Virgin's Departure Beach in Barbados

With quite a few things going on around the world these days, it would be entirely understandable if news that the Virgin Group had launched a new loyalty platform called Virgin Red, powered by Virgin Points had missed your inbox.

The program launched in the UK around a year ago, and coincided with all Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Points being converted into Virgin Points, one to one. Yep, if you already had some Virgin Atlantic Miles, you pretty much already have Virgin Points.

You’re here now, and that’s the catch up on what’s happened, but today also represents a significant jump, as the loyalty currency moves West to the United States, and introduces some cool new options.

Virgin Red is launching its expansive “earn and burn” currency in America, leveraging the entire group rather than just Virgin Atlantic for the United States market, and is including new loyalty partners too. In fact, the app can be downloaded today.

Kasbah Tamadot, a Virgin Limited Edition Property

Virgin Red Launches In The USA

Virgin Red is the (relatively) new program allowing people to earn Virgin Points and burn Virgin Points on more than just flights, from things like online shopping and stays at Virgin Hotels and more.

In the UK, you can even use the Virgin Red app to convert points into sausage rolls at select stores, instantly.

That same concept is moving west, within new Virgin Group earn and burn partners, like Virgin Voyages cruises and Virgin Limited Edition. These are already confirmed, but there’s strong belief Virgin Hotels will move from not only an “earn” option, but a burn option too.

Of course, Virgin Atlantic is still a kingpin of the new program, allowing people to earn and redeem Virgin Points for flights and upgrades. Beyond this, there’s actually some stuff to be pretty excited about with the move.

Perhaps most exciting is the ability to redeem on Virgin Limited Edition, which is the collection of Richard Branson’s exclusive retreats around the world, from Morocco to South Africa and the Caribbean.

Virgin’s Departure Beach in Barbados

Virgin Atlantic previously offered glimmers of access to Limited Edition properties, but the new program makes it much more seamless and predictable to earn and redeem points for these rather epic journeys.

These certainly won’t be cheap, but experiencing the utmost in luxury, like a game drive on a private reserve — all on points — is pretty cool.

Getting Started With Virgin Red

If you sign up to the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club from today onward, you’ll automatically enrolled in Virgin Red, and you can download the Virgin Red app in both the US and UK app stores today.

UK members must opt in to Virgin Red separately, if they haven’t already.

The Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and Virgin Red programs share the same exact points currency, so if you already have some points from Virgin Atlantic, you now have Virgin Red points too – they’re one and the same as Virgin Points, and your balance is the same across the two.

One Virgin Point in Virgin Flying Club equals One Virgin Point in Virgin Red.

In theory, you’ll very soon be able to use those points for hotels, cruises and many more activities, as well as experiences, vouchers and VIP access to events, like sold out concerts. Having this expand to the US, among other options, is exciting.

Earning More Virgin Red Points

Virgin Red is making a considerable splash on its soft launch today, with a brand new points transfer partner. BILT Rewards will allow users to convert points into Virgin Red Points.

Since Virgin Atlantic is already a points transfer partner of Chase, Amex and Citi in the USA; points from these banks can be converted into Virgin Red in the roundabout way, by converting them into Virgin Points with Virgin Atlantic. Good to know, right?

In addition to considerable new breadth in options to “burn” points, Virgin Red makes it easier to earn points from online shopping at a number of retailers and online travel sites, like Booking.com, Nike, HomeDepot, Apple, Microsoft, Macy’s and Walgreens.

Virgin Red tells GSTP there’s “much more” to come, but anyone interested to get a feel for the program can download the Virgin Red App today from their favorite app store.

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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