I have mentioned in the past posts about Virgin Atlantic’s (VS) excellent award availability. However, as they charge a heavy fuel surcharge for their awards, it is not a such a great deal to accumulate and use Virgin Atlantic miles. A better deal to book virgin flights would be either using Hawaiian Airlines miles as described here or by using Continental OnePass miles which will soon become United Mileage plus miles. Once that happens, we don’t know if the reciprocal award redemption relationship between Virgin Atlantic Airways and the new United-Continental will continue. My guess is that it would be terminated.
Lets take a look at one good use of Virgin Atlantic miles. That would be redeeming for Inter-island flights on Hawaiian Airlines which is a mere 6,000 Virgin Atlantic miles for a round-trip award. Whats more, you can even have an open-jaw in your award meaning that you can fly to up to three islands on a single award ticket, i.e., 6,000 miles. It is to be noted that Hawaiian Airlines charges a minimum of 15,000 HawaiianMiles for a round-trip inter-island award ticket. Also, VS will not charge you a fuel surcharge for these awards on Hawaiian.
You can currently get up to 65,000 bonus Virgin Atlantic miles by applying for Virgin Atlantic American Express credit card offered by Bank of America. No, annual fee ($90) for the first year is not waived. I would like to point out that you earn 1.5 Virgin Atlantic miles for every $ spent, which means, you can get an inter-island round-trip (or open-jaw) award ticket worth ~$200+ by spending only $4,000. Comes out to 5+ cents per $ in return value. You can even transfer your American Express Membership Rewards points to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club when they have 20-30% bonus and get yourself an awesome deal.