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Good deal: Virgin credit card bonus now 10,000 (White) and 25,000 (Black) miles

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Virgin Atlantic has boosted the sign-up bonus on its credit cards again.  This is probably in response to the current increased bonuses on the British Airways American Express cards.

Here is a quick overview of the Virgin credit cards.  If some of the text sounds familiar, it is because I have cut and pasted some of it from the last Virgin promotion.

Virgin Flying Club offer two different credit card options. There is a free ‘White’ card and a £140 fee ‘Black’ card. Each comes in the standard MBNA double-pack of an American Express and a Visa.

Virgin credit card bonus

Unlike the British Airways American Express cards, MBNA is happy for you to have BOTH of the Virgin cards. Whilst I would not recommend this, I know that some HFP readers in the past have applied for both at the same time and received both. This does put you under some pressure to hit the spending targets on both cards at the same time.

The free card is the Virgin Atlantic White Credit Card.

There is NO annual fee with this card, and the sign up bonus is 10,000 Virgin Flying Club miles. The usual bonus is just 3,000 miles and it never goes above 10,000 miles so this is as good as it gets.

You will receive 3,000 miles immediately and a further 7,000 miles when you spend just £1,000 in the first 90 days. Should you decide to keep the card, you will earn 1 mile per £1 spent on the Amex and 0.5 miles per £1 spent on the Visa.

My full review of Virgin White is here. The application page is here.

The representative APR of the card is 22.9% variable.

The more generous fee-carrying card is the Virgin Atlantic Black Credit Card.

This card comes with an annual fee of £140, with a sign-up bonus of 25,000 Virgin Flying Club miles. The standard offer on this card is 18,500 miles so the additional bonus is 6,500.

You will receive 18,500 miles with your first purchase and a further 6,500 miles when you spend £3,000 in the first 90 days.

We have seen this bonus as high as 32,000 miles in the past.  That was before the new EU interchange fee caps came in, however, and I would be surprised to see that deal coming back in a hurry.

The earnings rate for the Black card is EXCELLENT. You earn 2 miles per £1 on the American Express and a whopping (compared to the competition) 1 mile per £1 on the Visa.

My full review of Virgin Black is here. The application page is here.

The representative APR of the card is 57.4% variable including the fee, assuming a £1200 credit limit.  The annual fee is £140.

And vouchers too ….

There are also two long-term incentives available with the Virgin cards although only Amex spend counts towards them.

The White card offers an upgrade voucher (from Economy to Premium Economy only) for a miles redemption when you spend £10,000, and a second at £20,000. The Black card offers the same vouchers at £5,000 and £10,000.

Both cards also offer a less useful incentive – a voucher at £15,000 (White) or £7,500 (Black) for a free companion seat – excluding heavy taxes – when you buy a semi-flexible or flexible ticket in any class.  These have recently become slightly easier to use (because you can qualify with a cheaper type of cash ticket) but are only likely to make sense in Premium Economy.

More information on these can be found in the reviews which I link to above.

Terms & Conditions

The key facts you need to remember before you apply are:

The application deadline is 28th June and you have 90 days from application to achieve the £1,000 / £3,000 target

MBNA does NOT offer a pro-rata refund when you cancel your card. Your £140 fee for the Black card is a sunk cost. You are therefore (effectively) paying £140 for the additional 15,000 miles on the Black card, since you could get 10,000 miles for £nothing by getting the White card instead.

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:

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 at 1:1 (1:1.25 for larger transfers)

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

The ‘1 mile per £1’ rate on the Black Visa also allows you to run up miles very quickly

It is also worth remembering that you can transfer Virgin Flying Club miles into Hilton HHonors points (at 2:3) and IHG Rewards Club points (at 1:1). Getting one of these cards may be a way of giving your Hilton or IHG account a boost.  With IHG, the transferred points even count for status.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – December 2021 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our November 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the top current deals:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

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

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

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers.

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

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

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending:

Barclaycard Select Cashback Credit Card

1% cashback and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (112)

  • Mark Spivey says:

    Any DPs of them matching if you recently applied?

  • VJ says:

    What are the chances of bonus after on reapply after 8 months and

    Does the upgrade voucher works on web exclusive tickets (cheapest economy).

    • Rob says:

      Should be ok to reapply.

      Upgrade voucher requires a semi-flex ticket which is more expensive than the cheapest ticket, although since they tweaked the rules the price gap is smaller.

      • Alex W says:

        Rob I think you mean the companion voucher. The upgrade voucher gets a PE redemption for the miles of economy.

  • Von Schmallhausen says:

    OT Can hold both IHG credit cards at the same time?

    • Genghis says:

      Yes

      • Von Schmallhausen says:

        Thx for confirming

      • jamie says:

        Genghis when will u be posting your trip review of your asia jaunt

        • Genghis says:

          I wasn’t planning on doing a review as such. Nothing has been agreed with Rob and after some of the feedback that @Anon/Triprep got, I’d rather not. I’ll be leaving TA reviews (they’re drafted, just need to sort out the photos etc and then post) and happy to respond to individual requests. Please add me on Twitter and then message me (once we’re both connected) if you’re interested. genghis1232.

          • jamie says:

            thats a shame but I understand

            I thought that your combination of open jaw comp voucher redemption, internal asia flights and mix of hotels (cash vs points) would have been good fodder for hfp,

            cheers

          • TripRep says:

            Genghis has kindly agreed to pm me his useful highlights for Bali :D.

