How I earned 6,337 Virgin Points from one lunch booked via SquareMeal
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Back in February we covered the launch of a new partnership between Virgin Red and SquareMeal, the restaurant booking service. This would allow you to earn Virgin Points when you eat out.
It has taken us three months, but I finally got to try this out on Monday when we headed up to the roof terrace of the HfP office building for lunch at Coq d’Argent, for a little 10th birthday celebration.
There are three ways to earn points via SquareMeal.
You can, as you would expect, earn 100 points when you book a restaurant via the SquareMeal website. You can get an extra 25 points by leaving a review afterwards.
More interestingly, you can earn points when you pay with a registered credit card at selected restaurants – even if you didn’t book via SquareMeal.
How does the offer work?
If you don’t already have a SquareMeal account, you can register via this page of the SquareMeal website.
The link above is my refer a friend link, which will earn you an additional 500 points after your first meal booking.
During registration, you will be asked if you want to earn SquareMeal points, worth 1p each towards future meal bookings, or Virgin Points.
You need a Virgin Red account
In order to earn Virgin Points from SquareMeal, you need a Virgin Red account. It isn’t enough to have a Virgin Flying Club account.
If you are not already registered with Virgin Red, download their app, create an account and link it to your Virgin Flying Club account. You should do this anyway, as Virgin Red has lots of additional ways to earn and spend Virgin Points.
SquareMeal will ask for the email address linked to your Virgin Red account as part of the registration process.
What did I earn from our birthday lunch?
Here are the earning options for Coq d’Argent:
There are two things to note here:
- the offers do not stack – you only receive the most generous one
- when a restaurant is part of SquareMeal’s ‘card linked offers’ scheme, as this one is, it is almost certain to be the option which is triggered
From our team birthday lunch, I received 6,337 Virgin Points.
This is based on the full bill of £422 (we had external guests, it wasn’t just Rhys, Sinead and me!) including VAT and service, which is what you’d expect as it’s a card-linked offer. SquareMeal only sees the total charged to the credit card and not what was spent on it.
SquareMeal doesn’t have the range of OpenTable – it is primarily used for booking business lunches – but it offers an easy way of picking up some extra Virgin Points.
6,337 Virgin Points for one – admittedly expensive – lunch at Coq d’Argent isn’t bad going, especially as 90% of people paying for a meal there will be reclaiming the cost on expenses.
You can register for SquareMeal via my referral link here which will get you an additional 500 points after your first completed booking.
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.)