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)

  • Matthew says:

    Tim, are these lloyds ‘my offers’ only for those with a lloyds current account too or credit card only? I have the latter but never see any offers! Thanks.

    • pauldb says:

      Yes you have to hold a current account too – they pay the offers into your current account. (My wife has both, I just have the CC and miss out.)

  • Alex W says:

    Does that apply to the Lloyds Avios Credit cards?

    • mark2 says:

      They appear on the online banking application.
      I do not know whether you can use it if you only have Lloyds credit cards as we had current accounts first. You can earn far more than the £24 fee back each year leaving the saved FX as additional profit.

  • James67 says:

    My local Waitrose is just down the road but is stinks (in the olfactory sense) something awful. Always pass it to go to Sainsburys but now might have to grin and bear it. If we register the card and use it to place an online order can we still get the miles?

    You forgot ‘HFP Exclusive’ in the title or did Anika beat you to it?

  • Simon says:

    O/T – Just saw this on my AMEX account…
    Bring a loved one on board

    Apply by 31 March 2017 for a complimentary Supplementary British Airways Premium Plus Card and receive 3,000 Avios for the first approved Card.*

    • Anna says:

      I haven’t got that – where can you see it?

      • Liz says:

        Some people reported it was showing on their account when they logged in but I didn’t have the offer – I sent a secure message to Amex and asked if I could add my mother in law – was told the regular offer was only 500 Avios but they would honour the 3000 pts!

    • Chris says:

      Presumably you don’t already have a supp card holder on that account?

      • Simon says:

        Exactly. Will add my wife to mine and vice versa…..

      • Liz says:

        I did – I added my hubby at the time of application.

        • Brian says:

          Doesn’t the second supp have to be paid for???

          • Liz says:

            No mention of any fee – this is on my BAPP – I did this last year too and never got charged anything and received 500 Avios back then. Email says to let them know when I get the supp card they will add the 3000 Avios.

          • Genghis says:

            I thought BAPP was free supps but supps on the Amex MR cards charge after the first one?

  • PAL says:

    So spending £250 in American golf with the virgin white visa will get 1250 virgin miles? 4×1 plus the usual for using your card?

  • Alex W says:

    Bye bye Tesco Clubcard! Unless they start offering a transfer bonus again, I think I’ll be switching my shop to Waitrose.

  • Simon says:

    Waitrose “premium” pricing will erode a lot of this benefit… Prices of most branded goods are much more than Tesco or Asda……

    • BrianDT says:

      Rubbish.

    • Toby Walsh says:

      Waitrose Price Match Tesco on all branded goods so not true!

      With Waitrose Pick Your Own as well it can often be cheaper – especially if the branded goods are on offer as it takes the 20% PYO discount off the full price 🙂 (40% off if Buy One Get one free for example)

      • Simon says:

        Oh. apologies. Am I thinking of Ocado…. I know things like Diet Coke, Andrex and Lenor come out more expensive on there…..

        • Brian says:

          You can’t even be thinking of Ocado – every time I’ve compared prices on there, they are generally the same (they also price match to Tesco, I believe) AND they often have offers on that the supermarkets don’t have. To be honest, the one supermarket that does charge more than the others is Sainsbury’s!

        • Julian says:

          Simon,

          The £100k+ salary per annum wage slave corporate snobs (AKA Directors or Senior Managers or BA Gold card holders) are talking about Branded Goods when I think those of us who have given up being Overpaid Lackies of Big Business will tend to be buying the Waitrose own branded goods. These goods are frequently a lot more expensive than their equivalent at Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda, Morrisons, Aldi or Lidl. Only the small number of Waitrose own branded goods called Essential (which they completely choose so for instance Tzatsiki is an Essential product but no Waitrose Pate is Essential) make any attempt to price match but they only price match against their next most expensive supermarket competitor and not against the cheapest supplier in the industry!!!

          Also nearly all fresh meat and and fresh fish at Waitrose is either unbranded (from the fresh counters) or Waitrose own brand (if packaged) and fresh meat and fresh fish plus fresh fruit is generally massively more expensive at Waitrose than the other chain supermarkets by a factor of up 100% to 150% on many products; Only Marks and Spencer is ever more expensive than Waitrose on Fresh FIsh, Fresh Meat and Fresh Fruit.

