Special offer: 8,000 Virgin miles for opening a Virgin Money ISA

Virgin Money has brought back its impressive offer of 8,000 Flying Club miles for anyone who opens a new stocks and shares ISA.

See here for full details.

This is an attractive offer given that the usual deal is just 5,000 or 6,000 miles.  The offer runs until 30th November.

I would, however, flag up one thing.  If you open a Virgin Money ISA, you would – until the new tax year in April 2018 – be unable to take advantage of any future Nutmeg ISA promotion to earn Avios.  (Don’t bother opening a Nutmeg ISA at the moment as the bonus is only 2,500 Avios).  Nutmeg has lower fees than Virgin Money and its Avios bonuses have historically been very generous during special offer periods.

Virgin Money

There are two ways to invest with Virgin Money.  You can either invest a lump sum of £2,500, or make a £100 monthly investment for at least six months.  In either case, you must leave the account open for twelve months or the miles may be clawed back.

(Note that you must keep your account open for 12 months and have made at least six monthly payments if you take the monthly option.  Until now you have been free to close your account after six months.  Close your account in under a year and you may lose your miles.)

There are five different investment funds to choose from.

Now, this is obviously an investment and so could lead to the loss of your capital.

You would need to invest at least £100 x 6 months = £600.  If you valued the miles at £80, you would still come out even with a 13% fall in the market by the time you exit.

The £2,500 lump sum investment is clearly riskier – the value of the miles is wiped out with just a 3% fall in the market.

You cannot open this ISA if you already have a ‘stocks and shares’ ISA for the current tax year.  You can open one if you only have a ‘cash’ ISA for the current tax year and have not invested your full £20,000.

As always with financial issues, take proper advice if necessary.

In general, the miles post VERY quickly, often within a week.

There is an additional upside to having a Virgin Money product – you are able to use the Virgin Money lounges in London and various other cities across the UK as I wrote about here.  They are surprisingly pleasant.

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Comments

  1. If you already have a £2500 s+s ISA can you transfer it in to Virgin and get the bonus? Should be allowed as long as you don’t make any further payments into the Virgin one.

    The 1 ISA rule per year seems stupid, what are you supposed to do if you want a different account, not save for 12 months?

    • the real harry1 says:

      only 1 S&S ISA allowed per tax year – Virgin don’t seem to allow transfers, but in any case, you can only contribute to 1 S&S provider each year

      so yes, if you want to change provider & have already contributed to xyz this year, you have to wait until April 6th 2018

      which is why, if you have left it this late, you need to move fast to get your 8000 Virgin milies – you have just enough time to get your 6 monthly instalments paid before April 5th 2018, then rinse & repeat next year – you’d need to close this ISA and open another in 2018-19 if tht’s your plan

      • The new term does add to the level of risk taking on but can still be mitigated.

        “5. If you close the ISA within twelve months, Virgin Money reserves the right to deduct the Flying Club miles from your Flying Club account.”

        Make the lowest risk 6 monthly payments in current tax year. Then leave account dormant for a further 6 months and then close after 12. You can then still open your new ISA in the following tax year.

        • phatbear says:

          Is the “if you close the ISA within twelve months” a new T&C as i don’t remember seeing it when i took my ISA out in June.

        • the real harry1 says:

          it is – & I’d be slightly wary of even closing my ISA opened under the previous T&Cs before the 12 months are up, admin people sometimes jumping the gun & having one helluva job convincing them of the original T&Cs – unfortunately no screenshots this time…

          you can always withdraw all but (say) £10 if you don’t want to be exposed to the market for the final 6 months

        • @TRH1. I can provide some screen shots if you need them

        • the real harry1 says:

          might take you up on that – cheers!

        • phatbear says:

          I’d appreciate the same.

        • Can you withdraw the money after the initial 6 months or does the money need to stay in there?

        • Oops ignore, seen answers!

        • If you’d like it now, connect with me on Twitter or on FT, @genghis1232

        • So, if I am understanding this and TRH1 correctly I should probably withdraw all of funds barring say £10 in January after having made 6 paymests in my July-ooened account and then close account in July 18 without further paynents for the last 6 months? By doing so, I can then apply for a new Virgin ISA, hopefully with bonus, from July 18?

          Nit really sure it matter though as I’ll have no miles for them to take!

        • @JamesB. I plan on closing in Jan 18 after 6 monthly payments under the old T&Cs.

        • the real harry1 says:

          Genghis – thanks, I don’t have those a/cs so will remember your offer if I run into any problems in January

    • You can change ISA providers during a tax year.

