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NEW PROMO: Get 25,000 sign-up miles with the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ credit card!

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Virgin Atlantic has brought back a special sign-up offer for its credit cards.  However, this time it is ONLY for the Virgin Money-issued Reward+ credit card.

For a limited period, from 13th January:

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

there is no extra sign-up bonus on the FREE Virgin Atlantic Reward credit card which remains at 5,000 miles

This offer runs until 28th February. You can apply here.

If you had been thinking of applying for a Virgin Atlantic credit card, you have two choices: the standard 5,000 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 October, over 175,000 people had taken out a Virgin Atlantic Mastercard in the past 18 months, and over 5 billion miles had been issued!

Virgin Flying Club Reward credit card extra bonus

Here are the details of the two cards:

The free card (no additional bonus):

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 5,000 miles for the first purchase made on the card in the first 90 days.

This means that you are earning 5,000 Virgin Flying Club miles – which are worth around £50 if redeemed for long-haul premium flights – for free.

Virgin Atlantic Reward credit card

The paid card (which does have the higher bonus):

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 28th February 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.

Purely in terms of the sign-up bonus, you are better off with the Reward+ card.  You are comparing:

5,000 miles for free on the Reward card, vs

25,000 miles for £160 on the Reward+ card

….. which means you’re getting an additional 20,000 miles for your £160.  This, in itself, is a good deal.

However, more importantly, with the paid 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.

With a 25,000 miles sign-up bonus, the £160 Reward+ card is currently a far better overall package than the free card because of the high earning rate and the long-term spending bonus triggered at just £10,000.

There’s clearly nothing wrong with getting the free Reward card and picking up the standard 5,000 miles, of course.  I would think twice before you do so, however, unless you genuinely don’t think that you can manage the £3,000 spend in 90 days required to trigger the second part of the bonus.

You can apply for either of the new Virgin Atlantic credit cards via this link.  The offer is valid for applications made between 13th January and 28th February 2020.

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. Sorry, quite new with the VA here.

    All Flying Club members: A 2-4-1 voucher, valid for two years, for a Virgin Flying Club redemption in Economy.

    Is the tax and surcharge just as bad as BA for 2-4-1 voucher used for long haul?

  2. Rather than using my economy-to-premium upgrade voucher on a return journey, can I use it for two tickets on the same one-way leg? I’m plain old VS red, for what it’s worth.

  3. OT. I have the blue amex card and I triggered the companion voucher. Is it true that I can no longer upgrade to the Premium card and turn my voucher into a 2-year one? I did that once a couple years back but understand they’ve changed the rules now? Many thanks.

  4. O/T

    Hi all

    Sent a referral link to my husband for the Amex Gold Credit Card using my account for the Amex Gold Charge Card. I would like to switch to the Amex Gold Credit Card from the Charge one, however, does anybody know if I will lose the referral bonus to the extent the switch happens after I close by Gold Charge Card?

    Hope I made myself clear.

    Thank you

    • The Urbanite says:

      The referral bonus will post to your account a few days after your husband’s application is approved.

      If you close your Gold Charge card and are approved for the Gold Credit Card, you will keep the same Membership Rewards account with all the points in it as long as your new card is up and running within 30 days of the old one being cancelled.

    • I’d just wait the extra few days to ensure the referral points landed before making any major changes to the account rather than risk losing them. Once the points are there, then change away.

  5. Rob et al, a bit of OT here as I have noticed you mentioned about overturning decision after rejection appeal.

    I referred a friend for BAPP AMEX card but he was rejected. He has just moved over from Zurich to Bristol with well known company and pretty good salary too but for just around 6-7 months. Has no other credit card, no mortgage, etc.

    Not sure if it worth writing an appeal to Brighton as the rejection has been a couple months already. If reapply, how long usually should he wait?

    Cheers for any advices.

    • Whats a pretty good salary? lol

    • Writing a physical mail and including a bank statement + letter from my company detailing my salary worked for me. Amex was my first UK credit card, no prior credit history (apart from the bank account I guess).

  6. Anyone having balance is n/a with their charge card on the Amex app and online?

  7. OT: AMEX Blue Low APR 9.9 Card

    I have only realised that this card is no longer offered by AMEX – apparently it’s been the case since October 2019. Are they planning to change the APR/the card for current cardholders?

    In addition, do I get any bonus if I add an additional cardholder to that account?

  8. Bryn Hanby-Roberts says:

    I have been checking the virgin credit card checker for a few months and it constantly says I would be rejected if I applied, is this actually accurate? I was rejected 6 months ago so I’d be cautious about re-applying as it would mean 2 hard searches potentially for nothing. My finances are pretty strong but I have a few thousand pounds on their virgin money 0% card so I’m unsure if that is a negative factor.

    • Mentioned in the article – have a (thorough) read.

    • CraigyC says:

      If you already have a Virgin card, I didn’t think you get the sign up bonus? I looked last year and due to still having a Virgin card I wouldn’t get the bonus.

  9. Angel Angelov says:

    Does anyone knows if the payed card can be used with curve to load money in revolut?
    Since december I can’t do that with my natwest rewards (and earn 1000+ avios paying my rent per month). If I can do that, then I’m going for the virgin but I’d love someone to confirm,
    Thanks

  10. I currently have a Virgin Atlantic Credit Card (Standard).. Previously you could hold both the Standard and Plus Cards at the same time… I assume that is no longer the case… Or it is?… but you won’t get the ‘additional’ bonus miles?

    What annoys me most about these Cards is that you cant use Google Pay with them… I’ve seen tweets dating back to 2016 saying that they are ‘working on it’ … And now it’s 2020! … I feel sure this will put many off using their Cards… Did they mention anything in the Conference?…

  11. IMHO Best value use of this card for Red members

    £20k spend gets you 55000 miles (inc bonus)

    An off peak Premium return to Miami can be had for < £440 + 25000 miles each.

    So that's £1040 in total (with 5k miles leftover) for a couple if you include the cost of applying for the card.

    Most PE rtns are £800+ each.

    • Would it not be a little more because the premium upgrade can only be used on a return flight for 1 person/ow for 2 people?

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