There seems to be a secret 20% bonus on Tesco Clubcard transfers to Virgin!

If you have your Tesco Clubcard account set up to automatically move your points to Virgin Atlantic every quarter, you may have noticed something odd.  Your points will have arrived with a 20% bonus attached.

This leads me to assume that Virgin is about to announce an ‘open to all’ 20% bonus, perhaps as soon as Monday.  So far, however, there is nothing on the Tesco to Virgin Atlantic transfer page.  (EDIT:  the deal IS now live as you will see if you click the link.)

Just be clear, I would NOT make a transfer to Virgin Atlantic today in the hope of a 20% bonus.  It is best to wait a couple of days for the promotion to be officially announced.  There is a small chance it is just a mistake ….

Virgin Atlantic

A 20% bonus would take us back to the bonus rate we saw in February – they offered a lower 15% in May – but this is a far cry from the 50% bonuses we saw 2-3 years ago.

A 20% bonus, all other things being equal, should not be enough to persuade you to make a transfer to Virgin that you were not already considering.

Why build up a Virgin balance?

Over the last couple of weeks I have written a review of the Virgin Clubhouse lounge at Heathrow and a review of flying Virgin Upper Class on the brand new Boeing 787 fleet.  I enjoyed my experience – better than BA but not quite comparable with the Middle Eastern airlines – and it is worth trying out if you can just so you can say you’ve visited the Heathrow Clubhouse.

There are good reasons to be picking up miles in Virgin Flying Club.  You need far fewer Virgin miles than Avios points for most destinations in Upper Class – Virgin did not respond to the Avios devaluation last year – and taxes are about £75 per person lower on Economy redemptions.

You can top up your balance via the credit card sign up bonus, American Express Membership Rewards, opening an ISA etc.  Getting the miles is not an issue.  The credit card offers 18,500 miles on the Black version and 3,000 miles on the free White (you can have both at the same time) whilst the ISA offers 6,000 miles.  Transfer the opening bonus from a free Amex Gold (reviewed here) and you get a further 20,000 miles.

Your two risks are:

that Virgin does announces a BA-style devaluation before you can book your redemption flight and

that Virgin makes further changes to its route network, with any non-US destination now likely to be at risk as Delta increases its control over the airline

If you can live with that, having a Virgin balance is not necessarily a bad move.  At the very worst, you can transfer out to Hilton HHonors (at 2:3) or IHG Rewards Club (at 1:1).  Transfers into IHG even count for status if you chasing Platinum Elite or Spire Elite.

As I said earlier, though, don’t initiate a transfer until the bonus is official, just in case …..

(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.)

Get £20 for free when you load £50 on a Moneycorp prepaid MasterCard
LAST DAY: 2,400 Avios for £60 LEGO spend, plus other active Tesco bonus deals
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  1. Those 50% and 100% bonuses would be nice to see again..

  2. Don’t remember the 100% bonus, when was that??? :-/

    • I think Amex had one 5 or 6 years ago to BA from Membership Rewards. At the time I was collection Flyinf Club miles so didn’t use the offer, but I regretted it afterwards as I don’t think there was a bonus as high for Virgin.

  3. Chris jones says:

    do virgin offer a family account like BA?

    or is there an easy way to transfer points with no charge?


  4. Virgin Black Amex collects 2 miles per £1 + you can still collect using the visa 1mile for £1 for places that do not accept Amex (compared the Lloyds Avios Mastercard & 1 mile for £4?)

    Equivalent for Avios is the BA card that collects 1.5 miles (unless there is better card?), So redemptions can be a lot lower if you collect miles on credit card spend (Not got time to do the maths to factor in the Virgin E to PE upgrade compared to the Avios 2-4-1)

    Obviously Virign routes are limited mostly to the North America & The Caribbean.

  5. Steve R says:

    They also have quite few direct flights across the pond from Manchester.

    So if going to the States & like most of us you live north of Watford Gap it is a slam dunk

  6. JamesLHR says:

    My account balance is showing as follows:

    26 Jul 2016 Tesco 20% Auto Tip Bonus Miles 5250 0
    26 Jul 2016 Tesco Clubcard Auto Tippers Conversion 26250 0

    A nice little bonus!

  7. Chewbacca says:

    Off Topic, new tesco credit card arrived the other day a few days afer offer to join new Tesco credit card, not sure either are worth applying or keeping or is it worth keeping current card in case earnings improve in future?

  8. Did I not read that Tesco finishes its clubcard link with virgin as of the 31st of July?

    I maybe got my wires crossed and it is just the boaster part that is ending.

