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

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There are now only a few days left to take advantage of the special offer for the Virgin Money-issued Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 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, but in reality you need to apply on 30th as historically it is pulled very early on the last day.  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 recent conference speech I attended, 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.  You need to apply by Wednesday or, at the very latest, before 9am on Thursday 31st.

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.

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Comments

  1. funkypigeon says:

    Are reward flight fees similar to BA?

    What does 25,000 get you in terms of location from LHR?

    For example, a return reward economy trip to New York… how many points would that use and what would the fees be?

    I have great understanding of how BA/Avios work but very limited on this.

    • Not being funny but have you played around on the Virgin website? There’s a good calendar view available when you search so, if your dates are flexible, you can see how the cost will change.

      To take a month at random, in April 2020 a return economy flight to JFK from LHR would cost either 20,000 or 30,000 points plus £262.82.

      • They are advertising £270 economy light fares with 0 points…no point wasting 20,000 points for £7.18!

  2. I would to know if it’s worth getting the Virgin Reward+ card if I already have the AMEX gold card and paying £140 annual fee for it? I was going to just get the virgin fee-free card as an addition to my amex gold so I can use the virgin mastercard when AMEX isn’t accepted. I’m a frequent traveller and used to use Virgin a lot in the days of the old black and white virgin amex card so I have previously benefited from their premium economy reward upgrade flights. It seems a bit much to be paying another £160 for the reward card, which would mean i’m spending £300 total between my AMEX gold and virgin reward+ card per annum if i go down that route.

    • Genghis says:

      I’d challenge why you’re paying for your Amex Gold card. Not worth paying for IMO.

    • Paying for Gold makes little sense – get V+ for a year and then go back to Gold – you won’t get a sign-up bonus but you WILL get another ‘first year free’.

      • I’m not sure paying £160 for the reward card still makes sense though? I got the first year of the AMEX card free and back then it was 22,000 sign on bonus which was pretty good. I suppose one could argue that i’m paying for the 22k points retrospectively by paying £140 in the second year. What would you say is the biggest incentive for the V+ card (bonus aside).

        • You can’t separate out the bonus though. You’re getting 25,000 miles for £160, effectively, plus 1.5 miles per £1 which is as good as you’ll get anywhere, and outstanding for a Visa / MC. (Note the Lloyds Mastercard is 0.4 Avios per £1, for example.)

          Whether it is worth £160 in Year 2 depends on how much you spend. I’d say £2500/month is the break-even point and if you spend below this you are, from Year 2 onwards, better off on the free Virgin card.

          (£30k on the free card = 22.5k miles. £30k on the paid card = 45k miles for £160. Difference is 22.5k miles for £160 which is a decent deal to me.)

          • Fair point. What do you think about the starwood American express card though? For £75 I’d get 30,000k bonus points (£3k spend in the first 90 days) plus 3 points per spend on every card and the flexibility of transferring points to 150 airlines. Sounds like a better deal?

          • It’s an Amex though, so you’re not comparing like with like given the big differences in acceptance. If you get the Starwood card (which is a good card) you’ll still need a Visa / Mastercard as back up.

          • Meant to say 3 points per spend on every £1.

          • Hi Rob,

            Thanks for all the tips. Just one more question, I read on AMEX’s site that one is not eligible for bonus points on any of their cards if you’ve previously held or currently hold any of their cards within the last 24 months. However I’ve seen people say they cancel and can reapply and earn the bonus points after 6 months. Is this accurate?

          • No (unless you’re talking about the business cards).

            Amex IT is not wholly accurate, shall we say, but you have to assume the 24 month rule holds.

            The rule you quote is NOT correct, by the way. There are exceptions for BAPP, Platinum and the Business cards.

    • SultanOfCroydon says:

      Refer yourself to the Amex Rewards Card and get rid of the Gold Card. What benefit do you receive from the Gold card that warrants £140 a year?…

      • Didn’t know this was possible i.e. to refer oneself? I liked the flexibility of being able to transfer the AMEX points to different airlines if required, especially since I have flying club membership with a number of different airlines. So if I cancel the AMEX gold card, do I lose the accured points on the card?

        • Note that Amex US has started going for people who self-referred, even those who did so many many months ago.

  3. Remember the cheapest Virgin fares are no luggage while redemptions are classic
    I had 5 mins to spare so did a bit of comparing value of points off peak in pence next May after taking off the exorbitant charges
    economy Premium Upper
    NY 0.61 1 1.56
    LA 0.54 0.79 3.38
    SFO 0.51 1.29 3.28
    ATL 1.82 0.93 2,83
    ORL 0.64 1.7
    BOM 1.54 1.07 2,97

    Quite a variation, there are several good and bad value redemptions in the economy and premium sections

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