          • Genghis says:

            Yep – should do it later this week.

  • Nick says:

    OT.

    Both wife and I have Amex gold plus the fee free BA Amex. Do I have to cancel the fee free BA Amex then leave 6 month before we can apply for the BAPP?

    • Genghis says:

      Amex Gold doesn’t come into it.
      You can get a BAPP anytime but assuming you want a sign up bonus and both you and your wife each have a free BA Amex in your own names (not just supps) then you’ll have to cancel and wait 6 months

      • Nick says:

        Cheers genghis we both do have the free BA Amex and its as i assumed!

  • Robbie says:

    I have the black card, could I apply for the white and get the bonus? Also has the refer a friend gone for Virgin??

    • Genghis says:

      Yes. The refer a friend is still there. You get an email with a referral link.

      • Ro says:

        How many points would you get for the black if referred?

        • Genghis says:

          The referee does not get an increased bonus. The referer gets 3k.

          • the real harry1 says:

            ‘referee’ & ‘referrer’ mean the same thing in this context

            the person being referred is the ‘referral’ (as well as this meaning ‘the act of referring’)

          • Genghis says:

            What I meant is the person applying for the credit card does not get an increased bonus, just the 25k on a Black. Whoevers referral link it is gets the 3k.

          • Jon says:

            It used to be that you could refer yourself for whichever of the two cards you didn’t already hold, and pocket the 3k 😉 I suspect it may have been due to the way Virgin used to issue a new FC club number when you changed status but kept the old one linked to your account.

          • Genghis says:

            Interesting 🙂

      • AndyW says:

        How do you get the referral email? Do you have to request it?

        • Graeme says:

          I had to call and ask for one a couple of months ago. A chap read the URL out to me over the phone.

          Naturally, a few days later one arrived anyway.

          • Rob says:

            If you are opted out of junk email from either Virgin or MBNA you probably won’t get one.

            Every few months they appear to do an email blast.

        • Alan says:

          I think you just have to wait – their Twitter team seem totally unaware of it!

    • Relaxo says:

      Worked for me in February. The referral points got dropped directly into my virgin a/c about 6 weeks after approval.

      • Rob says:

        You got lucky. It is a shambles. I assume your points arrived last week? This was the first day, EVER, that referral points got credited. My wife got 6-months worth on the same day.

        • Relaxo says:

          Got mine on April Fools day. Was a pleasant surprise since I got an email with a different referral link the day after I had my gf apply using an older link; so wasnt expecting it to track…

  • Trev says:

    Previously held the Black card (closed in Feb this year) is it possible to get it again and the 25,000 bonus?

    • Alan says:

      Seems possible from reports to date, I’m going for trying a one month churn on the free one!

  • Alan says:

    Although it’s a relatively decent sign-up bonus, still not a fan of the Black card with that sunk cost. Neither of the vouchers are of interest and the increased points earning still doesn’t offset the fee (unless spending a lot more), so I’ll stick with churning the White for now – will see if I can do it within a month!

    • Trev says:

      It’s an opportunity to buy 25,000 miles at 0.56p/mile so assuming you can get 0.75-1p/mile redemption value it can still be worth while

      • Alan says:

        Yes, it’s not bad – although Tesco CC at 0.4ppm is even cheaper and I’ve got a fair chunk of points built-up there -wishing I had transferred more across at the time of the last bonus actually!

        Will look at the Clubhouse deal (hopefully still active) next month.

  • Alan says:

    Is it a good use of miles to transfer to IHG? Or do you get much better value using them for flights?

    • Graeme says:

      It depends on what you need. I’ve just referred my partner, but we’re never going to earn enough miles on her account to do anything with, so I’ll most likely transfer them to Hilton Honors. However, I already have quite a lot more miles than her so I’ll keep mine and eventually redeem for flights.

      • MattyS says:

        Is it possible to ‘pool’ points with someone travelling on the same Virgin redemption booking ?

        I’ve got 140k so need another 50k for two UC returns to East Coast USA. Just referred my wife for a couple of points earning cards which will get those 50k quite quickly. Or would she need 95k miles herself ?

        • Rob says:

          No, you can’t do this with Virgin.

          However, you can book both outbounds and one inbound of your account and the other inbound off her account. Virgin allows one-way redemptions. The only snag here is that you pay slightly higher surcharges and the tax on 2 x one-ways (when travelling to the US) is higher than a return starting in the UK.

          • MattyS says:

            Thanks very much Rob. May need to do some creative thinking to get her the full points and avoid the additional charges.

          • Scallder says:

            Rob and Matty S – having done this for a recent trip to the US, it was done as two returns and the points just taken from the separate accounts (3 one-way seats from mine and 1 from wife’s). Charges were simply for 2 returns, so you still get charged the amount as you would do for 2 returns. Did this through the call centre (as I called on day of outbound release, said return would be added in a few weeks and called back when return seats were available).

    • Rob says:

      Far better using for flights. An IHG point is worth 0.4p as you can buy them for that.

      Except …..

      a) transfers into IHG count for status, bought points do not. A 75k transfer from Virgin gets you Spire Elite in IHG and Hilton would match that to Diamond for 90 days.

      b) you get 25,000 bonus IHG points for hitting or renewing Spire Elite. Doing a small Virgin transfer to IHG late in the year to guarantee you requalify and therefore get the 25k bonus is a very good use of Virgin points.

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