Continental Club Guide: Converting Virgin Atlantic Miles To Avios

by Continental Club on March 26, 2013

AviosMany loyalty programme members are now used to the idea of being able to use their points and miles for rewards in other programmes, and also being able to transfer loyalty currencies between programmes.

Converting Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles to Avios, the currency of the British Airways Executive Club (and Iberia Plus, and the standalone Avios programme) is something that a significant number of Continental Club readers look for help with from us.

Virgin Atlantic New Livery

As the two largest ‘network’ airlines based in the UK, and each with a large frequent flyer programme, Virgin Atlantic and British Airways are both deeply involved with other travel and non-travel partners.

So, if you’re sitting on some Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles and you’d like to send them over to British Airways, then the good news is that you can. The bad news is that you can’t do it directly; you need to make use of a third party programme with which both airlines are associated. And the worse news is: it’s not particularly good value.

However, if you’d like to at least explore the options, here’s the Continental Club Guide to Converting Virgin Atlantic Miles to Avios.

There are two routes, both of them making use of Flying Club and Executive Club hotel partners. The first is via Hilton’s loyalty programme – Hilton HHonors.

1 Virgin Atlantic Mile = 2 Hilton HHonors (&) 10,000 Hilton HHonors = 1,000 Avios

Or, to put it another way:

Virgin to Avios

Edit 6th February 2014: Hilton conversion rates have now changed to 2 Virgin Atlantic Miles = 3 Hilton HHonors and so the following option is the preferred route for the moment:

The other option is via InterContinental Hotel Group’s IHG Rewards.

1 Virgin Atlantic Mile = 1 IHG Rewards Point (&) 10,000 IHG Rewards Points = 2,000 Avios.

Virgin to Priority Club to Avios

As there’s no difference in the overall conversion rate, it may come down purely to whether you already have a HHonors or an IHG Rewards account as to which one you decide ultimately to use. There’s no limit to how many miles you can transfer in this way, although exchanges may be limited to certain increments (eg multiples of 1,000) by the programmes involved. The most important thing to remember is that the names on all the accounts must match – you can’t move miles between different people using this method.

For full details on how to convert Virgin Miles to HHonors, visit virgin-atlantic.com

And to learn now to transfer HHonors to Avios, visit hilton.com

For the same details on how to convert Virgin Miles to Priority Club, visit virgin-atlantic.com

And to learn bout transferring Priority Club Points to Avios, visit priorityclub.com

Which leaves only one question: how can you convert Avios to Virgin Atlantic Miles?

And to this, the answer is that you can’t. Although there are many ways to ‘transfer in’ to Avios, there are currently no routes to ‘transfer out’. Instead, Avios offers a varied selection of opportunities to redeem directly for not just flights, but also for hotel stays, experiences and car rental.

So, if you’re looking to combine balances in your Virgin Atlantic account with your British Airways account then, for now, you’re limited to sending them in BA’s direction from Virgin (via Hilton or IHG) rather than the other way around. And the effective 80% devaluation in the process of doing so should be taken into account from the outset.

Share

9 comments

I would like to convert my Virgin Atlantic miles into Avios, I’m a bit of a technophobe and was wondering if I can do this over the phone with someone, is there a number I can call to speak to someone?
Many thanks,
Louise

by Louise Wiseman on January 9, 2014 at 11:48 AM. Reply #

Hi Louise,

You can call the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Helpline with your HHonors account number, and have them transfer your miles to Hilton over the ‘phone. Give it the amount of time that the agent tells you to wait, and then call Hilton to have the points transferred to British Airways and into Avios. The FCH is on 0844 412 2414 and the Hilton Helpline is on 08 457 466677. Obviously you’ll need to have your Hilton account set up and ready to go – if you don’t want to do this online then call the Hilton Helpline first. Finally, do make sure that this is the best use of your Virgin miles!

by Continental Club on January 9, 2014 at 8:08 PM. Reply #

Myself and my partner both have 4475 Virgin miles are we able to convert these to Avios or do we have to have a minimum of 10000.
Thanks
Jane

by Jane on January 16, 2014 at 2:13 PM. Reply #

Unfortunately, the minimum number of miles that you need to transfer is indeed 10,000 Jane. I would wait until your balance has crept up to that kind of level before thinking about what do with them – as long as you keep earning they won’t expire. Bear in mind that 10,000 Virgin miles will only get you 2,000 Avios, however – so once you get to 10,000 you may find that there are better-value redemption opportunities than converting.

by Continental Club on January 16, 2014 at 2:36 PM. Reply #

[…] the most read post on the blog, but sadly The Continental Club Guide to Converting Virgin Atlantic Miles To Avios has just been rendered partially out-of-date thanks to a change in the relationship between Hilton […]

by Convert Virgin Atlantic Miles To Avios | Continental Club Blog on February 10, 2014 at 9:25 AM. Reply #

I don’t understand why anyone would want to convert Virgin Miles into BA Avios. I have not been able to spend my Avios once in 7 years because BA has so many rules and blackout dates for international travel. I wish there was a way to convert my Avios into Virgin Miles.

by Ariel on July 15, 2014 at 5:50 PM. Reply #

It’s usually a question that people with a small number of ‘orphaned’ Virgin miles ask, Ariel; especially those based in Europe who’d like to use them for shorthaul travel or would like to use them beyond Virgin’s relatively limited number of longhaul routes and partner airlines. Flexibility is the key with any miles programme though – looking for ‘free’ seats at peak period is always going to be hard work and, in reality, was never what these schemes were designed for. The idea back in the day was that seats which would otherwise fly empty would be made available to the airline’s best customers. There weren’t so many empty ones at holiday periods, and so it can take persistence to find them. Nevertheless, I’ve just booked Avios flights in Business Class from Auckland to Hong Kong and London with Cathay Pacific, London to Miami in Business and back in First from Washington with BA, and London to Rio for New Year in First Class, again with BA. If you’re Stateside, then redeeming your Avios on American (and now US) is often a great value. Have you tried http://www.AwardNexus.org to help you search? It can be very useful indeed!

by Continental Club on July 16, 2014 at 5:13 PM. Reply #

Hi
Is it possible to change the other way?
We have 200,000 avios points and I’m wondering about going with virgin?

by Sarah on August 30, 2016 at 3:22 PM. Reply #

I’m afraid not, Sarah – Avios is a strictly ‘one-way’ currency in that you can convert other points in to Avios, but it’s not possible to convert Avios out to anything else. Sorry!

by Continental Club on September 1, 2016 at 12:18 PM. Reply #

Leave your comment

Required.

Required. Not published.

If you have one.