Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

At last – Waitrose lets you earn airline miles when you shop in-store

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At long last, the cry from a large part of the Head for Points readership:

“Why can’t we earn miles at Waitrose?”

…. has been answered.

Via a new deal with Virgin Atlantic, you will earn 4 miles in Virgin Flying Club for every £1 you spend in-store at Waitrose.

Waitrose Virgin Flying Club miles

This is 66% more miles than you earn at Tesco if you collect Clubcard points (1 per £1) and convert them to Avios at the rate of 1 : 2.4.  For a more direct comparison, you will now earn 60% more Virgin Flying Club miles by shopping at Waitrose than if you shop at Tesco and convert your Clubcard vouchers at 1 : 2.5.

As noted in the comments, this should also allow John Lewis shoppers to buy Waitrose / John Lewis gift cards in Waitrose and collect the extra miles.

This offer is part of the Virgin Atlantic Shops Away shopping mall.  To sign up, you need to visit this page of the Virgin website and register your credit cards.   Make sure you register your partners cards as well if they are also likely to visit Waitrose.

If you register an Avios credit card, you will obviously continue to earn Avios from that as well as earning Virgin Flying Club miles via Virgin Atlantic for your shopping.

As an added benefit, registering will also earn you Virgin Flying Club miles when you use your payment card in this rather odd selection of outlets:

  • American Golf (4 per £1)
  • Blue Inc (4 per £1)
  • Debenhams (1 per £1)
  • Ernest Jones (2 per £1)
  • Forever 21 (4 per £1)
  • H Samuel (2 per £1)
  • Habitat (4 per £1)
  • Heal’s (1 per £1)
  • Jamie’s Italian (2 per £1)
  • Officers Club (4 per £1)
  • P&O Ferries (4 per £1)

If you don’t already have a Virgin Flying Club account, you may want to sign up purely to take advantage of this deal.  

At the very worse, you can redeem 12,500 miles for a £50 voucher valid at many Virgin Group companies or for Theatre Tokens.  It is also worth remembering that you can transfer Virgin Flying Club miles into Hilton Honors points (at 2:3) and IHG Rewards Club points (at 1:1) with a minimum transfer of 10,000 miles.

How can you earn more miles?

It is very easy to earn further Virgin Flying Club miles to top up your account. The options are numerous:

Take out the Virgin Atlantic credit cards.  They are currently offering enhanced sign-up bonuses of 10,000 miles on the free card and 25,000 miles on the £140 card.  You are able to apply for both cards and get both bonuses (more in this article).

Transfers from Tesco Clubcard (at a higher rate than BA, £2.50 = 625 Flying Club miles)

Transfers from American Express Membership Rewards (1:1) – transfers from Amex to Virgin are instantaneous as well, once your accounts are linked, unlike transfers to BA

Transfers from Heathrow Rewards (1:1)

Transfers from most hotel programmes, including Starwood Preferred Guest

There are also some hotels which credit to Virgin even though they do not credit to Avios

Car rentals – Virgin offers a generous 1,000 miles per Hertz rental for example

Receive 6,000 Virgin miles for taking out a Virgin Money ISA

Receive 3,000 Virgin miles with your first order from Virgin Wines

This recent article looks at where you can fly with Virgin Flying Club miles.


How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (January 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, 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

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points:

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

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 (265)

  • Leo says:

    OMG this is a game changer for our Waitrose loyal household. Goodbye Asia hello America!

    • James67 says:

      Good strategy. Clubcard-avios-zone 7 CW redemption yields only about1 28p of value per clubcard point at best unless used with amex or Lloyd’s vouchers. Even then, not a great deal. For Asia best buy a cheap miles-earning premium seat on a superior airline.

      • Leo says:

        I just flew back from Bali with CX on the a350. Very cheap J ticket booked when CX just announced new route last year.

  • Louise says:

    Probably a long shot, but does this apply to Ocado too?

    • Crafty says:

      It’s a completely different company, so I can’t see why it would…

  • owain thomas says:

    If only they’d add Ocado too, life would be complete!

  • Anon says:

    Will Tesco respond? They really seem to be fading since they stopped points on giftcards.

    I’m also hoping maybe a decent Clubcard transfer bonus to VS might reappear this year after all….

    • Sandgrounder says:

      My local Tesco still has the 150 points banner up next to the gift card display. Tempted to buy a stack of Amazon and then ask Customer Services to honour the deal….

  • Tina says:

    Can you earn Avios at Waitrose? If so, how do you go about it?

    • Adam says:

      No, this is the first airline miles at Waitrose. Although hopefully they may follow suit.

      • Alan says:

        Perhaps Waitrose felt BA was becoming too downmarket a brand for them to associate with now 😛

        • ADS says:

          Waitrose still have a shop within the BA Waterside hq … or at least they did a couple of weeks ago when i was there … maybe they will get kicked out after this !

  • John says:

    Hmm, £2500 for 15000 Hilton, I will probably take 3 years to spend that much, yet it is better than earning nothing at all…

    • James67 says:

      You forgot to factor in the 2:3 FC:Honors conversion. Even so, if say you can save 20% by shopping at Aldi, you would have £500 to spend on Honors points so about 120,000 in a 100% bonus buy points promotion. Depending where and when you might use those points you might be better still just spending the £500 at Hilton and earning points in the process.

  • Lee says:

    Thanks.

    Having let thousands of points expire before at Virgin I ought to get collecting with them again. This was before I discovered AwardWallet.

    Shame Virgin are not part of a decent airline alliance.

    Not even sure my Virgin account is still active. So might need to start again.

  • Joe says:

    In store only, or do we think it might work at Waitrose.com?

    • Andrew says:

      Presumably you mean for online grocery shopping? In which case I *think* (happy to be corrected, mind you) that the delivery store takes payment so can’t see that it’d track differently. But I could be wrong…

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