SPECIAL OFFER: Get 5,000 to 10,000 EXTRA sign-up miles with the Virgin Atlantic credit cards!

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EDIT:  This offer closed on 14th December 2018.  If you follow the links below you will see the standard bonuses which are still available.  These are 5,000 miles on the free card and 15,000 miles on the premium card.

Virgin Atlantic has launched an impressive special offer for its new Virgin Money-issued Reward and Reward+ credit cards.

For a limited period:

you will earn an extra 5,000 miles (10,000 miles in total) on the FREE Virgin Atlantic Reward credit card 

you will get an extra 10,000 Flying Club miles (25,000 miles in total) if you take out the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ credit card, which has a £160 fee

This offer runs until 14th December 2018.  You can apply here.

It is worth noting that Virgin Money lets existing Virgin Atlantic cardholders who already have one of the two cards apply for the other one – as long as it was six months ago.  If you got one of the cards when they launched back in April, you should be successful if you now apply for the other.

Virgin Flying Club Reward credit card extra bonus

Here are the details:

The free card:

The free Virgin Atlantic Reward credit card is a Mastercard which earns 0.75 miles per £1 spent.  The representative APR is 22.9% variable.

New sign-ups to the Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit Card will be able to earn up to 10,000 miles:

  • 5,000 miles for the first purchase made on the card in the first 90 days
  • Plus another 5,000 miles when you apply on or before 14th December 2018 and £1,000 is spent on the card within 90 days of opening the account

This means that you are earning 10,000 Virgin Flying Club miles – which are worth around £100 if redeemed for long-haul premium flights – for free.

Virgin Atlantic Reward credit card

The paid card:

The £160 Virgin Atlantic Reward+ credit card is a Mastercard which earns 1.5 miles per £1 spent.  The representative APR is 63.9% variable including the £160 fee based on a notional £1200 credit limit The interest rate on purchases is 22.9% variable.

If you take out the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ credit card you will be able to earn up to 25,000 miles:

  • 15,000 miles for the first purchase made on the card in the first 90 days
  • Plus another 10,000 miles when you apply on or before 14 December 2018 and £1,500 is spent on the card within 90 days of opening the account

With this deal, you are receiving – when you factor in the annual fee, which is not refundable – 25,000 Virgin Flying Club miles, which are worth around £250 if redeemed for long-haul premium flights, for £160.

Virgin Reward Plus credit card extra bonus

The Reward+ card remains the better deal in my view because, whilst the sign-up deals are roughly equal (10,000 miles for free vs 25,000 miles for £160), once you have the Reward+ card you are earning the superior 1.5 miles per £1 whenever you shop.  You also trigger the upgrade and companion vouchers more quickly

Whilst you can hold both cards at once and get a bonus on each, Virgin Money wants a six month gap between applications.  If you applied for one of these cards back in April when they launched, you should be able to apply for the other one whilst this bonus is running.

How do the upgrade and companion vouchers work?

Each year you can earn a special extra reward.  Your reward is triggered IMMEDIATELY upon hitting the spending target.  The target is £20,000 in a card year for the free Virgin Atlantic Reward credit card and £10,000 in a card year for the £160 Virgin Atlantic Reward+ credit card.

Unlike the British Airways American Express cards, the rewards vary depending on your tier in the Virgin Flying Club scheme.  If you have elite status, you get a better reward.

This is what you can pick from:

All Flying Club members:

A 2-4-1 voucher, valid for two years, for a Virgin Flying Club redemption in Economy, or

A return upgrade to Premium when you book an Economy reward flight (requires reward availability in Premium)

Flying Club members with Silver status can choose from:

A 2-4-1 voucher, valid for two years, for a Virgin Flying Club redemption in Premium or Economy, or

A Virgin Clubhouse lounge pass for Heathrow or Gatwick (requires a same-day Virgin Atlantic flight), or

A return upgrade to Premium when you book an Economy reward flight (requires reward availability in Premium)

Flying Club members with Gold status can choose from:

A 2-4-1 voucher, valid for two years, for a Virgin Flying Club redemption in Upper Class, Premium or Economy

TWO Virgin Clubhouse lounge passes for Heathrow or Gatwick (require same-day Virgin Atlantic flights)

A return upgrade to Premium when you book an Economy reward flight (requires reward availability in Premium)

Taxes and charges are due on ‘free’ 241 seats in the same way as the British Airways American Express 241 vouchers.  Vouchers are valid for two years and you must fly the outbound leg of your trip before the expiry date.

