Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

How to earn Avios or Virgin miles, and save £, with No 1 Lounges

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If you don’t have airport lounge access via your flight ticket, your elite status, via a Priority Pass card from American Express Platinum or via a Lounge Club card from American Express Gold, your best fall-back option is usually No 1 Lounges.

No 1 Lounges is the largest network of premium independent lounges in the UK.  We have reviewed all of them in the past (click for the review):

No 1 Traveller Lounge Gatwick South 4

All lounges include free hot food, free drinks (some premium food and drinks carries an extra charge), free newspapers and magazines and free wi-fi.

No 1 Lounges has generous tie-ups with both avios.com and Virgin Flying Club.  This allows you to buy access to their lounges at a discount and earn points in avios.com or Virgin Flying Club at the same time.

Full details of the Avios deal can be found here.

Full details of the Virgin deal can be found here.

The Avios offer

If you pre-book lounge access, you will pay a flat fee of £22.50 per person in Birmingham and Edinburgh and £25 in London.  This saves up to £15 depending on airport.  You will also receive 750 Avios points in avios.com.

If you pay on the door – which means you run the very real risk at Gatwick of the lounge being full – you get a fixed discount of £5 on the walk-in price.  You will also receive 500 Avios points in avios.com.

I think this is a decent deal.  Stripping out the value of the Avios takes the net cost down to around £15 and they are definitely worth that if you have a couple of hours to kill.  Birmingham and Edinburgh packages also include fast track security.

Handy hint:  the Avios are awarded per booking.  If you are booking for multiple adult guests, make multiple bookings as long as each has their own Avios account.

The Virgin Atlantic offer

Virgin Flying Club is the only way to earn miles if you want to book the (funkier) My Lounge or  (premium) Clubrooms at London Gatwick.

There is a tiered earning structure, per booking:

  • 400 miles at Clubrooms
  • 350 miles at No 1 Lounges
  • 200 miles at My Lounge

The special Virgin Flying Club pricing is:

  • £25 – No 1 Lounges
  • £12 – My Lounge
  • £35 – Clubrooms

If you are looking at Birmingham or Edinburgh, you are clearly better off with the Avios deal which is £2.50 cheaper and gives you more miles.  For the No 1 Lounges in London, the pricing is the same with both offers but you get more miles with Avios.   For My Lounge or Clubrooms, the Virgin deal is your only option.


HFP Virgin Atlantic Rewards credit card

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (July 2021)

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

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 (24)

  • Lumma says:

    Even if it’s not the best lounge in the world £12 plus a couple of hundred virgin miles for the MyLounge in Gatwick north seems a decent deal. Do you get fast track security as well?

    • Robbie says:

      Not sure about fast track as I have the priority pass – however, if I didn’t have priority pass I would consider 12GBP to be overpriced for MyLounge. It really is the strangest lounge I have been in, last time I ended up in there the only choice of food was a pot of baked beans.

      I will only use it if both the Aspire and Nbr1 are full. Obviously this is just my opinion I am sure others will probably like it but when you have other choices I would rather pay the 12GBP to mcdonalds.

  • Ro says:

    OTish…. which lounge would people recommend in LHR T3 for priority pass – no1 or aspire?

    • the real harry1 says:

      both are pretty good

      No1 is lighter, airier with good runway views – only 1 free item of menu food + unlimited salad, soup etc – often full

      Aspire told me they’d never turned anyone away (Xmas) though that might be because nobody much knew how to find them! 120 capacity – unlimited buffet food, refreshed regularly

      Both have manned bars with decent choice (no self-serve for alcoholic drinks), pay for Champers/ Prosecco – Aspire has Guinness (cans)

      both worth visiting

      • Ro says:

        Great, thanks for the tips Harry
        Will have 4h so can probs try both

        • Rob says:

          I did a review of Aspire if you search, perfectly pleasant. Little to choose between the two but No 1 is larger. Aspire is newer.

      • Raymond Hennessy says:

        Aspire turned me away last month,said they were full.

  • Chris says:

    On topic – last summer I bought 8 passes for No1 LGW south (stag do). Booking them individually but each time using my Avios account – I received 8 x 750 Avios.

    I did need to chase a couple of missing ones a few months later though.

  • Chris says:

    Off topic – in 2 weeks I am travelling from LGW North on Thomson (don’t ask!) with check in around 4:30/5am. Any anecdotal experience on lounge busyness around 5/6am for Priority Pass holders? Will No1 be turning people away?

    I am at ‘churn point’ with my Amex Plat and wondering if it’s worth an extra 3 week’s fees for lounge access on that trip (outbound LGW S, inbound MLA a week later).

    • Fenny says:

      I have a similar query, so interested to hear any comments.

  • N says:

    Not really OT but sort of; I’ve managed to use fast track security at STN by flashing my priority pass as it was proof I was using the lounge.

  • Sussex Bantam says:

    Whilst we’re on the topic of lounges I’m off to BKK on Thai in Business in a couple of weeks from T2. Apparently I can use any of the Star Alliance lounges there – any recommendations ?

    • Rob says:

      United Club, by a substantial margin. I have reviewed it on here a couple of times. It is lovely.

      • Gavin says:

        Completely agree re United. Singapore lounge is good for a Sling as well

      • thehornets says:

        United is lovely but I would suggest trying them all. I did! IIRC you have Lufthansa and others too.

        Also, don’t forget you have access to the Star Alliance arrivals lounge on your return.

        • Andy says:

          That’s if it’s open! Last August (5th Aug I think) there were hardly any lounge staff in T2…i think i was told eventually there were severe staff shortages…and they shut the United Lounge early (6pm) and gruffly refused entry to any non-united passengers. I was on Air China in F.

          The Singapore first lounge also had no lounge attendants and the business lounge was quite poor.

          Hopefully this lack of staff doesn’t happen often! The Lufthansa lounges were fine and were fully staffed.

    • Roger says:

      I need to use priority pass lounge at BKK later this month with family (incl. kids).
      Any ideas how will be I be able to use shower? Do you just ask the purser for the same?

      Also any recommendation for Priority Pass lounge at BKK will be good.

  • Whiskerxx says:

    I’ve twice been refused entry to No 1 Lounge in Birmingham recently when using PP. On both occasions the lounge was empty. I was told that they were expecting to be busy later???
    On the second occasion I walked in and took photos of just how empty it was and emailed them to Phil Cameron ( who I think is the CEO). My mail was read, but I didn’t receive an acknowledgement. Very poor show.
    Both times I then visited the Aspire lounge, and received a great welcome.
    I’ve since visited No 1 when travelling with a Qatar business class ticket, and wasn’t overly impressed with the offering.
    TBH if travelling from BHX it’s not worth spending any money or points on a Lounge. The food offering at Pret is much better, and get a drink at Weathersppons. Save some money/points for another time.

  • steve says:

    The Heathrow T3 No1 is currently £24 through virgin holidays ( https://no1lounges.com/virginholidays ) , so I guess £1 for 500 points

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