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When cashback sites really aren’t worth the trouble

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I have decided that it is about time I reviewed the new Virgin Little Red domestic services, from Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Manchester to Heathrow.

A flight has now been booked, so look out for my thoughts in a couple of weeks.

Being the good little money saver that I am, I booked the flight via the Virgin Atlantic link on Quidco. And this is what I got back:

This is a tracking receipt for your recent purchase through Quidco.

Date: 25th May 2013 16:30:18

Retailer: Virgin Atlantic (Avg payment speed 5 weeks)

Purchase Amount: £8.00

Cashback Amount: £0.08

Booking flights, especially cheap ones, via cashback sites is a bit of a swizz. The airlines will generally deduct all taxes and surcharges from the amount you get paid on. This is just about acceptable for Government-imposed taxes, but there is no excuse at all for not paying out on the fuel surcharge. After all, my flight cost substantially more than £8!

I suppose 8p is better than nothing – although you need to have a pretty low value on your time to justify clearing cookies, opening up Quidco, finding Virgin Atlantic, clicking through etc (plus opening and deleting all the Quidco emails about tracking, payment etc) to find 8p a good return.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (October 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, the Reward+ card has a bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points):

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

A generous earning rate for a free card at 0.75 points per £1 Read our full review

You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for a year and comes with 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 20,000 Virgin Points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER), £200 travel credit and unbeatable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Points

(Want to earn more Virgin Points?  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.)

Comments (5)

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  • LC says:

    Hi Raffles, how much did you pay for the flight with all the surcharges etc?

    • Rob says:

      £53 one way. Going up on BA as I can’t face the Servisair lounge in Terminal 1 …. and I only get that via Priority Pass as Virgin Silver gives no lounge access.

  • James says:

    But the fuel surcharges are imposed on the airline by the fuel companies and outside their control, it’s not part of the cost of the flight at all.

    • callum says:

      Of course they aren’t! Fuel companies have no right to dictate such a thing, nor would they remotely care how the airline charges its passengers – they get paid the same either way.

    • Rob says:

      That is not correct. BA buys its jet fuel in the same way you buy petrol, from the tanks at LHR at current market price. There is no surcharge.

      If you seriously believe this number relates to something, ponder why the surcharge on a return to the US is far lower than booking 2 one ways. Or why the US airlines have far lower surcharges to Ireland compared to the UK.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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