Virgin credit card sign-up bonus raised to 10,000 (White) and 25,000 (Black) miles

Virgin Atlantic has boosted the sign-up bonus on its credit cards again.  This is not entirely surprising given that British Airways increased the bonus on its cards last month – if anything, I expected the retribution to come quicker!

Holders of the bmi Diamond Club cards should pay particular interest to this deal.  The Virgin cards are a very good alternative (you earn 1 mile per £1 on the Black Visa) for heavy spenders or those who fly Virgin.

Here is a quick overview of the Virgin credit cards.  If some of the text sounds familiar, it is because I have cut and pasted some of it from the last Virgin promotion!

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.

My full review of Virgin White is here. The application page is here.

The representative APR of the card is 22.9% variable.

Virgin credit card bonus

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.

My full review of Virgin Black is here. The application page is here.

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 although only Amex spend counts towards them.

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.

More information on these can be found in the reviews which I link to above.

Terms & Conditions

The key facts you need to remember before you apply are:

The application deadline is 31st October and you have 90 days from application to achieve the £1,000 / £3,000 target

MBNA does NOT offer a pro-rata refund when you cancel your card. Your £140 fee for the Black card is a sunk cost. You are therefore (effectively) paying £140 for the additional 15,000 miles on the Black card, since you could get 10,000 miles for £nothing by getting the White card instead.

How can you earn more miles?

It is very easy to earn further Virgin Flying Club miles to top up your account. The options are numerous:

Transfers from Tesco Clubcard (at a higher rate than BA, £2.50 = 625 Flying Club miles)

Transfers from American Express Membership Rewards (1:1) – transfers from Amex to Virgin are instantaneous as well, once your accounts are linked, unlike transfers to BA

Transfers from Heathrow Rewards (1:1)

Transfers from most hotel programmes, including Starwood Preferred Guest

There are also some hotels which credit to Virgin even though they do not credit to Avios

Car rentals – Virgin offers a generous 1,000 miles per Hertz rental for example

Receive 6,000 Virgin miles for taking out a Virgin Money ISA

Receive 3,000 Virgin miles with your first order from Virgin Wines

The ‘1 mile per £1’ rate on the Black Visa also allows you to run up miles very quickly

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.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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.

4,500 Avios posting from Sunday Times promo - jump in now if you haven't already!
Good Asia sale on Finnair (earns Avios) from London, Edinburgh, Manchester and Dublin
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.


  1. I think the Virgin Black visa is a decent opportunity at least for year 1 where the bonus offsets the fee. I ordered a black for me and a white for my wife yesterday (just for the Brucie).

    An edit if I may: “There are also two long-term incentives available with the Virgin cards” [, both when spending on the Amex cards, not the Visa].

  2. Can you refer a friend as in Amex Cards?

    My wife and I have the Black Cards and was wondering if we could recommend each other for the White Cards?

  3. I had the black card about 3 years ago and still have the white card (though not used for several years).
    If I applied for the black card now will I get the sign up bonus?

    • Not sure if it’ll count for you, but last week I sent a message via the message centre asking if I’d be eligible for any future promotions of either of the two cards (I have the white card) and I was told I would. No mention of even having to wait for a particular amount of time.

    • I had canceled my ‘white card’ around 13 months ago and then reapplied and got the bonus again.

  4. Just what I was waiting for! Two quick questions…

    1. Do you have to wait until the end of year one before you can use the upgrade vouchers? How long are they valid for? Do you need to keep the card for year two to use them?

    2. Is the earning rate calculated per transaction (like Amex) or based on the total spend say the end of the month (like Hilton)?

    • 2. Total spend

    • The vouchers post on anniversary date, not when you pass the earning threshold. You have 12 months to spend the vouchers, this is to book not fly though, so in all almost 2 years validity.

  5. I had the white card last year. Unsure when I cancelled, I’ll have to investigate. But can I earn a bonus again? What’s the time to wait for another bonus? Cheers!

  6. Raffles, any official churning / non – churning rules on these cards?

    • Just searched and found this…

      “MBNA does not allow you to churn its cards. If you cancel this card and later reapply, you will not receive another bonus. In reality, if you wait a few years then your odds improve and you may get lucky.”


