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BEST BONUS EVER: Get 12,000 to 30,000 sign-up miles with the Virgin Atlantic credit cards

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Virgin Atlantic has brought back an impressive special offer for its new Virgin Money-issued Reward and Reward+ credit cards.

This is the biggest bonus that Virgin Atlantic has EVER run on these cards.  If you have not already applied then this is the ideal time to jump in.

For a limited period:

you will earn an extra 7,000 miles (12,000 miles in total) on the FREE Virgin Atlantic Reward credit card 

you will get an extra 15,000 Flying Club miles (30,000 miles in total) if you take out the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ credit card, which has a £160 fee

Virgin Flying Club Reward credit card extra bonus

This offer runs until 30th June.  You can apply here.

You have two choices – 12,000 Flying Club miles for free on the ‘no fee’ card, or 30,000 Flying Club miles for £160 on the paid card, plus an exceptionally high earning rate for the next 12 months.  It is up to you.

If this article sounds familiar it is because it is based on the one I used when this offer last ran.

Here are the details:

The free card

The free Virgin Atlantic Reward credit card is a Mastercard which earns 0.75 miles per £1 spent.  The representative APR is 22.9% variable.

New sign-ups to the Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit Card will be able to earn up to 12,000 miles:

  • 5,000 miles for the first purchase made on the card in the first 90 days
  • Plus another 7,000 miles when you apply on or before 30th June and you spend £1,000 on the card within 90 days of opening the account

This means that you are earning 12,000 Virgin Flying Club miles – which are worth around £120 if redeemed for long-haul premium flights – for free.

Virgin Atlantic Reward credit card

The paid card

The £160 Virgin Atlantic Reward+ credit card is a Mastercard which earns 1.5 miles per £1 spent.  The representative APR is 63.9% variable including the £160 fee based on a notional £1200 credit limit The interest rate on purchases is 22.9% variable.

If you take out the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ credit card you will be able to earn up to 30,000 miles:

  • 15,000 miles for the first purchase made on the card in the first 90 days
  • Plus another 15,000 miles when you apply on or before 30th June and you spend £3,000 on the card within 90 days of opening the account

With this deal, you are receiving 30,000 Virgin Flying Club miles, which are worth around £300 if redeemed for long-haul premium flights.

Virgin Reward Plus credit card extra bonus

The Reward+ card remains the better deal in my view.  Whilst the sign-up deals are roughly equal (12,000 miles for free vs 30,000 miles for £160), once you have the Reward+ card you are earning the superior 1.5 miles per £1 whenever you shop.  You also trigger the upgrade and companion vouchers more quickly

In terms of eligibility, the application form asks you to confirm:

“I am not an existing Virgin Atlantic Credit Card customer and I have not closed another credit card issued by Virgin Money in the last 6 months.”

This implies that you CAN apply again if you previously closed one of the Virgin Atlantic cards over six months ago, but that you cannot apply for a 2nd card if you already have one.  This is tucked away in the small print, however, and some readers have already been accepted for another card despite this.  Up to you if you want to try ….. if you are accepted, you WILL get the bonus.

How do the upgrade and companion vouchers work?

Each year you can earn a special extra reward.  Your reward is triggered IMMEDIATELY upon hitting the spending target.  The target is £20,000 in a card year for the free Virgin Atlantic Reward credit card and £10,000 in a card year for the £160 Virgin Atlantic Reward+ credit card.

Unlike the British Airways American Express cards, the rewards vary depending on your tier in the Virgin Flying Club scheme.  If you have elite status, you get a better reward.

This is what you can pick from:

All Flying Club members

A 2-4-1 voucher, valid for two years, for a Virgin Flying Club redemption in Economy, or

A return upgrade to Premium when you book an Economy reward flight (requires reward availability in Premium)

Flying Club members with Silver status

A 2-4-1 voucher, valid for two years, for a Virgin Flying Club redemption in Premium or Economy, or

A Virgin Clubhouse lounge pass for Heathrow or Gatwick (requires a same-day Virgin Atlantic flight), or

A return upgrade to Premium when you book an Economy reward flight (requires reward availability in Premium)

Flying Club members with Gold status

A 2-4-1 voucher, valid for two years, for a Virgin Flying Club redemption in Upper Class, Premium or Economy

TWO Virgin Clubhouse lounge passes for Heathrow or Gatwick (require same-day Virgin Atlantic flights)

A return upgrade to Premium when you book an Economy reward flight (requires reward availability in Premium)

Taxes and charges are due on ‘free’ 241 seats in the same way as the British Airways American Express 241 vouchers.  Vouchers are valid for two years and you must fly the outbound leg of your trip before the expiry date.

Some tips on applying

Do NOT use the ‘pre-approval checker’ on the Virgin Money website.  It is a joke.  It is designed for Virgin Money’s mass-market cards and is likely to reject you for being too wealthy and so unlikely to pay interest.  Apply directly.

If your full application is rejected, this can often be overturned if you appeal in writing.  Write to Virgin Money at Jubilee House, Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 4PL with a couple of paragraphs expressing your dismay, referencing your Virgin Atlantic status and/or that you had the old MBNA credit cards, and outlining your income and lack of non-mortgage debts.  They will reconsider and you will normally end up being successful.

Conclusion

This is an excellent sign-up bonus.  If you haven’t taken out one of the new Virgin Atlantic credit cards yet, I doubt you will see a better deal than this.  I genuinely don’t know how Virgin Money / Virgin Atlantic can afford such a bonus in the world of 0.3% interchange fees, and you should take advantage before they realise.

