The major Avios devaluation last week has left many people questioning their future loyalty to British Airways Executive Club. Many are worried if they can retain status under the new tier point arrangements.
It is very timely to remind you that Virgin Little Red is still offering on-board status matches to Virgin Flying Club to anyone who flies with them (cash or reward ticket) and is carrying their BA Gold or BA Silver card at the time.
In addition, a BA Gold receives 10,000 Virgin Flying Club miles (worth around £100) and a BA Silver receives 5,000 Virgin miles (worth around £50).
A Virgin Gold member also receives 2,000 bonus miles on their birthday, so arguably the status match for a BA Gold is worth 12,000 Virgin miles in total, or £120 of value. I did this match in 2014 and it worked OK.
If you know that you won’t retain status with BA now, you may want to lock in a year of Virgin status by doing this. It is especially good if you are Virgin Gold and fly domestically.
As a Virgin Gold, you would have access to the very smart new Aer Lingus lounge in Terminal 2 when flying Little Red.
More prosaicly, a Virgin Gold also gets lounge access at Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Manchester when flying Little Red. At Manchester Terminal 3, you can use the attractive Escape lounge that I visited in 2013.
If you need to travel to Manchester, Aberdeen or Edinburgh in the near future, and have British Airways status, you may want to consider moving at least one leg to Little Red. Remember that Manchester flights end in late March and Aberdeen and Edinburgh flights end in late September.
It is probably better flying INTO London with Virgin, because otherwise you would be giving up your access to the British Airways lounges at Heathrow on your outbound.
If you are BA Gold and have time on your hands, you might even want to do a Little Red flight just for miles and the status. A return redemption on Little Red will only cost you 7,500 Virgin miles plus £30, so this will be totally offset by the 12,000 miles you will receive for being matched. Cash tickets are also very cheap, even at short notice.
You would have Virgin Gold for 13 months – which would get you Virgin Clubhouse access if you flew them longhaul, even in Economy, and use of the Aer Lingus lounge on any future domestic flights.
There is one more reason to get Virgin status. You won’t find another oneworld airline willing to match your British Airways status. However, it is possible that you may be able to persuade airberlin or another oneworld airline to give you status based on your new Virgin card – and that will enable you to continue accessing British Airways lounges.
How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (August 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):
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.
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.
Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into 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.)