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Bits: BA changes stance on Qatar ‘R’ class, bonus miles and tier points with Virgin

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News in brief:

British Airways now clear that Qatar ‘R’ class earning is based on travel date

Back in March, Qatar Airways introduced a new selling class for discounted business class tickets – ‘R’.  When they launched their exceptionally good business class sale in April, all of the tickets were booked into ‘R’.

There was a problem though.  On, BA had stated in writing that only ‘R’ class tickets PURCHASED after 1st May would qualify for Avios and British Airways tier points.  Head for Points readers risked getting no credit for their flights and many did not purchase.

Guess what?  Soon after 1st May, people who had purchased ‘R’ class tickets in April started flying them.  Despite what had been written on, they WERE receiving Avios and tier points.

BA has now changed its written position.  This is what now shows:


‘R’ class now counts for TRAVEL after 1st May, not for tickets purchased after that date.  If you put off buying a ticket in the Qatar sale because of BA’s earlier position, I think you would be right to feel annoyed.

Double miles and bonus tier points with Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic has launched a new promotion offering bonuses to UK and US based members of Virgin Flying Club.  It is open to existing and new members.

The benefits are very strong:

You will receive DOUBLE miles on Upper Class and Premium Economy flights (selling classes J,C,D,I,Z,W,S,K and H)

You will receive two extra tier points per sector in Premium Economy and three extra tier points per sector in Upper Class

Valid for flights between 12th May and 1st September

Selected codeshare flights operated by Delta are included

Registration required via this link

The last day to register AND BOOK is 15th June

To put the tier point bonus in context:

Premium Economy tickets usually earn 3-4 tier points each way, you will now earn 5-6

Upper Class tickets usually earn 5-6 tier points each way, you will now earn 8-9

To put the bonus miles in context, a fully flexible Upper Class ticket to New York would earn 41,500 miles under this offer.

Given that you only need 15 tier points in a rolling 12 month period for Silver, and 40 tier points for Gold, you could earn status very quickly.  Virgin tier points are explained here.

Full details of the offer, and the registration link, can be found here.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (June 2023)

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):

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ card is doubled to 30,000 Virgin Points. Apply here.

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

30,000 points bonus (to 13th June) 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 & four 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points (worth 60,000 Virgin Points) – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! 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 bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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 (33)

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

  • Peaceful Waters says:

    My Halifax current account and credit card currently rebate 8% for any transactions made directly with Qatar.

    • harry says:

      Current a/c = debit card, presumably

      • harry says:

        Current a/c is not the same thing as a credit card (eg Clarity)

        • Emma says:

          @harry, suggest you look it up as you Peaceful Waters and Brendan are right.

          They are saying that the offer is valid for both the debit and credit card, not that a debit card and credit card are the same thing.

          • Frankie says:

            But I think only to a maximum of £60? That’s what the LLoyds offer is. Don’t know about Halifax

          • harry says:

            Not really as they are financial services independent of each other, the credit card is not linked to the current a/c, whereas the debit card is.

    • AndyR says:

      Where can you see this for Lloyds? Is it under the Everyday Offers thing?

      • AndyR says:

        Thanks. I checked but couldn’t see, I guess it must be targeted?

        • YL says:

          I think you need a Lloyds current account to ge those offer.

          • AndyR says:

            I have a current account and Everyday Offers but don’t have the Qatar one.

      • AndyGWP says:

        Where do I find ‘Everyday Offers’ – I only have the Lloyds (£24) Amex / Mastercard (Avios) card – should I have access to Everyday Offers?

        • AndyR says:

          If you log into the app there is button on the first screen for Everyday Offers. You need to have current account with them though.

  • DaveT says:

    Iberia have also just launched a promo for up to 50k avios for flights between EU and USA.

    • World Traveller says:

      If previous years are anything to go by, the same promo will be along soon for Executive Club, AAdvantage & Finnair Plus.