  9. Simon Branson says:

    Can you post a link which clearly explains or step by step instructions on how to actually transfer Virgin air miles to HHonors?

    • Step 1: ring Virgin Flying Club
      Step 2: er, no, there is no step 2 :-)

      • The Urbanite says:

        Yes, nice and easy and it has always taken less than 2 weeks for the transfer to complete for me.

      • step 2: wait what seems like a long time, perhaps 10 days although Tesco to Virgin is quick and, of course, YMMV.

      • 3) Needs to be in blocks of 10k miles..

      • Simon Branson says:

        Wasn’t clear as the link opened in a new window which I assumed showed you how to do it.

        So literally as easy as calling up Virgin Flying and asking them to convert to HHonours? How long does the process usually take to show on account?

        Have more than 60,000 miles so looking to convert and as Hilton Gold I can add to my existing points mound 😉

        Btw thanks for the rezidor status email. They instantly matched me to gold no quibbles or aggro. Unlike Accor who don’t seem to be flexible. A big no no in hospitality/service!!

  10. Gin and Tonic Please says:

    I can confirm that I’ve received the 20% bonus on my (auto convert) account

  11. I see the following on the Virgin website for Singapore Airlines…

    “Redemptions in Business Class and First Class on their A380, 777-300ER and A340-500 aircraft
    types are not available”

    What about the new A350, can I book business class ?

    And can you book one ways?

    • You can’t book one ways on any Virgin partner except for one (I forget which one, but not SQ).

      I get a feeling that the lack of the A350 from that list is just Virgin being slow in updating their site. If the other aircraft are blocked I’m pretty sure the intention is to block A350 as well.

      • any idea on avaliability on SQ routes with VS miles without ringing recently spent over 1 hour on the phone getting nowhere?

        • The Virgin forum on Flyertalk has a ‘sticky’ thread at the top where people post their experiences trying to redeem on partners. It is fairly depressing reading!

    • Mikeact says:

      Not being a Virgin ‘collector’, I didn’t know that. I think I would be mighty disappointed not to be able to redeem against these flights. I guess it must seriously limit your choice of destination ?

  12. For those of us with the old tesco cc earning rate of 800 avios per £2.50, are we better off keeping on auto convert? Any input plz?

    • Makes no difference, you retain the 800 rate anyway.

      • Thanks Rob. Is the rate the same for virgin miles? Virgin is my preferred option at present as I’m already sitting on a stash of Avios.

        • Pretty sure the 800 rate is attached to the Tesco account and not to either Avios or Virgin ….

        • No, there’s no former rate for Virgin. If you have been converting Tesco points to BA (formerly Airmiles, then Avios and BAEC miles) since the “old days”, you still get the 800 miles rate. Virgin are relative newbies and have always been at the same rate.

    • I would keep it auto convert.
      its a 33% increase!
      Better than any promotion that has been in a while!

  13. I have been auto-converting from Tesco Clubcard to Virgin for around a year in order to build a Virgin balance and have always received a 20% bonus ( including the most recent, which was a few days ago ).

    Strangely, the points originally post without a bonus, then the points are taken off a day or so later only to re-appear again with the 20% bonus.

    • Thats really strange considering there was only a 15% bonus offer on last Q to get continously 20% bonus each Q?

  14. When was the last time 30% bonus happened as have been hanging on until it came back before i transferred but it is beginning to look like a lost cause.

  15. Can anyone please remind me of the expiration rules of Virgin miles? Are they similar to BAs?

  16. I’m trying to manually convert some tesco vouchers to VFC, I used to have it as auto until advised not to by this site! Anyway I can’t get it to accept my VFC number now, either with or without the leading zeros. What’s the secret to getting past this step ? (Am actually surprised it’s not remembered the number from when it was automatic!)

    • I have just converted some with no apparent problem, except that I lose £5 worth of voucher until the end of the quarter.

      • Ah, thanks, I’ve tried again and realised when I copied/pasted from the virgin website there was a space after my number! For the record it was accepted with the leading zeros (and no trailing spaces!)

  17. Charlie Stead says:

    I’m a big fan of flying Virgin Upper Class on points and have done so to NYC and LAX on a number of occasions. The Clubhouse at Heathrow genuinely feels glamorous and adds to the sense of occasion. Last time I flew with them to LAX it happened to be Oscars weekend and the UC cabin was almost like a private party of nominees. I find it relatively easy to find availability if I’m travelling alone. When I’ve needed two seats. Flying Club goes out of its way to be helpful if you phone.

