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 (May 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 30,000 points until 6th June 2022):

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

30,000 points bonus (SPECIAL OFFER) and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Rewards credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

A generous earning rate for a free card at 0.75 points per £1 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:

American Express Amex Gold

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.

The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Virgin Points, if you apply by 1st June 2022.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER) and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year 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)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Leo says:

    What’s the current policy on transferring Flying Club points between individuals? You used to be able to do it for a fee – it was relatively expensive to do. Not sure on situation since the website changes and changes to redemptions etc. No household accounts apart from Virgin Golds if I remember correctly.

    • Zoe says:

      Not sure about transferring but can make a journey by buying whole sectors from different accounts. E.g. I have enough miles for 2 outbound and 1 inbound can use husband’s miles for the other inbound.

      • Leo says:

        Agree that’s useful and probably deals with many if not most situations. Sometimes you might just need to swipe a few pesky extra points though!

      • Rabbit says:

        i don’t think this is possible anymore since virgin booking moving platforms. I can’t access v-flyer at the mo but if you search for posts by rabbit you will see a thread where I commented on this

  • Swanhunter says:

    Marvellous news. A good return for shopping at the only civilised supermarket

  • Zoe says:

    You can buy John Lewis / Waitrose gift cards so could maybe then extend this benefit? I don’t think they sell other gift cards.

  • Fox99 says:

    This could be useful, wonder if it will work at the Waitrose garage for fuel? I already get shell points there, pay on a rewards card and it is so convenient. .

  • Graham Walsh says:

    Rewards will not be earned on items purchased at Waitrose stores at Motorway Service stations and Petrol Filling stations.

    This is an instore offer only, and your payment must be made using a registered payment card. Please ensure you wait 24 hours after registering your card prior to making your first purchase.

    • Fox99 says:

      Thanks, should have read the page before posting. Still useful though. A way to top up my miles account and keep it active.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Instore gift card and shop online?

  • mark2 says:

    Of course you can buy John Lewis Gift cards at Waitrose which can be used at either so this is Virgin Miles from John Lewis too.
    Currently I can get 5% cash back at Waitrose with my Lloyds Avios credit card plus Avios.
    I also buy these gift cards from Tesco with Money Off Coupons or from Morrison’s with 2.5% cash back and 5% off Morrison’s gift vouchers.

  • TravelDee says:

    Good news about Waitrose/Virgin link up. But personally would prefer Avios.We intend to do a Big Trip to NZ in 2 years time. Now wondering if it’s worth saving for Air New Zealand usage. Just how likely are we to be able to get business class redemption…..?

    • Stuart says:


    • BruceN says:

      We found that paying to fly ex-EU (from Norway) to AKL cost no more than trying to use points for the trip – plus earned a lot of avios and silver status for the journey.

      • Gareth says:

        I agree with this, ex-eu much better than using miles

      • James67 says:

        Yes, just argued same in response to Leo’s first comment of the day. Great care needs to be exercised in opting for points or miles over cash in some markets, even when using Lloyd or amex vouchers. It still makes sense though for RFS and the Americas in many cases. I also find one stop revenue fares ex regions trump cheaper EU not just in convenience, time, and avoiding of positioning flight stress but in cash terms too.

        • Kathy says:

          As someone who is in the process of using Avios to book flights to NZ/SYD with a Lloyd’s voucher (still got to book a HKG-AKL leg, hopefully doing that today) I concur! It’s been a ridiculous amount of stress and hassle to sort out. Unless you’re already very points-rich, and can do it all on partner airlines via HKG to save on tax, getting a cheap fare ex-EU is definitely the way to go.

    • BrianDT says:

      Using SkyTeam, KLM/AF, 100% availability. Dead easy, and from AMS, even easier, and cheaper.

  • Alan C. says:

    Rob. You mention the Virgin to IHG transfer. Does the points to IHG still count towards Spire as per your article last year? And would a transfer now have Spire Status last until the end of 2018?
    Cheers. Alan.

    • Thomas says:

      Going off topic.. anyone know what is happening with e-rewards ? The app is offline now as well..

      • mark2 says:

        I just logged in.

      • Andrew* says:

        I had noticed the app not offering surveys but was offered ones on the website (via an email link) last night…

        Just opened app this morning and it says ‘Upgrade Mandatory: an application upgrade is required to continue using this app! Upgrade Now’…

        • Andrew* says:

          but if you click on the link (I’m on iDevices) it seems to go to an Amazon address and says ‘This app is no longer available’…

    • Rob says:

      Still worked last week.

      • David says:

        The app is dead (permanently by the looks of it) but the website still works

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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