News: BA suspends S7 mileage partnership, double Virgin Points booking train tickets
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News in brief:
British Airways suspends S7 airline partnership
Whilst not announced at the time, British Airways suspended its partnership with Russian airline S7 on 10th March.
A statement on the S7 section of ba.com says:
“Effective 10 March 2022, British Airways has indefinitely suspended our oneworld frequent flyer programme with S7 Airlines. British Airlines Executive Club Members are no longer able to earn or redeem Avios on S7 flights.”
You have not been able to earn or redeem Avios, or earn British Airways Executive Club tier points, on S7 from that date, albeit that this is academic in the current circumstances.
S7 remains a member of the oneworld alliance, although it is not clear how long this will last – or indeed how long the airline itself will last without access to spare parts.
Earn double Virgin Points with Virgin Trains Ticketing
Last year Virgin Red launched a new way of letting you earn Virgin Points – its own exclusive train ticket booking platform, called Virgin Trains Ticketing.
I’ll just pause for a moment to allow you to think about the irony of Virgin Group setting up a train ticket booking platform after it lost both the Virgin Trains East Coast and Virgin Trains West Coast franchises …..
The new train booking website (we should probably call it a platform ….) is exclusive to Virgin Red and operates via the Virgin Red app. You can join Virgin Red here.
It is a very simple structure:
- you earn 3 Virgin Points per £1 spent
- there are no booking fees with e-tickets (there is a fee if you choose station collection)
E-tickets (technically m-tickets, since they can’t be added to Apple Wallet etc) sit inside the Virgin Red app, which saves you from having to download a separate app to hold your tickets.
As long as the rail company you are using does not have exclusive discounts for users of its own website, you will be getting the same price as you would pay elsewhere.
From time to time, LNER and Avanti West Coast run a cashback deal on American Express and certain other credit cards. When such an offer is running, these should be the most rewarding place to book rail travel irrespective of which train company you are travelling on.
For the next week, however, Virgin Trains Ticketing should be competitive.
Until 20th March, you will receive 6 Virgin Points per £1. I’d take 5% cashback over 6 Virgin Points, but if the best credit card cashback deal you have is 3%, or perhaps you don’t have one at all, it is a very competitive deal.
You will need to download the Virgin Red in order to book train tickets and earn points. You can register here.
How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (March 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):
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard
A generous earning rate for a free card at 0.75 points per £1 Read our full review
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.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points.
Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.
American Express Business Platinum
Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
60,000 points sign-up bonus (to 30th March) and free for a year Read our full review
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.)