Nutmeg Avios

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

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 …..

(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.)

Get £20 for free when you load £50 on a Moneycorp prepaid MasterCard
LAST DAY: 2,400 Avios for £60 LEGO spend, plus other active Tesco bonus deals
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  1. Todderz says:

    Email also says:

    “You could also earn a 1,000 mile boost to your account when you choose to
    Auto Convert**

    **You must sign up for Auto Convert between 1 August and 16 September 2016 to qualify for the 1,000 bonus miles. The bonus miles can be earned only once.”

    No mention of what happens if you subsequently turn off auto-convert.

    • For the last four quarters I, and many others, have switched on and off each quarter and got the 1000 points.

      • Todderz says:

        Like Mr Burns says: Excellent…

      • Genghis says:

        Mark, at what point did you turn off the auto convert yet still get the bonus points? After the end of the “turn on auto convert” period? Cheers.

        • I take it off as soon as the bonus points are added to my Flying Club account, then put it back on after the next quarter conversion to get another bonus.

        • Genghis says:

          Cheers Mark. But has any one got the 1k bonus points without actually having to autoconvert to Virgin?

        • Tilly71 says:

          From experience the 1000 auto conversion bonus takes about 2-3 weeks to post into accounts, well thats how long it took mine last Q.

        • Genghis says:

          Is that 2-3 weeks after switching on auto convert or 2-3 weeks after the end of the period in which you could switch on autoconvert?

        • I have never auto-converted.
          I did not explain very well. Now that my points have been converted to virtual vouchers, I have set to auto convert which has no effect since I have zero points. Once the 1000 points show on AwardWallet in a few weeks time I shall take off the auto convert and at the end of this new quarter points will be converted to vouchers (unless the system has changed as threatened).

        • Genghis says:

          Thanks for confirming Mark.

  2. Tilly71 says:

    Did the email from VA state any time period the redemptions had to be made by as no mention on the clubcard site this morning of this offer?

  3. Floridaglen says:

    I have received the email from Virgin Atlantic about the 20% bonus but looking at Tescco’s Clubcard website for Virgin rewards there is no mention of the 20% yet just 625 miles for a £2.50 redemption. I think I will play safe and wait a while for it to hopefully say that at some point!

  4. Tilly71 says:

    And its not on an open website, its only email at present.

  5. Tilly71 says:

    Cheers Genghis, didnt see the link earlier posted.

  6. 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..!

  7. 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?

  8. 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?