      You need to ask the new provider to request a transfer of the full amount of your current year’s subscriptions from the old provider. If you haven’t subscribed up to the limit yet, then you can do so into the new account.

      Previous years’ subscriptions can stay with the old provider if you want.

      • the real harry1 says:

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/ask-a-money-expert/many-isas-allowed-have/
        The rules for stocks and shares Isas are the same as with cash Isas. You can only pay into one each tax year, but can open a new Isa with a different platform each year if you wish to.
        If you have multiple stocks and shares Isas open, you are only allowed to pay into one of them in each tax year.
        So, if you only wanted to invest a portion of your Isa allowance via the second Isa provider, this could be problematic as it will mean you are not able to add any new money to the original Isa in the same tax year.

  2. Another sweetener for this would be free access to virgin money lounges. Modelled on airport lounges, but located in city centres.

    • Modelled on very poor airport lounges, since all you get is tea and biscuits and electricity. Obviously not expecting them to provide a full meal.

      Only really useful if you just happen to frequently pass by the locations and are always waiting for somebody or need to do some work there… basically they shouldn’t influence the decision on whether to open or keep an account with VM

      • Lady London says:

        I do regret the loss the the Regus lounges worldwide that came with Virgin top level. As I work mostly for myself and quite varied as to the work I do and travel a lot, the global access to Regus lounges came in really useful.

        If anyone knows of any deal, say, by Dragonpass, that would reinstate access to the Regus lounges I’d be very interested if you would post, I haven’t found any despite a few searches.

        • I had a note (but it may have been from a few years ago) that there was an AA code that gave you a free year of unlimited access… unfortunately I think I deleted it about a month ago though

        • You’re welcome to work out of Moorgate WeWork whenever you want, happy to sign you in!

          I do use the Piccadilly Virgin lounge a bit, because it is halfway between my house and the office and a decent alternative if I have a West End meeting during the day.

  3. Meadowlark says:

    Rob may consider investing in the Virgin ISA an “impressive offer”. In my book, any passive fund which charges an annual 1% fee is an “impressive” rip-off.

    • the real harry1 says:

      but we’re points collectors round here! that’s 2x 8000 points for us, just had the latest statements & early days but we’re up a couple of quid after fees – as it happens, all the other Virgin fund choices have done better than my 100% Bonds & gilts choice (but in a bad year they’d all have done worse, depends on your risk appetite!)

      so basically 16,000 free points for low risk – suits me, Sir 🙂

      • 8,000 miles for parking £600 with Virgin is indeed an impressive offer ….

        • Sussex Bantam says:

          I think you have to look at the opportunity cost of this offer – which is that you can’t invest in any other stocks & shares ISA for this year.

          To most people I would suggest that the value of fully utilising their ISA allowance is somewhat higher than £80 of miles…

      • Lady London says:

        And with the Delta/Virgin tie-up now giving access to a much wider choice of flights to use the points on, and KLM and Air France soon to be available for use with Virgin miles so far as I can tell, Virgin miles are looking a lot more interesting these days.

  4. Memesweeper says:

    Another warning – I opened mine a few weeks ago and have been asked for verification of ID — a certified copy — which is going to cost me extra on top of the cost of running the account.

    • Certified copy is 5£ for the first document and 3£ for consecutive documents in Post Office, if memory serves.

      • Memesweeper says:

        Post office? Good tip, thanks!

      • Lady London says:

        Often a copy of a document certified by your accountant is also acceptable. In the US, UPS shops seem to offer such services and also notaries at very reasonable rates.

    • Then don’t open the account… do you not know any lawyers or doctors? I thought HFP was supposed to be mainly read by “London professionals”

      • I seem to be certifying docs every other week for people at work.

        • Isn’t it a bit funny that in 2017 we still have a system where you need to know a “professional” to certify that you are who you are.

        • For most things you don’t though (Post Office system) – however some (eg Aussie visas) are very specific about what is allowed and only accept a Notary Public.

        • guesswho2000 says:

          In reply to Alan’s comment, interesting point about Aussie visas…I’m an Aussie PR, and my visa didn’t need a single thing certifying, in this modern age a colour scan is sufficient. My UK passport I think was originally cert’d by a school teacher, many moons ago.

          The Embassy of Ireland in Canberra are not so up to date, needed to certify everything (finally bothered to get a passport, Brexit insurance, in case I ever feel the need to live in Romania or somewhere, for example :D).

          Amex Australia did ask me for certified docs when I opened an account here (despite having verified who I was with Amex UK), but luckily JPs here are plentiful and voluntary (aren’t even allowed to charge a fee).

