BA sale

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

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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.

CANCELLED (updated 20/9): British Airways pilot strike on 27th September is called off in a bizarre BALPA move
Did you know that 'kids eat for free' at Heathrow?
Click here to join the 14,000 people on our email list and receive the latest Avios, miles and points news by 6am.

Hilton India and SEA sale
Amazon ad
BA sale
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.

Comments

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

    • 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.

  2. 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?

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

      • 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 …..

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

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

      • Thanks Rob. Fingers crossed!

      • Wow! Brilliant news.

      • Spaghetti Town says:

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

        • All taxes and airport fees.

        • 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.

  4. 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!

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

      • 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!

        • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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!

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

  6. Alex W. Jr. says:

    I applied for the Reward+ Sunday just gone (with the new offer) and was instantly declined but would receive an e-mail stating their decision.

    Received the e-mail yesterday and the main reason was that I already had a Virgin Money card already (which is still an active account). I did have the MBNA Virgin Atlantic card but that was closed a number of years ago.

    Has this happened to anyone else before?

    Guess I’m going to have to call their customer support team to figure this out 🙁

    • If it was on Sunday it was with the old offer!

      • Alex W. Jr. says:

        Hey Rob,

        Thanks for the reply.

        Oh well, must’ve seen something else then 😛

        Anyways, need to speak to Virgin as the reason they provided, in my opinion, isn’t feasible. Who knows, they might honor the new offer haha 🙂

  7. OT:

    Does anyone have any idea how to get through to BA at the moment? I have tried every day for the past week but keep getting the ‘we can’t help you – call back later’ message then the line goes dead.

    I’m trying to cancel a hotel booking made with Avios – there’s no way to do that on the website.

    I know they’ll be dealing with all the strike stuff, but not even getting the option to wait for an operator is so annoying.

  8. Sanjit Chaudhuri says:

    i already have the 160 pound card – wondering if i signed up for the free one; would that trigger the sign up bonus as well ?

    • I did.
      Others did not.
      Top tip, use a different email address..

      • Sanjit Chaudhuri says:

        Awesome – thanks for the top tip !!!

      • Are you suggesting that simply by using an alternative email address that anyone can fool the Virgin application system by getting a second Virgin Atlantic card AND getting the sign up bonus?

  9. Does the Virgin Rewards set-up allow a household account like BA for sharing points?

    • No, but you can call Virgin to book and they can take miles from two accounts. Recent experience seems to show it needs to be in chunks of ‘leg’, ie if you want 2 flights at 100k miles each, you need to take miles in chunks of 50k (a one-way flight for one person) from each account. 20k/180k is not possible, 50k/150k is possible.

  10. Silly question but can a UK expat living in Europe apply for these guys ? I’m a British Citizen but I personally don’t have a UK address though I do have family members that do…

    • Charlieface says:

      Generally they ask if you are tax resident in the UK. You could answer yes, they are highly unlinkely to check but if you’re not on the electoral roll and don’t have a bank account it’s gonna be a struggle.

  11. How can you see your spending so far on VA+ card pls?

    ie, to see how much still needed to spend to reach target of £10K.

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment.