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)

  • LewisB says:

    VS need to allow people to ‘upgrade’ from the free card to the Rewards+ card. I would quite happily upgrade right now but I simply can’t unless I cancel and go without for 6 months. You could do this before, you could technically have both. I don’t even factor in the 241 as I don’t even plan on boarding a Virgin plane. Saving for the KLM integration.

    • Rob says:

      I have discussed with them. Agree it is weird.

      Virgin will be in Skyteam very soon so no problem using the miles. World exclusive there.

      • Neil Donoghue says:

        The question is, will we need 1,000,000 points for a simple premium economy redemption on Air France?

      • Benilyn says:

        Excited about this! I got he free card, me and partner, triggered 2-4-1, but really not seeing value even upgrading to PE, just seems a rip off still. In the process trying to get to c65k miles each so can make a 1-way redemption in UC…

        • Matt B says:

          Its not brilliant value but off peak PE to say NYC using the day flights both ways is OK if using the upgrade vouchers. We did this over half term last year (BA count this as peak) and it was fine for a medium length flight with good service for 20k points each return – obviously need 2 vouchers for this but we had loads from the old mbna cards. I did miss the clubhouse though.

      • ankomonkey says:

        Glad they’re finally joining an alliance. Just wish it had been Star Alliance, but never likely after Delta bought the Singapore Airlines share.

      • @mkcol says:

        I look forward to you breaking the world exclusive to us!

  • Bob says:

    OT: Have a BA flight booked to PVG on 2nd Oct which has been cancelled by BA, not sure if strike related or not. In terms of rebooking are they required to rebook pax on another airline for the same day? Or only refund / rebook on alt day on a BA flight?

    Thanks

  • Brian says:

    Possible Data Point – I was also in the position where they rejected me 6 months ago and not given me a proper reason of that even after appeal.

    However, in the recent month, my MSE eligibility calculator changed from ‘Non-approved’ to ‘95% approved’ in the last 2 weeks. I just applied and got approved!

    No personal circumstance change… The only thing that changed is I have stopped applying (and getting approved) for different credit cards for the last 6 months…. So perhaps VA have a secret credit card application allowance for a max period of time that they are not telling anyone?

  • Iain says:

    Interesting article on Virgin expanding routes post Heathrow expansion https://apple.news/AUKw_X7BwQSmVQcoVLsz5xA

    • Rob says:

      Yes, Shai has been banging on about this at every public event he has spoken at in recent months. He has a point, although of course neither VS or BA are British any longer (BA being part of a Spanish company where the dominant shareholder is Qatari).

      Where the aircraft come from is a different question.

      • Charlieface says:

        If I were him I wouldn’t wait for the 3rd runway. MAN is a huge missed opportunity for airlines, he could stitch the place up for himself instead of fighting a losing battle in LHR.

  • JP-MCO says:

    I’m finding the fact that they’ve pulled integration from Reward Flight Finder frustrating. The Virgin Atlantic website is so glitchy that it makes it virtually impossible to search for ways to spend your Flying Club miles. They’ve pulled support for the one tool that made it easy for members to spend their miles. Maybe they don’t actually want people to spend them?

    • Rob says:

      Tim is still in discussions and seems more cheerful now than he was when I saw him two weeks ago.

      • JP-MCO says:

        I’m glad about that. It’s one thing pulling an external data link when you’ve got your own reliable tool but it’s something else when your own tool is a shower of …..

  • Moily says:

    Any news on when Virgin FC miles will be redeemable on KLM/Air France?

    • Rob says:

      I have a meeting with VS in a couple of weeks at which I expect to get the date. November was being banded about.

      • Moily says:

        Thanks Rob. Fingers crossed!

      • Simon says:

        Wow! Brilliant news.

      • Spaghetti Town says:

        How much tax are we expected to be clobbered with on short haul redemption’s?

        • marcw says:

          All taxes and airport fees.

        • LewisB says:

          One way CWL – AMS with KLM is 6,000 miles plus EUR 38.79.
          One way LHR – AMS with KLM is 6,000 miles plus EUR 37.71
          One way GLA – AMS with KLM is 6,000 miles plus EUR 30.82

          Taxes are not consistent from various UK airports.

          One way AMS – PRG with KLM is 6,000 miles plus EUR 25.61
          One way AMS – CPH with KLM is 7,500 miles plus EUR 25.61
          One way AMS – KRK with KLM is 7,500 miles plus EUR 25.61

          Taxes are pretty consistent from AMS to the rest of Europe.

          Surely we can expect the same rates of miles and taxes?

          • Charlieface says:

            Because most airport taxes are charged on outbound not inbound, it’s nothing to do with UK airports per se.

  • iamfugly says:

    They would have a higher sign up if they didn’t mess about with the sign up criteria. I have been rejected twice in the last year and a bit, the last time even after writing in as you suggested. I spend approx £2-3k a month on my amex/hsbc cards, no other non mortgage borrowings, have previously been holder of both the MBNA virgin cards, have an excellent experian rating, hold the amex plat and HSBC premier world elite cards but cannot for the life of me get accepted for a two bit virgin card!? Go figure!

    • Matt B says:

      They probably see you as low risk, but also think low profit. It’s not rocket science.

      • iamfugly says:

        Yes, I totally understand your point, but my point is why reject someone who is low risk. There is relatively little to no cost to accept a low risk applicant, and considering my high spend (relative to the avg card user; which is also visible on my credit history) the card issuer would gain in transaction fees. This is neither rocket science either!

        • Matt B says:

          Not necessarily, with such a high earning rate against low interchange fees, spend alone is not sufficient. Throw in the bonus miles and you would likely be a loss maker.

          • Rob says:

            Only 5 ways to make money:
            * annual fee (n/a in your case)
            * interchange (but 0.3% does not cover the cost of the miles, by a long way)
            * late fees – does your credit report suggest you are likely to be late?
            * interest – does your credit report suggest you may pay interest?
            * FX fees – does your credit report show you have a 0% fee card?

            Unless 1 and 3-5 above could apply to you, why accept you? Of course, this applies to ALL credit cards now.

          • iamfugly says:

            Just to clarify, firstly I was applying without the bonus miles being offered. Secondly, I was applying for the fee card. £160 for 15,000 miles! Hardly a loss making exercise on their part!
            Actually my originally application was when they offered zero miles on acceptance. Anyhow, bygones!

  • Matt says:

    It looks like this is becoming a regular deal. Anyone confident it’ll come back at 30k soon for the £160 card?