Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Save money on No 1 airport lounges and get free champagne or Virgin miles too

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If you don’t have airport lounge access via your flight ticket, your elite status, via a Priority Pass card from American Express Platinum or via a Lounge Club card from American Express Gold, your best fall-back option is usually No 1 Lounges.

No 1 Lounges is the largest network of premium independent lounges in the UK.  We have reviewed all of them in the past (click for the review):

All lounges include free hot food, free drinks (some premium food and drinks carries an extra charge), free newspapers and magazines and free wi-fi.

moneysavingexpert.com is running an exclusive discount code – with free champagne – for No 1 Lounges this week as you may have seen in their weekly newsletter.  However, this is not necessarily the best deal as I show below.

No 1 Lounges has a generous tie-up with Virgin Flying Club.  This allows you to buy access to their lounges at a discount and earn points in avios.com or Virgin Flying Club at the same time.  Note that their previous Avios deal has now ended.

The moneysavingexpert offer:

moneysavingexpert is offering a saving of up to 20% PLUS a free glass of champagne per person.

Here is the pricing:

  • Birmingham – £22 (was £26) PLUS free champagne & fast-track security
  • Edinburgh – £22 (was £26) PLUS free champagne & fast-track security
  • Gatwick North – £26 (was £32) PLUS free champagne & fast-track security
  • Gatwick South – £26 (was £32) PLUS free champagne & fast-track security
  • Heathrow Terminal 3 – £26 (was £32) PLUS free champagne

You can also book Gatwick’s Clubrooms for £36 per person (normally £45). These offer unlimited champagne, a la carte dining and premium security.

This offer must be booked by midnight on Thursday 10th May, for lounge visits up to 31st August.

You must book via this special page of the No 1 site and use code MSESUMMER at check-out.

The Virgin Atlantic offer:

Virgin Flying Club offers a discount and, instead of a glass of free champagne, a chunk of miles instead.  You also receive fast-track security at Birmingham, Edinburgh and Gatwick.

There is a tiered earning structure, per booking:

  • 400 miles at Clubrooms
  • 350 miles at No 1 Lounges
  • 200 miles at My Lounge

The special Virgin Flying Club pricing is:

  • £25 – No 1 Lounges
  • £12 – My Lounge
  • £35 – Clubrooms

You can only book the Virgin deal via this page of the No 1 website.

Because the miles are awarded per booking, you should make a separate reservation for each person in your group.

Which deal is best?

If you are looking at Birmingham or Edinburgh, you are probably better off with the MSE deal.  It is £3 cheaper and, whilst you miss out on 350 miles, you do gain a glass of champagne.

For the No 1 Lounges and Clubrooms in London, there isn’t much in it.  MSE costs £1 more than Virgin and comes with a glass of champagne.  Virgin comes with 350 miles (400 for Clubrooms).

For the cheap and cheerful My Lounge at Gatwick North, the Virgin deal is your only option.  £12, with 200 miles, is a very decent deal I think.


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 (10)

  • Den says:

    I was at Gatwick South early this week with my priority pass. I headed out to the No.1 lounge but as many had said they turned me away as I had not pre booked. They did though offer me the Clubroom for a fee of £15 with the unlimited champagne.

    • Scottydogg says:

      Im flying out of south in a few weeks and wanted to use this lounge with PP . I have read this a lot about people getting turned away , but i’m not up for the idea of pre paying £20 to book the 4 of us . Luckily its a morning flight and wanted the lounge as a quite place and not a place to eat and drink so dont think its worth the £20 .

  • Darren says:

    With the flying club deal how do you get the miles? As you get to the payment page without putting your membership number in.

    • Paul says:

      Hmm… I’ve just looked everywhere and couldn’t see anywhere to enter a FC number either…!

  • eBungle says:

    Does anyone know if you can use Nbr1 with the Avios Loungepass deal?

  • William Kerr says:

    Thank you for running this feature Rob – so informative, and relevant after your promotion of Virgin over the last few weeks with their Flying Club and the new credit cards – lounge useage, and eligibility can seem a minefield, and an embarrassing experience if one is refused with family in tow – have saved your content – thank you. ( Just jumped ship from BA Amex card useage to Virgin Atlantic- and ALL my outgoings, with the exception of my father`s care home, who don`t take cards.. are all on either Amex Membership Rewards or Virgin Atlantic Mastercard). A fun way to spend your retirement ! Bill Kerr

    • Mike says:

      Have you tried Billhop for paying the care home fees – means you can bill to your Virgin Credit Card

  • Tom H says:

    Just in Gatwick No1 North today flying to YYC, first attendant said full to PP but could wait for 30-45 mins on the sofas next to reception. I said no probs as I had some work to do. About 40 mins later her colleague said I had to leave the area. I explained what her collaugue had said, to which she suddenly became a little hostile and said if I didn’t leave she would call security! I said fine, but I would like to see her supervisor at the same time. Not surprisingly the shift supervisor came and found space in the lounge. They really need to sort this out. Aspire and No1 at T5 have a much better system when full. Anyone else had a similar situation?

    • Aeronaut says:

      Ouch! Not good.

      The only way I can rationalise that is that the attendants get a lot of people trying it on, so perhaps she jumped to an erroneous conclusion that you were doing the same.

      ‘I’m going to call security’ is so clichéd too!

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