Many hotel points programs are moving to dynamic pricing, which can be your best friend or worst enemy, depending on the day.
Dynamic pricing means the price you pay in points is often aligned with the price in cash, and that volatility makes it harder to set points goals, or have dependable values. Dependable values and goals are nice.
With the recent addition of Virgin Red as a Capital One miles transfer partner, there are new way to unlock constant value at some great and some truly stunning hotels, without the BS of dynamic pricing.
Here’s how to use Capital One Venture Miles to unlock great hotel experiences with Virgin Red, and a workaround for other programs too.
Virgin Red & Virgin Flying Club Balances Are Equal
The Virgin Atlantic Flying Club still exists, but Virgin Red is the new, wider loyalty program spanning all the Virgin brands. It means your points give you access to more experiences, from concerts to meals out, date nights in major cities and hotels, rather than just flights.
What you really need to know is that you can move points from one to the other with just a tap, so although separate, they’re almost the same. One just has wider use than the other that spans entertainment and dining, if you don’t want to redeem for flights.
This also means, that while this focuses on Capital One’s ability to transfer directly to Virgin Red, transfers from other credit card programs like Amex and Chase can also move points to Virgin Red indirectly, via Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.
Virgin Red For Hotels
You may have heard the name Richard Branson before. Sir Richard is the founder of the Virgin Group and also a wonderfully eccentric billionaire.
As a wonderfully eccentric billionaire, Sir Richard Branson owns some of the world’s most wowing properties all the way from the Caribbean to the Atlas Mountains and remote safari camps in Africa. You can use Virgin Red Points to book these!
Rates will vary between 120,000 for a three night stay to over 600,000 depending on the property. Some of these cost over $3000 per night, so the value can be excellent.
Not only that, Virgin Red recently told GSTP that Virgin Hotels in the USA will also soon be available for booking with Virgin Red Points. This will give travelers an opportunity to book hotels in Chicago, Vegas, Austin and more, at flat points rates.
There’s also Virgin Voyages, which aren’t technically hotels, but you get a room on a ship and a great experience out of it, as well as travel? Well, if you like cruises.
Here are links to current offerings for US Virgin Red customers and for UK Virgin Red customers.
Great Value And Unique Offerings
Many hotel loyalty programs have devalued in recent years, or moved to dynamic redemptions that make points hard to track.
Some of these Virgin Red uses are fairly niche and some may be super expensive, but for unforgettable or unique offerings, it’s nice to have a new group of hotels, cruises and “limited edition” properties to be able to book using points at flat rates.
Good to know! However, the property redemptions are generally poor value i.e. even at $3,000 a night, if you’re redeeming 600k points for a 3 night stay, you’re only getting 1.5c/point. Whereas, on flights in upper class, you’re generally getting 2c/point, or even significantly more on, say, ANA First Class where for 120k return, you’re getting 8c/point where a ticket can usually be $10,000
This is that like uber nerdy points and miles take. Yes, it’s not as good “value” as ANA first class, but that’s only true IF you want or need to fly ANA first class, and if you determine you would get more utility per point from flying ANA first class for 12 hours than for 3 nights of vacation at a true five star place with meals included. It’s all about personal needs, wants and goals. For many people an aspirational trip to a Kasbah in Morocco is cooler than spending 12 hours getting hungover in a metal tube.
Leave a comment