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An odd quirk when earning Virgin Flying Club miles from Virgin Trains

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When you travel with Virgin Trains West Coast, you can choose to earn either Nectar points or Virgin Flying Club miles, assuming you book directly on the Virgin Trains website.

Following changes last year, the rate is now:

  • 2 Nectar points per £1 spent, or
  • 1 Virgin Flying Club mile per £1 spent

Since you should be able to get more than 1p from your miles, I was generally keener on crediting to Virgin Flying Club.

A reader has pointed out a quirk in the system, however.

If you take Nectar points, you get points for the entire value of the ticket you book, even if some of the travel is on another train operator

If you take Virgin Flying Club miles, you earn NOTHING if any part of your journey is on another train operator

The first point is well known and publicised on the Virgin Trains website.  The second point is not.  Our reader had been trying to retroclaim points from Virgin Flying Club when they came clean about this rule.

Make sure that you choose Nectar points as your reward if you are booking Virgin Trains West Coast and using a mix of train operators.

Nectar Virgin Trains

How to earn Virgin Atlantic miles from UK credit cards

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Flying Club miles from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Flying Club miles.  That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.

(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles?  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 (48)

  • jo says:

    thanks so much for heads up re marriott promo. nearly missed this with 10 mins remaining!

  • Cate says:

    OT as bits, I have an offer on my SPG’s dashboard of stay twice and pick up two nights at a 1-5 Category hotel free. It’s the same one Marriott held in November. I’m planning on doing two nights at the Sheraton Heathrow when I’m up there next.

    • Rob says:

      Very nice. And SPG gives you credits for up to 3 rooms per night, so if you were mattress running you could book 2 rooms for the same night.

      • Cate says:

        Yes indeed! On this occasion though we have weekend flights out of Heathrow and they will come in handy as is. Shame the certificate’s only valid till end of June though, but being resourceful and adaptable is part and parcel of this hobby 🙂

      • Jeremy says:

        Very nice offer indeed.

        Anyone know how SPG targets people for its offers? I’m Platinum off 50 nights last year but no such luck on my dashboard 🙁

        • Nick says:

          You’ve answered your own question!! If you’re platinum because you stay a lot, you don’t need a nice offer such as a free night or two to convince you to spend more with them!

        • Jeremy says:

          Well that was just luck for work! This year I’ll need some persuasion… maybe I’ll let them know…

        • Cate says:

          Both MrCate and I signed up for the previous Marriott offer. He triggered his bonus night but I couldn’t trigger mine. Perhaps it’s picking people who didn’t receive the previous offer? I think having separate accounts helps sometimes – but it’s just an opinion. Alas he hasn’t been targeted for this SPG offer.

    • Peter K says:

      Where is the SPG dashboard? Is it only on the app?
      I only use the website and have never dated at a Starwood hotel but use the points for Marriott stays. This might sway me however.

  • Lloyd says:

    Somewhat ironic timing of this article!

    • James says:

      I was just about to make the same comment! Where is Save East Coast Rewards when you need him (or her)?!

    • Rob says:

      It is a total bailout despite that article. The structure allowed them to make a lot of money in the early years but pay more back in later years. What a surprise …. they bail out before the big premium payments turn up.

      • Billy says:

        It’s actually not.

        DfT promised various upgrades when granting the franchise.

        When Stagecoach/Virgin won, DfT advised Network Rail of their promises.

        Network Rail advised that the upgrades weren’t possible.

        Stagecoach/Virgin remind DfT that their franchise committments were based on these upgrades, and er, we need to talk.

        Chris Grayling attempts to deflect DfTs incompetence with bluster.

        I’m no fan of privitisation but like it or not, the DfT have fked up. And VTEC, with the highest customer satisfaction scores (excluding open access) are taking the flack.

  • Paul says:

    OT: For those eligible for the Membership Rewards > Hilton 50% bonus, how long did the bonus element take to be awarded after the base points had been received?

  • Billy says:

    I definitely knew about the Virgin rule. So either they’ve hidden the T&C or people haven’t read them.