The two Virgin Atlantic credit cards, issued by Virgin Money, are hugely impressive products. They are, by a long way, the most generous non-Amex credit cards on the market:
- the free Virgin Atlantic Reward card earns 0.75 Virgin Points per £1 spent
- the £160 Virgin Atlantic Reward+ card earns 1.5 Virgin Points per £1 spent and comes with a 15,000 points sign-up bonus
Even better, you don’t pay FX fees on in-person (not online) transactions in Euro made on the cards.
There is also the annual upgrade or 2-4-1 voucher which is triggered with £20,000 of spend (free card) or £10,000 (paid card). This article looks at what you can do with the Virgin Atlantic credit card voucher.
Click for an article which will help you decide which of the two Virgin Atlantic credit cards is best for you.
There is one snag with earning points with the cards
Virgin Money has a specific rule on the points you can earn from the Virgin Atlantic cards.
You cannot earn more points per month than your credit limit allows. For example, if your credit limit is £20,000, the maximum you can earn per month is:
- 20,000 x 0.75 = 15,000 Virgin Points on the free card, or
- 20,000 x 1.5 = 30,000 Virgin Points per month on the paid card
This isn’t a problem for 99% of people but is an issue for those who run up substantial bills – or have a low credit limit. You can get around this by paying down your account during the month to free up credit.
Why did our reader have problems?
As the adjudication letter sent to our reader confirmed:
“On 12 December 2019 Virgin Atlantic issued an email to certain existing Virgin Atlantic Credit Card customers who would be most likely be impacted by the change in capping the points (previously miles) that can be earned in a calendar month. The change being points can only be earned on spending up to the credit limit in a calendar month. As you had never or repeatedly spent over your limit in a month, you were not informed of the change as it would not have impacted you.”
In 2020, unaware of the change to the rules, our reader made substantial charges to his Virgin Atlantic credit card. When he did not receive the points he expected, he struggled to get any response from Virgin Money.
As the adjudication admits:
“When you contacted us, I agree the service you received was not up to our usual standards, for which I apologise. The calls have been listened to by our contact centre and they conform you were given incorrect information regarding our terms being updated, when it was the Flying Club Terms which were amended. The agents should have referred to our internal information briefing and explained this more clearly to you. They should also have looked into the possibility of awarding the additional points and you should not have been put on hold for such long periods.”
Our reader was awarded the Virgin Points he was due, plus a (paltry, in my view) amount of cash as compensation for his time.
The reason I have written about this is that I believe other readers will be in the same position. Virgin Money admits that only a few cardholders were informed of the change. If you did lose any Virgin Points, you should look into making a formal complaint.
How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (December 2023)
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, the Reward+ card has a bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points):
You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for a year and comes with 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 20,000 Virgin Points.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into 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.)