Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Take advantage of the Virgin Hotels San Francisco launch offer

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The new Virgin Hotels chain is gearing up to open in San Francisco next month, following the successful launch of the first property in Chicago three years ago.  It is a new-build property at 250 Fourth Street, South of Market.

If you are a Virgin Flying Club member you can get special deals on stays between 1st February and 31st May:

Virgin Hotels San Francisco launch offer

All Flying Club members will earn 2,000 miles per stay, double the usual rate

Silver Flying Club members will receive a free upgrade (subject to availability at check-in)

Gold Flying Club members will receive a free upgrade (subject to availability at check-in) and free breakfast

You can enter your Flying Club number during the booking process on the Virgin Hotels website.

The Virgin Flying Club page which explains the benefits you get at Virgin Hotels is here.  You cannot, at present, redeem miles for free nights at Virgin Hotels.

Next up will be properties in Dallas and New York.  The first site outside the US will be Edinburgh where Virgin Hotels is converting the historic India Buildings in the Old Town.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (October 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 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 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 (243)

  • William B says:

    How do you view the Amex offers on a Platinum Amex Additional Card? I can’t see it when I log into the browser. Also, can you apply for a BAPP ‘Additional’ Card for yourself too?

    • Mark2 says:

      You need an online account for each card including additional and they have/have not their own offers.
      Yes you can get an extra card for yourself (use type ‘other’); useful for ShopSmall

    • Alan says:

      I view and add them in the app. The website doesn’t show them for the additional card but the app does.

  • Keith says:

    Mum and Dad, currently with no Amex cards or knowledge of them, are threatening to pay for their new kitchen on a non-loyalty-normal run-of-the-mill debit card. The kitchen will cost around 20k so I’m trying to figure out the best way to maximise what they could earn if they open a few Amex and split the payment over the cards. Does this look like it makes sense?

    Dad opens a BA Premium Plus
    He spends £13,000 and gets:
    • 25,000 Bonus Avios
    • 19,500 Avios for that spend (at a rate of 1.5 per £1)
    • a companion voucher

    Dad downgrades to BA American Express
    He makes mum a supplementary card holder and gets:
    • 1,000 Bonus Avios
    He then refers mum to BA American Express and he gets:
    • 4,000 Bonus Avios
    Mum spends £1000 on it and gets:
    • 6,000 Bonus Avios
    • 1,000 Avios for that spend
    Mum makes dad a supplementary card holder on her card and gets:
    • 1,000 Bonus Avios

    I then refer dad to American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card.
    He spends £2,000 and gets:
    • 22,000 Bonus Avios
    • 2,000 Avios for that spend
    He then refers mum for American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card
    He gets:
    • 9,000 Bonus Avios
    Mum spends £2,000 and gets:
    • 22,000 Bonus Avios
    • 2,000 Avios for that spend

    They both then open the SPG Card and spend £1,000 on each of those
    That gets them 30,000 SPG Points each which can be converted to 10,000 Bonus Avios each
    For the spend they would get 3,000 SPG points each which can be converted to 1,000 Avios
    So I reckon by doing that and splitting payment of their kitchen over these 8 cards they can earn a companion voucher and 136,500 Avios which would be enough for an off peak return to New York in first class for them both.

    Or am I missing something? Is there an even sneakier way to do it?

    • bsuije says:

      Sorry, I’m not going to be helpful at all, but this particular bit (especially the “threatening” part) made me chuckle! =D

      “Mum and Dad, currently with no Amex cards or knowledge of them, are threatening to pay for their new kitchen on a non-loyalty-normal run-of-the-mill debit card”

      • Keith says:

        Haha, I just can’t let them do that to themselves!

        • BJ says:

          Gets worse when you are struggling to ensure your parents hit a spend target only to have them call you and tell you they put a large transaction through a debit card. Happened to me today for the nth time despite the fact ggey fully grasp the concept of target spend.

    • Tony says:

      Assuming you have a plat and you still have your 90k MR referral limits

      Refer Dad for BAPP(18k MR), Dad spends 10k (2-4-1 voucher + 26k welcome bonus + 15k from spending) ; Refer Mum for BAPP (18k) and spend 3k ( 26k welcome bonus + 4.5k from spending) add supp each (3k+3k)

      Refer Dad and Mum for plat (36k MR), spend 2k each (35k+35k welcome bonus, 2k+2k from spending) add two supps (5k+5k)

      Ask dad to refer you for BAPP (18k MR), you spend 3k ( 26k welcome bonus + 4.5k from spending) add supp 3k

      Total 259k plus a 2-4-1 if my math is correct

    • John says:

      20K for a kitchen!!

      I don’t mean any offence as I obviously know nothing about your parents – and regarding your actual question Tony’s maths seems right – but my thoughts are:

      – do they really love cooking or are they trying to increase their house value or what, because you can get a very nice kitchen for 5-10k

      – how did they get to the point where they can think about dropping 20k like that, and have zero knowledge of Amex

      – they are threatening to use a debit card, but on a 20K purchase, the Section 75 protection would be enough reason to use a credit card, even one with no rewards! (BTW, you still get the protection if you spend £1 on credit and £19999 on debit as long as it’s a single package, less than 30K)

      – if they don’t know about Section 75, and don’t know about Amex, does this mean they have no credit cards? Will they even be approved for 3 Amexes in rapid succession if that’s the case?

