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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? – October 2022 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

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.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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

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

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER), £200 travel credit and unbeatable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend 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 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

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

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa 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 (111)

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

  • Rob says:

    They are, expect more letters like that.

    • CV3V says:

      So, the Lloyds Avios Amex will be getting pulled in the near future??

    • Alan says:

      So, does that mean that the MBNA issued cards (i.e. Virgin) will be withdrawn?
      The Amex issued ones (BA etc) will still be offered though?

      • Rob says:

        Yes. All Amex cards not issued directly by Amex are going. The only question is how long.

        The reason is that non-Amex issued Amex cards are subject to the 0.3% interchange fee cap. It is therefore totally pointless (and ruinously expensive) to give more rewards on the Amex than on the Visa when shops are paying the same to MBNA on both.

        • Genghis says:

          Wasn’t there something that cards where there are four parties are also subject to the interchange cap (which would affect the BA and SPG cards)? I.e. Amex as lender, Amex as card issuer, BA as sponsor, customer?

          • Rob says:

            I think this is still up in the air. The regulations were never meant to catch Amex but the UK is interpreting them in a more extreme way.

            It is possible, for example, that all Amex cards may disappears from comparison sites because technically the comparison site is a fourth party because it is ‘selling’ the card. Again, this is absolutely not what the EU regs were meant to impact.

        • Alan says:

          OK thanks. Makes you wonder why Virgin are offering enhanced sign-ups if they are going.

  • Dave says:

    they offered me 32k sign up bonus in the Heathrow clubhouse. So hold off if anyone is flying soon!

    • Alan says:

      Out of interest, was there a bonus on the White card too or just the Black? Will be going through the Clubhouse for the first time next month so will definitely hold off! The black would be worthwhile at that level of bonus – assuming same spend then £3,000 = 6,000 points (if on Amex) + 32k bonus = 0.37ppm, which is a decent rate!

    • Mucky says:

      It took me 6 months and 5 phone calls to get Virgin Flying Club to credit their half of the miles! The phone agents have no idea and start by telling you that MBNA should credit the miles. Once you get over that hurdle and they realise that Virgin need to credit 13,500 miles as it is an MBNA and Flying club split, I was told to spend on the card and wait 30 days, when I responded with that happened 5 months ago, I got the helpful answer of ‘i am sure it will happen soon, call again in 30 days if they are not credited!’

  • Will Squires says:

    How long will the Amex card last? Barclaycard Amex stops in July, Lloyds are planning the demise of theirs…

  • Ba-flyer says:

    I also got the more generous offer by applying in the Clublounge. Also, there was no spend target – the points were on my first statement after only £200 spent.

  • Noggins says:

    I have just booked 2 premium economy redemption seats to Miami for next March. My second upgrade voucher will be earned and, hopefully, delivered in September (anniversary). Has anyone any experience of undoing their booking and renewing it using the upgrade vouchers…?

  • Wally1976 says:

    I got that too :-(. A shame as it was a good fall-back in between churns and also to increase my average credit duration.

  • Crafty says:

    OT: First time with the Priority Pass via Amex Platinum. Flying from Liverpool on Friday. Anything I need to do to activate the card (nothing in the paperwork that I can see) or to improve my chances of actually getting into the lounge (Friday evening presumably busy)?

    • Rob says:

      No, card will be active.

      I think only No 1 takes reservations (and charges £5 for the privilege) so nothing you can do. They will be keen for your money (paid by PP) though so they won’t refuse you unless they really are at the limit.

      • Klaus-Peter Dudas says:

        Does anyone know how much lounges get paid by PP (and by the likes of BA for third-party lounges)? If I am in a lounge that gives me access through BA and PP, which would the lounges prefer me to use, i.e. which gets them more money?

        • Rob says:

          Good question. If you buy a cheap PP then you pay £15 per lounge visit. Obviously PP makes a lot of money on the initial card (you are paying £69 for a piece of plastic!) so I reckon they are not making much, if any, profit on the £15 lounge entry fee. I reckon it must be in the £10-£15 range – any less and the lounge wouldn’t make any money after the food and drink costs.

  • Gulz says:

    Since the change to the t&c to use the companion voucher last year, I think this is now a useful benefit, especially is booking in PE or UC. Economy tickets are too cheap to be adding any benefit: 2 x cheapest economy tickets is always going to be cheaper than 1 x semi-flexible economy + 1 x companion voucher taxes. 2 x cheapest UC/PE may not be cheaper than 1 x semi-flexible UC/PE + 1 x companion voucher taxes.
    This is especially true if you consider PE, even if you throw in 2 x redemption tickets. This is what I found earlier this year. 2 x PE redemption < 1 x semi-flexible PE + 1 x companion voucher < 2 x cheapest PE cash. But given that there was only 1 PE redemption ticket available on the dates I wanted to fly, the companion voucher came in very handy. And considering that I earned some miles by paying for the ticket, the difference between redemption and companion voucher wasn't much.

    • Alex W says:

      UC not so much, you have to buy a J fare to use the companion voucher. J fares are like 7 grand each or something!

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