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Virgin Atlantic launches a status match for BA flyers – with strings

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Virgin Atlantic has launched a surprise status match for British Airways Executive Club Gold and Silver members.

Whilst this is open to top- and mid-tier members of other airlines too, you have to think that this is driven by a desire to capitalise on BA’s recent PR problems.

It is NOT a no-brainer and there is no guarantee that you will qualify simply because you have a British Airways Executive Club Gold or Silver card.

Full details are on the Virgin Flying Club website here.

Virgin Atlantic 747 Pretty Woman G-VROY

Apart from BA, the airlines include American, United, Emirates, Etihad, Jet, Cathay Pacific and South African Airways.  These cover the core countries where Virgin now operates.

Here are the reasons why you might NOT qualify:

You must have a flight booked with Virgin Atlantic in Upper Class or Premium Economy for a Gold match or any class for a Silver match

You must send a screenshot of your British Airways account showing that you are doing enough travel on Virgin Atlantic routes to ensure that you would retain Gold or Silver if you are matched

How much travel will your statement need to show?  We don’t know.  However:

Silver requires the equivalent of 1 Upper Class return ticket in a flexible ticket class, or 2 Premium Economy return tickets in a flexible ticket class

Gold requires the equivalent of 2.5 Upper Class return tickets in a flexible ticket class, or 5 Premium Economy return tickets in a flexible ticket class

On this basis …. I would guess that as long as you can show 1 return Club World cash flight this year to a destination served by Virgin Atlantic then that should be good enough for either a Silver or Gold match.

If you usually travel in Premium Economy, I reckon 1 return cash ticket this year would be good enough for Silver or 2 for Gold.

Virgin Atlantic 787

Is Virgin Atlantic status worth having?

Virgin Atlantic is not in a major airline alliance.  Unless you fly on Virgin or their partner Delta on a regular basis, you won’t get much value from your card.

The only clear beneficiaries are people with BA Gold status who fly Virgin in Economy or Premium Economy, because a Gold match would get you Clubhouse and Arrivals Lounge access as well as priority check-in etc.

Note that Silver members of Flying Club do not get lounge access if flying Economy or Premium Economy.  There is very little benefit in having this apart from the bonus miles on any upcoming Virgin flights.  To be honest I’m not even sure why Virgin bothers asking for proof of past or future flights before issuing a Silver card.

The full list of Virgin Flying Club Silver benefits is here.

The full list of Virgin Flying Club Gold benefits is here.

So …. this is not a deal to get too excited about although if you are a regular traveller in Economy or Premium Economy on routes where Virgin operates you might want to give it a go.  If you fly Business Class then Virgin status would get you bonus miles when you fly but the other perks – lounge access etc – would be given to you anyway as an Upper Class benefit.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (August 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, the Reward+ card has a bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points):

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Rewards credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

A generous earning rate for a free card at 0.75 points per £1 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.

American Express Amex Gold

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.

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.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points.

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

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year 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 (31)

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

  • RussellH says:

    Sorry, completely OT.

    Re Amex sign-up bonus points.

    Like others here (AIUI) I have received Amex sign-up bonuses within a day or two of hitting the spending target.

    However, It is over two weeks since I hit the £500 target for my Amex Gold Credit Card bonus of 3 000 points. I just rang up to chse them, but the young woman who answered insisted that bonus points were never awarded until the three months period from taking out the card was up, and then it could take another month.

    I assured her that that was not how it had worked in the past – having cancelled an SPG Amex after 6 weeks total, for example. Sadly she just kept on mouthing, somewhat robotically, “it has always been three months…”

    Finally I remembered an e-mail from someone else in Amex CS who had stated 28 days from hitting the target. Following that she promised to put the points on within 24 hours.

    Anyone else ever had anything like this?

    • Phatbear says:

      The landing page for your application has t&c’s at the bottom which state:

      Please note that it can take up to one month for bonus points to be awarded to your Account.

      So you have to wait at least a month to get them, heres the actual page for clarification

      • RussellH says:

        Yes, so no menmtion at all of having to wait for the three months and then the one month…

  • Ann L says:

    Has anyone else applied for the status match and received a reply? Applied for this when it was first published early June, got an acknowledgement email but nothing since.

    • Alan says:

      I applied a couple of days before it was mentioned on here. Had a reply within a couple of days and status upgraded immediately.

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

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