      In all likelihood it’s been sent to al Mileage Plus members but the small print in the email contains the following: This promotion is personal and non-transferable.

      Signup before 30th June and when flying with AA, AY, BA or IB until 30th July you’ll earn extra Avios.

      It’s a tiered promo – you can earn up to 50,000 Avios if you take two return Business or First Class flights. “Offer valid for the first 4 legs (minimum two) from 9 May to 31 July 2016 on direct flights for earning Avios with origin/destination Europe to/from the US, Puerto Rico, Canada or Mexico operated and marketed by Iberia, American Airlines, British Airways or Finnair.”

      Similar to BA’s birthday promo this means ex-EU on BA doesn’t count – your flight would probably need to start in London (UK regions will probably count) when flying BA, Helsinki when flying Finnair and Madrid when flying Iberia.

  • JamesWag says:

    I do feel annoyed, but happy for those who have landed an unexpected bonus.

    • harry says:

      Cheer up – grab 33,000 Virgin miles: you + spouse
      ISA 12,000
      mile finder 250
      newsletter 500 (triggered by ‘£couple of’ purchase from 7 Day Shop)
      wine 750 + 3000 (first time)

      • JP says:

        Do you still get the 250 miles for the Miles finder tool bar? I can’t see anything on the site to say so.

        • Lumma says:

          Yes you do. I’ve just had the miles credited to my account

  • Andrew says:

    from the headline I panicked and thought BA had changed R class back to non earning!!! That would have ruined my exBHX flights!

    • blackberryaddict says:

      Had the same hard stopping moment, and was desperately trying to decipher the image on my phone…

    • AndyR says:

      Gave me a fright too after booking R class tickets only last night. Phew!

  • Peter says:

    Anyone please know how long it takes tier points to hit a BAEC account following a QR ex eu flight? My tier point earning year ends after my outbound but before my inbound. Really hoping there’s a week or so delay so that all tier points hit account after earning year ends so I get to keep them all and I’ve got time to try and hit silver.

    • Jovanna says:

      It should hit the Wednesday following your flight. Having said that, I was on QR at the weekend and nothing has posted yet. I can’t retro claim on the BA website for 7 days. If your TPs post after the end of your year just email BA and explain. It should only take a couple of days to sort.

      • Leo says:

        Mine went through on the following Wednesday as above – outbound and inbound, a matter of days. Companion’s return avios/TPpoints did NOT post. Had to jump through all sorts of hoops eventually using the BA liaison person on FlyerTalk(who was brilliant). So they took months to post….I thought though that when they do post TPs are valid only for the TP year you actually took the flight? Could be wrong….

        • Jovanna says:

          Leo is correct on the Tier Points. The date they post is irrelevant. It’s the date of the flight, so if they post after your year end your account will be adjusted.

  • Modern Day Sinbad says:

    Anyone else thinks that Virgin has a terrible system for registering for promotions? Why do they need all that information?!?

    • harry says:

      Not sure what you are referring to.

      The ISA information requirement is to keep everybody legal, as obviously there are strict limits on what you can do with ISAs in any tax year.

      The mile finder & newsletter promotions were quick & simple to sign up for.

  • Fay says:

    Will the Virgin Bonus of extra miles & Tier points work on flights already booked for the dates specified .

    • John says:

      Yes, I have had bonus miles and tier points awarded for the return leg of flights I’d booked last year. The outbound leg was taken before 12th May and didn’t qualify but I just took my return flight yesterday and bonuses have been credited, which I didn’t expect.

  • James PG says:

    OT – I make a second income from sports betting, most of which is done in high street bookie chains (online accounts having been closed down).

    Nowhere allows credit cards to be used but all allow debit cards – any smart ideas for getting some points out of the transactions? I put £500k through in 2015, according to my records. So even a tiny bit would be great.

    • sarah gorman says:

      Tesco? There was a review recently and I think you get 1 point per £8 spend – not a lot but will add up with your turnover

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

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