          I used to go to Waitrose periodically to buy stocks of their wonderful own brand sugar sweetened lime juice at half the price of Rose’s Sugar Sweetened Lime Juice. But now that Waitrose’s Buyers (who refuse to explain or justify their actions when challenged through customers service) have signed up as Fully Paid Members of the Anti Sugar Government Thought Police and banned all sugar sweetened squashes from their stores (including Rose’s Lime Juice still made and widely sold elsewhere by the Coca Cola Corporation). So I have now taken my business for Rose’s Lime Juice back to Tesco (where it is also usually cheapest compared to other stores).

          • Thomas says:

            I think all that lime juice has gone to your head.
            Waitrose would be less busy than it is if it only appealed to people on over £100k.

          • Toby says:

            Don’t be so damn rude or ignorant. Don’t call other people snobs. Get some bloody manners and get off this forum! I’m a student who is clearly just better with money than you’ll ever be.

          • LB says:

            I wish I could be an over-paid lackie instead of being an under-paid lackie.

          • dgsupersonic says:

            You can soon start comparing diabetes medication too.

          • Leo says:

            You sound very bitter – which is somewhat ironic.

          • Anna says:

            There’s an irony in accusing someone of rudeness and ignorance, while using two separate profanities and ordering them off a forum which is run by a third party… 🙂

          • Toby Walsh says:

            Saying that saying everyone with a BA Gold Card is a snob is pretty damn rude. I have had one and I’m not a snob. I know many people who have them and they are certainly not snobs.

            Also, Anna, I suggested Julian leaves this forum as unless I’m mistaken, the man who spends his free time helping all of us out is a Gold Card Holder and not a snob. Maybe Julian should show some respect for the service he receives for free and doesn’t pay a penny for.

            Plus there is no need for your catty smiley face at the end – or comment in fact – I’m sure if Julian thinks we’re all snobs he can back himself up!

      • Frenske says:

        Waitrose is significantly more expensive when looking at fresh products e.g. meat, fish, poultry, fruit and veg. Also in general their own brand products are slightly more expensive.

        Which? does (objective) test supermarkets prices and Waitrose is constantly the most expensive one.

        • Thomas says:

          Waitrose own brand ready meals etc are so far ahead of the cheaper supermarkets in quality that price comparisons make almost no sense. The last time I went into Asda, I couldn’t find any fresh/ready meals I’d want to eat – I guess that’s one way of spending less money.

        • Rob says:

          And if you buy the stuff, you realise why.

          • dgsupersonic says:

            Agree. All this comparison is pointless since the quality is not the same.

  • Alan Hunt says:

    I *assume* that the term “Payment card” on the website also includes debit cards? I prefer to avoid using credit cards for food shopping but do use them for everything else….

    • Genghis says:

      Why avoid using a credit card for food shopping? Is it not an easy source of points?

      • Anna says:

        Agreed. Just my Amex spend at Tesco gets me up to 1000 avios per month and that’s before any Clubcard conversions.

        • Lumma says:

          The only thing i use my debit card for these days is paying the credit card bills that aren’t done by direct debit!

    • Aeronaut says:

      “Payment card” is meant to be an inclusive term for both debit and credit cards. (Doesn’t necessarily include Amex though!)

      • Anna says:

        The point was that Alan said he doesn’t like using credit cards for food shopping!

        • Rob says:

          Logically …. you would buy ‘capital goods’ (ie stuff you will use for a number of years) on credit – because you pay it off over the period you use it – and ‘consumable goods’ like food for cash / debit card, because you are in trouble if you are buying food to eat today with a view to paying off the bill tomorrow.

          As long as you clear the credit card bill at the end of the month, of course, it doesn’t make any difference.

          I know that some people who struggle with money prefer debit cards because they instantly see their account balance reduced and it stops them buying anything else. Otherwise they spend their money and get to the end of the month only to find a fat credit card bill on the mat which they can’t pay.

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