  7. I cancelled my Virgin credit card about 9 months ago. Does anyone know if there is waiting time to reapply and get bonus?


    • Ditto I also cancelled about 9 months ago. Does anyone know if say my wife joined and got the bonus if she could direct the miles to my flying club account? I don’t think they have family accounts as I recall.

      • They don’t have family accounts as such but you can authorise someone to access your points. I regularly use my wife’s and my points to spend on each other’s flights.

  8. Is there a way of using the upgrade voucher from economy to premium and then upgrading to upper?

    • When I last tried you couldn’t do that. If you don’t want PE it’s pretty useless.

      • David Whitley says:

        No – but you can use points to upgrade from premium to upper, and it’s a relative pittance to do so. (Cost me 20,000 points plus negligible cash sum returning from Chicago in July).

  9. Can you convert Virgin flying club miles into BA Avios? If so what is the exchange rate?

  10. No you cant

  11. Stuart Graham says:

    I have the Black Virgin card and generally have had I problems with it.
    This year however I did not receive my upgrade voucher even though according to my generated annual statement I spent £5,200.
    I added up AMEX spend using my statements and got s slightly different total but still over £5,000. Five months later and after many calls and letters MBNA have given me two different totals, the last being £4,998. It is still investigating what spend counts / doesn’t count and what the total should be.
    Has anyone else had any issues?

    • I’ve had the black card for a little over 18 months and use it for most of my day to day spending. I’ve not had any problem, but I definitely spend well over £5000. Last year, I only triggered the first voucher, as I was spending on other cards as well. This year, I should hit £10,000 no problem. But then I’ll have a bunch of upgrade vouchers!

  12. The Virgin black card gives you Silver airline status. This doesn’t give you much (no lounge access) but it does give you an extra 25% miles whenever you fly with Virgin. If you fly a few times with Virgin each year that could cover the fee.

  13. Jimmyjimmy says:

    Does any one have experience of trying to redeem virgin miles on the Virgin America Internal US routes (eg sgo – san)?
    I believe s phone call is needed, is there a way to check reward availability?

  14. Peter Kemp says:

    Brilliant. I’ve been waiting for an increased bonus. Thanks Raffles for your help with everything points/miles related!

  15. Has anyone looked into the PlastC card?

    • Looks good but only magnetic strip available at launch?

      • Yeah , I understand the card rewriting its own mag strip as you swap from card to card is pretty simple but integration with the chip and pin function has been more troublesome. The curve and supercard swaps from card to card with another peice of connected technology (the app) but the PlastC does it via a touch screen actually in the card itself..

        This is the holy grail if they can get this to work , one multi card for all including, credit/debit , door access, Starbucks, Clubcard, student ID or pretty much whatever you need.

      • Indeed, seems a very US-focused offering. They also couldn’t confirm how ATM withdrawals would post to your linked card.

  16. Hi, I was wondering if anyone knew of the ‘entry’ criteria to obtain an Amex card? I have searched on their website to no avail. I have an ‘excellent’ credit rating and I am a student, but with a training bursary. I was turned down in January. I was wondering if I re-applied with putting ‘part time employed’ instead if it would work? Does anyone have any info please?


  17. Rosina Leber says:
  18. am I right in saying that you cannot have a “family account” with Virgin flying club (unless you are gold)?
    considering getting the wife a card, but a little pointless if we cannot combine the points.

  19. New MBNA app has just been launched. Much better user experience than the old one.

  20. Steph Horner says:

    I am correct in understanding that if I was to apply for a white card for my partner I could not give my flying club account number and have the miles put directly in my account?

    • Jimmyjimmy says:

      Comment on this thread above
      ‘can authorise someone to access your points. I regularly use my wife’s and my points to spend on each other’s flights.’

      Don’t know you do this ‘though

      • Only thing to note is that which ever account you use needs to have enough points for a single leg of the journey – ie 40,000 points for a one way UC to NY.

      • Nothing unusual here. BA does this, I can ring BA and spend my wife’s points as I am an authorised user.

  21. I have had a white VS Amex for about two months now and got the 3000 sign up bonus.

    Anyone know if there is any chance of getting it increased???

  22. I click on this and the bonuses appear to still be 3,000 and 18,500?! Does it change when you click through? Thanks!

  23. Has the offer vanished for the black card?