Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Vouchers

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Vouchers

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Vouchers 1024 768 Joe Bleasdale

Virgin Atlantic has a number of vouchers frequent flyers and credit card owners can earn. I’ve taken advantage of these vouchers and wanted to write a mini guide on how to earn and burn these vouchers.

If you have the Reward+ credit card, with the annual fee, you can earn a voucher when you hit £10k of spend. This is pretty easy and the main downfall of this card (other than the fee and high interest) is that once you hit the £10k spend, there are no more vouchers for 12 months.

Once you hit the spend threshold, on your next statement date your Virgin Atlantic Flying Club account will be credited with the voucher. You can see it on your recent activity. Flying Club staff can also see you have the voucher, as well as the expiry date.

The voucher has three uses. It can be used as a companion voucher, upgrade voucher or Clubhouse voucher. Companion is very similar to the British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher. The upgrade voucher is similar to BA’s Gold Upgrade For 1. The Clubhouse voucher just grants you entry to a Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse for one trip. When you earn the voucher, it gets credited to your account and only when you come to use it, do you decide which use case you want. So you’re not tied in when you earn it, only when you spend it.

How the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club vouchers show on your account.

Companion voucher

The companion voucher can be used for a revenue fare or a reward fare. For revenue, you will buy a cash ticket at full price, then you’re companion will be booked into a reward seat (subject to availability) to travel with you. You will be required to pay the taxes & fees for the companion seat. This is a good strategy if the taxes and fees aren’t too high, there is a reward seat for your companion and you want to earn points on your cash fare.

You can also use the companion for a reward fare. This is the closest to BA’s AMEX 2-4-1 use case. You pay whatever points + taxes are due for your fare, then only pay the taxes for the companion. This is the best value use case for this voucher but doesn’t allow you to earn points for the underlying fare. However, you’re still able to purchase a points booster which will offset the points spend a little.

You must be travelling on the booking to use the companion voucher. You cannot book two other people using the voucher.

This voucher must be used within 24 months of being earned. The outbound flight must be within that 24-month period, but the inbound can be after that.

Gold Companion voucher

For all intents and purposes, the Gold companion voucher works in an identical fashion to the credit card companion voucher. The only difference is you earn this voucher upon renewing your gold membership. I.e., just after your tier points get wiped out at the end of your membership year.

Upgrade voucher

The upgrade voucher allows you to upgrade to the next cabin up without paying the points required for the upgrade. Essentially, you can buy a Premium Economy ticket, and fly in Upper Class for no additional points. You would just pay the tax difference, which is rarely more than about £200 each way for most routes at the current levels of tax & YQ.

It’s not fantastic value, but if you never travel with a companion, it’s a good way to save some points.

Another use case for this voucher is splitting it into two parts. The voucher is an upgrade voucher for a return booking. But you can also use it for two single bookings. Perhaps you want to use it for two overnight flights on different trips. That is entirely possible. If you use half the voucher, the ticketing agent will make a note on your account, and you can use the remaining half on an entirely separate booking.

One important note about this voucher. If you use it the way it is intended and book a Premium fare and upgrade to Upper Class within the same transaction, your ticket just looks like a standard reward fare. So, if you decide you want to undo the upgrade, you can, but you will need to refund the whole booking and start again which can be cost-prohibitive. However, if you book in two separate transactions that isn’t an issue.

This voucher must be used within 24 months of being earned. The outbound flight must be within that 24-month period, but the inbound can be after that. If you do not have a use for the voucher, you can also gift it to someone else as long as it has not expired and they use the voucher before the expiry date.

This voucher can also be earned when you hit 2000 Tier Points with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. (Not many people do).

Clubhouse entry vouchers

It’s possible to earn Clubhouse entry vouchers with both the credit card and flying club account. For the credit card, once you hit the spend threshold you become eligible for a reward of your choice – the other two choices being a companion ticket or an upgrade voucher. The third choice is a free pass to the Clubhouse assuming you don’t already have access. It’s an OK perk if you happen to have it spare, but spending £10k on a credit card to get one single entry to the Clubhouse is a huge waste.

Another way to earn Clubhouse entry vouchers is to hit 1500 tier points on your flying club account. That is a lot of tier points given the threshold for Gold membership is only 1000. When you hit 1500, your account will be credited with a Clubhouse Entry voucher for 2 people. Realistically, if you’re hitting that number of tier points, the voucher isn’t too useful. If you’re Gold, you automatically have access to the Clubhouse without the vouchers. So really, they’re limited in their value. You can however gift these Clubhouse entry vouchers to someone else flying on Virgin. Thats useful if you have friends or family that want to experience the Clubhouse but normally wouldn’t have access.

The Clubhouse vouchers are really just a way of taking a larger party with you into the Clubhouse during say, a family holiday. Read our extensive Clubhouse review here.

Refunding vouchers

If you change your mind about a booking, the vouchers can usually be refunded. This depends on the terms of the underlying fare though. Reward fares are always fully refundable and flexible (depending on availability). So, if you cancel a reward companion, you’d get the voucher, your points, and cash back. The expiry date of your voucher would not change.

Bottom line

These vouchers can be powerful wildcards in your flight toolbox. The companion voucher is the most powerful and has the potential to save the most money. Upgrade vouchers are super useful for single flyers and people who like only upgrading one leg of a journey (i.e. overnight flights) and the Clubhouse vouchers are a bit of a waste. If you find your self earning one of these vouchers, use it for one of the first two use cases or gift it to someone who will get more value out of it.

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