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