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Redeem your Virgin Points at Greggs! New ways to earn and spend as Virgin Red rolls out

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Virgin Red, the new ‘all Virgin’ loyalty programme, has launched today. Whilst membership is restricted at the moment, it has released details of some of the new ways you will be able to earn and spend Virgin Points from the New Year.

Existing Virgin Flying Club members will know that their miles were renamed Virgin Points a few weeks ago. Very soon, Virgin Points will be rolled out to customers of selected other Virgin Group companies.

How to earn virgin points?

Whilst you will still be able to manage your Virgin Points balance and book flights via the Virgin Atlantic website, there is now a new company – Virgin Red – running the scheme. Virgin Red will be in charge of developing new ‘earn and burn’ opportunities.

How does this link to the Virgin Red Vaults app?

For the last few years, you have been able to download an app called Virgin Red Vaults. This was full of offers and discounts for Virgin Group businesses and other partners. You could also earn credits by completing various tasks which bought you entry to special competitions.

Starting this week, existing users of Virgin Red Vaults will be invited to sign up for Virgin Red. Virgin Red Vaults will then be closed down.

At a later stage, existing members of Virgin Flying Club will gain access to Virgin Red’s offers. Once we get into 2021, Virgin Red will be accepting fresh sign-ups from the public.

How can you EARN Virgin Points via Virgin Red?

As a reminder …. as of today, Virgin Flying Club members cannot access any of these earning or redemption offers via Virgin Red. You need to wait to be invited into Virgin Red.

Members of Virgin Flying Club will recognise a lot of these partners and already have access to them via the Flying Club website. Octopus Energy is the key one for which you will need to wait.

  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Virgin Holidays
  • Virgin Wines
  • Virgin Limited Edition hotels
  • Virgin Experience Days
  • Virgin Voyages (the new cruise business)
  • A Virgin shopping portal
  • Octopus Energy – you will be able to earn Virgin Points by taking out a single or dual fuel tariff for your gas and electricity with the well-regarded 100% renewable power company
Earn Virgin Points with Octopus Energy

What is happening with Virgin Money?

It isn’t clear. Obviously the Virgin Atlantic credit cards will continue but there is no sign, yet, of any additional products or dedicated Virgin Red credit cards.

What is happening with Tesco Clubcard?

Whilst Tesco Clubcard is NOT listed as a Virgin Red partner, my understanding is that the deal is not going away. It will remain part of the Virgin Flying Club.offering, potentially allowing Virgin Red to strike its own deals with competing retailers.

How can you SPEND Virgin Points via Virgin Red?

The spending list is more interesting. If you live near Manchester, there is an especially good one which I will come to in a minute.

Here is the most bizarre one:

earn and spend Virgin Points at Greggs

Greggs. Yes, Greggs, king of the sausage roll, will soon accept your Virgin Points.

Yes, I know, I was a little surprised as well. I think that Virgin Red wants to offer something for people who only collect very small numbers of points each month.

Nectar has its partnership with Caffe Nero which is actually the most valuable use of Nectar points in most cases. 350 Nectar points gets you any hot or iced drink of your choice, IN ANY SIZE. You can easily do better than the standard 0.5p per Nectar point redemption value (you don’t get much for under £1.75 in Nero) and can do substantially better if you really go to town.

There will be 37 different Greggs products you can get with your Virgin Points. A sausage roll will cost 200 points whilst a hot drink will cost 325 points.

On the face of it this does not offer outsize value for your points but we need to see the detailed list of what you get and how much it costs.

Earn and spend Virgin Points at Greggs

Other redemption partners include:

  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Virgin Holidays
  • Virgin Wines
  • Virgin Limited Edition hotels
  • Virgin Experience Days
  • Virgin Voyages, the new cruise business
  • Virgin Money Giving – for those who want to give their points away
  • London Theatre Direct
  • Carbon Engineering – a charitable way to support the development of Carbon Direct Air Capture technology
  • EMI Records – order vinyl records from 3,250 points
  • Eve Branson Foundation – order an artisan tote bag from 1,750 points with proceeds going to charitable causes

Further down the line will be redemption opportunities with Virgin StartUp. This will allow you to order products made by companies supported by Virgin’s small business investment scheme.