On Monday I will look more closely at the upgrade and companion vouchers, but that is best left to a separate article.

Some tips on applying

Do NOT use the ‘pre-approval checker’ on the Virgin Money website.  It is a joke.  It is designed for Virgin Money’s mass-market cards and is likely to reject you for being too wealthy and so unlikely to pay interest.  Apply directly.

If your full application is rejected, this can often be overturned if you appeal in writing.  Write to Virgin Money at Jubilee House, Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 4PL with a couple of paragraphs expressing your dismay, referencing your Virgin Atlantic status and/or that you had the old MBNA credit cards, and outlining your income and lack of non-mortgage debts.  They will reconsider and you will normally end up being successful.

Conclusion

This is an excellent sign-up bonus.  If you haven’t taken out one of the new Virgin Atlantic credit cards yet, I doubt you will see a better deal than this.  I genuinely don’t know how Virgin Money / Virgin Atlantic can afford this in the world of 0.3% interchange fees, and you should take advantage before they realise!

The £160 Reward+ card is the better overall package because of the high earning rate and the bonus triggered at just £10,000.

However, even if the Reward+ card is not for you, EVERY Head for Points reader should think about picking up a cheeky 10,000 Virgin Flying Club miles by getting the free Virgin Atlantic Reward credit card and spending £1,000 within 90 days.

You can apply for either of the new Virgin Atlantic credit cards via this link.

(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. Well that’s everybody out there who recently took out the card completely shafted.

    • That’s right. Applied and got the fee paying card just last week. I am going to ring CS…

      • I’m pretty fuming. I got the fee paying card just 30 days ago. I’m going to ring Customer Services too.

        • Would this achieve anything? Let us know how you get on?

        • RakishDriver says:

          @Bibby If I put myself in their shoes, I would do exactly the same – I’d expect leeway at least for recent applications – they are offering an increased sign-up bonus to increase the sign-up numbers before the year-end – virgin are not ingratiating themselves with future custom by being so strict.

      • I called Virgin CS. I acquired card on 6 Nov, 3 days before the date they say the promotion starts which is 9 Nov. Card arrived yesterday and has not been activated yet but they won’t allow the additional bonus to be applied. If you cancel they will still apply the 6 month ruling that disallows a second application.

        • RakishDriver says:

          Tough one, I sympathise.
          Wish they would’ve been more flexible – at least with corner cases like that.

  2. filipino_chino says:

    Just to confirm you can have both cards can you not?

    • Yes, with a 6 month gap it seems.

      • I had the MBNA VA Black card and was offered 30k to apply (15k welcome pts and 5K points for upto 3 months if I spent £1k each month).

        Does this current offer stacks together? When I clicked on the email its still showing the old offer is live; but as soon as I click to apply it’s only mentioning the new offer.

  3. This is interesting from someone who normally takes 1% cash back instead of miles.

    To work out if this is worth it i’d need to know how many miles roughly i’d need for a return flight from Manchester to NY in economy and how much taxes would cost. Please can anyone point me to the right article or website (I did do a quick search without success).

    • Virgin Atlantic website. Go to the booking page, enter your flight details, and select “Pay with miles”

      That will tell you everything you need to know

      I can tell you that LHR to JFK is 20,000 +£266 off-season, 40,000 peak. If you select Delta flights both ways then its 30,000 + £166 off-season, 50,000 peak. You can mix and match for 30,000 and £216

      • Sorry, Mix and match is 25,000 (45,000 peak).

        • You can use them to book flights within the USA like we did jfk to Lax I paid $5.60 tax on delta

        • HI Sabby, that’s very interesting. How did you book those?

          Presumably you wouldn’t be allowed to use the 241 on those as they were Delta flights?

  4. Can anyone confirm if Virgin charge a cash advance fee if the card is used to make an ATM withdrawal via the Curve card?

    • No, they haven’t in the past for me, and I have made legitimate cash advances on the card as well so I know how they process them (shows immediately after transaction has cleared, which takes Virgin a few days, it does seem like 1980’s technology and processes that they still use there).

      That’s not to say it won’t change (or has in the past few weeks), was just my experience in early october.

    • It does appear as “cash” on statement so I am sure charges are imminent.

  5. I was rejected. My credit report is fine, I earn a decent salary.

    I guess I’ll be sticking with collecting Avios with my BA Amex, and the Lloyds Avios Mastercard for the time being.

