Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Do you know you can get a sign-up bonus on BOTH the Virgin Atlantic credit cards?

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If you have ever had a British Airways American Express card, you will know that it is NOT possible to have both the free BA Amex and the paid BA Premium Plus version.  You need to choose.

Virgin Atlantic also offers two different credit cards – the free White cards and the £140 annual fee Black cards.

You may assume that the same rules applied as with the British Airways card – ie that you had to choose between White or Black.  However, this is not the case.

Virgin Atlantic 747 Pretty Woman G-VROY

MBNA is perfectly happy, subject to credit etc, to let you have BOTH the Virgin White and Virgin Black credit cards.

The current sign-up offers on the cards are:

The free White card offers 3,000 Flying Club miles

The £140 Black card offers 18,500 Flying Club miles

We have seen better deals on these cards in the past but those days may be numbered given the EU caps on interchange fees which will slash credit card profitability.

Please note that the White cards have a representative APR 22.9% variable.  The Black cards have a representative APR 57.4% variable including the fee based on a notional £1200 credit limit.

MBNA is almost certainly losing the Virgin credit cards soon

Virgin Money recently announced that it has signed a partnership deal with Virgin Atlantic.  Whilst the credit cards were not specifically mentioned, it is unthinkable that this deal does not include the Flying Club cards.

On the basis that MBNA may stop offering the Virgin Atlantic cards at any time, it makes sense to take advantage of this offer whilst it is running.  If / when the cards move to Virgin Money, you will be able to get another sign-up bonus through them!

Can I apply for both White and Black cards at the same time?

I know people who managed to apply for both sets of Virgin cards at once, although this is pushing your luck.  It makes more sense to get one now and then the 2nd one later on.

If you already have one of the Virgin cards, however, you should think about whether you should get the other one:

If you currently have Virgin Black, you have nothing to lose – and 3,000 miles to gain – by taking out Virgin White.  You can always cancel it as soon as the free miles have hit.

If you currently have Virgin White, applying for Virgin Black means you are effectively paying £140 for 18,500 miles, which is a decent deal.  Once you have triggered the sign-up bonus you need to decide whether to keep spending on Black – with the higher earnings rate – or go back to White if you are close to hitting the upgrade voucher.  You CANNOT get a pro-rata refund of the £140 fee if you cancel Black.

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – December 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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £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 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 bonus points 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:

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

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 (53)

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

  • Liz says:

    OT to do with the Premier Tesco card. Has anyone completed the first year and receiced the 5000 CC pts bonus at the anniversary date and than cancelled before the next years fee hits? My anniversary is up next week. Wondering how quickly the bonus points hit the Clubcard account.

  • Jonathan says:

    I asked MBNA about when their contract with Amex was up, I was told Feb 2018 and they would write to customers in January. The call centre hasn’t been briefed on the situation other than that.

  • Neil says:

    I’ve see. It mentioned here but can you churn these cards? I currently have the black card and had the white card at the same time. I did however cancel the white card about 8 months ago. As it’s free, it would be good to know if I can get the 3000 free signup bonus again?!?

    • Genghis says:

      You can churn, yes. Personally though I wouldn’t bother ‘wasting’ a potential credit check for £30 of points but different strokes and all that.

    • Rob says:

      Yes, seems possible.

  • Mr Dee says:

    Don’t apply for both at the same time as they will probably phone you up and think you made a mistake and ask which one you want, best leave a few weeks in between.

  • ChrisC says:

    Just last week I received my new While Virgin Amex and Visa cards from MBNA.

    Both had 2020 expiry dates.

    Would seem to me to be rather wasteful to issue me cards with 3 year expiry dates if a major change was in the offing – why not just one year (which is what RBS did with my bank cards whilst the transfer to the ‘new’ Williams and Glynes bank was in the offing.

    • Genghis says:

      MBNA have nothing to lose by issuing cards with 2020 expiry dates. In fact saves cash as they may have to replace short dated cards if they still had the deal. MBNA can cull cards whenever they want, giving the required notice in the T&Cs, most likely a month.

  • Danielle says:

    I have spend over £15,000 on my Virgin White card and haven’t received either the upgrade or free companion voucher which are meant to be triggered after a £10,000 spend and £15K spend, respectively. Does anyone know who I should contact about this? MBNA or Virgin Atlantic? Many thanks!

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

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