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How to earn Flying Club miles with the Virgin Atlantic 1 year Flying Club Savings Account

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This article is sponsored by Virgin Money

One of the more interesting ways of earning Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles is with the Virgin Atlantic 1 year Flying Club Savings Account.

The partnership between Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Money is really developing. We have covered the two new Virgin Atlantic credit cards in depth as they are exceptionally good – read our overview here. The current life insurance deal is also decent with a bonus of up to 25,000 Flying Club miles. It has also just introduced a bonus of up to 22,500 miles for ISA transfers and 8,000 miles for opening a new ISA.

Today we want to look again at the Virgin Money Savings Account, as I was intrigued by the ability of earning miles as you save rather than as you spend.

The Virgin Atlantic 1 year Flying Club Savings Account was launched last year, but the earning rate wasn’t that great initially. Virgin Money relaunched the offer with a far better underlying interest rate.

Full details are on the Virgin Money website here.

How the Flying Club Savings Account works

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 Atlantic Flying Club miles for every £1,000 you save.

Virgin Atlantic 1 Year Flying Club Savings Account review

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 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

When the deal launched in June 2018 it was only paying 1,400 miles per £1,000 you saved, based on an interest rate of 1.19%. The jump to 1.36% is therefore significant.

In general, I would be a buyer of Virgin Atlantic 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!

As always with these offers, if you know that you will generate more than 0.85p per mile when you redeem (which isn’t difficult) this could be worthwhile.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 1-Year Savings Account

Are you really paying 0.85p per mile?

The 0.85p per mile valuation only holds if this account is ‘top of the market’.

Looking at Moneyfacts, the top 1 year bonds currently on the market from what I consider ‘blue chip’ institutions (although this depends on your personal definition of ‘blue chip’) are 1.2% – 1.45%. On this basis, the Virgin Money account – at 1.36% – is competitive. You can get higher rates from lesser known financial institutions which also have FSCS protection up to £85,000.

The higher you value a Virgin Flying Club mile, the better this deal looks

Let’s imagine that you’d be willing to pay 1.25p for a Flying Club mile, because you regularly redeem in a particular way which gets you a higher valuation than usual.

On this basis, you’d be getting the equivalent of (1,600 miles per £1000 x 1.25p per mile) 2.0% interest on your money, which is exceptionally high in the current market.

One point to remember is that you won’t receive your miles for a year.  You need to keep in mind the risk of any potential Flying Club devaluation – there isn’t an option to stop the conversion of your interest into miles at the end of the year.

Get access to Virgin Money lounges

You will also get unlimited free access to all Virgin Money lounges if you open a Virgin Money Savings Account. To find your nearest lounge visit the Virgin Money website.


Virgin Money has now put a bit of life behind this product with the increased interest rate and hopefully it will get some traction.  I will be genuinely interested to see how it goes.  You can find out more on the Virgin Money website here.

How to earn Virgin Atlantic miles from UK credit cards

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Flying Club miles from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

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.

(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.)

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  1. Anyone investing in a 1-year bond at less than 1.5% is a mug, given Goldman Sachs offers 1.5% on an instant access saver. Are they not “blue chip” enough? You’d expect a better rate than that if your cash is trapped for 12 months.

    I like the concept that Virgin is trying here, but the interest rate is just too low for it to make sense.

    • There are many reasons why one wouldn’t chase the absolute highest yield. Amongst these, the last I checked, GS Bank in the UK won’t open accounts for US taxpayers (which includes nonresident citizens and green card holders), due to FATCA concerns. Somewhat ironic, given the brand….

    • RussellH says:

      Surely ‘Blue Chip’ is irrelevant – it is the safety of your capital, which means FSCS cover, and ONLY FSCS cover, and the interest rate that matter.1.36% on a fixed rate bond is no way competitive.
      I am not going to name names because I do not want to be seen, even possibly, as recommending, but all you need to do is look at a few ‘Best-Buy’ tables in weekend papers to find FSCS authorised banks offering around 1.8% or 1.9% for a one year fix on £1000.
      Of course, the cover is restricted to £85K per banking institution, but ‘Blue Chips’ can go wrong just as easily – perhaps more easily – than smaller institutions, so I would never exceed £85K anywhere.

  2. Shoestring says:

    O/T compo for no hot water (to make tea/ coffee) on a SH European flight in Economy?

    I was really looking forward to that cuppa from the M&S trolley – that’s my line & I’m sticking to it. x5 of us on the flight.

    You reckon they might go as high as 1000 Avios? Worth a try & I’ll let you know.

    Any other decent compo received recently for service recovery?

    • I hope it comes with cream on top!

