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.  The timing of this is interesting, given that the bonus on the two British Airways American Express cards is due to fall on Wednesday.  I wonder if Amex will now reconsider?

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 3rd April 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.

Important dates for your diary - offers about to close which you shouldn't miss
Bits: 10% Tesco bonus to Virgin, 20% off CityJet, Bink / Curve double pizza bonus!
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  1. Bear in mind the Air China deal is AMAZING albeit Air China is quite rubbish. But if that’s the route you want then signing up for the black card plus the Amex Plat gets you most of the way there

  2. Wally1976 says:

    Would be interesting to hear people’s experiences of churning these cards…

  3. Does the referal bonus apply during periods of higher signup bonus? I think someone mentioned this the other day but wanted to confirm…

    • Worked for me when my wife referred me towards the end of last year…

      • How exactly do you refer someone? I want to refer my wife for this but can’t find any way of doing this! Thanks.

        • You need to wait for MBNA to contact you with your personal level link.

          • Thanks. I assume I have to call them to get this link?

          • No idea. My wife got a VS card recently and has not been emailed a link. It is possible if you ring MBNA they could tell you. I get a feeling they may decide to email the links to everyone once a year or so and you have to wait for it to cycle round.

    • When it was launched, Virgin told me it would always apply irrespective of current offer.

      The referral link only benefits the referrer, not the applicant, by the way.

  4. On the point about transfers into hhonors – does that count towards status like the IHG transfers do?

  5. I cancelled my black account back in June/July. Is that long enough to requalify for sign up bonuses?

    • Yes I’ve reapplied within a month before! It wasn’t intentional- I was in the lounge and they offered me 32,000 on a single spend so i reapplied!

    • Truth is, we don’t know for sure. I know people who have reapplied and got the bonus again in a shorter period.

  6. Strangely the terms read as followed for the black card:

    18,500 bonus miles will be credited to your Flying Club account after your first card purchase, providing you use either of your cards within 90 days of your account opening and supply your Flying Club membership number to MBNA. A further 13,500 bonus miles will be credited to your account when you apply by 3 April 2017 and spend £3,000 on either card in the first 90 days of your account opening and supply your Flying Club membership number. Please allow six to eight weeks for bonus miles to be added to your account. Bonus miles are not awarded on balance transfers, money transfers or cash advances.

    • So is it 25k or 32k?

      • Not sure what Steve is looking at, online its 25k, in the Clubhouse its 32k (with no spend target)
        Like Louise above, I signed up in the old LGW CH, that was in Nov a couple of months ago, still awaiting the remainder of the 13,500 bonus….

        Relevant T&Cs for Black card clicking through link Rob gave above…

        Flying Club is run and managed by Virgin Atlantic.
        18,500 bonus miles will be credited to your Flying Club account after your first card purchase, providing you use either of your cards within 90 days of your account opening and supply your Flying Club membership number to MBNA. A further 6,500 bonus miles will be credited to your account when you apply by 3 April 2017 and spend £3,000 on either card in the first 90 days of your account opening and supply your Flying Club membership number. Please allow six to eight weeks for bonus miles to be added to your account. Bonus miles are not awarded on balance transfers, money transfers or cash advances.

    • Maybe not all have been updated?

      Or have they…….?

  7. I have the Virgin Black card and was checking through my FC account the other day to see when my last upgrade voucher was credited and seeing how many points I’d earned from CC spend in the last 12 months. I noticed in August, I got 10,986 points from CC spend and was slightly stunned – no way I spent enough to earn that many points in one month. According to my card statement, I earned 2236 points, so the other 8750 seem to be some kind of unmentioned bonus. I’m not complaining :-)

    • Check your FC points via the virgin Atlantic app. It’s far more accurate and descriptive than the website.

  8. Is there an easy way to search for upper class seats on the newly designed Virgin Atlantic website? Previously, you could put your dates in and then see a monthly calendar showing which days had economy, premium, or upper. Which made it fairly quick to see what cabins were available for the whole month. Now, you have to click on every single day to see what cabins are available, which makes it fairly hard to find upper class cabin on some routes!

