Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Virgin Money tweaks its miles-earning savings account

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Virgin Money has launched a new version of the Virgin Atlantic 1-year Flying Club Savings Account.

This is an interesting product which no-one has tried before.  You make a one-off deposit of between £1 and £1 million into a one year bond.  No further deposits and no withdrawals are allowed over the one year period.  Instead of cash interest, after one year you will receive 1,600 Virgin Flying Club miles for every £1,000 you save.

Full details are on the Virgin Money website here.

In case you are wondering exactly how this works, and whether you can escape Income Tax if you pay it on your savings (you can’t), this is your answer:

Virgin Money pays you interest based on a rate of 1.36%

Your interest is immediately taken back and used to purchase Virgin Flying Club miles at – effectively – 0.85p per mile

In terms of the income tax position, the interest should be included on any tax return and will count towards your Personal Savings Allowance, like any other savings interest

In general, I would be a buyer of Virgin Flying Club miles at 0.85p – except for the fact that I am sitting on over 1.5m of them between my wife and myself and that’s probably enough for now!  You need to compare the notional 1.36% interest rate with comparable accounts from other institutions with a similar risk profile.

A new version of this account was launched this week.  The interest rate is unchanged, but the savings term if you apply today runs to 20th January 2020.  This means that you are actually putting your money away for 13 months.

You can find out more on the Virgin Money website here.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (December 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):

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 bonus points and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

A generous earning rate for a free card at 0.75 points per £1 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year 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 (107)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • r* says:

    Hilton status match, is it a literal 90 days from when youre upgraded or is it like marriott where its the current month plus 3 months?

    • Rash says:

      I think it is a literal, I had a similar question and asked the Hilton twitter team

    • Rob says:

      Literal 90 days

    • Freddy says:

      There was a suggestion by Rob in a previous article and this one that Hilton status match to anything including Wyndhams Rewards. They don’t, as I recently found out. They now tell me it’s just Marriott, SPG, IHG or Hyatt.

      • Peter K says:

        I thought it was the other way round, that Wyndham matched when you had Hilton status.

        • Freddy says:

          Yes, but Rob suggested once Wyndhams matched you could use that status to match with Hilton. I just looked back at the article to confirm… but notice it’s been updated to say that Hilton won’t match Wyndham, ah well…

      • Rob says:

        Yes, Hilton seems to have stopped matching Wyndham. We added a caveat to the Wyndham article a few weeks ago.

        • Freddy says:

          I see that now, no matter, no harm done.

        • Richster says:

          Shame, I found this out too last week 🙁

          What’s the next easiest (cheapest) way to get a match up to Hilton Diamond? I have the Amex Plat statuses and even if I have to do a mattress run it with another group to qualify, that might be worth it, as I have a bunch of Hilton Asia stays coming up early next year.

  • Sam Goss says:

    Has anyone used the £100 off £1000 at Trailfinders on Amex to book economy flights by phone? Are the prices same as airline or are there fees that wipe out the savings! Thanks

  • Shoestring says:

    Just got 2 success emails from BPme (finally). App was hopeless as usual, it wouldn’t log me in so had to restart everything. Took over 10 mins for the first fill but only 2 mins for the second.

    Came a cropper with SS, 2 wasted journeys to butchers so used a £15 off £100 @Tesco – they have half price leg/ shoulder of lamb & beef joints.

    • Matt says:

      I’ve used the BP app three times all at different stations and found it seamless.

      • Liz says:

        We’ve used the BP app twice now with no hassles – got 2 more still to go.

        • Shoestring says:

          and now I’m adding a new card’s details to the app & it won’t let me, triple checked details are correct but app sez no

        • Tom1 says:

          iOS or Android?

          The only problem I had with iOS app was not allowing 4-digit security number. Removing the last digit seemed to work.

          Operation at the pump seemless.

        • Shoestring says:

          Android – won’t take a 3 digit code, won’t scan it in, either. Might get my wife to try it on her iPhone but bit of hassle for £10, she’s not into that. The 5th card is on OK, though.

