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

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The Platinum Card from American Express has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Avios, if you apply by 1st June 2022. You can apply 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.

Virgin Flying Club Reward credit card extra bonus

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.

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

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 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 responsibly to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points. The site discusses products offered by lenders but is not a lender itself. Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as an independent credit broker.

Comments (138)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • eli says:

    I must say, being used to AMEX’s standard of customer service, the Virgin Money CS are a real Shambles. (perhaps the area code is the clue 🙈)

  • AncientSquash says:

    Slightly OT – but has anyone had positive experiences with Virgin’s disputes team on these two credit cards for section 75 claims or chargeback resulting from online travel agency – related claims? I’ve been affected by the very recent Amoma insolvency and am hoping Virgin sorts it out – either via Section 75 or failing that, chargeback via Mastercard. Looking at other forums and other posters’ experiences with their UK-based banks, Virgin at least initially appears to be less helpful – the disputes team won’t even discuss anything with me until I fill out paperwork that’s been sent to me while other posters are reporting they have already received refunds in their accounts. Fingers crossed there will be some kind of refund coming to me – otherwise I am out of pocket £2000+. Hotel already confirmed to me in writing that the room bookings (in Dec) were cancelled on the same day Amoma went insolvent.

  • Anita says:

    OT about booking seats with BA. My son has booked 2 reward seats to San Francisco in WT plus. He went to reserve his seats to find there are no pairs available. I seem to recall that gold members can look up seats to see if they are blocked out or genuinely unavailable. Sorry if I’m being dim! I’ve worked our collecting avios, reward flights & even using our 2 4 1 voucher this year but beyond that i don’t have a clue!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Sign up to expertflyer you can check yourself even with a free account.

    • Lyn says:

      Anna, how far out are your flights? Hopefully someone will offer to look them up for you.

      Booking seats in WT Plus is often tricky, since there just aren’t that many of them. It is the reason I almost prefer regular economy to WT Plus with either Silver or Bronze status. I don’t actually know whether seats are blocked but I think some of them may be kept for bassinets.

      • Lyn says:

        Sorry, I meant to write Anita, not Anna. Well done with what you have accomplished and using your BA 2-for-1.

        • Anita says:

          No problem with name! The flights are towards the end of October but we don’t have status anymore. Did well with our 2 4 1 vouchers – our son got WT plus on way out & business on way back. We got first out (different day) & business back on the same flight as our son!
          Thanks for your help

  • Brian says:

    How long does VA normally take to issue and send the card from approval?

  • @mkcol says:

    Where or how do you get your marvellous 2-4-1/upgrade to Premium voucher?

    • Benilyn says:

      Appears as a line item on Flying Club website under earnings. Then call VA to book.

  • Harvey says:

    When I use my Virgin card, I sometimes like to pay off the bill immediately. But then they charge me again on my direct debit. Is there anyway to avoid this?

    • Spaghetti Town says:

      Does your account end up overpaid then?

    • Craig says:

      Cancel the direct debit and set a reminder to pay the bill each month. I had a similar issue where a large refund was issued but they still took the full direct debit even though they said they wouldn’t. On the plus side the card has now cost me significantly less than £160 and I won’t be renewing.

    • Genghis says:

      No. Co’s not amending the DD is one of my pet peeves (Halifax, VM, MBNA etc). I suggest just making manual payments or as I did when I had the card have a DD set up for minimum payment (which then acts as a reminder to pay the balance).

  • nick says:

    Can 2 virgin 2-4-1 vouchers be used? for example a family of 4 travelling?

    I know it can be done with the BA voucher

    • ankomonkey says:

      With the old MBNA ones, yes. I used two return upgrade vouchers for 4 people to get a one-way upgrade. Can’t comment on Virgin Money version and have no desire to find out due to VS FC Red status.

      • Chas says:

        Yes they can – my wife and I both used our 241s this summer travelling as a family of 4. Ends up as 2 separate booking references, which is the same as BA I think.

  • NICK says:

    OT:
    Waitrose
    Re: the spend £40, get £8 off vouchers that Waitrose send out in the post.

    Any one use them when also purchasing a JL/Waitrose gift card as part of their grocery shop?

    If that works- can also double dip with the amex waitrose offer that’s running currently.

    • Mark2 says:

      Since it is going through the Waitrose till it is very unlikely

    • Andrew says:

      Most people already double-dip Waitrose offers as it is!

      If you’re lucky, you’ll double-double dip if you’ve registered your card on more than one In Store offer. The IT that powers it is more than a bit flakey…

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