  6. Neil Donoghue says:

    Update – I currently have the paid card with a £16k credit limit. I was rejected today for the free card despite the fact that I have put through 6 figures on my Virgin plus card in the last 6 months! Ha

    • +1

    • Reading all this, I cant be bothered with applying for virgin. They had these issued when they launched. Seems like they are still rejecting for no obv reason. In this day and age who has the time to contact them regarding an inappropriate referral? If they don’t want customers, then thats their issue. There are many more miles earning cards to churn. Having said that I would like 10k virgin miles for free. LOL.

      Anyway, I will start the churn on BA amex PP and marriott for now – wife and I. plus getting 18k referral bonus (thanks to platinum) per card is very valuable as well.

      Virgin card will only be attractive if they have better acceptance and if anyone gets the 241 in UC (at least Prem eco if not UC) and the current ‘additional bonus’ is the standard bonus.

      • Seems logical commercially to me to reject people for the fee free card if they already have the fee charging VS card if you ask me. That way they hang on to the annual fee and save themselves having to pay further signup miles bonuses.

        As someone who doesn’t churn cards I’m quite amazed all you card churners haven’t long since been stopped in your tracks by a no miles bonus for applying if you already held a card from that card issuer in the last five year rule. Apart from anything else aggressive churners are preventing those of us who hold and use cards normally from getting paid a higher ongoing Avios rewards rate………..

        • I disagree. It hasn’t stopped mobile phone companies/energy companies etc giving good deals for years to get new customers. If a company really wanted to give long term customers a better deal instead they could do, but they don’t. They wouldn’t think, let’s give loyal customers the extra we’re saving from gaining new customers, they’d think, great, let’s pocket the money.

  7. Slight O/T but how can AMEx offer 1 agios/Flying club etc point when they only get 0.3% interchange fees as well?

    • axel heyst says:

      they charge most retailers 1.99% in fees and take quite a while to pay

      • Amex doesn’t have interchange fees. That is the why the court ruling against them is a joke. They are being legally forced to reduce a fee they do not charge (since Amex isn’t the ‘interchange’ between two other parties, like Visa or MC). All they can do is bring down their overall fee to a level similar to what Visa / MC charge.

        The overall fee remains far higher than 0.3% because someone has to pay for all of the expensive terminals etc.

      • Sorry just realised AB was actually referring to Amex cards rather than the VS Mastercard.

        As Amex issued Amex cards are not subject to the EU interchange fees cap then they will indeed be earning up to 3% from retailers (believe they charge 3% to small restaurants etc but probably only charge Paypal 0.5% or less, although the number of places taking Paypal but not taking Amex does seem to be growing – most noticeably BA itself, even though they do accept direct payment by Amex, but I expect most of those Amex cards are its own EU interchange fee capped Amex. Remains to be seen what will happen re UK issued Amex card fees when or if we actually leave the EU.

    • Gold / Plat fees are uncapped. The BA Amex contract is, well, a contract and won’t be renewed on these terms I’m sure. Virgin Money is deperate to build a credit card business and is pinning its hopes on the 3% FX fees which it assumes all regular travellers pay out of ignorance or laziness.

  8. I’d LOVE an “eternal shelfgive away”. Shame I don’t click on dodgy links…

  9. Thanks for answering my question. Another quick one. If I go for the plus card. I would only want to pay the £160 once. Does the upgrade voucher become void once you cancel the card.

    • RakishDriver says:

      From MBNA experience, should not, as long as the voucher are already showing in your transaction list in your flyingclub account

  10. Graham Temple says:

    Rob, are the 2-4-1 vouchers not a bit flawed in that you have to book in certain letter classes which are typically more expensive? When I looked the cheapest letters were nearly half the cost of the letters you need to book in to use the 2-4-1 so turning its value to nearly nothing.

    • the 241 vouchers are for reward bookings on these cards, therefore there is no cash ‘fee’ for the seat just taxes. Not like the companion vouchers from the old MBNA card.

  11. What is the Virgin miles to Hilton / IHG transfer ratio?

    Now to pay £160 more or not for the extra miles!

  12. Hi
    I’m fairly new to all this, so wondered if someone could answer a question. I have an American Express everyday credit card (no annual fee) to accumulate membership reward points. Would it be more beneficial to apply for and use the new (no annual fee) Virgin Atlantic credit card as discussed on this thread with the same objective?

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