The £160 Reward+ card is the better overall package because of the high earning rate and the long-term spending bonus triggered at just £10,000.

However, even if the Reward+ card is not for you, EVERY Head for Points reader should think about picking up a cheeky 12,000 Virgin Flying Club miles by getting the free Virgin Atlantic Reward credit card and spending £1,000 within 90 days.

You can apply for either of the new Virgin Atlantic credit cards via this link.

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history.  By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker.  Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.


HFP Virgin Atlantic Rewards credit card

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (August 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 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 20,000 Virgin Points:

Nectar American Express

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

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 (259)

  • Graham Walsh says:

    Good timing. Might get the g/f to sign up for the + card as she holds the basic one since the bonus last year. Might get the basic one myself.

  • Sarah says:

    What is the requirements for triggering 2-4-1 voucher on the free card?

    • Sarah says:

      Apologies, just re-read the article and see that it’s £20K

  • chris1922 says:

    Are the points good for anything else, such as hotel transfers ? I concentrate on Avios, but being a regular FlyBe customer, I may also collect these points once the Virgin group take over, assuming the flights will be eligible for this.
    In the past, any Virgin points I’ve just transferred to IHG.

    • Russ says:

      I’m in the same boat. Looking for an alternative miles partner to supplement avios but don’t fly Virgin metal and don’t know what to do with the points.

    • RussellH says:

      Yes, IHG or Hilton.

      I am like you, the one time I got to 10 000 Virgin miles they went straight to Hilton (15 000 points).

      • chris1922 says:

        Ah, OK, good to hear. I was looking for a new card and the amex ones arent much use now, as i already have my BA amex and am close to triggering this year’s 2 4 1.
        I’ll probably get this and just transfer to IHG then, i usually get a few nights a year redemption.

    • Rob says:

      You can redeem for hotels via Kaligo.com at around 0.55p per point, move to IHG at 1:1 (0.4p ish) or Hilton at 2:3 (0.5p ish). 12,500 miles gets you a £50 Virgin Group gift voucher.

      Flybe will probably be available at some point in 2019.

      • Genghis says:

        The Rewards + card is indirectly the highest earning Hilton card on the UK market.

        • Pangolin says:

          Good point, Genghis. Sadly I got the basic card a couple of months ago so I have no chance of applying for the Rewards + card to get the juicy bonus.

  • koroleon says:

    High income, lack of non-mortgage debt, but no Virgin status or previous MBNA card. Last round I was rejected without explanation; I did not bother writing to them. Is it worth giving it another try?

    • Rob says:

      I would – although I note your non-UK email address, and you should know that it is very difficult to get cards in the UK until you have lived here for 3 years.

    • Ian M says:

      A lot of people, who have no problem getting other cards, seem to get rejected for the Virgin ones. Worth another crack though.

  • a270 says:

    I transfer mine to Hilton. I know not the best return but you have to see what you want at the end of the day. I pool my Tesco, Virgin and Amex into Hilton for one luxury holiday utilising Hilton Points.

  • Stuart_f says:

    I don’t understand the logic of this offer. The extra signup bonus will drive card applications but I can’t see why anyone would bother keeping the card for long-term spending unless you also have Gold status on Virgin.

    If they fixed the 2-4-1 so that it could be used for any class then the Reward+ card would be at the front of my wallet, right now I don’t see any point in keeping either card past the first £1000.

    • Rob says:

      Virgin has been told this many, many times ….

      We have just passed the first anniversary of the card being launched. Virgin will now have information on how many paid cardholders renewed. If that number is weak, and I am guessing here, there may be pressure to change the voucher.

      • Simon says:

        My guess is that the limited seats in upper class make a free for all 2-4-1 counter productive

        • Rob says:

          If the seats are up for redemption anyway – and soon Delta, KLM and Air France members will be able to book Virgin redemption seats – I would be surprised they care. They are banking those chunky surcharges too ….

  • DTB says:

    still not as good as the 60k miles i got when they offered me the card after the old MBNA deal 🙂

  • David says:

    Hey Rob.
    If I cancel my card after receiving the sign up bonus, do I get a pro rata refund on the annual fee?

    • Guy says:

      Also – is there any way of pooling miles between partners, like with BA Avios household account??

      An article on this would be useful

      • Guy says:

        And..as an afterthought – can you cancel premium card and re=apply after 6 months for new bonus?

        • Rob says:

          Not officially but it almost certainly will work after a period …. no idea what that period is though.

      • Rob says:

        No.

        However, the call centre WILL unofficially do it at the point of redemption as long as both are travelling or both are on the phone to approve the transaction.

        • Chas says:

          Rob – when I booked using 241 voucher last year, I got the agent to explain to me the rules on how I could use the miles from the other family members accounts to buy the redemption seats we needed (there were 4 of us flying with 2 x 241s). They are allowed to take miles from the accounts of anyone flying on the trip in multiples of the minimum number required for the “cheapest sector”. Say you are flying an outbound sector at Peak time which is 25k miles, but your inbound sector is off-peak at 20k, then you could “transfer” 20k, 40k, 60k etc miles from the other travellers accounts to pay for the redemption. I didn’t need permission from kids accounts for this, and because my wife had already given me permission to access her account the agent didn’t need her further authorisation. Not quite “transferring points” per-se, but useful to know when working out how to pop points for family trips.

    • Rob says:

      Some people have got it, some people – including my wife – did not. You are NOT entitled to it.

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