Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Get 8,000 Virgin Flying Club miles for opening a Virgin Money ISA

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On Friday we looked at a generous new offer for anyone willing to transfer an existing Stocks & Shares ISA to Virgin Money – see here.  You can earn up to 22,500 Virgin Flying Club miles.

For everyone else who does not want to transfer an existing Stocks & Shares ISA, or does not have one, Virgin Money has brought back its offer of 8,000 Flying Club miles for anyone who opens a new one.

See here for full details.

This is an attractive offer given that the usual deal is just 5,000 or 6,000 miles.  The offer runs until 30th June.

IMPORTANT:  Virgin Money has a rule which states that you cannot earn the miles if you have EVER previously earned miles for opening a Virgin Money ISA.

You need to invest a lump sum of £8,000 or more to receive the miles.  You must leave the account open for twelve months or the miles may be clawed back.

There are five different investment funds to choose from, each with a different risk profile.

This is obviously an investment and so could lead to the loss of your capital.

You cannot open this ISA if you already have a ‘stocks and shares’ ISA for the current tax year although, as the new tax year only started last week, this should not be an issue.  You can open one if you only have a ‘cash’ ISA for the current tax year and have not invested your full £20,000.

As always with financial issues, take proper advice if necessary.

Historically, the miles post VERY quickly, often within a week, although the rules say that you may have to wait 120 days.

There is an additional upside to having a Virgin Money product – you are able to use the Virgin Money lounges in London and various other cities across the UK as I wrote about here.  They are surprisingly pleasant, although the one I mention in that review is closing in May.

You can apply here.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (August 2022)

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 Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

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

Virgin Rewards credit card

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.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

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

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel 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.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits 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 (43)

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

  • keith lemon says:

    Earn 22500 miles . Just be prepared to give back anything you gain to pay for the ‘taxes’, er I mean ‘surcharges’ when trying to use those miles.

    • Big norm says:

      Here we go …….

      The truth is nobody cares if they call them taxes when they are really charges . It’s not important – you have to pay them regardless.
      All this nonsense about people being mislead .
      I’m willing to bet my house that if the ‘tax’ proportion on the flight was £1 but virgin charged £10 as taxes , none of you would care about the terminology used. – even with a 10x mark up

      What you really care about is the fact you have to pay £700 to redeem .
      But it’s fine – keep using the terminology as the main thing to complain about .

    • Ricatti says:

      Of course a lot of people do care.

      It is a misrepresentation to a legal degree. Out of £800 surcharge only £180 APD government tax, and circa £60-80 airport/security charges.

      £180 out of £800. This is not ‘terminology’ but on the verge of being misrepresentation of the purpose of the charge.

      • Lady London says:

        ‘On the verge’ , @Riccati?

      • Nick_C says:

        I don’t think it’s a misrepresentation, because the airlines are not describing them as taxes. BA refer to “fees, taxes, and carrier charges”

      • Ricatti says:

        Here commentators and Rob pretty much saying it does not matter to a miles collector if they called “taxes” or “surcharges”.

        But is is akin to advise a lay person that say, other currencies does not matter, you get your salary in GBP and you spend in GBP, what do you have to worry about?

        The more people are misled into thinking it’s a tax the less pressure there is to stop the arbitrary charging and profiteering.

        An interesting point was made about HKG administration who did not outlaw surcharges, just merely insisted they be proportional to fuel price shocks. That is, oil is not at 100USD — no luck with surcharge.

        • Mark2 says:

          The only pressure will be if they have loads of unredeemed seats, although that will not be a pressure as long as credit card companies etc. keep buying the points and/or they can sell the seats for cash.

        • Ricatti says:

          @Mark2 not true, the regulators/national Governments/EU can step in and “merely insist” that surcharges against increases in fuel price are to be used for just that purpose.

    • the_real_a says:

      A £700 cash element to a UK redemption drastically alters the value for many people, especially those with flexibility.

