News in brief:
Double Avios and 10% off at Bicester Village
Until 10th February, you will receive double Avios (10 for every £4 spent) when you visit the Bicester Village designer shopping outlet in Oxfordshire. Full details are here. This offer has been running for a while but passed me by until last week, apologies.
You can also pick up a VIP discount card at the information centre on production of your British Airways Executive Club card. This entitles you to an additional 10% discount at most stores, although a handful are excluded including Prada, if I remember rightly from my last trip.
You can also collect Avios at the European outlet villages run by the same group – details on ba.com here.
Necker Island redemptions get harder to achieve
Few people know that you can redeem Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles for holidays on Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island retreat. The details are here.
This is probably the best value Virgin redemption you can get. A week on Necker Island during those weeks where the island is not let on an exclusive basis will cost you $30,730 plus 2.5% service charge for a couple. That is £25,400. Flights are not included in this price.
On that basis, 1.2 million Virgin Flying Club miles is a very good deal – you’re getting over 2p per mile.
You might think that 1.2 million miles is a lot, and of course it is. However, it would ‘only’ require £600,000 of Amex spend on the Virgin Black credit card and I know there are a surprisingly large number of HFP readers who spend six figures per month on their cards.
In the US, you could get to 1.2 million miles almost entirely from credit card sign-ups. That is what Greg, author the Frequent Miler site, did. The articles from his week are here.
Virgin has decided to make life a bit harder for credit card heavy hitters. A new clause on the Necker Island page says that you must now have Virgin Flying Club Silver or Gold status to book this award. This is not hugely difficult but, unless you can find a promotion offering it for free, it would require you to shift some business travel towards Virgin.
PS. If you were thinking of booking Necker Island for cash for $30,000, you can earn 50,000 Virgin Flying Club miles if you give them your number!
How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (September 2022)
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):
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.
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into 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.)