At last – Waitrose lets you earn airline miles when you shop in-store!

At long last, the cry from a large part of the Head for Points readership:

“Why can’t we earn miles at Waitrose?”

has been answered!

Via a new deal with Virgin Atlantic, you will earn 4 miles in Virgin Flying Club for every £1 you spend in-store at Waitrose.

This is 66% more miles than you earn at Tesco if you collect Clubcard points (1 per £1) and convert them to Avios at the rate of 1 : 2.4.  For a more direct comparison, you will now earn 60% more Virgin Flying Club miles by shopping at Waitrose than if you shop at Tesco and convert your Clubcard vouchers at 1 : 2.5.

As noted in the comments, this should also allow John Lewis shoppers to buy Waitrose / John Lewis gift cards in Waitrose and collect the extra miles.

Waitrose Virgin Flying Club miles

This offer is part of the Virgin Atlantic Shops Away shopping mall.  To sign up, you need to visit this page of the Virgin website and register your credit cards.   Make sure you register your partners cards as well if they are also likely to visit Waitrose.

If you register an Avios credit card, you will obviously continue to earn Avios from that as well as earning Virgin Flying Club miles via Virgin Atlantic for your shopping.

As an added benefit, registering will also earn you Virgin Flying Club miles when you use your payment card in this rather odd selection of outlets:

  • American Golf (4 per £1)
  • Blue Inc (4 per £1)
  • Debenhams (1 per £1)
  • Ernest Jones (2 per £1)
  • Forever 21 (4 per £1)
  • H Samuel (2 per £1)
  • Habitat (4 per £1)
  • Heal’s (1 per £1)
  • Jamie’s Italian (2 per £1)
  • Officers Club (4 per £1)
  • P&O Ferries (4 per £1)

If you don’t already have a Virgin Flying Club account, you may want to sign up purely to take advantage of this deal.  At the very worse, you can redeem 12,500 miles for a £50 voucher valid at many Virgin Group companies or for Theatre Tokens.  It is also worth remembering that you can transfer Virgin Flying Club miles into Hilton Honors points (at 2:3) and IHG Rewards Club points (at 1:1) with a minimum transfer of 10,000 miles.

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:

Take out the Virgin Atlantic credit cards.  They are currently offering enhanced sign-up bonuses of 10,000 miles on the free card and 25,000 miles on the £140 card.  You are able to apply for both cards and get both bonuses (more in this article).

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

This recent article looks at where you can fly with Virgin Flying Club miles.

(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.)

Earn Avios when you buy your shirts at Charles Tyrwhitt, online or instore
REMINDER: Get exclusive benefits on luxury hotel bookings via Head for Points
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  1. Frenske says:

    I am not really familiar with Virgin miles, but bare with me. I have friends living near Cancun.

    To visit my friends with my wife and child requires 123,750 Avios plus £900 taxes (0.8p per Avios) in economy. With Virgin it costs 75,000 miles plus £750 taxes which is about 1.6p per Virgin mile. Is there a catch somewhere!?

    • No catch Virgin offers better economy and premium economy pricing with lower fares than BA.

    • Wally1976 says:

      The catch *may* be with finding availability when you want to go. Virgin do not release 4 x economy and 2 x business for EVERY flight like BA do. However, I have no experience of this route and would expect that if you have a little flexibility with dates you would be OK.

  2. No sign of any points here so far, despite several shops at Waitress since registering the card.

    • Same here. I need a new iPad but wanted to see if it is worth buying John Lewis gift vouchers in Waitrose with my registered card. I bought a £20 gift voucher to test it but I’ve no idea how long we’ll need to wait to see if the flying club miles are added.

  3. Flying Club newsletter now promoting this … still no sign of any purchases tracking.

    • just seen that my purchases from 29th, 30th and 31st March are now tracking … progress :)

  4. Good point! Have added that in. Should have remembered this as I live 2 minutes walk from a John Lewis ….

  5. Graham Walsh says:

    That’s what the T&Cs say. Usually work, when I booked a Marriott room, I then got Marriott points too. Just ask nicely at the desk.

  6. Ditto.

  7. Fixed

  8. Don’t try and scam the system by returning goods. That will just ruin it for everyone else.

  9. Toby Walsh says:

    You see that’s just naughty and hopefully they’ll cotton on to your dishonest ways!

  10. how long had you had your Virgin Black Card when cancelling?

    also did you want to genuinely cancel? i only ask as i understand the annual fee it not refundable

  11. Donald Trump says:

    my renewal date is mid june this year and i will hit that £1 target before the new fee kicks in. And yes i had the intention to cancel…i told the advisor that there was no point keeping the card because there were no more targets to hit so then he responded with this offer!

  12. Lady London says:

    Is that the one called Peter Jones? :-)

  13. Fair point on the Waitrose own brand quality – I can’t vouch for it but there will be differences of course.

    It doesn’t come in to play on branded goods though as they are the same wherever they are bought. Whether you believe the monthly Which? updates or not is an individual decision but, at some point, you’ve got to trust someone because I can’t believe anyone on here has the time to do their own comparisons every month. If you do believe them then Waitrose and Ocado battle out the “Most expensive” slot each month whereas, Asda & Morrison’s vie for the lowest price slot.

    Pays your money and takes your choice but, in my own case, I’ll keep my money and, if I really need the miles, I’ll buy them with the cash I’ve saved throughout the year.

    Of course, if you are already a loyal Waitrose customer (as many on here seem to be) then this is an added bonus

  14. barnaby100 says:

    Why is it dishonest? I don’t buy stuff to then return it but when you do return items they done take the miles back – nothing to do with me!

  15. barnaby100 says:

    I dont. I spent at least £30 k a year at John Lewis on line to collect at Waitrose- last year . I mail order items and then return those i don’t want- like the shopping on line system encourages you to do. They don’t take the miles back- that is their fault of the system- I am not being at all dishonest.

    I was just pointing out the flaw in the current system.

  16. I live half a mile from Tesco, Waitrose and Aldi and work within walking distance of them at lunchtime. Asda, Sainsburys & Morrisons are all at least 12 miles away.

    Waitrose’s offers for myWaitrose card holders make shopping there for some things a complete no brainer – 20% off 10 items of your choosing and regular £10 off £40 spend vouchers, plus free coffee & newspapers (min spend for papers, which includes the free coffee!). I do most of my shopping in Aldi and enough in Waitrose to save plenty of money. With the introduction of mandatory spend to get the free coffee, it just means I can buy a box if tissues (as I did today) or a low calorie healthy ready meal (20% off = £2.08) or something similar, every day when I go out for my lunchtime coffee. Or I could go to Gregg’s next door and spend £3 on a sarnie and a coffee.

    If I earn 8-12 Virgin miles a day during the week plus another 80 or so at the weekend just on my normal spend, I’m happy.

  17. Same thing happened to me. Not sure why?