Yesterday we gave over two articles to the launch of the the new Virgin Atlantic Reward and Reward+ credit cards. Part 1, which is a factual look at the cards, is here. Part 2, giving my personal opinion, is here.
As a reminder:
You CAN apply for the new Virgin Money-run Virgin Atlantic credit cards – and get a sign-up bonus – if you already have the MBNA Virgin Atlantic credit cards
The free Virgin Atlantic Reward credit card has a 5000 miles sign-up bonus, earns 0.75 miles per £1 and comes with a 241 or upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 per year
The £160 Virgin Atlantic Reward+ credit card has a 15000 miles sign-up bonus, earns 1.5 miles per £1 and comes with a 241 or upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 per year
The Virgin Atlantic credit cards are issued by Virgin Money so it is very unlikely that you will be conflicted due to having any other cards from the same bank
I need to remind you that the free Virgin Atlantic Reward credit card has a representative APR of 22.9% variable. The Virgin Atlantic Reward+ credit card has a representative APR of 63.9% based on a notional £1200 credit limit and the annual fee. The representative APR on purchases is 22.9%.
Your questions answered
There were over 400 comments on the articles on the new Virgin Atlantic credit cards yesterday. The general feeling was that the earning rate for day-to-day spending is excellent (which I agree with) but that restricting Upper Class redemptions using the 2-4-1 voucher to Gold members only is a disappointment.
A few good questions on the credit cards came up. Because I assume other readers may have been thinking the same way, I thought I would run through them today. I have run this article past Virgin Atlantic and they have had input into the answers, although they can’t comment on the future of the MBNA cards.
“Can the Premium Economy upgrade voucher be used by two people – upgrading one leg one way – instead of by one person upgrading a return flight?”
Yes, you can do this. The old MBNA vouchers worked this way too.
“Does the 2-4-1 flight have to originate from the UK?”
No, which is an advantage over the British Airways 241 voucher. This opens up an interesting opportunity for booking very cheap one-way flights from Hong Kong, throwing away the return leg of the voucher, because there are no carrier surcharges added by law. One-way tax on a Virgin Atlantic flight from Hong Kong to London is just £29!
“How are miles calculated?”
It is driven off your total monthly spend. It is not ‘per transaction’ so you are not being ripped off by £2.99 transactions being rounded down to £2.
“Can you add a supplementary card?”
Yes. You can include one supplementary card in the application and add up to another two separately.
“Does Virgin Money have an app for managing the Virgin Atlantic credit card?”
“Can the Virgin Atlantic credit card be used with Apple Pay?”
“Can you cancel the card and reapply later, getting another sign-up bonus?”
This isn’t clear, and I suggest will not become clear for at least 18 months as people cancel, leave a gap and then try again.
“Is the annual fee on Virgin Atlantic Reward+ card refunded pro-rata if you cancel?”
“If I book a redemption flight using the 2-4-1 voucher and need to cancel it, will I get the voucher back?”
Yes, it is the same policy as the BA Amex 2-4-1. You will get the voucher back to re-use but the expiry date will remain the same.
“Does Virgin Flying Club offer household accounts which would let me and my partner pool credit card points?”
No, unless you have Flying Club Gold status. Although, of course, you can book outbound flights from one account and inbound flights from another account.
“Will MBNA offer me a pro-rata refund of my annual fee on the old Virgin Atlantic credit cards, assuming your guess is right and they soon close?”
My personal view is, almost certainly, yes. Barclaycard did this when they closed the old IHG cards, and more importantly MBNA did it with me when they closed my BMI Diamond Club cards. They really have no choice, because MBNA would have known the closing date when they billed your renewal fee so they would clearly be operating dubiously to take your money and not then refund it.
“Do the Virgin Atlantic credit cards have a foreign exchange fee?”
Yes they do, at 2.99%.
“Is there a refer-a-friend scheme?”
“Does Virgin Atlantic offer a status match which would allow me to match my BA Gold and therefore use the 2-4-1 voucher in Upper Class?”
“You said that Virgin Money will let me have both cards as long as there is a few months gap between applications. Which one should I get first?”
My view is that you should apply first for the one you want to keep for the long term. Virgin Money could change its mind at any stage on letting people have both cards and you don’t want to be stuck with the wrong one. Remember that Virgin Money doesn’t have any previous experience in rewards cards and isn’t used to card churning, people wanting multiple versions of the same card etc.
The application pages are here for the free Virgin Atlantic Reward and here for £160 Reward+ credit cards. My two articles from yesterday describing the package of benefits are here and here. The main marketing website for the Virgin Atlantic credit cards is here.
How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (May 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, one has a bonus of 30,000 points until 6th June 2022):
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.
The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Virgin Points, if you apply by 1st June 2022.
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.)