    • Louise says:

      Someone said 5000 the other day, I’m sure that was for hot water

      • Shoestring says:

        sounds too much for Economy/ SH – the ticket didn’t cost too much…

        • Don’t think it was BA, but sure it was 5000 – one of the comments on one of yesterday’s posts. Reasoning was that the pax would have bought in the terminal before the flight if they’d announced it at the gate prior to boarding.

      • Somebody also reported 3k or 5k for loss of IFE for duration of a longhaul flight in a premium cabin so I wouldn’t expect too much.

    • I’ve logged a complaint as OH was in row 7in CE from LHR to MAN and got no F & B at all because it is nigh on impossible to serve 30 odd pax on a 40 minute flight! I wonder if they get a lot of complaints about this, especially as those short hops can cost £300 on a busy day at short notice!

      • Lady London says:

        How do Ryanair and Easyjet manage to serve 130-189 passengers with a smile and still have time to do a rubbish run down the cabin before landing then?

        • Lady London says:

          *on similar flight duration

        • Doug M says:

          Staff on commission? More staff per passenger? They were setup to do this and probably have more experienced staff in this area?

        • Which route do Ryanair fly which is 40 mins? Though presumably as it’s buy on board they might not get many takers?

      • Air Asia do it no problem at all. They use 4 FA not 3 and the food and drink is pre ordered up to 24h before departure. It is all ready to be served as soon as service can begin. The pre ordered food is handed out first then trolley is open to other pax for on-board purchase by card or cash. Rubbish usually collected twice too and duty free sold.

    • Lady London says:

      Someone got 5k on exactly that about 2 days ago comment on here. That was EU short. Someone else replied they’d only got 3k for no IFE all the way from Bangkok. Apparently the new website complaints link is the one to use. (Sorry I’ve not got it)

    • 3,000 each time when no dessert in First, limited drinks in Club (run out of about 5 items we asked for), no breakfast in Club. They tried to get rid of me with 1 x 3,000 when the above happened to two of us, over a ten day period.

      • Lady London says:

        You mean you’ve suffered all those?

        Do you honestly think First Class on Swiss or Lufthansa or Cathay or Singapore or even Qatar, would EVER fun out of any one of those?

      • Lady London says:

        How much did you get off British Airways, in the end, for that? How much of your multi-thousands-of-pounds-cost fare did you get back?

  3. Oh no, not that old chestnut again 🙂 If Virgin want more coverage tell them to come up with something new and exciting for us.

    • Mr Entitled says:

      I’m just grateful for a non-Amex day.

      • Lady London says:

        And Charlieface has done a really excellent job on Hertz which has cheered me up.

        • Charlieface says:

          Something I always wanted to do on HFP. Now I can go back to lurking and making know-it-all comments.

  4. Virgin must have paid well for their interest rate to be described as competitive. I think the readers of this website are bit more savvy than to consider putting savings only in high street institutions that haven’t been competitive for at least 5 years.

  5. Would anyone value a virgin mile at 1.25p ?
    Surely not.
    They are currently (and frequently) running the bonus promotion that means you get up to 40% bonus and means the effective price of buying miles is as little as 1.1p.

    • Shoestring says:

      Yep but the other side of the argument goes that if you need to fly on a fairly expensive cash-for-ticket day – and there’s a Reward seat available for points – you can save significantly more than 1.25p/ Virgin mile.

      One way I look at is with my personal Avios valuation is that they’re worth about 1.25p because I *say* that’s what they’re worth & I stick to my rule. Ie if it’s cheaper to pay for a cash ticket than using points @1.25p, then I pay cash. If it’s the other way around, I use points. Hey presto, my points are always worth more than 1.25p.

      • Genghis says:

        But why value them at more than you can buy them for? As you’d use miles and replace them by buying them.

        • Shoestring says:

          Just the pat-on-the back motivation for saving money vs cash, I guess – all part of the fun. So Avios/ Virgin miles are another 2 currencies sitting there ready to be used (or nearly so, eg in MR points or Tesco clubcard points, which are both quick to convert), and if you don’t have a ready stash, then you’re *out of the game*.

          No points in a stash means you get no choice and it’s cash only (or buying the points in some cases via eg the BAEC portal). But whilst you can occasion buy 300K points @ little more than 1p/ point, those opps are not constant and the price could go up at any time.

          If I’d bought (say) £100K of USD when the rate was GBP1=USD2 – and that’s been the case 3 times in my adult life and three times I’ve failed to pull the trigger 🙂 – then I’d have $200K of cheap ollars sitting there in my dollar stash and you’d have no argument that I wasn’t *in the money* for the 95% of my life when the rate was worse than GBP1=USD2.