      • Nick_C says:

        It depends how much you miles are costing you of course.

        I recently booked a redemption to NY with BA and was annoyed to find the fees and charges have gone up to £666. But my average cost per Avios is 0.2p, and I’m using a Lloyd’s voucher, so £770 for Club World is still a bargain.

        As cheap, and especial free, Avios are becoming ever harder to acquire, my view may change. I wouldn’t want to pay a penny for them. And without a voucher of some sort, I would have to think very hard about a BA long haul redemption in future

      • Andrew says:

        Start your flight at Inverness instead.

        Makes a massive difference if the values really worry you.

  • Alex says:

    Last year it was 8,000 points for a £5000 lump sum OR £150/month for six months, so this is quite a step down. I opted for this last year and my investment is currently down

    • Genghis says:

      Exactly. Pound cost averaging a few hundred quid is very different to an £8k lump sum. Points wise, I’d avoid. If you want an ISA, go with a decent provider.

    • BJ says:

      IIRC in the early days it was just 6 months × £100, if we were lucky we got to dump it early without losing points, got the bonus multiple times, and I think once it was even 10k or 12k bonus.

      • Yawn says:

        Yes, really disappointed by this. Who wants to make a lump sum investment of that size in the current political and economic climate?

        • Ricatti says:

          It is not “the climate” that is important.

          It is the fact that we are towards the end of an economic cycle.

  • Alex W says:

    Is now a good time to invest a lump sum into stocks and shares. Given the volatility I would have thought that was quite a high risk.

    • Frenske says:

      Lump sums investments inherently more risky than regular investments. In case of a slump when paying regularly you will getting more shares for your money during that period.

    • BJ says:

      There are better options such as wine, whisky and property. Best stay away from the latter until Brexit is resolved..

      • the_real_a says:

        Property is exceptionally regional. I’m picking them up for £40-60k here in the North with 10% yield. I would not be buying £500k 2 bed terraces in London, and think anyone who does is utterly bonkers and deserve whatever is coming to them!

    • Genghis says:

      Depends over what time horizon. I’m investing now for 25 years’ time so I did a few lump sums to top up to 2 x £20k ISA and into pensions before tax year end.

      • Barry cutters says:

        Exactly – over that time period you are fine .
        Coincidentally that’s the time frame I’m looking at and investing in a few properties this year. Albeit on rentals that generate 12% in the north, even in the event of losing 25% value due to brexit – over that timeframe I won’t lose out .

        • Mark2 says:

          Brexit is a very minor risk (in the unlikely event that it happens) compared to a Corbyn government.

          • Rob says:

            Nah, you’re too young Mark. What you learn with time is that it is beneficial to have swings back and forth. 5 years of Corbyn would pull certain things back towards the centre. The alternative is an increasing right wing Conservative Government.

            You should also compare a Corbyn manifesto with, say, Merkel’s last German one. Very little difference.

        • Charlieface says:

          @Mark2 Most things are minor risks in the long run if you spread your investments well.

          @Rob But Corbyn is far more left-wing than any government since at least the 70s. And anyone Jewish is going to get hounded.

          • Rob says:

            But no more left wing than most European Governments already are … whilst economically outperforming us. More than one term would be too much but 5 years would, long term, probably help.

            I don’t see Corbyn, for eg, looking to ban Sunday shopping (Germamy) or make it illegal to discount your goods except on dates specified by the Government (France). Quick bit of utility nationalisation is likely to be popular. Clampdown on tax loopholes the same.

          • Alan says:

            Hmm – not sure about that when you see his record. He’s a pretty scarily extreme guy.

        • Shoestring says:

          @Charlieface – pretty unfair to accuse him of being anti-Jewish – of all 650 MPs in Parliament, he’s the wonk who has protested most over many years against racism & the rest of the agenda (sexism, human rights etc).

