My Virgin Atlantic account currently shows a balance of over 557,000 miles. With most programs, I’d be pretty happy about that. In this case, though, the total is less than half needed for a single award: A week on Richard Branson’s Necker Island.
In the post, “Considering the 1.2 million mile Necker Island challenge… Who’s with me?”, I wrote about Virgin Atlantic’s Necker Island award. For a “mere” 1.2 million miles, two people can stay for a week on Richard Branson’s Necker Island. If you prefer to pay cash, Richard normally charges over $28,000. Regardless of whether you pay with cash or miles, a week on Necker Island is expensive.
Honestly, I think its ridiculous to spend 1.2 million miles (or $28,000) for a week on an island. Even with Virgin Atlantic miles (which are generally considered less valuable than many other types of miles), there is so much more one could do for far fewer miles. That said, one of the things I love about the miles & points game is that it makes it possible to do things that I would never do otherwise, such as:
- Fly in a fully enclosed suite
- Stay in hotel suites that normally cost over $1500 per night
- Spend a week on Richard Branson’s private island
In a way, the Necker Island award represents the ultimate splurge, but I still wouldn’t recommend it for most people. With the same effort required to earn 1.2 million Virgin Atlantic miles, you could earn enough airline miles and hotel points to travel in luxury for far longer than a week. Keep in mind, too, that the Necker Island award does not include airfare to and from the Virgin Islands.
Still, despite my advice to everyone else, I’m going for it. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I enjoy challenges, and this is a big one. Plus, I expect that the trip itself will result in interesting new content for this blog. If I wasn’t a blogger, I probably wouldn’t do it.
Miles in the bag
I started with only about 1000 miles in April. I don’t even remember where those miles came from. Since then, I’ve amassed just over 556,000 additional miles, as follows:
- Approximately 450,000 miles earned from five credit card signup offers (plus the spend required to earn the bonuses)
- Approximately 106,000 miles transferred from my wife’s Citi ThankYou account while Citi offered a 25% transfer bonus (85,000 ThankYou points became 106,250 Virgin Atlantic miles)
Miles on the way
Two recent credit card approvals should lead to another 180,000 miles. That will bring my total to approximately 737,000 miles. At that point I’ll be 463,000 miles short of my goal.
Plan for the rest
As long as Bank of America continues to offer the not really 90,000 miles signup bonus for the Virgin Atlantic card, I should be able to meet my goal with only 5 more approvals. Easy. That is, it’s easy for a person with advanced manufactured spend experience.
If the 90K-ish offer goes away, I’ll look instead for Citi or Amex to offer additional transfer bonuses. Previously I was hesitant to transfer my valuable transferable points to Virgin Atlantic, but I finally decided on an approach that makes it easier: I’ll transfer my wife’s points rather than my own. Even though my wife’s transferable points are just as valuable as mine, and I fully manage both sets of accounts, it’s somehow easier for me to give up her points. It doesn’t make any sense, but there you go. In return, I’ll invite her to accompany me to Necker Island.