Good deal: Virgin credit card bonus now 10,000 (White) and 25,000 (Black) miles

Virgin Atlantic has boosted the sign-up bonus on its credit cards again.  This is probably in response to the current increased bonuses on the British Airways American Express cards.

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 28th June 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 at 1:1 (1:1.25 for larger transfers)

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.  With IHG, the transferred points even count for status.

(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.

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Comments

  1. AndyF says:

    fantastic Rob thanks, I need to purchase a few John Lewis gift cards. I imagine they will have them in-stock.

    • They are interchangeable with Waitrose cards so definitely in stock. Usually on the tobacco counter, not normal tills.

      • Genghis says:

        Recently when I handed a cashier at the Little Waitrose opposite Cannon Street a JL branded GC to pay she said, “Ooo, we don’t take JL GCs. They’re a different company”. “Try it”. Transaction went through.

  2. Gavin says:

    Damn, the Mrs only applied for hers on Saturday :/

  3. Imbruce says:

    I am assuming that things at MBNA will change once the sale of MBNA to Lloyds goes through?
    Hopefully they will keep it as a separate company.

    • If we’re lucky they will merge the existing terrible operation into MBNA and let them run it. I doubt Lloyds will be able to stop itself firing half the staff and outsourcing the call centre to Bangalore though.

  4. Jordan says:

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

    I think they’ve dropped this for UK cardholders. When I click through to the airline partners there are no options. Have tried from three different browsers and am getting the same thing each time.

    Shame as I have thousands of Amex Rewards points that I want to transfer!

  5. Miufti Singh says:

    Slight o/t

    trying to link my amex account to my virgin account doesn’t work.
    has this been pulled. or do i need to add a number in front of my account number..

    • Lev441 says:

      Call them, I think there’s a general problem about adding the new flying club numbers online…. I couldn’t get mine to link earlier this year..

      • Matt Brown says:

        I had to call as well, twice in fact as it didn’t go through the first time. Then a week later I noticed they had transferred over 2 x my points. Shame it was only a 1000.

  6. Is it possible to churn these Virgin cards for getting the bonus again? If so, how long would one need to wait before applying again? Thanks.

    • It used to be specifically blocked but in the last year MBNA has lightened up (but only on Virgin, their other cards have kept the ‘no churn’ wording). There is no specific time gap.

  7. Sorry in advance if this is a stupid question, but these virgin cards are Amex-issued – If I have an Amex gold preferred rewards card, am I still eligible for the sign up bonus on the virgin cards? Or do I need to cancel my gold and wait 6 months?

    Another question: my current strategy is to take out a gold card, spend £2k, transfer the points out and cancel. Then 6 months later do the same (in the 6 month gap, I spend 10k on the BA Premium Amex, get the voucher and downgrade to the free BA Amex). Would this be deemed too aggressive by Amex? Or does everyone do this?

    • I think you’ve misunderstood – the Virgin ones are MBNA cards, not Amex-issued ones!! So no problems at all with having PRG.

      Your plan with PRG/BAPP sounds similar to what many folk on here do, so can’t see that being an issue.

    • Genghis says:

      I wouldn’t worry too much about being too “aggressive” with Amex. We do 3 x cards every 6 months.

  8. Andy Morgan says:

    If you transfer Flying Club miles to Amex Reward points… can you then transfer to Avios?

  9. Mikee says:

    I can confirm Heathrow Clubhouse offering 12,000 for white and 32,000 for black for applications made in the lounge.

    • Good to know – hopefully still running next month, although on the downside there’s rumours of the laptop/tablet/ereader ban being extended to Europe by that point – really hope that doesn’t happen!

      • Mikee says:

        Flying Club rep in the lounge said their bonus offers on both cards are permanently available and you just need to go see one of them and they will run through the application with you on their iPad.

        Another difference is that there is NO MIN SPEND requirement if you apply in the lounge so the full bonuses will trigger as soon as you spend on the card.

        I’ve just applied for the white card and got an immediate acceptance so will see if the 12k posts as soon as I buy a coffee…..will report back in due course.

        • Fantastic. Are they up for letting you apply for both? (only half-joking…)

          • Mikee says:

            Didn’t think to ask but worth checking….you’ll probably be the first to apply for both at the same time!

          • Certainly happy to give it a go, will go for the Black one first as that’s a good price point for the points purchase!

  10. Richard snow says:

    Useful bit of info… just went to cancel my Virgin white card after 2 years, was offered 5000 miles for a £1000 spend over 90 days. Good reason to keep it on a bit longer!