    • Craig says:

      Three times so far, the biggest problem I’ve had is free WiFi that stops the app logging on. I need to remember to turn the WiFi off first.

  • Matt says:

    Hey all are the 10,000 virgin miles for life insurance due to be paid out within the next 60 days?

    • Shoestring says:

      Yep in February I think

      • Matt says:

        Thanks shoestring. Any suggestions on what to do with 15k virgin miles? I previously used them to top my IHG up to achieve spire. Is IHG or Hilton a poor use of them? I’m not interested in using them to fly virgin.

        • Rob says:

          £50 voucher for most Virgin companies is 12,500

        • Mr(s) Entitled says:

          I’ve about 30k and I’m just waiting for my life insurance payout (miles, not cash hopefully!) before shifting them all to Hilton.

          Guess it depends upon which hotel scheme is most attractive to you but like yourself, I can find no real interest in keeping them within Virgin.

        • Shoestring says:

          Just being lazy here but we’ve got 500K+ Virgin miles, top of head roughly how many hotel nights do you reckon we could get with Hilton in typical (SE Asia) Hilton properties with that stash?

        • Shoestring says:

          750K Hilton Honors points? How much is a hotel night in SE Asia then?

        • Peter K says:

          How many nights in SE Asia for 750k Honor points? How long is a piece of (shoe)string?
          Random examples:
          WA 65k points for a night in June at Bangkok, Conrad 40k.
          Conrad Singapore 60k points in sept.
          Conrad Hong Kong 80k points sept.
          Conrad Macao 50k points in July.

          Remember if you book 5 nights in a row on points you only pay for 4.

          These are all top end of the pricing scale, you could get much more at a standard Hilton or a Doubletree. Hope that gives you an idea of how far your points might go.

        • BJ says:

          @Harry, a week if you are lucky at Conrad Samui Residence, over a month at DT Sukhumvit but then you dislike Bangkok. New DT coming to Phuket which should be priced below Hilton Arcadia which is 40k IIRC. It’s in Patong though so hardly tranquil.

        • Shoestring says:

          Cheers found the LL pdf

          I reckon there are some decent 10K/ night hotels where you’d be far from slumming it, eg check out Malaysia

        • BJ says:

          I think many of those 10k hotels have since gone up but still a lot of value around Asia. I find cheap to average chain hotels in Asia are comparable to good 4* options in the West. Standards of furnishings, housekeeping and food are generally much better.

  • Zain says:

    @Rob – Off topic I know, but are you aware of Norwegian’s 737 Max that had to do an emergency landing in Isfahan, Iran? Flight was enroute from Dubai to Oslo. Story is interesting for two reasons – the 737 Max is now firmly in the spotlight after the Lion Air incident, and Iran is not going to be the easiest place to ship spares to, given the trade embargo.

    • Peter K says:

      Plus, if you were on that plane, would you now be banned from going to the US though your transit there was not your fault?

      • Callum says:

        The women apparently weren’t allowed in because they didn’t have headscarves (bizarrely, surely they had something they could cover their hair with!) – would that mean they wouldn’t have an Iranian entry? I wonder if the men were able to opt to stay airside too.

      • Zain says:

        Not really, as they never technically entered Iran. They’re all airside, probably similar to transiting via a major airport in Europe.

      • Lady London says:

        Yes. I think you would. It would be “computer says no”.

        Same as if your plane to the US gets diverted to Canada, you are in trouble if you do not have the new visa waiver (at least) for Canada (they have one now that is similar to the US one).

  • Chris says:

    I think that was me.. I knew this would happen just after I booked!

  • ScienceTeacher says:

    The Shop Small offer has gone from my Amex cards. Anybody recall the end date? I thought it was tomorrow (Sunday 16th)!


    • Shoestring says:

      Don’t worry, it’ll still work (common problem that it seems to disappear from saved offers, won’t be an issue)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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