a close up of an airplane wing

Do you think everyone who earns points should only be able to use them for flights? Or, that people who don’t fly frequently shouldn’t have the ability to earn points from all things daily daily life, and use those points to unlock extraordinary perks and travel experiences out of their wildest dreams? If you answered yes to either question, head for the exits, the Virgin Red program is not for you.

If, however, you want to earn more Virgin Points and have lots more ways to use them, then settle in, because there’s a lot to know about this bold new loyalty program.

Virgin Red In A Nutshell

Virgin is not a one dimensional company, it’s a variety of companies from trips to space, to the internet you’re reading this on, with trains, planes and other things too. Even wine. Yet for years, earning rewards with Virgin was pretty much about planes, and planes alone, via Virgin Atlantic.

Virgin Red is the end of that, and the beginning of a unified loyalty program which allows you to earn and redeem points across virtually all Virgin businesses, and enjoy access to things even outside of the Virgin realm, thanks to their extensive brand reach.

Think: earn points for paying Virgin media bills, and using points for a private suite at Manchester Arena, or a priceless cooking class with a top chef. And yes, you can still redeem your miles for flights and upgrades with Virgin Atlantic and their partners, and all that kinda jazz too.

Rather than there being like 19,000 competing rewards currencies and different Virgin Points with each brand, there’s now just ‘Virgin Points’, and all the places you can earn from, even including a coffee from Greggs, will pool into one Virgin points balance.

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Earning Points With Virgin Red

Basically, you can earn Virgin Points in Virgin Red via a lot of Virgin businesses and even other businesses as well. Enough Virgin’s for you, yet? As all the clever points people say, “always be earning”, and this is an easier way for you to do that.

Obviously for Virgin, it’s a savvy way of getting you to do more things with Virgin businesses, like switching your broadband, since you stand to gain points from them.

Here’s a little look at how you can earn Virgin Points with Virgin Red..

CompanyWhat’s included?Points
Virgin Atlantic

Flights and upgrades (via Flying Club)

Earn based on ticket type, cabin and distance travelled, Tier status and airline flown. 
Spend from 9,000 Virgin Points one-way plus taxes, fees and charges.
Virgin Holidays

Holiday packages (via Flying Club) including Virgin Voyages
Earn on every £1 spent, varied by Tier status.
Spend from 3,000 Virgin Points.
Virgin Wines

Case of six wines / vouchers

Earn on purchases and spend from 9,000 points.

Virgin Limited Edition
Exclusive hotel stays (via Flying Club)
Earn based on stays at each property. 
Spend from 180,000 Virgin Points.
Virgin Experience Days
Earn and spend on a variety of different experiences
Earn 11 points per £1 spent.
Spend from 5,250 Virgin Points.
Virgin Voyages
Voyage packages (via Virgin Holidays)Spend from 3,000 Virgin Points. 
Earn 1 point per £1. 

In addition, you can earn via Octopus Energy, or a GSTP favorite, by using online shopping to earn Virgin Points at any of your favorite stores, like Adidas, Apple, eBay, Etsy, and more. Virgin Red says many more will be added in the coming months.

Things like the Virgin Atlantic Rewards+ Card will remain one of the best ways to earn Virgin Points, which will continue to be a direct part of Virgin Red. In addition to points on every purchase, these cards unlock benefits like Clubhouse lounge access, flights for a companion to join, or a one cabin round trip upgrade.

And no, you’re not crazy. It was possible to earn points with many of these things before, but it wasn’t all that easy or clear to people, and with a soon to come unified app, it’ll be much easier to track and maintain.

inside an airplane with purple lights

Using Virgin Red Points

Flights, hotels, Richard Branson retreats – you already know those ways of redeeming Virgin Points, formerly known as ‘Flying Club Miles’ but the idea is that Virgin Red will bring many more chances to redeem your points, including ways to support start ups, charities and small businesses with points.

If you don’t already know all those things, read here about great ways to redeem Virgin Points for incredible flights with Virgin Atlantic or partners like ANA, or for upgrades.

Now back to the other stuff, like supporting startups. For example, you’ll be able to buy goods or services from a start up using Virgin Red Points, and the business receives cash from Virgin Red. This is also a cool way to hear about up and coming businesses.

Tapping into every day life, and nightlife, Virgin Red will allow you to redeem points at UK favorite ‘Greggs’, using 200 points for a free sausage roll. While GSTP may give that one a pass, it’s going to be an attractive way for many people sitting on smaller points sums to make rewards delicious.

a group of palm trees against a blue sky

Virgin Red has purchased a suite at Manchester AO Arena, and a pair of tickets which include full hospitality with food and open bar will run 20,000 points per event.

This is a highly amusing way to see your favorite act for free, and probably get a little tipsy during the gig, also for free. Stormzy, Bon Iver and the Weeknd are just a few already confirmed for 2021.

Virgin Red will also offer ‘Experience Days’, where you can use points for priceless experiences with iconic people and things throughout film, cooking, sports and more.

You can also use Virgin Red Points for charitably contributions via Virgin Giving, for theatre tickets via London Theatre Direct and toward Carbon Capture programs which may save the world, or hopefully at least make 2021 better than 2020.

a crowd of people in front of a stage

Virgin Red: When And Where?

The good news: Virgin Red is going to create more opportunity to earn and cash in points, for almost everything you do. The bad news, the app is on an invitation only basis until the end of the year, as features are tested out.

Virgin Red says to expect wider rollout of the program, with access to events and brands beyond the current list and UK focus in 2021. You shouldn’t need an invite to download and take advantage of the Virgin Red app, and what the program has to offer from early 2021.

In the meantime, all the Virgin Points you earn via Virgin Atlantic and online shopping will continue to contribute to your hopefully massive points total in the soon to be unveiled ‘Virgin Red’ program.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Thanks! Great rundown. Had been trying to save some and then wondering why when 2020 hit. Definitely a big fan of the online shopping portal, especially when they have bonus offers on and you end up 8 – 12 points per £1 etc. It definitely adds up! When they eventually track….

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