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Last call: Get 10,000 (White) and 25,000 (Black) miles with the Virgin Atlantic credit cards

Tomorrow, Monday, is your last chance to apply for the Virgin Flying Club credit cards whilst the sign-up bonus is sharply increased. 

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.

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 tomorrow, 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 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.)

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.

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Comments

  1. Chris jones says:

    I’ve signed up for a virgin black. But neither the credit card or flying club show miles currently generated.

    Is it just a poor system or am I missing something?

    • Chris jones says:

      Just to make clear I’m talking to about the website.

      • Aren’t they showing up on your monthly credit card statement? Mine are going across fine. If they’re on your MBNA statement but not making it across to your account within a couple of days you’ll need to call them. Presumably you’ve had the card over a month already and have had your first statement??

        • Chris jones says:

          Not had my first statement. But with BAPP and amex you get points update after each purchase.

          • With Amex they show online with each purchase but still only go across once a month. With MBNA you don’t get to see the points until your monthly statement, but on the upside they don’t round down. Both companies only send points once a month, the difference is just in what they show you in the intervening period.

    • They’ll show on your monthly statement then appear on Flying Club within a couple of days.

      • Mine didn’t when I first registered for the black card, turns out that they had the wrong account number for me. A quick email message and all rectified!

  2. Points are only visible when they post, which is at the end of the statement month.

  3. Can you cancel card & reapply in 6 months for future bonus’?

  4. Couple of questions how many VFC miles are needed to get IHG status?

    I there a way of combining the VFC miles to move in to A single virgin, IHG or Hilton account (we have points in all three) so say my wife and I could get the cards to maximise the 70k points?

    • You can’t combine.

      Only IHG status worth bothering with is Spire at 75k which also earns a 25k bonus.

      If you only want Plat then pay £99 for the IHG credit card and get it with that.

      • Can’t combine virgin accounts? Is there no way to transfer if you have two separate accounts similar to BAEC?

        • No.

          Family accounts are rare. I would guess less than 20% of airline schemes have them. Even then they can be rubbish e.g. Emirates only give you 20% of miles due from family members IIRC.

        • No….

          But you can have control of your spouses account and use their !miles for one whole flight sector whilst you use your miles for the oither sectoirs.

          Phone VFF Club and ask them how to do this, I’ve found it useful a few times.

  5. Slightly OT and probably over cautious question. Would a top up to a Pay.com from a Virgin credit card, or any other for that matter go through as a purchase or cash advance?

  6. they offered me the black card with 32k bonus in the heathrow club house a few weeks ago

    • I’m in LGW CH next month, shall make myself amenable to any offers they have.

      I might be tempted with a bonus of 32k (or higher), if not I’ll stick with the fee free Amex Gold (for the first year)

    • Always go for this. As it’s on the first spend too!

  7. Stephen Danson says:

    Just tried to apply for the black card but the site is sown at the moment. I wonder if they’ll extend the date if it stays down all day.

  8. What rate is charged using the Visa on HMRC’s website?

    Can the min spend come from either visa or amex?

    • 0.38%

      • They seem to round up slightly for small payments.

        I paid 20p (rather than 18p) for a £47 deposit into an income tax account, but it gave me the points to clear the 10 000 threshold for converting to HHonors. I slightly miscalculated and have ended up with exactly 2 Flying Club miles.

        I guess I can cancel my Virgin credit cards now – annoyingly I took them out just a couple of weeks before the White offer went from 3 000 to 10 000.

    • Yes – min spend can come from the Visa or the Amex.

  9. Tried to get one for my wife,she doesnt work but was refused anyone any ideas?
    I know Amex rewards is household income but MBNA seems more about yourself?

    • My Mum (retired) had a BMI card despite declaring a four-figure pension income so she may be OK. In your case it would depend on whether married couples are legally liable for each others debts.

    • I applied for the Virgin White card earlier this year and got declined as I don’t work and have no personal income. I actually phoned them to explain this and asked if they would accept our household income – they guy said he would take a note of it but 3 days later I got a reject letter so joint income wasn’t accepted. I normally get the Amex cards ok with a £1500 limit.

  10. Lewis Watson says:

    A good way to get ihg status or at least it used to be. Transfer from Virginia and they are qualifying

  11. I opened a Black account and spent over £5k on the amex in the 1st month, trying weigh up if its worth keeping for another 11 months to collect my PE upgrade. I am I rightin thinking it’s worth 20k flyer points if I would use it for a US east coast redemption, a little more for east coast?

    Also, I assume it wouldn’t post to my virgin account until day 1 of year 2 when my card would be billed another £140?

    • I think it posts on day 365 of year 1. In any case, I phoned up the day I saw it post and cancelled the card, and it all worked fine – no second-year fee, and the voucher remained in my Virgin account.

      (I never actually used it though. I got tempted to carry on collecting miles and redeem in Upper Class instead, and the voucher doesn’t help with that.)

    • TGLoyalty says:

      The fee in non refundable so worth keeping and spending

      The upgrade vouchers post on day 1 of year 2 but as long as you don’t use the card at all you can cancel and pay no year 2 fee.

      There have been reports of people booking PE with the vouchers and then upgrading it isn’t strictly allowed but some CS may allow it or maybe they got lucky?

  12. wally1976 says:

    Has anyone else found that months after closing one of these cards you can still log into your online account as if it’s still live? Is this normal? Thanks

    • Yes, I have very long expired MBNA cards showing.

    • MBNA keep all your old cards available for access. You can hide inactive accounts on the overview page though. It’s actually quite handy if you end up getting a refund back on a card.

  13. Just applied and got the message “unfortunately we’re unable to give you an immediate decision on your application […]”, does anyone have any ideas as to what this means in practice?

  14. I have a Virgin White Credit Card since may yet I hadn’t received either 3000, or 7000 bonus miles even though I have spent way more than the required amount to achieve this bonus. When did the offer begin?

  15. So churning does work with the card. Is that correct?