Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

NEW PROMO: Get 7,000 to 25,000 sign-up miles with the Virgin Atlantic credit cards!

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

For a limited period:

you will earn an extra 2,000 miles (7,000 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 31st October.  You can apply here.

You have two choices – 7,000 Flying Club miles for free on the ‘no fee’ card, or 25,000 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.

According to a conference speech I sat through last week, over 175,000 people have taken out a Virgin Atlantic Mastercard in the past 18 months, and over 5 billion miles have been issued!

Virgin Flying Club Reward credit card extra bonus

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 7,000 miles:

  • 5,000 miles for the first purchase made on the card in the first 90 days
  • Plus another 2,000 miles when you apply on or before 31st October and you spend £1,000 on the card within 90 days of opening the account

This means that you are earning 7,000 Virgin Flying Club miles – which are worth around £70 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 25,000 miles:

  • 15,000 miles for the first purchase made on the card in the first 90 days
  • Plus another 10,000 miles when you apply on or before 31st October and you spend £3,000 on the card within 90 days of opening the account

With this deal, you are receiving 25,000 Virgin Flying Club miles, which are worth around £250 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 (7,000 miles for free vs 25,000 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.

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 can choose from:

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 can choose from:

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 a generous sign-up bonus, especially for the Reward+ card.  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 7,000 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.

Comments (138)

  • TripRep says:

    Rob, do VS do referrals for this card?

    If not, why not?

  • Freddy says:

    Any potential change for the useless 241 voucher?

    • Paul says:

      This is the poorest aspect of the card. If you don’t “do” economy it means the 241 is useless.
      It’s very short sighted of VS as I for one have never set foot on one of their planes. I might if I could use my 241 for upper class but as things stand I have cancelled my rewards + and just waiting to use the miles on AF/KLM or Delta in the US.

      • Spaghetti Town says:

        The 241 is useless even if you do do economy, much better off buying a cash fare unless cash prices for your dates are sky high.

    • Matt B says:

      I would happily pay a higher fee or have a higher spend target if it meant improving the 241 benefits for low or no status pax. It’s so much easierr to earn and redeem on BA, I probably won’t have enough points for a decent VS redemption until 2021!!

    • Doug M says:

      The voucher lets the product down. I’ve got 250K FC miles that I struggle to use any of. Hopefully at some point AF/KLM short haul will be available with them, and I’ll have a choice with BA for some routes. Taxes will be the deciding factor in the end, whatever anyone says about BA the EC and using Avios on short haul is really good as I see it.

  • SG says:

    Morning all
    With the upgrade voucher,do you get charged the upgraded class taxes?(Economy to Premium-premium taxes?)

  • Freddy says:

    They’ve previously offered sign up bonus of 12k points on the free card and 30k for the plus card only in June. Bit of a reduction this time around

  • Josh says:

    Is there referral bonuses?

  • Jonathan says:

    I tried applying for this card back in June, got rejected, I appealed via the call centres, this didn’t get a good outcome, so I tried sending them a letter but this too was unsuccessful. They’ve never given me an explanation for why they turned me down, and makes me angry to see them happily advertising their cards and rejecting someone who’s got been using credit cards for nearly 10 years, and pays on time all the time.

    At some point I’m going to make a complaint to Virgin Group to tell them that Virgin Atlantic Credit Cards refused to even tell me why the application was rejected and their unwillingness to consider overturning their decision.

    • Shoestring says:

      Life’s far too short to get angry about a credit card application refusal.

      Move on.

    • John says:

      You don’t fit the profile of the kind of customer they want.

      You can’t complain to them as you aren’t a customer.

      • Matt B says:

        Exactly, virgin money will have a good idea if they are likely to make anything from you…and as someone who ‘pays on time’ then that confirms it.

        • Rob says:

          I was slightly shocked they had approved 175,000 people to be honest 🙂

          Not sure if they are more lenient on the fee card. A key part of whether they can make money off you is whether you would use it abroad. I wonder if they look for 0% products on your credit report?

    • Jonathan says:

      All I’ll be doing is making them aware how one of their brands operate, and not refusing to tell me why they rejected the application despite being asked to provide a reason.

      It might make them think more carefully about which companies they associate the Virgin brand with.

      • Matt B says:

        They are under no obligation to explain why, that’s pretty standard across the cards market.

      • Ken says:

        An exercise in futility. They literally won’t care.

        Got to pick your fights in life – and not take every setback as a personal affront .

      • Ken says:

        Virgin Money until this year charged 1% fee on a FTSE All Share Tracker.

        This is the type of company we are dealing with. If we can ‘game’ them, fine – but please don’t expect them to offer good value and service.

  • Mike says:

    Is it possible to refer other people from this card and get a free points like you can with BA Amex ?

  • Andrew says:

    (Pedant alert) – Rob, the section relating to the paid card may need changing to “earn up to 25,000 miles” – currently says 30k, and application deadline needs changing from 30 June. 😀