Or, consider other cards for 50,000 or more miles or points that transfer into United miles with additional flexibility for your everyday spending.
$1,000 toward travel or transfer to United, Southwest, and more.
Citi®/ AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard.
A deal that often comes and goes, but is back at its highest level right now is the quiet 70,000 point offer for the Virgin Atlantic World MasterCard (actually marketed as 90,000 points, but that counts an annual bonus and authorized user).
You can book any Delta flight that has Saver award availability from the U.S. using your Virgin Flying Club points and pay NO FUEL SURCHARGES.
It’s not a well publicized or widely used award, but it’s been in place for over a year now, since the Delta / Virgin Atlantic partnership began.
Here is the award chart for Delta flights:
You’ll see that most awards are priced the same as what Delta charges its SkyMiles members at the Saver level.
But there are some bargains like:
We’re not sure how long those prices will last, especially with Delta updating its award chart on January 1.
It’s possible they’ll close the gap in the 100,000 point Business Class pricing. But the basic 60,000 mile Economy Class to Europe award price does line up with Delta’s new chart, so that should be safe.
And even if the Business Class price moves up to 125,000 points, it should have no surcharges, which still makes this another great easy way to earn points you can use on Delta flights, especially since Virgin points are so easy to earn quickly.
Delta availability within the U.S. and to Europe on its own flights is actually QUITE GOOD at the Saver level, even in Business Class, despite the bad reputation SkyMiles has from many frequent fliers.
What are the catches?
You can’t mix and match partners, so you can’t fly a Virgin Atlantic flight for any of the segments
Connecting flights may cost extra. If you have a connecting Delta flight, for example Washington Dulles to JFK to Paris, most agents will price these separately. They’ll price the Washington to JFK as a ‘Within Continental USA’ award and the JFK to Paris as a ‘From USA to UK/Europe’ award. So that would cost 85,000 points in Economy, with is not a great deal. However some agents are able to price them as a single 60,000 point award.
There is no rhyme or reason to this for international trips, and supervisors usually default to the separate award price, so only bank on using these points for nonstop flights.
Hold times are not great. You can often spend 30 minutes or more on hold to reach an agent at Virgin, but once you do they are quite friendly and take specific flight requests well.
You can also consider stacking the current Virgin MasterCard deal.
For example the Ink Plus deal can net you an additional 70,000 points that you could transfer to Virgin for 140,000 Virgin Atlantic points in total.
And the Virgin MasterCard earns 1.5 points per dollar on ALL spending, so the $12,000 in 6 months you need to earn 70,000 points will net you an additional 18,000 points.
This is a great way to bulk up on points you can use for premium Delta flights, or even domestic flights, especially since Delta is limiting transfers of points into SkyMiles accounts to 250,000 starting next year.
Follow @MileCards on Twitter for the latest updates and new offers
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