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

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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

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 Atlantic 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 (August 2021)

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.

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:

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

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)

  • Nick says:

    Those 50% and 100% bonuses would be nice to see again..

  • Anon says:

    Don’t remember the 100% bonus, when was that??? :-/

    • Joe says:

      I think Amex had one 5 or 6 years ago to BA from Membership Rewards. At the time I was collection Flyinf Club miles so didn’t use the offer, but I regretted it afterwards as I don’t think there was a bonus as high for Virgin.

  • Chris jones says:

    do virgin offer a family account like BA?

    or is there an easy way to transfer points with no charge?

    thanks

    • harry says:

      fairly sure that’s a no & no

      • Raffles says:

        Correct.

        But of course you can book flights for anyone, like BA.

        • Anon says:

          You can also use miles from your spouses account (VS allows you to designate and setup an authorised user) for a minof a whole flight sector.

  • Egg says:

    Virgin Black Amex collects 2 miles per £1 + you can still collect using the visa 1mile for £1 for places that do not accept Amex (compared the Lloyds Avios Mastercard & 1 mile for £4?)

    Equivalent for Avios is the BA card that collects 1.5 miles (unless there is better card?), So redemptions can be a lot lower if you collect miles on credit card spend (Not got time to do the maths to factor in the Virgin E to PE upgrade compared to the Avios 2-4-1)

    Obviously Virign routes are limited mostly to the North America & The Caribbean.

  • Steve R says:

    They also have quite few direct flights across the pond from Manchester.

    So if going to the States & like most of us you live north of Watford Gap it is a slam dunk

  • JamesLHR says:

    My account balance is showing as follows:

    26 Jul 2016 Tesco 20% Auto Tip Bonus Miles 5250 0
    26 Jul 2016 Tesco Clubcard Auto Tippers Conversion 26250 0

    A nice little bonus!

  • Chewbacca says:

    Off Topic, new tesco credit card arrived the other day a few days afer offer to join new Tesco credit card, not sure either are worth applying or keeping or is it worth keeping current card in case earnings improve in future?

  • Alih says:

    Did I not read that Tesco finishes its clubcard link with virgin as of the 31st of July?

    I maybe got my wires crossed and it is just the boaster part that is ending.

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