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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)

  • Ben says:

    Is there a bonus for issuing a supplementary card like the one Amex offers?

  • Julius says:

    Quick question about Virgin Rewards Card eligibility.

    I applied for the card end of November / start of December and was rejected (apparently I did not meet some basic criteria as I was not credit checked at all). My circumstances have since changed and MSE gives me a 95% chance of being accepted.

    The Virgin Money website says two things about 6 months with regards to eligibility:
    On application page – “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.”
    In FAQs – “I have not made a previous application for another credit card issued by Virgin Money in the last 6 months.”

    Should I wait until June to apply or am I okay applying now?

    • Rob says:

      You should be OK – however, as the offer runs until 30th June, is it worth risking it?

      • Julius says:

        Cheers Rob, I think I’ll wait.

        Also, as it’s my first time commenting, thanks a lot for running HfP!

  • Deb says:

    Could my other half open an credit card and get the bonus miles on his account but then when we book the flight can we use his miles even if he is not going?

    • Rob says:

      There are no written rules but various examples where, yes, the Virgin call centre allows this as long as he is on the call to authorise it.

  • Mr Dee says:

    Not worth keeping after year 1

  • Ray says:

    I literally got my card before this (some time last week).
    Do you know when exactly this new bonus announcement came out, and if they are flexible on letting me join in on the extra 1k spend bonus?

  • Brian says:

    Instant reject…

    Applying this card seems to be harder than applying for an Amex which is in a way mind blowing.

    • Brian Leung says:

      Same. Meanwhile AMEX just approves me…..and regularly increases my limits to 10K+……..

      • Qwerty Bertie says:

        Applications are funny beasts. I was accepted for the paid Virgin card in Oct 18 on my first attempt with a £15k limit, already having well over £50k on five other credit cards plus a platinum charge card, yet I was rejected for a Barclays current account in about Jan 18…for the fourth time I think, going back to 2015.

        We all seem to have something about us that fits some profiles but not others. A couple of weeks ago the IHG Creation eligibility checker indicated acceptance for their free card but rejection for the premium one, citing that they were concerned I would not be able to afford my repayments…and that was after asking me in the checker to confirm I hadn’t made a mistake when entering my net income as it was over a threshold that triggers said check.

  • Spruce says:

    Any idea if the Virgin cards still treat cash withdrawals via Curve as purchases as opposed to cash advance?

    Not something I’d planned to do regularly but if one is ‘close’ to a target, etc….

    • stevenhp1987 says:

      Purchase for me. Same as topping up Revolut and and the like.

  • H says:

    With the plus card, you get 1.5 miles per £1, but is that only for 12 months?

    The article states :

    plus an exceptionally high earning rate for the next 12 months. It is up to you.

    If so, I can’t seem to find this being mentioned on virgins site?

    • Genghis says:

      It applies forever, so long as you continue to pay the card fee of £160. Point being that the card fee “unlocks” high ongoing points earning.

    • Rob says:

      What I meant is that you have paid the fee for the year so you have 12 months to benefit from 1.5 per £1 before you need to decide whether you renew.

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