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

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.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history.  By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker.  Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.

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Comments

  1. Sammyjlb says:

    Thanks so much Rob !!!!
    My husband and I were both rejected yesterday for the cards but after asking for your help this morning I’ve just had a phone all to say the cards are on their way !
    When I asked why we could have been rejected ????‍♀️ I was told that it could be related to the fact that we own rental properties ?… never heard that one before but glad it’s sorted now.
    Thanks again
    Sam

    • Lolmil116 says:

      I am pleased it worked out for you in the end. I was referred yesterday and got the rejection email today, yet my wife was approved immediately yesterday. I know we will have individual credit scores, etc… but we both have excellent ratings with Experian, earn decent money and the like so it really does seem odd as there is no reason I am aware of to be rejected. At least I will get a secondary card and when I can’t use my Amex can earn her a few miles in the MasterCard!

    • Am completely baffled. How on earth would they know that you own ‘rental properties’? (which I assume are not your actual home address)

      Is that a question they ask at the application stage? Do you own any rental properties??? Surely not!

      Do they ask if you own a car or boat or motorbike?!!

      • Genghis says:

        Source of income?

      • Sammyjlb says:

        It’s not a question on the application but they could see on our credit report that we had extra mortgages and it somehow messed with the figures and so “ computer said no “. Thankfully human intervention corrected the error.

    • How do you get in touch with Rob to help with the application? I was rejected for one today and can think of no reason why they would.

  2. Master George says:

    O/T (because comments on the SPG card are closed)

    On the SPG Amex: “You receive a pro-rata refund if you cancel.” – Cancelled today and full balance (inc. £75 fee on statement) taken by debit card at cancellation. How/when does the refund appear? What would happen if you didn’t have another Amex card for them to credit?

    Thanks

    • AndyW says:

      Takes a few days from memory. They will send you a cheque if you don’t have another Amex (or if that’s your preference)

    • roberto says:

      Generally if I am cancelling any Amex I wait until the bill is generated and then phone to cancel. They close the account the same day, credit the pro-rata normally fee a day or so later ( check online ) and then I settle the account or or before the due date.

    • Grimz says:

      They will send you a final letter with what you are owe on a pro rata refund. Be aware, you have to call them for the refund and will get this by Cheque if you don’t have another Amex card. They won’t automatically send you the refund.

    • Mr Dee says:

      took a day

  3. OT – Have AMEX removed the Melia night vouchers now? searching for melia on membership rewards page now turns up nothing and the url I was using previously says not found.

  4. Lolmil116 says:

    I am pleased it worked out for you in the end. I was referred yesterday and got the rejection email today, yet my wife was approved immediately yesterday. I know we will have individual credit scores, etc… but we both have excellent ratings with Experian, earn decent money and the like so it really does seem odd as there is no reason I am aware of to be rejected. At least I will get a secondary card and when I can’t use my Amex can earn her a few miles in the MasterCard!

  5. James says:

    Nice summary Rob, thank you.

    It’d be interesting to know what (if any) feedback both VM and VA are taking from the comments left here on HFP and whether anything might change based on said comments (I.E: fee being more than MBNA)

  6. OT: tesco pay+ (formerly payqwiq) is reintroducing bonus clubcard points for using the app. 1 point per £4.

    Presumably double dips with bonus points from tesco debit/credit card as it has done in the past

    interesting the t&cs for the bonus points don’t exclude gift cards but I suspect in practise they will not generate bonus points

    • Thanks, that is Monday’s Shopper Points in the bag!

    • They did the last time – using the app linked to your Tesco debit card – £100 gift card gets 125 CC pts

      • Are you sure? I could have sworn that I don’t get any debit card bonus points on gift card spend…

  7. As someone who uses the MBNA Virgin Atlantic credit cards for everything we can to rack up Flying Club points, we will certainly be getting these Virgin Money Flying Club cards.

    However, I have a Virgin Money card already – I can’t remember getting it but it was a couple of years ago and I can’t help thinking that it was an account that evolved from another rather than me applying for it. I just can’t remember!

    Anyway, what advice would you have – do I close this before applying, or call Virgin Money up and ask for advice?

    • You’re fine. Others with VM cards (acquired over 6 months ago) have been accepted OK.

  8. I tried cancelling the mbna virgin black credit card but they are refusing to refund the card fee pro-rata…any suggestions

    • David says:

      In short, wait.
      This is you wanting to cancel.
      Wait until they say they need to vary/close the product – then they will either provide you with a pro-rata refund, or do so that moment you elect to discounting as the offering has changed.

    • Wait. It will be closed very soon (probably) and you get refunded then.

      • I spoke to MBNA a couple of months ago to ask them what was happening. The operator did not have a clue and I was fobbed off with everything is normal until we tell you otherwise. Someone at MBNA knows when it will happen, they just haven’t shared it with the minions in the call centre yet.

  9. Darren says:

    Are you able to sign up for the card and enter the Flying Club number of someone else? or do both account names have to match?

  10. Definitas says:

    OT. If you upgrade the free Blue Amex to the BAPP is there any sign up bonus?

  11. Aneesh says:

    I’ve just moved from the US a tad under a year ago, and am (at least by Ron’s definition) a “high earner”. I had no problem getting a couple UK Amex cards because of my credit history in the States, but is it worth even wasting the time to apply for the VS card given my limited UK credit history?

    • Amex offers global card transfer. Log into your account, and under Benefits there’s an option “Transfer a card to a new country of residence”. They should also let you keep the UK account open too.

  12. KBuffett says:

    I’ve recently applied for a BAPP & Hilton Card. My Experian rating has dropped from ther permanent 999 to 977. I’d love to get the IAG card and this Virgin Card too, but worried this will drop by rating further. Does anyone have a strategy on how best to stagger Card applications?
    I always pay things off in full on time.

  13. 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!

    • 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!

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

  14. 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! 😉

  15. 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.

    • 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.

  16. 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.

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

  18. 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…

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

    • 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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