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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? – January 2023 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

35,000 Avios (ONLY to 21st February) and the famous annual 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 & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel 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:

SPECIAL OFFER: Capital On Tap has increased its sign-up bonus to points worth 30,000 Avios if you apply by 4th February. This is exclusive to Head for Points readers. Click here to apply.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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

Get a 30,000 points bonus, worth 30,000 Avios, until 4th February 2023 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 (3% for 3 months if you apply by 31st March) 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.

  • Tony M says:

    As far as I remember the upgrade vouchers only hit your account at the end of the year.
    With the black card, when is it worth cancelling to ensure you receive the upgrade vouchers but don’t pay the new £140 fee?

    • Lev441 says:

      In my case, they hit my account a couple of days before the renewal fee. However as mentioned in the past, if the fee is charged first and then you see the vouchers afterwards, as long as the card hasn’t been used MBNA have given a refund.

      I wonder what Virgin will do when the MBNA can no longer offer the Amex card (and 2 points per £ spent). Surely they’ll need something competitive with the BAPP!

  • Bob says:

    How much do you think that 1 virgin miles worth?

    • Alan says:

      It has a floor of 0.06p. This is the amount of discount you will get off Virgin fares for using them. Presumably, if you get a redemption fare then they are worth more.

    • Rob says:

      You should be able to get 0.75p to 1p for an Upper Class redemption, based on the cost of a cash ticket in a sale.

      However …. the snag with Virgin is that you need quite a lot of miles for a decent redemption unless you take a discount on a cash ticket. About the cheapest good redemption you could get would be a one-way in Upper Class to the US East Coast or Dubai. If you only have, say, 20000 miles then you can’t do anything useful with them and they are worth nothing (you could get a one way economy ticket but the taxes would make it worth very little in terms of cash savings). In that scenario moving to Hilton or IHG is a way of realising some value.

      You can also redeem small amounts for hotel rooms via their portal or redeem 12,500 Virgin miles for a £50 Virgin Group gift voucher.

      • PalCsaky says:

        There is one sweet spot HKG-LHR economy off peak for 12500 miles; peak for 22500 miles with minimal taxes (~32GBP) as HKG gov. does not allow fuel surcharges.

  • sarah gregory says:

    With regards to the white virgin card, how and when do you get notified of the upgrade voucher from economy to premium economy?

    • roberto says:

      It appears in your flying club statement just after the anniversary of your renewal date. You dont get an email.

  • Rob says:

    It will definitely work, the card company cannot differentiate what you buy.

  • AndyF says:

    fantastic Rob thanks, I need to purchase a few John Lewis gift cards. I imagine they will have them in-stock.

    • Rob says:

      They are interchangeable with Waitrose cards so definitely in stock. Usually on the tobacco counter, not normal tills.

      • Genghis says:

        Recently when I handed a cashier at the Little Waitrose opposite Cannon Street a JL branded GC to pay she said, “Ooo, we don’t take JL GCs. They’re a different company”. “Try it”. Transaction went through.

        • Leo says:

          It’s really simple, Waitrose GCs are co-branded with John Lewis i.e it’s written there for all to see on the face of the card.

  • Gavin says:

    Damn, the Mrs only applied for hers on Saturday :/

  • Imbruce says:

    I am assuming that things at MBNA will change once the sale of MBNA to Lloyds goes through?
    Hopefully they will keep it as a separate company.

    • Rob says:

      If we’re lucky they will merge the existing terrible operation into MBNA and let them run it. I doubt Lloyds will be able to stop itself firing half the staff and outsourcing the call centre to Bangalore though.

  • Jordan says:

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

    I think they’ve dropped this for UK cardholders. When I click through to the airline partners there are no options. Have tried from three different browsers and am getting the same thing each time.

    Shame as I have thousands of Amex Rewards points that I want to transfer!

    • Alan says:

      Showing up fine for me. Someone else mentioned this recently – are you definitely on the UK version of the Membership Rewards site?

    • MattyS says:

      I couldn’t link my Flying Club to my Amex on the website either so called the number on the back of the Amex card. They did it over the phone plus linked it so was available next time I logged in. Transfer of points was pretty much instantaneous.

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

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