      – does the merchant take Amex, and even if they do, might they give you a 5% discount for using a debit card? They’d get the money straight away whereas Amex can take a month or two to pay them. Then you need to recalculate whether the Amex rewards are worth the extra price.

      • RussellH says:

        Re Section 75, they really MUST pay for at least some of the cost on a credit card. My sister would have lost over £12K on a new kitchen (very fancy) if she had not put a bit of the cost on her M/Card. It was not a significant chunk of the bill, so the card issuer was not happy to get the S.75 claim when the kitchen firm went belly up. All sorts of objections got raised, but they did pay up in the end.

    • Scallder says:

      If you do go down the SPG Amex route – each of them would in fact get 33k Marriott points. You can transfer up to 50k a year to another member, so 66k in one account. 60k = 25k Avios so with the additional 6k being 2k Avios, they would get 27k Avios from a £2k outlay.

      • Sandgrounder says:

        Can you send any amount of points to your partner, or does it have to be a minimum or a round amount or something like that?

      • Mr Dee says:

        Thought it was now 100k

    • Alex W says:

      @Keith if they don’t accept Amex then 2 X IHG Premium cards would get them enough for 3 nights anywhere worldwide.

      • Genghis says:

        Or depending how you’re doing it use the quote to price match. We got a quote of about 40% off our new bathroom supplies then went to WestOne who price matched and take Amex.

  • Boi says:

    OT but marriott related. If I have the old marriott cat 5 travel package, how do I go about booking new cat 5-7 with points top up? is it even possible?

    • Alan says:

      Some of us managed to upgrade category at time of dealing the old category cert for new category, Although more recent haven’t seen quite as many reports of success in FT thread.

  • John2 says:

    OT 241
    1) Can I book an outbound 241 and then add inbound at later date and benefit from the 241. I an NOT asking 355 days ahead when the inbound flights are not yet released. Just no available dates on inbound which suit me atm.
    2) can that inbound be from different airport and use 241?

    • S**mo says:

      Yes & Yep!

      Did this recently, Booked First to San Diego using the 2-4-1.

      Had to wait to transfer Amex points to Avios (about a week) and added the return (First from Vegas) a week after that!

      I guess BA could technically charge you the change fee, but ours was waived as it couldn’t have been done online.

    • Mark2 says:

      Many of us have done this after 2-3 weeks waiting for the return to become available, but it would be wise to check whether there is a time limit.

  • Stephen says:

    Here’s a good example of a airline doing The Right Thing: An Air New Zealand flight had very heavy turbulence for most of the flight, with many people being sick — so the airline refunded everyone’s air fare. Clearly that is more than they needed to do, but the good will and PR will surely be worth the cost.

    • marcw says:

      Honestly, I don’t think the pax should be refunded. They knew from the beginning its gonna be a very bumpy flight. If the pilots made the decision to fly it means the weather was within flying (safely).

      • Mr Dee says:

        if you care about the customers and want them to have a good experience and then not being able to provide it means refunding them is going to encourage long term loyalty.

    • Lady London says:

      At least it would have covered the dry cleaning bills.

    • BJ says:

      In that case I’ll chase up BA etc for a refund on all my flights over the Bay of Bengal, never been sick but I’ve been terrified more than once.

  • Jumble Tales says:

    OT again re :Marriott redemptions. Are points+cash redemptions no longer available as they were before the merger with SPG? I’m looking at redeeming at Turnberry.

    • Mark2 says:

      points and cash redemptions are definitely still available at SOME Marriott hotels.

  • Scallder says:

    OT – sorry if this has already been mentioned and I’ve missed it. Just received an email from Curve (via Crashlytics) to test the Android app.

    Have others received this? I wasn’t in the original beta group, but did ask to be included in future ones. Just wanted to make sure this was all legit?

    • Alan says:

      That’s certainly who they use, but I’m in the beta so am used to the emails!

    • Rob Walker says:

      Got it, installed the beta Curve app, but it won’t sign me in. “We are having trouble migrating your account right now”

    • Rob Walker says:

      Signed up and working. Tried a £100 top up with my Plat card, and all worked fine. They have charged the 0.65% which I didn’t expect with it still technically being in beta.

      Amusingly it used an image of a Centurion card for my Plat. I changed it to Plat, and now I don’t seem to be able to get the Cent one back 🙂

    • Mark2 says:

      My 365 days is not up to start spending again until early March.
      I hope that they have sorted things out by then.

    • tartan says:

      All up and working although it did take a few attempts to get the app to launch properly and it wouldn’t accept the test validation charge amount at first.
      Just paid my HMRC bill which should trigger my 2-4-1 voucher so very pleased.
      Surely this is a massively easy way of hitting credit card bonus limits for a relatively small outlay of 0.65%?

  • APPL says:

    OT – Gatwick Grain Store.
    With Priority Pass from Amex Platinum, do I get £15, or £30 credit if I’m on my own?

    • Shoestring says:

      if you’re a pleasant cheery sort of person, exuding bonhomie, I believe £30 is fairly achievable – it helps them as well. Your other half could be on their way etc.

      • Tom H says:

        15 but they are more than happy for you to use other passes aswell. I used my lounge key at the same time

    • Dillo says:

      £15 for the cardholder (you), but an additional £15 for a guest.

      “For example, if a Cardholder registers 1 Guest they will receive £30 off their bill, which will be charged as 1 Cardholder visit + 1 Guest visit on their account.”
      From the T&C in the PP app

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