Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

LAST CHANCE: 25,000 miles with the Virgin credit cards and 500 miles with Shops Away

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

This week is the last week to take advantage of the current generous sign-up bonus on the Virgin Atlantic credit cards.   Since MBNA seems to have stopped offering enhanced bonuses on its other cards since the new EU interchange rules came in, this one is worth taking more seriously.

There is also a 500 mile bonus on the ShopsAway shopping portal which I recap at the bottom.

Virgin Flying Club offer two different credit card options. There is a free ‘White’ card and a £140 fee ‘Black’ card. Each comes in the standard MBNA double-pack of an American Express and a Visa.

Virgin credit card bonus

Unlike the British Airways American Express cards, MBNA is happy for you to have BOTH of the Virgin cards. Whilst I would not recommend this, I know that some HfP readers in the past have applied for both at the same time and received both. This does put you under some pressure to hit the spending targets on both cards at the same time.

The free card is the Virgin Atlantic White Credit Card.

There is NO annual fee with this card, and the sign up bonus is 10,000 Virgin Flying Club miles. The usual bonus is just 3,000 miles and it never goes above 10,000 miles so this is as good as it gets.

You will receive 3,000 miles immediately and a further 7,000 miles when you spend just £1,000 in the first 90 days. Should you decide to keep the card, you will earn 1 mile per £1 spent on the Amex and 0.5 miles per £1 spent on the Visa.

My full review of Virgin White is here. The application page is here.

The representative APR of the card is 22.9% variable.

The more generous fee-carrying card is the Virgin Atlantic Black Credit Card.

This card comes with an annual fee of £140, with a sign-up bonus of 25,000 Virgin Flying Club miles. The standard offer on this card is 18,500 miles so the additional bonus is 6,500.

You will receive 18,500 miles with your first purchase and a further 6,500 miles when you spend £3,000 in the first 90 days.

We have seen this bonus as high as 32,000 miles in the past.  That was before the new EU interchange fee caps came in, however, and I would be surprised to see that deal coming back in a hurry.

The earnings rate for the Black card is EXCELLENT. You earn 2 miles per £1 on the American Express and a whopping (compared to the competition) 1 mile per £1 on the Visa.

My full review of Virgin Black is here. The application page is here.

The representative APR of the card is 57.4% variable including the fee, assuming a £1200 credit limit.  The annual fee is £140.

And vouchers too ….

There are also two long-term incentives available with the Virgin cards. The White card offers an upgrade voucher (from Economy to Premium Economy only) for a miles redemption when you spend £10,000, and a second at £20,000. The Black card offers the same vouchers at £5,000 and £10,000.

Both cards also offer a less useful incentive – a voucher at £15,000 (White) or £7,500 (Black) for a free companion seat – excluding heavy taxes – when you buy a semi-flexible or flexible ticket in any class.  These have recently become slightly easier to use (because you can qualify with a cheaper type of cash ticket) but are only likely to make sense in Premium Economy.

It is also worth remembering that you can transfer Virgin Flying Club miles into Hilton HHonors points (at 2:3) and IHG Rewards Club points (at 1:1). Getting one of these cards may be a way of giving your Hilton or IHG account a boost.

More information on the cards can be found in the reviews which I link to above.  You do NOT get a pro-rata refund if you choose to cancel later.  The application deadline is 31st May and you have 90 days from application to achieve the £1,000 / £3,000 target.

Don’t forget the Shops Away bonus too

Shops Away is the Virgin Atlantic equivalent of the British Airways Gate 365 e-store.  It allows you to earn a few miles every time you shop at participating online retailers after first clicking through from the Shops Away website.

You will receive 500 bonus Flying Club miles by signing up to the Shops Away newsletter AND making a purchase before 31st May.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Shops Away

To sign up, visit this page of the Flying Club website, log in and click through to Shops Away.

As soon as you land on the Shops Away page, an overlay should appear featuring the image above.  There is a box on the form for your email address.  Fill it in and you are registered.

You then have the rest of the week to find something to buy in order to earn your 500 bonus points.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – March 2021 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our March 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus

Until 9th April 2021, American Express is running the biggest sign-up bonuses ever seen on a UK payment card.

You will earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points on American Express Business Platinum (apply here) and 50,000 Membership Rewards points on American Express Business Gold (apply here) which is FREE for your first year. Points transfer 1:1 into Avios. Here are links to our reviews:

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

100,000 points sign-up bonus – SPECIAL OFFER TO 9th APRIL – and a long list of travel ….. Read our full review

Amex American Express Business Gold card

American Express Business Gold

50,000 points sign-up bonus – SPECIAL OFFER TO 9th APRIL – and free for a year Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the other top current deals:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

Nectar American Express

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these:

Amex American Express Business Gold card

American Express Business Gold

50,000 points sign-up bonus – SPECIAL OFFER TO 9th APRIL – and free for a year Read our full review

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

100,000 points sign-up bonus – SPECIAL OFFER TO 9th APRIL – and a long list of travel ….. Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

Earn both Avios and BA On Business points with your business spending Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history.  By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker.  Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.

Comments (33)

  • Matt says:

    Hi All, I last had the Virgin White card about 4 years ago – If I sign up again will i receive the 10,000 bonus, or is it not possible to churn?

    • Rob says:

      You probably will get it – but you can’t complain if not.

    • Jonathan says:

      I have churned with only 6 months gap – their was no mention on the paperwork about the bonus points like before so i called up and it was confirmed over the phone i would get the points again. About 1 week to go until the first statement so time will tell. On another note, was flying UC last night and thanks to an earlier post i can confirm 32,000 VA points for taking out their black card when signing up in the lounge and only have to make 1 purchase of any value – not £3k like on the website.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.