          What he is, is protective of the Palestinian right to exist & have equal rights to Israelis – and negative about Israeli oppression against Palestinians. I don’t think Corbyn gives a monkey’s about Jewishness per se – as being Jewish doesn’t make you automatically pro the Israeli Govt policies, especially if you are Jewish and live outside Israel.

          So he is usually accused of being anti-Jew or anti-Semitic when in reality he is being anti-Israeli Govt policies vs Palestinians.

          As are many of us. It used to be a proud British trait to defend the rights of the Palestinians, nowadays a lot of people shrink away from *appearing* anti-Semitic when all they are doing is examining an Israeli policy & criticising it for being unfair/ wrong.

        • Andrew says:

          Oddly enough it was the SNP who were most frantic in their opposition to extension of Sunday opening hours in England.

          On Easter Sunday, North of the Border, the supermarkets will be open 24 hours as usual, Block & Quayle will be busy with people buying plants and garden bits (it’s traditionally their biggest sales day of the year in Scotland)

          I can’t see the nationalisation of the mobile phone networks or broadband services being overly popular. For all the posturing of the rail unions, they are all aware that had they been part of a nationalised industry, they would have had 1% pay rises for the last 10 years.

          Truth is railway privitisation has given us the best of both worlds. It stops any Goverment cutting railway funding in bad years and gives a funding plan for 7-10 years at a time. Something that “good old BR” never had under any party.

          I keep seeing howls of outrage over the empty high streets, mostly blamed on online services undercutting traditional retail. If we re-introduced the Net Book Agreement and MSP, then the only differential would be service – and everyone would be happy!

          Wouldn’t they?

        • Shoestring says:

          the one utility that bugs me being in private hands is water – there’s no market in water supply, you’re stuck with your regional supplier

          it might as well be nationalised and recruit best people from private sector to run it efficiently

        • Mark2 says:

          What makes you think that I am young? I am actually in my 80th decade so have seen Labour governments since Harold Wilson.

          • Rob says:

            I always assumed that anyone 50+ would have seen the benefits of having power swing between left and right, and also what happens when it doesn’t.

        • guesswho2000 says:

          @Mark2, you’re in your 80th decade? You’re 800 years old?

        • guesswho2000 says:

          “5 years of Corbyn would pull certain things back towards the centre”

          5 years of Corbyn would indeed take the UK back to the centre…the centre of the 20th century, that is.

      • Alan says:

        Indeed – some interesting data showing that ongoing cost averaging can be worse…

    • John says:

      It’s always a good time to invest until it isn’t. As long as you don’t need the money in the next 5 years.

  • Doug M says:

    I definitely feel wasting an entire year’s ISA allowance for some airmiles of indeterminate value, which you then have to pay charges to use, is a really really good investment strategy.

  • Groo says:

    This isn’t an ‘attractive offer’. Just slightly less bad than before, maybe not even that with the recent extra taxes added.

  • Charlieface says:

    @Shoestring I’m not saying there aren’t debates to be had with and about the Israeli govt. I don’t agree with plenty of what they do. But the point I’ll make which goes to the crux of the antisemitism argument is that on a general basis Israel is judged to a very different standard to other countries, cf. the standing Item 7 on UNHRC agenda to discuss Israel. It’s the same with parts of the liberal sector who feel it’s ok to narrowly focus on one religion: how it slaughters animals, circumcises its children, and what its one identified country’s government does. At the same time they could be making far stronger arguments against many other religions, ethnicities or governments.

  • Riccardo W says:

    Avoid Virgin Money at all costs. Their ISA equity fund products are spectacularly uncompetitive, combining high fees with poor performance. Virgin Money’s website is also dreadful, significantly below the standard of other ISA providers or even most large UK banks. Little seems to have changed from the legacy Northern Rock business other than a stick on virgin logo, and the business being used to as a platform for the former CEO Jayne Ann Gadhia to sell copies of her autobiography.

    If you are desperate for the miles and want to open a cash ISA then open one of these for a year and move the ISA to a better provider after then. Otherwise avoid… there are less painful ways of earning miles.

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