    A good tip is that you can use something called ‘Miles Booster’ to buy miles based on the distance of your trip. Even if it’s a redemption booking. For instance, on my current reservation to LAX it shows that I can buy 21,800 miles for £218 (that’s double the base miles flown). However, it’s best to wait for one of Virgin’s regular promotions when they give you 20% on top. As you can use MIles Booster up to 6 months after the flight, I’ve never failed to take advantage of this.

    So together with Tesco collection opportunities, the Virgin black credit card and Miles Booster I find it relatively easy to travel UC two or three times a year (though I tend to book way in advance). Compared to BA’s Avios availability to the West Coast, Virgin beats them hands down.

    • Yes, I did a Miles Booster purchase with bonus last year when I went to Leftpondia. Helped to replenish the points used for UC.

    • Ahh good to know you can boost miles up to 6 months after flight. I’m flying at end of month on rewards flights & want to boost but was waiting until they have bonus on again. Any idea how regularly they do it?

  18. Charlie Stead says:

    I meant to add that ‘Miles Booster’ is rather hidden on the Virgin website. To find it, simply log in to your booking and scroll down to ‘Treats’. Click on the link and you’ll get to Miles Booster. I haven’t a clue why they chose to put it there.

  19. My manual transfer from Tesco to Virgin yesterday has now appeared on my Flying Club account with the ‘secret’ 20% bonus.

  20. Just got an email from Virgin making this “secret” offer official!

  21. Email also says:

    “You could also earn a 1,000 mile boost to your account when you choose to
    Auto Convert**

    **You must sign up for Auto Convert between 1 August and 16 September 2016 to qualify for the 1,000 bonus miles. The bonus miles can be earned only once.”

    No mention of what happens if you subsequently turn off auto-convert.

    • For the last four quarters I, and many others, have switched on and off each quarter and got the 1000 points.

      • Like Mr Burns says: Excellent…

      • Mark, at what point did you turn off the auto convert yet still get the bonus points? After the end of the “turn on auto convert” period? Cheers.

        • I take it off as soon as the bonus points are added to my Flying Club account, then put it back on after the next quarter conversion to get another bonus.

          • Cheers Mark. But has any one got the 1k bonus points without actually having to autoconvert to Virgin?

            • From experience the 1000 auto conversion bonus takes about 2-3 weeks to post into accounts, well thats how long it took mine last Q.

            • Is that 2-3 weeks after switching on auto convert or 2-3 weeks after the end of the period in which you could switch on autoconvert?

            • I have never auto-converted.
              I did not explain very well. Now that my points have been converted to virtual vouchers, I have set to auto convert which has no effect since I have zero points. Once the 1000 points show on AwardWallet in a few weeks time I shall take off the auto convert and at the end of this new quarter points will be converted to vouchers (unless the system has changed as threatened).

            • Genghis says:

              Thanks for confirming Mark.

  22. Mark,
    Did the email from VA state any time period the redemptions had to be made by as no mention on the clubcard site this morning of this offer?

  23. Floridaglen says:

    I have received the email from Virgin Atlantic about the 20% bonus but looking at Tescco’s Clubcard website for Virgin rewards there is no mention of the 20% yet just 625 miles for a £2.50 redemption. I think I will play safe and wait a while for it to hopefully say that at some point!

  24. Tilly71 says:

    And its not on an open website, its only email at present.

  25. Tilly71 says:

    Cheers Genghis, didnt see the link earlier posted.

  26. FlyingFan says:

    Somehow last Q when converting I got a 100% bonus. 😮 I converted £10 of clubcard points and got 12500 miles instead of 6250… and then got 15% of that as bonus.

    I’ve had errored points disappear before but it’s now been almost 3 months and I have flown in that time so there has been further activity on my FC account. Hmmm..!

  27. Begginer question here:
    I have over £100 in tesco voichers to convert. I want to take my partner to the USA next year. To date, i have been accumulating avios (over 130k so far). So, with the virgin bonus going on, I am now wondering whether generally Virgin offers better value for money than BA for US Bound flights? Should i convert to virgin and save avios for EU flights?

  28. Hi
    I just converted a paltry £6 worth of Clubcard vouchers to BAEC and although the order was for 1440 avios, the order confirmation email “Your Clubcard Boost Order 000000xxxxxxx is here” is crediting me with 1920 avios ie a 33.33 % bonus, is it an error or a secret unannounced bonus ? Has anyone else had this?


  1. […] you want to find out more about this deal, and decide whether it is for you or not, check out this article on our sister site Head for Points.  It looks at the pros and cons of collecting Virgin […]