The first company from Virgin StartUp to be available on Virgin Points will be Saint Fragrance. Saint Fragrance sells mood-enhancing luxury candles that are vegan friendly and made with sustainable ingredients.

And if you live near Manchester ….

This is, for me, the most interesting new redemption option.

Virgin Red has purchased a suite at the AO Arena in Manchester. Tickets for concerts and events at the AO Arena will be available to Virgin Red members for Virgin Points.

Regular HfP readers will know that I am a big fan of the Marriott Bonvoy Suite at the O2 Arena in Greenwich. I have redeemed Bonvoy points for numerous sold-out concerts here (U2, Paul McCartney, Fleetwood Mac, Paul Simon, Sting, Celine Dion [my wife insisted!], Katy Perry, Madonna etc – good old Dad Rock!) from the spacious suite, which comes with a hot buffet and a free waiter-served bar.

If the Virgin Red can put together similar packages at a sensible price then it will be a very attractive way to spend your points.

Virgin Red suite at the AO Arena Manchester

Conclusion

This is a bit of a halfway house announcement, if we’re honest. Not all of the partners are in place and, unless you are in Virgin Red Vaults, you won’t be able to access these new options for a while anyway.

As it stands, the big new news is that you can spend your points at Greggs – but even then you’re going to have to control your excitement for a bit longer. More promising for those who earn a lot of points is the option of spending them to see top acts in a private suite at Manchester’s AO Arena.

In all seriousness, Virgin Red has put a good team in place and I am expecting interesting things from this partnership over time. Let’s wait and see what emerges.

In the meantime, I need to see how many sausage rolls I can get with the combined 1.9 million Virgin Points my wife and I are sitting on …..


HFP Virgin Atlantic Rewards credit card

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (January 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, one has a bonus of 15,000 Points):

Virgin Rewards credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

The UK’s most generous free Visa or Mastercard at 0.75 points / £1 Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending Read our full review

You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Points

(Want to earn more Virgin Points?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

Comments (58)

  • Peter K says:

    More options is a good thing. I have about 5k orphan points so something is better than nothing.

  • BP says:

    Currently generating 30k virgin points a month. 150 free sausage rolls a month! I’m not going to go hungry anytime soon.

  • Super Secret Stuff says:

    I take it this is the news that was continually pushed back and teased as good for Vegans? It has finally arrived! The long awaited news.

  • Andrew says:

    Now…

    Do you think I’ll be able to pay for my Gregg’s Macaroni pie and custard donut on the BA Edinburgh Shuttle with Virgin Red points?

  • S says:

    Wrong type of sausage roll in the pic…

    • Andrew says:

      It’s a steak slice isn’t it?

      Haggis pies around St Andrew’s Day and Burns Night… Nom.

      • Mo says:

        They’re talking about the Sausage Roll/Bap/Sandwich whatever you want to call it depending on how Northern you are haha

      • Helen says:

        It’s a steak bake. Haven’t had one of those since March 😔

  • Lady London says:

    Hmmm… 110 Greggs sausage rolls or a Transatlantic flight.

    Tough one.

  • John Carey says:

    Greggs is obviously getting interested in miles and the airline industry. So, maybe the rumours about Greggs doing BA’s catering are true and soon they will emerge as a major airline’s caterer?

  • Baji Nahid says:

    Are there any greggs outlets at the airports? If they open one up can guarantee they will be swamped with business

    • Scott says:

      Definitely at MAN and I believe NCL.

      • Scott says:

        (T1 and T2 arrivals rather than after security) – that said, can’t say for sure with T2 as haven’t been in there for ages.

      • Titus Adduxas says:

        They’ve got one at NCL and very busy it is too! They had one at LBA for a while but the other landside cafes didn’t like the competition and they were booted out!