12,250 Miles to Europe for all of 2016

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I’ve been posting about award space to Europe for this summer because that’s what my Award Booking Service clients want.

Here’s another great deal to Europe with miles: you can fly from the Eastern United States to London for 13,000 Membership Rewards, Ultimate Rewards, or ThankYou Points plus $135. From other parts of the country, you’ll pay only a few more miles.

On some routes, award space is WIDE OPEN year round, including the heart of summer. Here is the award space for July 2016 from New York to London. Days with a red, white, and purple line have award space in economy, Premium Economy, and Upper Class.

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 3.21.03 PM

Virgin Atlantic Awards

Virgin Atlantic flies to the UK from 12 US cities and offers great prices for award tickets in economy, Premium Economy, and Upper Class.

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The normal prices are only:

  • 17,500+ miles in economy to London, depending on starting city
  • 27,500+ miles in Premium Economy to London, depending on starting city
  • 40,000+ miles in flat bed Upper Class to London, depending on starting city

Two Week Sale on Economy and Premium Economy Awards

Until February 24, 2016, Virgin Atlantic is discounting the miles price of economy and Premium Economy awards between North America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, India, Africa, and Asia and the UK by 30%. Upper Class awards are not discounted during this sale. Discounted award prices (one ways bookable for half the miles price):

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Book now to lock in the rate; you can book travel through January 25, 2017 at the discounted prices.

Out-of-Pocket Price

Virgin Atlantic awards have fuel surcharges. You cannot avoid them.

Virgin Atlantic roundtrip awards will feature a departure from Great Britain, which will incur exorbitant taxes. You can easily avoid them by using this sale to book one way awards to London only. Then use a different type of miles to return from a low tax city in Europe. You see more of Europe for very few miles and very low out of pocket expense.

For instance, a one way award from New York, Newark, Boston, DC, or Chicago to London will cost 12,250 miles + $135 in economy or 19,250 miles + $235 in Premium Economy, even over the heart of summer.

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 3.21.40 PMThose are manageable out-of-pocket prices that are very much worth paying to save a ton of miles over awards using other miles.

But let’s look at a return from London to the United States. Now a one way in economy is 12,250 miles + a ridiculous $255 and a one way in Premium Economy is 19,250 miles + an insane $391.Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 3.22.36 PMScreen Shot 2016-02-10 at 3.22.46 PM

By the way, here is Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy. Think “Domestic First Class,” and you won’t be too far off.

Strategy to Lower or Eliminate Out-of-Pocket Price

To reiterate, just book the eastbound to London during this sale. Book the westbound return from somewhere cheaper in Europe with a different type of miles, perhaps United or American. (Get between London and Europe on a train or a low cost carrier.)

You can even eliminate the out-of-pocket cash needed by paying for the Virgin Atlantic Award with your Citi Prestige® Card.

The Citi Prestige® Card offer a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year that offsets your first $250 in spending on airlines with the card. Taxes and fuel surcharges on an award ticket definitely count. If your taxes and fuel surcharges are less than $250, the entire amount will be credited back on your statement. If they are more than $250, $250 will be credited back.

The card also comes with 40,000 bonus ThankYou Points after spending $4,000 in the first three months, which can be transferred to Flying Blue miles.

Application LinkCiti Prestige® Card

Is This The Best Deal to Europe?

Other than WOW Air’s $99 fares from Baltimore, Boston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco to Iceland, yes.

Here are some almost-as-good deals (copied from my list of the best awards between all regions):

Upper Class?

Luxury lovers will want to know about the prices in Upper Class to Europe on Virgin Atlantic, since Upper Class is a fantastic business class product.

Unfortunately the current 30% discount does not apply to Upper Class, so the fuel surcharges and miles required to fly Upper Class are about triple economy. At those prices, I don’t think Upper Class is a great deal. For instance, New York to London is 40k miles + $420, and Los Angeles to London one way is 50k miles + $458 in Upper Class.

Getting the Miles

Virgin Atlantic is a 1:1 transfer partner of ThankYou Points, Ultimate Rewards, and Membership Rewards plus Virgin Atlantic issues an American credit card with a “90,000 mile” sign up bonus.

The Citi Prestige® Card is offering 40,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $4,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.

Recap

Europe is within reach for as little as 12,250 miles one way if you book in the next week for trips for the next 11 months. Where will you go this summer?

Hat Tip View from the Wing


Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

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8 COMMENTS

    • ~2 days. I wouldn’t expect award space to disappear in that time, but make sure you factor that time in and transfer by February 21 at the latest.

  1. Another data point – I just attempted transferring my Citi TY points to Virgin Atlantic, and it was an instant transfer.

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