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Match your Flying Club Gold status to the new Virgin Voyages Sailing Club

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Whilst we don’t normally cover cruise travel on Head for Points, we have been looking at the new Virgin Voyages operation.

We visited Scarlet Lady, the first ship, in The Bahamas late last year. We’ve also sent a lot of readers off on Virgin Voyages cruises thanks to the exceptionally generous Virgin Points redemption deals which have been running recently. Frankly, it has been the best redemption deal of the year across any airline or hotel programme.

Virgin Voyages Sailing Club

Virgin Voyages has now announced its own loyalty programme – Virgin Voyages Sailing Club. Full details are on the Virgin Voyages website here.

We don’t intend to look into this in detail because we don’t know anything about how it compares to other cruise loyalty schemes. However, I want to flag two things:

  • if you have Gold status in Virgin Flying Club, you can enrol as a Sea Rover – this unlocks a generous list of extra perks when you make a booking
  • if you’ve done two trips in 2022, which is possible if you’ve been taking advantage of the redemption deals, you will also qualify for Sea Rover status (assuming that Virgin Red redemption sailings count – EDIT, they do NOT count according to the comments)

Virgin Voyages will also give you Sea Rover status if you have status with any other cruise programme.

You can learn more about Virgin Voyages Sailing Club here.


How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (September 2022)

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 & two 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.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of 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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus 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.)

Comments (75)

  • Tracy says:

    Just back from NYC on United basic economy using the last £250 off £500 spend on Amex. Had to book OH and I separately to get £250 off each. Allocated basic economy seats for solo travellers were middle seats near back of plane. Talking to other travellers, basic economy will split travellers booking together too a la Ryanair to force you to pay for seats together. You are allowed a carry on for free transatlantic. Alcoholic choices are very limited in basic economy, no spirits etc. However, for the price paid I would do it again…

    • Lumma says:

      How much for seat selection?

      • Jpa says:

        Starts for $27, but the summer flights I booked had no seats left, united will often sell ecomony seats beyond the number of seats left, knowing they will have to put you in ecomony plus (this has happened on most united flights I have been on in peak periods)

        I went on the summer and split into 3 bookings. On the way out there were no any seats to select as we’re all ecomony plus that were left. A couple of hours before take off we were allocated 3 ecomony plus seats together, the airline staff must have seen matching names and put us together. Economy plus is no different to normal economy but about 3 inches of extra.legroon.

        On the way back got upgraded to premium economy and sat together after some rearrangement with other passengers in the small section.

        All very good for about £330 return after the cashback (and £250 for my daughter due to now taxes)

      • Tracy says:

        We were allocated seats separately but could pay to sit together, middle seats down the back $27 to $67 for window/aisle. A little more for seats further up front. Lots of people on our flight asking if people minded moving etc 😂

  • Ron says:

    The best thing about the United Amex offer is that it is sort of ‘stackable’ if you have the same offer across multiple cards
    e.g., if the itinerary you want to book is over £1k, you can first book an itinerary that is around £500, then turn it into a future travel credit, and use the credit to book your £1k+ itinerary (and pay the difference with the other Amex that has the United offer) For most east coast destinations and Denver, you can fly there in economy and return in Business with £1.1-1.2k

  • dan says:

    Just wondering – say I book a flight and turn it into future travel credit, is that future trip booked with the credit eligible for the amex travel insurance?

  • paul says:

    For anyone who likes cruises, Carnival (CCL.L) Shares are still good value at £7.43 (usually between £23 and £55 pre-Covid).

    100 Carnival Shares will get you Shareholder Benefits as follows – and hopefully share price increase too.

    Carnival Corporation & plc is pleased to extend the following benefit to our shareholders:

    Onboard credit per stateroom on sailings of 14 days or longer US $250 (US Brands) €200 (Europe) £150 (UK) A$250 (Australia)

    Onboard credit per stateroom on sailings of 7 to 13 days US $100 € 75 £ 60 A$100

    Onboard credit per stateroom on sailings of 6 days or less US $ 50 € 40 £ 30 A$ 50

    https://www.carnivalcorp.com/static-files/50351a91-4dc0-4f6b-bfec-684647e6129f

  • Chancer says:

    Regarding Amex/United – looks like a con to me. I just looked up something random, LON – ZRH return, 21/10 – 28/10, and it wants upwards of £1600 for economy!

    • Rob says:

      It’s almost certainly routing you via New York …

      • Chancer says:

        No Rob, I’ve still got the page open and it’s showing that’s a direct flight.

        • Chancer says:

          NONSTOP
          06:00Departing at 06:00
          08:40Arriving at 08:40
          LHROrigin London, GB (LHR)
          1H, 40MDuration 1 hours and 40 minutes
          ZRHDestination Zürich, CH (ZRH)
          Operated By SWISS International Airlines
          LX 345 (Airbus A220-300)Flight Number LX 345. Aircraft Airbus A220-300

          Details

          Seats

          Roundtrip
          £1,646
          Economy (Y)

          • Rob says:

            It’s Y, so fully flexible economy (effectively a walk up fare, good for any flight on any day or a full refund). That’s what you’d expect to pay.

    • Rhys says:

      Loads of sub £400 fares to the US East Coast when I wrote the article 🙂

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