Bits: Virgin Atlantic credit cards get an app, Etihad adds 4th Heathrow service, Haynes Manual on Heathrow

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News in brief:

The Virgin Atlantic credit cards get an app (at last)

Yes, finally …. you can now manage the two Virgin Atlantic credit cards via a smartphone app.

I know that a few HFP readers have been put off from applying due to the lack of smartphone card management, but the problem is now fixed.  iPhone users should click here.  Android users should click here.

It seems to work well.  You can view recent transactions, make payments via the app and even see how many Flying Club miles you earned last month.  For example:

Virgin Atlantic credit cards app launched


Virgin Atlantic credit cards app launched

Remember that, for another few days:

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 28th February.  You can apply here.

The representative APR on the free card is 22.9% variable.   The representative APR on Reward+ is 63.9% variable including the £160 fee based on a notional £1200 credit limit The interest rate on purchases is 22.9% variable.

PS. Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Flying Club miles.  That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.

Virgin Atlantic credit card app

Etihad launches a 4th daily service from Heathrow

Etihad has announced an extra 20 flights between Heathrow and Abu Dhabi during April.  This should lead to some additional reward seats being available over Easter.

Flights will start on 5th April using a Boeing 787-9.  This means that there is no First Class but you will get the same Business Class Studio as on the A380 which I reviewed here.

The extra service leaves Heathrow Terminal 4 at around 13.40, arriving in Abu Dhabi at 23.50.  The return departs Abu Dhabi at around 07.20, landing at 12.00.  The exact times vary from day to day.

Full details of the Business Class Studio can be found on here.

How to earn Etihad Guest miles via UK credit cards

As a reminder, Etihad no longer has its own UK credit card.  However, you can earn Etihad Guest miles by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards.  These are:

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold – 10,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus

The Platinum Card from American Express – 30,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus

American Express Rewards credit card – up to 5,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus

Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Etihad Guest miles.  The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 1 Etihad Guest mile.

Etihad Guest is also a partner with the HSBC Premier Mastercard (0.5 miles per £1 spent, reviewed here) and HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard (1 mile per £1 spent, reviewed here).

Heathrow manual

The Haynes Manual for Heathrow!

You may have seen in the press that John Haynes, creator of the famous Haynes Manuals series, died last week aged 80.

The first Haynes Manual was for the Austin Healey Sprite.  Published in 1966, the first print run of 3,000 sold out in less than three months.  Haynes went on to sell over 200 million manuals.

Whilst best known for its car maintenance manuals, the company branched out into other areas – including Heathrow Airport.

To quote from the PR spiel we published when the book launched:

In the Heathrow Airport Manual, author Robert Wicks has examined every element of the airport from runway construction and maintenance, to the complex airspace around London and how the airport deals with emergencies. Most importantly, the book reflects on the role Heathrow has played in the nation’s success over the past 70 years and the importance of global connections to the UK’s future.

Written with the full co-operation of Heathrow, NATS and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the manual is the first of its kind and provides unprecedented insight and access to every aspect of the airport.

With more than 250 colour photographs and technical illustrations, this book brings together the challenges of daily operations at the world’s busiest international airport.

It may make a decent gift for the airline fanatic in your life (which is probably yourself, if we’re honest). It sells for £22.99, although Amazon has it for £18.08.  There are also Haynes Manuals on Concorde, the A380 and Boeing 747.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

Bits: last chance to buy Avios with 50% bonus, extra Clubcard points, new IHG PointBreaks list on Monday
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  1. Combatjohnny says:

    Glad to see virgin finally getting an app. I was thinking of getting rid of the card as it felt inconvenient. I know thats first world problems but ease of managing my money and keeping an eye on things is important to me

  2. Virgin card – was denied when I applied last year. Reapplied again this time around – same result. Decided to appeal in writing as Rob recommends, sent off in a signed-for envelope, it was delivered but crickets for now.
    One thing I noticed is the address Rob provided in the article and the one Virgin suggest in their denial email are different. I used the latter. Mistake?…

    • Netutgamer says:

      Try getting in touch with their social media people. They tend to be quite good at sorting stuff out.

      • RussellH says:

        Serious question…

        Do they have an e-mail address? I do not do any social media, and TBH, no interest in trying.

        Thinking about applying for the free card sometime and banking the 5000 points, but I am not interested in trying to spend £1000 in 3 months to get the further 5000 – wrong time of year – but could easily add a further 5000 from Amex for 15 000 Hilton

  3. Richmond says:

    I saw Haynes manual on A380 in my local shopping centre.

  4. OT – Booked Czech airline PRG-ICN return this Christmas for 50000 Etihad points, probably the cheapest redemption between Europe and far east. Then realised that they only have one long haul route with only one A330.
    Has anyone had any good experience with CSA?

    • I have another article on that coming up as it happens.

      The plane belongs to Korean on loan to Czech and they share the route with Czech, one day Czech flies it, the other day Korean flies it.

  5. avidsaver says:

    Anyone having trouble setting up the Virgin C C App on an iPhone? Four attempts, four different activation codes and every time tells me that number entered is incorrect.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Just set mine up and worked perfectly.

      Suggest deleting the app and starting fresh invade the first install went badly.

    • Colin JE says:

      I had that problem too initially. Don’t allow the iPhone to apply the code, but check your texts and apply the 6 digit number manually in the app. That worked for me. Also, the app was a bit glitchy with an almost hidden button under the date of birth entry (iPhone 6s). Tap where you think the button is if you think you have that problem.

  6. Make sure you install the VS app on your primary device as it’s locked to the first device you install/activate on and there’s no easy way to move it. Now on my 3rd call to CS…

    • Genius. Metro Bank is similar – can only put it on one device.

    • You can only use it for one card too, not ideal if like me you have both virgin cards. Not the end of the world but worth a mention.

    • Also It looks like you need to register a second time with an additional login that is totally unconnected to the existing website account?

      And still no Apple Pay…

  7. Cristian Saunders says:

    This is great news… However VS Credit Card still can’t work with G-Pay 🙁

  8. BA-Flyer says:

    Be sure to screenshot every step of the application if you go for either of the Virgin cards, especially if you have an enhanced signup offer. Virgin offered me 33,000 miles as an ex-MBNA cardholder, then claimed I had been sent the offer by mistake and wasn’t eligible for the miles. I had to get the Ombudsman involved. Shocking customer service from Virgin.

    • Qwerty Bertie says:

      Did you get the miles? How about an apology and/or admission of fault?

      Your advice about screenshoting is sage, and I would further recommend everybody screenshot everything they do when it comes to any sort of application or non- low value online transaction/purchase. I have for years, and it has stood me in good stead when I’ve needed to make a request for after sales service, or ultimately even make a formal complaint. I also record calls to financial institutions and get each person to name themselves, but only when dealing with something of £100 plus in value, or if making a formal complaint. I also find that informing them I’m recording the call too, brings out a special reserve of competence and dedication one might otherwise not be blessed with.

  9. Can you pool or transfer Virgin miles to/with family members?

  10. I applied a couple of weeks ago and got an email saying to call them to do some checks, called them and waited 20 plus minutes, gave up and left message for call back. Call back never came. Tried a few more times eventually got through, Said the call was re security and I provided a load more detail. Told all should be fine and it would hear back same day. Still heard nothing 3 days later. My credit score is 999. Useless so far for something so simple.

  11. Having issues setting up the app. Asks me for the card number and CVC and then after doing that it tells me there’s an error and to try again later.

    • I had the same problem, tried again 5 mins later and it picked up in the same place and then completed Ok

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