Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Virgin Atlantic has unveiled its new ex-airberlin leased A330-200 aircraft

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Virgin Atlantic has released footage of their new aircraft “Daydream Believer” (G-VMNK), the first of four A330-200 leased from the remnants of Air Berlin to replace some of its B787 aircraft whilst engine issues are being sorted.

From March 2018 the A330-200 will operate on the Manchester routes to New York, Boston, San Francisco and Barbados.

The seat configuration will be different to the usual Virgin Atlantic aircraft.

Upper Class will have 19 seats with three different variations: Love Suite (in the centre of the cabin and ideal for couples or groups travelling together), Solo Freedom Suite (direct aisle access) and Solo Corner Suite (extra privacy).  This is, in truth, a way of selling as a benefit the lower level of privacy that some Air Berlin seats have compared to the standard Upper Class seat.

The Economy cabin will have 46 Economy Extra Legroom seats and 222 Economy seats.  There is no Premium Economy.

The planes are fully Wi-Fi enabled with free messaging in Upper Class.

You can see the transformation of the exterior from Air Berlin to Virgin Atlantic in this rather cool video below.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (June 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 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is increased from 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 19th July 2022. This card is free for the first year.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 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.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points 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 (77)

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

  • Roger says:

    Emirates now also flies from STN in addition to LGW and LHR.
    Etihad on the other hand only flies from LHR.
    Qatar has added welsh connection

    • Zain says:

      EK’s Stansted service starts 8th June. I’ve booked tickets on the first flight!

  • 1DES1 says:

    O/T – All, I need to make a redemption tomorrow but I am going to be 3,833 Avios short of the required amount.

    To complicate matters, I am amending an existing 2-4-1 booking using the call centre (adding on connecting flights to Australia & New Zealand from Hong Kong).

    What is the cheapest, fastest & easiest way for me to purchase these 3,833 Avios?

    I’m familiar with “Cash and Avios” while booking online (coming up as low as (0.83p per Avios for this booking) but I’m not sure you can use this option when calling the BAEC call centre? Could anyone confirm this for me? Can the BAEC call centre access the same avios rates?

    if the above is not an option, the best/fastest option I can currently see is £79 for purchasing 4,000 Avios directly from BAEC (1.9p per Avios). Does this process immediately on purchase (i.e. in my account as soon as I purchase them) or do I need to wait longer for the Avios to appear? If I need to wait, how long do I need to wait for them to appear?

    By way of background to the above, I am short the Avios because it transpires my Tesco Clubcard account has been crediting an unknown number (not mine or my wife’s account) ALL of my Clubcard points (which have been set to auto convert into Avios) since about 2015! I only discovered this over the weekend and called Tesco yesterday, they are going to look into this for me but it won’t be done by Monday and I’m keen to lock in a redemption before availability dries up. I haven’t noticed this before because I don’t really use Tesco that much – the recent chunk of 5,000 Avios was from NowTV boxes which is why I have only now picked up on this issue.

    As always, any assistance is greatly appreciated.


    • Rob says:

      241 bookings need to be 100% Avios so ‘cash and Avios’ is not possible.

      To get them very quickly it will need to be an Amex transfer (overnight) or you need to buy them for the rip-off BA price (not sure how fast they credit).

    • George says:

      “To complicate matters, I am amending an existing 2-4-1 booking using the call centre (adding on connecting flights to Australia & New Zealand from Hong Kong).”

      I don’t believe this will be possible, as you (very annoyingly) can’t add connecting flights to a 241 booking

  • Roger says:

    OT- IHG

    I have IHG Black card free night certificate to use but cannot find any hotels with any dates, particularly when I select 2 adult + 2 children.
    Any ideas on how can I effectively use my free night?

    • jason says:

      Book 2 adults and ask the hotel directly to put you in a room that sleeps 4. Works everytime for me

    • Tracy says:

      I’ve done as Roger suggested. I have a couple of bookings coming up over summer where I have contacted the hotel and they have changed my booking to a better room type. No harm in asking, you can always cancel the booking.

  • Cat says:

    O/T (sorry Dale) – my brother in law got the Hilton credit card, hit the required spend, but never received the free night voucher. When he contacted them about this, they said that it had been sent, it’s not their fault if he didn’t receive it, that they couldn’t send it again, and then they fobbed him off with £40 to compensate him a teeny tiny fraction of the value of the voucher.
    Has anyone got any advice for him at all?

    • AriseSirGenghis says:

      Who’s them? Barclaycard or Hilton? Please note they (Hilton) no longer send physical gift certificates, just the certificate reward number in an email (which comes direct from Hilton) which can be redeemed by calling the Hilton call centre. When you receive a free night certificate, it should also show on your online account so Hilton will be able to see it.

      • Cat says:

        Ah, he’s found the certificate on his Honors account – it was issued in April, so it ran out in October. Damn!
        Thanks (Sir) Genghis

    • Alan says:

      Escalate through Barclaycard web relations – due way more compensation than that.

  • Tilly says:

    O/T – if I shop in Heathrow, can I credit points from my purchases to someone else’s account? Or must card be in my name?

    Easy if I use my husbands as can just make sure he doesn’t wander off but what if I take my sister’s card? To help her trigger the sign up bonus with £150 spend.

  • David says:

    OT – I currently have a PRGC and the Gold Credit Companion Card. I’m planning on a quick upgrade to platinum for the bonus before the end of my free 1st year and then cancel once I have the bonus MR points (hopefully avoiding the £450 too!).

    Can anyone tell me what happens to the credit card? Is it treated as a totally separate account?


    • Zain says:

      The GCC remains, although I’d advise that you cancel that so you can apply for the PCC (plat companion card) that nets another 5K bonus MRs for £500.

      • David says:

        Thanks Zain – do you mean cancel before applying for the Platinum?

        • Zain says:

          You can cancel at any time but I was advised that one can’t apply for the PCC whilst holding a GCC. I assume you’ve earned the 5K bonus on the GCC already so maybe cancel that right away. Here’s the link to the PCC:

  • Jonny says:

    OT- good news from Marriott Rewards if you don’t mind a late one…via Twitter:

    “Extra Points Sundays is back by popular demand for #SBLII ! Watch out for questions throughout the game for a chance to score up to 1,500 #RewardsPoints”.

  • Bigsi says:

    @marriottrewards 14 #rewardspoints

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