This week is the last week to take advantage of the current generous sign-up bonus on the Virgin Atlantic credit cards. Since MBNA seems to have stopped offering enhanced bonuses on its other cards since the new EU interchange rules came in, this one is worth taking more seriously.
There is also a 500 mile bonus on the ShopsAway shopping portal which I recap at the bottom.
Virgin Flying Club offer two different credit card options. There is a free ‘White’ card and a £140 fee ‘Black’ card. Each comes in the standard MBNA double-pack of an American Express and a Visa.
Unlike the British Airways American Express cards, MBNA is happy for you to have BOTH of the Virgin cards. Whilst I would not recommend this, I know that some HFP readers in the past have applied for both at the same time and received both. This does put you under some pressure to hit the spending targets on both cards at the same time.
The free card is the Virgin Atlantic White Credit Card.
There is NO annual fee with this card, and the sign up bonus is 10,000 Virgin Flying Club miles. The usual bonus is just 3,000 miles and it never goes above 10,000 miles so this is as good as it gets.
You will receive 3,000 miles immediately and a further 7,000 miles when you spend just £1,000 in the first 90 days. Should you decide to keep the card, you will earn 1 mile per £1 spent on the Amex and 0.5 miles per £1 spent on the Visa.
The representative APR of the card is 22.9% variable.
The more generous fee-carrying card is the Virgin Atlantic Black Credit Card.
This card comes with an annual fee of £140, with a sign-up bonus of 25,000 Virgin Flying Club miles. The standard offer on this card is 18,500 miles so the additional bonus is 6,500.
You will receive 18,500 miles with your first purchase and a further 6,500 miles when you spend £3,000 in the first 90 days.
We have seen this bonus as high as 32,000 miles in the past. That was before the new EU interchange fee caps came in, however, and I would be surprised to see that deal coming back in a hurry.
The earnings rate for the Black card is EXCELLENT. You earn 2 miles per £1 on the American Express and a whopping (compared to the competition) 1 mile per £1 on the Visa.
The representative APR of the card is 57.4% variable including the fee, assuming a £1200 credit limit. The annual fee is £140.
And vouchers too ….
There are also two long-term incentives available with the Virgin cards. The White card offers an upgrade voucher (from Economy to Premium Economy only) for a miles redemption when you spend £10,000, and a second at £20,000. The Black card offers the same vouchers at £5,000 and £10,000.
Both cards also offer a less useful incentive – a voucher at £15,000 (White) or £7,500 (Black) for a free companion seat – excluding heavy taxes – when you buy a semi-flexible or flexible ticket in any class. These have recently become slightly easier to use (because you can qualify with a cheaper type of cash ticket) but are only likely to make sense in Premium Economy.
It is also worth remembering that you can transfer Virgin Flying Club miles into Hilton HHonors points (at 2:3) and IHG Rewards Club points (at 1:1). Getting one of these cards may be a way of giving your Hilton or IHG account a boost.
More information on the cards can be found in the reviews which I link to above. You do NOT get a pro-rata refund if you choose to cancel later. The application deadline is 31st May and you have 90 days from application to achieve the £1,000 / £3,000 target.
Don’t forget the Shops Away bonus too
Shops Away is the Virgin Atlantic equivalent of the British Airways Gate 365 e-store. It allows you to earn a few miles every time you shop at participating online retailers after first clicking through from the Shops Away website.
You will receive 500 bonus Flying Club miles by signing up to the Shops Away newsletter AND making a purchase before 31st May.
To sign up, visit this page of the Flying Club website, log in and click through to Shops Away.
As soon as you land on the Shops Away page, an overlay should appear featuring the image above. There is a box on the form for your email address. Fill it in and you are registered.
You then have the rest of the week to find something to buy in order to earn your 500 bonus points!
Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history. By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker. Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.
(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles? Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)