        • Yes, things defo have changed – had to get about 20 certified copies of degree certs, etc for my working visa application a couple of years ago! They then sent these to a company in the USA to verify – seemed a laborious paperchase in the modern day and age!

    • Or just pop in to a Virgin Money branch with the ID and they will sort it out. A small savings account ooened with them at the time will save such hassles in the future. If it is anything like my local branch they will likely offer you coffee and biscuits while waiting.

    • Barclays certified my ID for free 🙂

  5. We already have Virgin S&S ISAs from 2016-17 which we started to get the bonus Miles then on offer. They’ve performed well so would be happy to keep and add to them for this promotion but as “existing customers” would we get the bonus miles?

    • You should be eligible. You’ll have to open a new ISA though for 17/18 and pay into that to get the points.

    • I had one last year (cashed out after the 6 month period), and opened another over the summer – points posted before the first DD was taken

    • Looks like no:

      2. This offer is not available to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club members who make a payment into an existing Virgin Money Stocks and Shares ISA.

    • Always worth reading the terms and conditions for yourself.

      • Always worth reading the comments above too… and thinking about how isas work. No one ever suggested you could get points for keeping an existing account. But even people with an isa from last year can get a new one this year, and with it the bonus points. Just don’t be so lazy and try paying in to the one you’ve got!!

  6. I signed up for the Nutmeg ISA offer on Feb 19th this year (the last day of the promo unless they extended it) and will be looking to replace it after the 12 month minimum (less than 12 months & they will charge you for the Avios – don’t know at what rate ??).
    I think I’ll take a look at the Lifetime ISA.
    Does anyone know of any companies who are (and thus may be in 4/5 months still) offering Avios or some travel related points for a signup to a Lifetime ISA ?

    http://www.headforpoints.com/2017/02/18/nutmeg-isa-avios-2/

  7. Chasing points with your investments is nuts!

    So invest £20k to max out your ISA allowance and get stung by a 1% AMC which just wipes out the £80 worth of points or invest the £600 minimum and you lose the rest of your 17/18 ISA allowance. Doesn’t sound very atttactive to me.

    • the real harry1 says:

      which is Sussex Bantam’s point, also.

      it depends on your investment strategy plus of course how much money you actually have to invest!

      for us, there are far better options than ISAs, so they are a non-significant part of our strategy

      but then, I’m probably older than quite a few of you so the pension freedoms are very distant on your horizon…

      • Sussex bantam says:

        It all depends on personal circumstances of course but using up your ISA allowance each year is the default recommendation for financial advisors for good reason

        Mine would , quite rightly, be apoplectic if i told him I had given up my ISA for £80 of points !

        • I’m pretty sure the majority of people in this country don’t have enough savings to max out their ISA allowance. I think a lot of people in this hobby tend to forget they’re pretty wealthy – even if it may not feel like it!

        • The majority of people in this country don’t have enough savings to max out their ISA allowance. I think a lot of people in this hobby tend to forget they’re pretty wealthy – even if it may not feel like it!

        • Sussex Bantam says:

          I agree Callum – but that’s kind of my point.

          If you “only” have £600 to invest then getting £80 of points in addition to whatever return you make from Virgin is probably a decent deal.

          However, I suspect, that lots of people on this forum have more than £600 to invest and in that situation “parking” (to use Rob’s words) £600 in a Virgin ISA has the opportunity cost of meaning you can’t take advantage of your full ISA allowance.

          As I keep saying – it depends on personal circumstances – but to not comment on the obvious downside of this deal is a bit misleading in my opinion.

  8. Jonathan says:

    I’ve done a few of these over the years, and so far never closed the previous ISA down. But the past couple of years I’ve opened up different fund types. After charges, over 4.5 years i am 20.7% up in pounds and 32,000 points up in miles. Only ever invested the minimum required for 6 months so it is easy tax free money and easy points.

    • the real harry1 says:

      past is no guide to the future – the last 5 years have been pretty good for most funds exposed to Western stock mkts

  9. Caleb Wong says:

    If I open an account today, 3/10 or 4/10, is it still in time for the 6 months before the new 2018/2019 year? Thanks.

    • the real harry1 says:

      I think you’re in luck, it’ll be payments that count – it takes a few days to set up DDs – I think you should suggest a more do-able date (from Virgin Money’s perspective) such as 25th October for first payment – or they’ll roll you over a month – so something like 25/10, 25/11, 25/12, 25/01, 25/02, 25/03 – should do it