgin Atlantic flight? Changing a reward flight booking is a breeze. If you’d like to change your date within the same season pricing, a £30 fee per person applies. If you need to cancel your flight, your points are fully refunded if the cancellation is made 24 hours before departure, plus a £30 fee per person.

So, the entire of America is yours to explore with Virgin Red. The only decision is, where to go first? Speaking of which…

Shutterstock
Shutterstock

Destination inspiration: 10 best US cities to visit with Virgin Atlantic  

Make the most of your Virgin Points via Virgin Red with these extraordinary US hot spots.

New York – from 20,000+ Virgin Points*

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Fifth Avenue. Central Park and the Statue of Liberty. Everything about New York shouts big-town glamour – you will never tire of this city’s hypnotic energy. Make like a true Manhattanite and pace the NYC streets, from bodegas to Broadway and beyond, with a few Cosmopolitans thrown in en route. Virgin Hotel’s new HQ in the heart of the city is all the more reason to visit.

Las Vegas – from 30,000+ Virgin Points*

Whether or not you fancy getting hitched at the Elvis Wedding Chapel, Las Vegas remains one of the best party towns on Earth. Sin City is overflowing with novelty hotels, high-octane shows and of course, casinos: it’s an adult playground for hedonists. The newly opened Virgin Hotels Las Vegas is all the excuse you need to let loose your inner Vegas party animal. Rock on. 

Orlando – from 25,000+ Virgin Points*

For all you kids or kids-at-heart, Orlando – aka The City Beautiful – is your route into a fun family holiday in Disney World and other amusement parks that beckon in America’s most magical state. As well as earning or spending points on a flight here, Virgin Red members can also spend 3,000 points towards a Virgin Holiday in Orlando and bag a bargain for less with the start of an unforgettable break.

Los Angeles – from 30,000+ Virgin Points*

The delights of Beverly Hills are yours, baby, with a ticket to Hollywood and this most bling-tastic of cities. And after you’ve soaked up LA’s undeniable air of celebrity wow, there are plenty of beautiful bistros, beaches and boutiques to discover in the City of Angel’s lesser-known neighbourhoods.

Seattle – from 30,000+ Virgin Points*

Seattle is a lovely route into America’s Pacific Northwest: the so-called Emerald City is surrounded by lakes, ancient forestland and the majestic Mt. Rainier. This wreath of outdoor scenery sets the stage for a very relaxed feel: Seattle is a place where you can mosey around bookstores on Pioneer Square or belly up at an oyster bar in the legendary Pike Place Market. Further afield, there are plenty of national parks and nature reserves to get your teeth into, too.

Shutterstock
Shutterstock

Boston – from 20,000+ Virgin Points*

Elegant Boston is an excellent route into the USA for those who want to sidestep the New York crowds. Book tickets to see the Boston Red Sox play at Fenway Park for a classic slice of Americana or pop by the Museum of Fine Arts or the majestic Boston Public Library for your go-to culture fix. Simply wandering around this beautiful city is a treat in itself, but you could also head out of town. Come autumn, the leaves in surrounding parks and lakes put on a spectacular show. 

Miami – from 25,000+ Virgin Points*

Miami’s nightlife is as red-hot as its beaches. As the sun sets on the sunshine state, the city comes alive – from chic rooftop bars to ocean-facing cocktail lounges; you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to partying on down. By day, though, Miami is equally magnetic: you may lounge on South Beach, take a foodie tour around Little Havana or soak in the street art at Wynwood Walls. Whatever you choose, you’ll be one happy bunny. 

Shutterstock
Shutterstock

Atlanta – from 25,000+ Virgin Points*

Dubbed “the New York of the South”, amazing Atlanta has plenty to tempt visitors. This vibrant city combines a buzzing culinary scene with a fascinating history – and there are plenty of green spaces to boot. A trip to the Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change is not to be missed, nor is a walk between Ponce City Market and Piedmont Park via the Atlanta BeltLine – with plenty of art pop-ups and cafes along the way.

Washington DC – from 20,000+ Virgin Points*

With its hip bistros and boutique hotels, Washington DC is so much more than the political heartland of the States. This is a place where you can paddle down the Potomac River one minute and browse at a cool Georgetown hangout the next. Whether you’re bar-hopping along Columbia Heights hotspot 11th Street NW, watching the Washington Wizards in action at the Capital One Arena or popping by the handsome Smithsonian American Art Museum, this city is crammed with things to do and people to see.

So the United States, watch out: from November, we’re coming for ya – with Virgin Red points lighting up the way. Three cheers for travel and horizons new.

Find out more about Virgin Red, the new rewards club from Virgin, and sign up or login right here

*Taxes, fees and carrier imposed surcharges apply to all Virgin Atlantic flights where points are quoted. Points based on standard season rates.