    • Seems not ….

    • If you are searching on the desktop site, you just select upper class in the cabin class and select 5 week view. That will then search for all upper class tickets around your dates. Where they are available they will show in like a calendar view, so you see what days they have them. You just need to keep redoing it changing dates if that month has nothing and you want to check the next or previous month. However not as user friendly as previous where you had the coloured bars under the calendar dates showing which classes were available. Now you have to do separately.

  9. I currently still have my black VA card which is active. I cancelled my white VA card almost a year back. Would I be eligible to apply for the White VA and get the bonus?

  10. OT (sorry), but I’m trying to work out how Partner Plus Benefit works with Lufthansa. I’m aware that there’s a 3 year expiry on the points – are there any nifty tricks for extending them, like you can with Miles & More using the credit card?
    Also, I was looking at the upgrades table and T&C. In the table it implies that you can upgrade from discounted business to first (because there are entries in the table for discounted business to first), but in the T&C it talks about restricting upgrades only to non-discounted business class. Which is currently true? Lastly, is it possible to book a M&M redemption, then upgrade that redemption using PPB points?
    I am determined to try out Lufthansa first class!

  11. Hi does anyone know another way to cancel a virgin Atlantic mbna card? The Mrs is no longer playing ball when it comes to phone calls……. email?letter? Thanks

    • I would ‘take’ the card from her (sounds a bit sexist!)..And simply write to MBNA in her name..No need to sign the letter….I’ve written to AMEX when mates have the same attitude.

    • the real harry1 says:

      several of us also got a better half exactly like that

      my sympathies :)

      good job my dearest has many other good points despite complete lack of patience & understanding in this respect lol

  12. lol I already have the card anyway – she doesn’t know the pin. I will write a letter and get her to sign, I’m sure that would be fine!
    It began to go downhill when virgin rang her to check it was her applying and she didn’t know one of the five financial questions they asked!!!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Login and send an email through the online banking?

    • Wally1976 says:

      I’ve had similar issues so as far as possible don’t put wife’s mobile number on applications. I just put the landline number on and she never answers that!

      • Wally1976 says:

        Meant to say – cancellations are done via secure messaging where possible and letter if not (which she is happy-ish to sign).

  13. They devalued all the reward points a few months ago, so this is just them bumping up the rewards to match I suppose…

    I’d be surprised if the companion ticket was ever made useful. They clearly know it is utterly pointless except for the exceptionally lucky people who are getting paid short notice flexible tickets via work..

  14. Cuchlainn says:

    OT ish… ( Rob et al )
    1. I cancelled my BAPP 5 months ago ( but less than 6 ) and referred my OH, which we have also maxed out with another 241 banked. With the current 25,000 sign up bonus finishing on Wed (8th), is it likely that BAPP card will extend / finish / reduce / up this bonus in near future ?
    2. Also, if it’s likely to finish / reduce on 8th Feb – has anybody been successful in reapplying after 5 but less than 6 months ?

    Thoughts please / thanks in advance.

    • It is possible they extend it due to the Virgin offer launching … let’s see. I assume I will be told on Monday if they are.

      You won’t find many people risking 2) because if it goes wrong, you are forced to cancel and wait ANOTHER 6 months before you’d be eligible for the bonus again. Better to get 18,000 Avios after a 6-month gap than risk getting nothing after 5 months and having to wait until August to apply again.

  15. Alexandra says:

    I have a question about the premium economy reward upgrade vouchers that can be earned via spending on the Virgin Black card. I have already spent over the 10k required to earn the 2 upgrade vouchers and I know that these are applied to my flying club account on the anniversary of opening the Virgin Black account (which in my case will be in May 2017). I am thinking of cancelling my card after one year but do not want to lose these “vouchers”. If I cancel my Virgin Black card in June will I get a pro rata refund of the fee? Any advice on the best way to proceed much appreciated. Thank you.