Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

There seems to be a secret 20% bonus on Tesco Clubcard transfers to Virgin!

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If you have your Tesco Clubcard account set up to automatically move your points to Virgin Atlantic every quarter, you may have noticed something odd.  Your points will have arrived with a 20% bonus attached.

This leads me to assume that Virgin is about to announce an ‘open to all’ 20% bonus, perhaps as soon as Monday.  So far, however, there is nothing on the Tesco to Virgin Atlantic transfer page.  (EDIT:  the deal IS now live as you will see if you click the link.)

Just be clear, I would NOT make a transfer to Virgin Atlantic today in the hope of a 20% bonus.  It is best to wait a couple of days for the promotion to be officially announced.  There is a small chance it is just a mistake ….

Virgin Atlantic

A 20% bonus would take us back to the bonus rate we saw in February – they offered a lower 15% in May – but this is a far cry from the 50% bonuses we saw 2-3 years ago.

A 20% 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.

Why build up a Virgin balance?

Over the last couple of weeks I have written a review of the Virgin Clubhouse lounge at Heathrow and a review of flying Virgin Upper Class on the brand new Boeing 787 fleet.  I enjoyed my experience – better than BA but not quite comparable with the Middle Eastern airlines – and it is worth trying out if you can just so you can say you’ve visited the Heathrow Clubhouse.

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 in Upper Class – 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 offers 18,500 miles on the Black version and 3,000 miles on the free White (you can have both at the same time) whilst the ISA offers 6,000 miles.  Transfer the opening bonus from a free Amex Gold (reviewed here) and you get a further 20,000 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.

As I said earlier, though, don’t initiate a transfer until the bonus is official, just in case …..


HFP Virgin Atlantic Rewards credit card

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (December 2020)

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, one has a bonus of 15,000 Points):

Virgin Rewards credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

The UK’s most generous free Visa or Mastercard at 0.75 points / £1 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

You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.

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 (82)

  • Tilly71 says:

    Cheers Genghis, didnt see the link earlier posted.

  • FlyingFan says:

    Somehow last Q when converting I got a 100% bonus. 😮 I converted £10 of clubcard points and got 12500 miles instead of 6250… and then got 15% of that as bonus.

    I’ve had errored points disappear before but it’s now been almost 3 months and I have flown in that time so there has been further activity on my FC account. Hmmm..!

  • Joe says:

    Begginer question here:
    I have over £100 in tesco voichers to convert. I want to take my partner to the USA next year. To date, i have been accumulating avios (over 130k so far). So, with the virgin bonus going on, I am now wondering whether generally Virgin offers better value for money than BA for US Bound flights? Should i convert to virgin and save avios for EU flights?
    Thanks!

  • […] you want to find out more about this deal, and decide whether it is for you or not, check out this article on our sister site Head for Points.  It looks at the pros and cons of collecting Virgin […]

  • Mike says:

    Hi
    I just converted a paltry £6 worth of Clubcard vouchers to BAEC and although the order was for 1440 avios, the order confirmation email “Your Clubcard Boost Order 000000xxxxxxx is here” is crediting me with 1920 avios ie a 33.33 % bonus, is it an error or a secret unannounced bonus ? Has anyone else had this?