          Pretty much the same argument goes with acquiring a nice cheap stash of Avios @ (say) 0.8p/ point and sitting there smugly, know you bought low & can sell high, and if you can’t sell high you can just sit on the points (and pay cash instead) until the points are worth more again on your ticket option.

          • I moved a LOT of Amex points to my US$ Amex when the exchange rate was 1.59 …. got lucky on that one.

            On the other hand, when I left banking I kept my payout in Euro whilst watching the rate slip from 1.24 to 1.45, losing literally thousands of pounds per week. Luckily good old Brexit came along and put me back in the money ….

        • Alex W says:

          Can’t work out if your comment “luckily” is tongue in cheek or not. With German family etc I presumed you’d be pro EU, and I suspect you may also have GBP investments which have lost value offsetting your EUR gains.

          • I’m very pro EU and I am slightly embarrassed that leaving has made me a substantial amount of money! We actually hold no UK equity investments outside of pensions because of restrictions linked to my wife’s City job, and indeed my old City job.

        • Lady London says:

          I took a contract for about 5 months 4 years ago. Client was USA but wanted to pay in Euros as their client they were paying for the services for was near Lyon in France. The Euro fell almost immediately and overall my rate earned for the contract dropped by about 20%. I was glad it was a short contract.

          This year I’ve had better luck just finishing a project in France paid in Euros.

          What I should have done was ask the US client to pay me in USD instead. That would have given me a slight increase in£ value over the project. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

        • Brexit generated an unexpected 20% bonus when we got rid of our Bangkok property after the Chinese investment boom dried up. Still not a fan though, I’d much prefer it had not happened.

      • Yes, like my last avios CE seat out of DUB when fog delayed and cancelled loads of flights, no Y available. Cash price for the remaining seat that night in CE to LCY was just under €800. So my value for those avios was off the scale. And they wouldn’t offload me and give my ticket to one of the loads of stranded biz people clamouring to get back to city.

        • Andrew says:

          Similar. 15,000 Avios + £50 has bought me a £700 flight from London to Edinburgh on more than one occasion.

          Just waiting to see the redemption options for domestic Virgin flights once Flybe is integrated and rebranded.

    • Charlieface says:

      I think the cheapest method is book a cancellable flight, use Miles Booster them cancel flight. That’s 0.77p each

  6. callum says:

    By all means talk about how it’s a good way to buy points cheap, but describing 1.36% as competitive seems a bit absurd (especially when you link to a site that lists 24 accounts with a higher rate!).

  7. JohnnyFly says:

    HeadForVirgin in full flow today.

  8. OT but Virgin. Still waiting for 5k miles from January CC spend. Virgin CS is worse than dealing with IB CS. I left bad feedback in a phone survey, I received a call the next day asking why, I explained that the miles were missing from January statement and that I was getting nowhere dealing with CS. A few days later I received a letter from Virgin stating how happy they were that the problem had been fixed and that I was happy with the outcome. That was 3 weeks ago and there has been no outcome still waiting for the 5000 miles.

    • Lady London says:

      This unfortunately is about the standard of so much customer service in the UK these days. In fact this one sounds like a good one. You actually got a letter. Try getting anything out of, say, Accor.

      And I refuse to believe that this experience comes anywhwere near close to panoply of rotten customer service (or no customer service) of, say, Iberia or Accor.

  9. OT, but probably interesting enough for a lot of people. Tesco will be dropping uber as a redemption partner from 10 July, according to MSE…

  10. Shoestring says:

    A healthy 1.85p/ Avios value for those 4 seats. Not too soon to book your Easter 2020 flights *OUT*, I thought I’d messed up by leaving it too late – my favourite flight slot time on the Saturday was gone for reward flights – but not there for cash either, looks like BA are dropping a flight that day.

    • Shoestring says:

      Actually glad I’ve caught up with myself as I’ve just seen that Easter Monday (13th April) is again the last day of (state) school hols, so a good day to travel back from our place in the sun in my books. Flights get released midnight *tomorrow*!

      • My son’s (state) school has really late Easter holidays next year, starting on Good Friday. I’ve bagged our outbound seats (see above), but they don’t go back until April 27th, so I’m wondering whether our return leg will fall into off peak (🤞)

        • Shoestring says:

          that’s pretty late, down here they do at least dovetail timetables school by school within Devon & Cornwall, I know from an earlier comment that it’s terrible in London with side by side LEAs not caring to establish a common-ish framework

    • Shoestring says:

      4 cash tickets £650

      4 Avios tickets £70 + 30K

      times like this I’m happy with your 0.5p valuation, Alan – as it means I just saved £430 🙂

  11. Shoestring says:

    Simple mistake, I’m only human! Was looking at Feb on BAEC, still must be a bit tired from yesterday!

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