For many years, Virgin Flying Club has had a miles earning partnership with Texaco.
However, this offer appears to have ended. All references to Virgin Atlantic have been removed from the Texaco website and a reader who called Texaco to enquire was told that he could no longer make transfers.
The good news is that there are still other ways to earn Virgin Flying Club miles when buying petrol.
Texaco’s loyalty scheme is called Star Rewards. You earn 1 Star Rewards point for every 1 litre of fuel you purchase.
These could be transferred to Virgin Flying Club at the rate of 1:1, in multiples of 1,000.
Was this a good deal? It was OK, but not outstanding. For comparison, 1,000 Star Rewards points will also get you a £10 Texaco, Argos or M&S voucher. You were therefore effectively paying 1p per Virgin mile, so you needed to value them at more than this for it to be worthwhile.
The good news is that the other routes of earning Flying Club miles from petrol are also more lucrative.
Texaco Star Rewards is beaten by the Tesco petrol earning options.
Via Texaco, you are effectively getting 1 Virgin mile for every £1.30 spent on petrol (the average price of 1 litre of unleaded). Let’s compare that with the various ways of earning Clubcard points on petrol:
1.25 Virgin miles per £1 spent at a Tesco-branded filling station (ie 1 Clubcard point per £2 spent, based on swiping a normal Clubcard and not asking for your Tesco credit or debit card to be treated as a Clubcard)
0.96 Virgin miles per £1 spent at any participating Esso filling station which does NOT have a Tesco convenience store attached (technically 1 Clubcard point for every 2 litres of fuel purchased, based on £1.30 per litre)
0.83 Virgin miles per £1 spent at an Esso filling station which has a Tesco convenience store attached (1 Clubcard point per £3 spent). Full details of the Esso earning rates are here.
If you have a Tesco Mastercard or Tesco debit card, and use this as a Clubcard when paying at a Tesco garage, you earn even more. It works out at 2.5 Virgin Flying Club miles per £1 spent. This article explains how you get bonus points for buying petrol with a Tesco payment card.
And all of this ignores the fact that Texaco points can only be converted in chunks of 1,000 litres of petrol, which is a lot of trips to the garage. Using your Texaco points for retail gift vouchers only requires 500 points.
The bottom line is that, if you want to earn Virgin Flying Club from petrol, you were always better off ignoring the ‘official’ Texaco partnership and buying your fuel at Tesco or Esso instead. The end of the official partnership between Virgin Atlantic and Texaco Star Points should not be a major concern.
How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (September 2023)
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, the Reward+ card has a bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points):
SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard is doubled to 30,000 Virgin Points if you apply by 2nd October. You receive 15,000 Virgin Points with your first purchase and a further 15,000 points if you spend £3,000 within 90 days. Apply here.
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.
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.)