15% bonus on Tesco Clubcard transfers into Virgin Flying Club miles – worth it?

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Virgin Atlantic has launched another Clubcard transfer bonus.  Details appeared on the Tesco to Virgin Atlantic transfer page yesterday and some people were also emailed.  The promotion is open to everyone whether or not they were contacted directly.

The promotion is very simple:

You will receive a 15% bonus on Clubcard transfers to Virgin Flying Club between 1st May and 10th June.

Virgin Atlantic

15% takes us back to the bonus rate we saw last November – they offered a higher 20% in February – and this is a far cry from the 50% bonuses we saw 2-3 years ago.

A 15% bonus, all other things being equal, should not be enough to persuade you to make a transfer to Virgin that you were not already considering.

There is also a second part to the promotion.  You will receive 1,000 Flying Club miles if you opt-in to autoconvert your future Tesco Clubcard points to Virgin.

I do NOT recommend auto-converting your points, to either Virgin or Avios.  You would miss out if a conversion bonus came along in the future, or indeed a better Tesco Clubcard offer for a non-travel deal.  It is better to keep your Clubcard vouchers in a drawer until you need them, or until a good conversion bonus appears.

However, if you have a dormant Clubcard account, you should go for this.  In your personal details you can elect to have future Clubcard points sent to Virgin.  Even though your Clubcard account is empty, and will remain empty, you will still get the 1,000 miles.

Some people have managed to receive the bonus 1,000 miles for auto-convert on multiple occasions.  There is some risk in this if you do not have a dormant account as you may not cancel it in time and your next set of vouchers may get sent over.

Why build up a Virgin balance?

There are good reasons to be picking up miles in Virgin Flying Club.  You need far fewer Virgin miles than Avios points for most destinations – Virgin did not respond to the Avios devaluation last year – and taxes are about £75 per person lower on Economy redemptions.

You can top up your balance via the credit card sign up bonus, American Express Membership Rewards, opening an ISA etc.  Getting the miles is not an issue.  The credit card is currently offering up to 25,000 miles until the end of May and the ISA currently offers 12,000 miles.

Your two risks are:

that Virgin does announces a BA-style devaluation before you can book your redemption flight and

that Virgin makes further changes to its route network, with any non-US destination now likely to be at risk as Delta increases its control over the airline

If you can live with that, having a Virgin balance is not necessarily a bad move.  At the very worst, you can transfer out to Hilton HHonors (at 2:3) or IHG Rewards Club (at 1:1).  Transfers into IHG even count for status if you chasing Platinum Elite or Spire Elite.

Visiting the Upper Class lounge at Heathrow is still one of the top 10 things to aspire to in the ‘miles and points’ hobby.  As it happens, I now have a visit in my diary for June.

PS.  Remember that, until 11th May you can book a Virgin Atlantic economy redemption for 30% fewer miles.  Full details are in this article.  Virgin transfers from Tesco usually take no more than 48 hours so you could still take move some points over and book.  However, there is no guarantee that the miles will arrive immediately (the small print says 28 days) and there is no guarantee that the bonus miles arrive at the same time as the base miles, although historically they have.

(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles?  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.)

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Comments

  1. Hopic says:

    If I setup to auto convert, but my current vouchers are due to expire at the end of this month, will they go through before the expiry date?

    -> when does the auto convert happen?

    Thanks

  2. NickM says:

    Slightly off topic, but I flew to Chicago last week in Virgin Upper and was frustrated when they swapped the 787 for the A330 on the route. The Dreamsuite on that aircraft is the biggest load of tosh I’ve ever flown. Food and crew were decent enough but the space felt like a student dormitory. The cabin was full of what seemed to be Virgin staff using concessions on one of the first flights to the city of the season all talking and bemoaning working for the airline. Quickly in to the flight there are smelly feet sticking out everywhere plus the bar area was never staffed and actually very dirty.
    One reason for choosing upper on that route was the 787 with less seats rather than the cramped nightmare suite.
    Suite and Dream were simply two words I wouldn’t associate with the experience.

    • Alex W says:

      Interesting review. How does it compare to a BA Club World dormitory? I have come across bemoaning BA staff too – although on a bus rather than on board.

      • Waribai says:

        I flew the 787 the other week from PVG-LHR and I wasn’t that impressed. I found the space too tight and could never quite get comfortable

      • Simon says:

        It might depend how many of you are flying, bases on my flights I much prefer Virgin, the whole facing someone and dividing screen in Club World just seems weird to me, if you are traveling as a couple and know the person sitting there I imagine it’s completely different.

    • Simon says:

      I’ve flown the A330 and 787 with Virgin and didn’t notice much difference apart from the Wi-Fi and everything seeming a little bit newer, I preferred the bar area on the A330, the seats seemed the same to me. Maybe it helped my flight on the A330 wasn’t full.

  3. Tilly71 says:

    In respects to transferring VA miles over to IHG for spier status, is this route definetly still working and do you need to transfer 50k VA to get the 25k IHG bonus to make 75k required as want to use for HH Platinum status match.

    • IHG is 1:1 so, from scratch, you need to transfer 75k. You would get the 25k bonus so you end up with 100k points.

      Was working 2 weeks ago which was the last report I saw.

      • Tilly71 says:

        Thanks, other than use on ihg hotel stays can you transfer those ihg points into any other airlines or hotel chain like Hilton etc?

        • You’d get better value from a hotel stay, roughly 0.5p per point. No shortage of Holiday Inn, HI Express, InterContinental, Crowne Plaza etc places around.

  4. Tilly71 says:

    Just done a quick search for partner airlines using ihg points, found a drop down list of lots of airlines but it only shows the amount of miles you would get with the selected airlines eg: BA – 2000 miles but doesn’t state how many ihg miles you need?

  5. Natalija says:

    If I transfer tesco clubcard vouchers, how long will take for them to appear in my flying club account? Looking to buy some flights on their sale but a few thousand miles short…
    Thanks

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