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Adios … Virgin Little Red status match over, using pre-paid Visa with NS&I over

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Two good deals have just bitten the dust:

Virgin Atlantic status match closed

For well over a year, Virgin Atlantic has been offering a status match to your British Airways Executive Club card if you took a flight with Little Red.

This was a great offer which I took advantage of last year and I know many other Head for Points readers also used.  Unfortunately, Virgin withdrew the promotion on March 1st.  This is not altogether surprising as Little Red services to Manchester will stop at the end of the month.

Little Red

National Savings & Investments no longer accepting pre-paid Visa cards

Until December 2013, there was a fantastic wheeze to be had via 3V pre-paid Visa gifts.  These could be bought in Tesco for £25, earning you 150 Clubcard points (360 Avios) for every £50-worth purchased plus the miles earned from your credit card.  You could then pay them into a National Savings ‘Direct Saver’ account and withdraw the cash back to your back account.

It was, literally, free Avios as long as you could find the cards in-store.  A year ago, however, 3V cards were changed and are no longer accepted by ‘financial services’ businesses.  They are still taken by some utilities, Vodafone, Sky, some council tax areas etc – here is my last article on the topic.  Tesco still gives 150 Clubcard points for every £50 you buy although stocks are very low as they are being relaunched under the ‘’ brand soon.

Plan B was to buy the ‘paid for’ Visa gift cards from Tesco, pictured below:

Visa gift card

Whilst these carried a £3.95 fee for a £50 card, this could be negated by using the conditional spend coupons (eg ‘£5 off £50’) that Tesco is always posting out and finding a cashier who would accept them.

In recent weeks, it seems that National Savings is no longer accepting these ‘paid for’ gift cards either.  – The cards are not totally useless if bought with a coupon – plenty of places still accept them – but NSI was a very easy exit route.  On the odd occasion I bought one I paid the money to HMRC against future tax bills.  I don’t know if this is still possible or not.

PS.  In the run up to Mother’s Day, Tesco is currently offering 20% off the following gift cards – iTunes, New Look, Monsoon, Facebook, Prezzo, H&M and Accessorize.  You will still receive your 150 bonus Clubcard points if your spend, after discount, is £50.  Offer ends 15th March.

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  1. Clive says:

    1000 Club Carlson Points for free

  2. Tim_t says:

    I must have been one of the last to benefit from the status match as my flight was to Manchester on the 1st at 4:30pm. The crew told me it had ended but I emailed customer support anyway and they told me it had ended on the 1st – inclusive!

    Customer services sorted out the match in less than 24hrs – well impressed.

  3. Aaron says:

    Can someone help me in the manufactured spend?
    I got a tax bill to pay & worked out even with loading fees, the fuel save & clubcard points will be worth my while.

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