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Your questions about the new Virgin Atlantic credit cards answered

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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

Virgin Rewards credit card

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

You can apply for the free Reward credit card here and the £160 Reward+ credit card here.  You can compare the cards side-by-side here.

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%.

Virgin Flying Club Reward Plus credit card

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?”

No.

“Can the Virgin Atlantic credit card be used with Apple Pay?”

No.

“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?”

No.

“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?”

No.

“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?”

No.

“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.


HFP Virgin Atlantic Rewards credit card

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (September 2021)

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 15,000 Points):

Virgin Rewards credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

The UK’s most generous free Visa or Mastercard at 0.75 points / £1 Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending 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 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 20,000 Virgin Points:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

Until 2nd November 2021, there is a special offer on The Platinum Card from American Express.

You will receive a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Amex points which converts into 60,000 Virgin Points.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee 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 (146)

  • Jorge says:

    Hi!

    A bit unrelated (and sorry for the off topic) but I’ve just triggered my amex gold bonus and I was wondering what the best steps are now, I spend around 1200 every month so I was thinking if it wasn’t a better idea to cancel it and rejoin after 6 months to get the 20.000 points bonus again. Any suggestions?

    Thanks!

    • S says:

      Upgrade to Platinum for extra 20k and refer yourself for the BAPP while you have the Platinum. Cancel the Plat as soon as the bonus hits.

      • mark2 says:

        also get the Platinum companion card (and maybe supplementary) for additional 5,000 MR.

      • Jorge says:

        Thanks for the help guys! A bit that is unclear to me about upgrading, how much will I get charged by amex? I’m assuming nothing on the gold since it is the first year (free) and only the pro-rata of the Platinum. Is this correct?

        Can you refer yourself for the BAPP and avoid the 6 months cooldown??? That’s amazing!

        • Rob says:

          Amex will bill you the £450 immediately if they are on the ball (they aren’t always) but it is refundable pro-rata later.

  • Nigel Williams says:

    Wow – Card checker says I will be rejected (although my wife oddly, with a more colourful past although nothing scary) is pre-approved.

    Looks like Rob will be getting an e-mail if my actual application fails too! 😉

  • Travel Strong says:

    My Pre-Check says I will be rejected also, despite holding both the MBNA cards already.

    Before I apply for real – would holding an existing virgin money card be an issue? I have an old dormant card with Virgin Money (£14k credit limit). I do not require it currently or use it, but it is still active.

    • Rob says:

      The application form only says you can’t apply if you have applied for a VM card in the last 6 months. Anyway, you are in a good position. If you get refused, call them and ask to split the £14k between the new card and the old card. Hard to argue with that.

  • nwmgc says:

    I was rejected under the pre-check. My income is high, but my Experian rating is ‘Good’ as opposed to “Perfect’, so I guess my VS association may end when the MBNA cards stop.

  • Tom says:

    Slightly O/T, I booked a reward flight in UC with Virgin Atlantic. Will I earn miles or tier points?

  • JohnM says:

    Does the 2-4-1 voucher only apply to complete miles redemptions? Thinking of getting a card for myself and partner but I cannot see how we will get to 45,000 miles each that are needed to take the kids to Orlando in 2020…. I know! There’s a lot of time between now and then…

  • Paul says:

    Can my partner use my flying club details to pool her earned miles into my account?

    • Rob says:

      No, but the call centre is flexible and if both of you are travelling will take miles from two accounts. This is not an advertised benefit.

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