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Review: the Virgin Atlantic Reward Plus Mastercard credit card

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This is our review of the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard credit card.

It is part of our series of articles looking at the major UK loyalty credit cards and discussing whether or not they are worth applying for. These articles are linked to the relevant sections of the ‘Credit Cards‘ area of the menu bar. Our other UK airline and hotel credit card reviews can be found here.

Key link: Virgin Atlantic Reward Plus Mastercard application form

Key facts: £160 annual fee

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard is doubled to 30,000 Virgin Points if you apply by 2nd October. You receive 15,000 Virgin Points with your first purchase and a further 15,000 points if you spend £3,000 within 90 days. Apply here.

Review Virgin Atlantic Rewards Plus Credit Card

The representative APR is 69.7% variable, including the annual fee.  The representative APR on purchases is 26.9% variable.

Reward credit cards generally have high interest rates and are not suitable for anyone who does not pay off their full balance each month. If you do not clear your balance, you should look for a non-rewards credit card with a low interest rate.

This article was updated on 1st September 2023, and all of the information is correct as of that date. Ignore the original publication date shown.

About the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ card

The Virgin Atlantic Reward+ credit card – issued by Virgin Money – is issued as a Mastercard.

Virgin Money does not have any other travel reward cards apart from Virgin Atlantic so it should not conflict with any other credit cards you hold.

You can find our review of the free Virgin Atlantic Reward credit card here. Whilst that version has no fee, it has no sign-up bonus and a lower earning rate of 0.75 points per £1.

What is the Virgin Reward+ sign-up bonus?

The sign-up bonus on the Reward+ Mastercard is 15,000 Virgin Points.

You will receive this after your first purchase. There is no spending target to hit.

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard is doubled to 30,000 Virgin Points if you apply by 2nd October. You receive 15,000 Virgin Points with your first purchase and a further 15,000 points if you spend £3,000 within 90 days. Apply here.

It no longer seems possible to hold both of the Virgin Atlantic cards at the same time.  On the application form it now asks you to confirm that: “I am not an existing Virgin Atlantic Credit Card customer and I have not closed another Virgin Atlantic credit card in the last 6 months.”

You can apply and get the bonus if you have a non-Virgin Atlantic credit card from Virgin Money.

You can apply and get the bonus if you are currently a supplementary cardholder on someone else’s Virgin Atlantic credit card.

Any other benefits?


The Virgin Atlantic Reward Plus credit card comes with an annual bonus for hitting a spending target.

After spending £10,000 in a card membership year, you will receive your choice of:

  • A 2-4-1 voucher, valid for two years, when you book a cash or miles ticket on Virgin Atlantic in Upper Class, Premium or Economy
  • A return upgrade – on either a cash or miles ticket – from Premium to Upper Class, or from Economy Delight/Classic to Premium (requires reward availability in the higher class)

If you have Silver or Gold status in Virgin Flying Club, you can also choose:

  • Virgin Clubhouse lounge passes (requires a same-day Virgin Atlantic or Delta flight) – one pass if you are Silver, two passes if you are Gold

Yes, the Virgin Atlantic vouchers can be used on CASH tickets

There is a key difference between the 2-4-1 and upgrade vouchers offered by Virgin Atlantic compared to the ones offered for British Airways via American Express and Barclaycard.

Virgin Atlantic vouchers can be used on cash tickets as well as reward tickets. If you book a cash flight, you bring someone else with you as long as:

  • you pay the taxes and charges element of the ticket, which admittedly can be fairly high
  • there is a reward ticket available in the cabin – if there are no reward seats on offer, you can’t use the 2-4-1 voucher even if you are booking a cash flight for yourself (for an upgrade, there must be a reward seat in the higher cabin)

There is small print:

  • If you are a Red (no status) member, you need to pay 50% of the points for your 2nd ticket if you redeem your 2-4-1 voucher in Upper Class. You do not pay this if you redeem in Premium or Economy as a ‘no status’ member.
  • you need to take the outbound leg of your flight before the two year expiry date – you can return later

If you usually travel on your own, the upgrade voucher is likely to suit you best. This can also be used by a couple to upgrade one leg per person on a return cash or reward flight.

If you don’t want to pay the annual fee for the Reward+ card, you should look at the free Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard instead. The same benefits are available but you need to spend £20,000 per year to unlock them.

Additional card benefits include 0% interest for six months on balance transfers (3% fee).

Review: Virgin Atlantic Reward Plus Mastercard credit card

How do you receive your annual voucher?

Your voucher is triggered within 1-2 weeks of passing the £10,000 annual spend threshold.

You should receive an email from Virgin Flying Club confirming this. If not, go to the ‘My Activity’ section of the Virgin Atlantic website, under ‘My Account’.

You should see ‘Virgin Atlantic Credit Card Reward Voucher’ as a transaction line, with ‘0 points’ showing next to it.

The voucher cannot be redeemed online. You need to call Virgin Flying Club to redeem it.

Is there an annual fee?

Yes. The Virgin Atlantic Reward+ credit card has an annual fee of £160 per year. This is not refundable pro-rata if you choose to cancel

What do I earn per £1 spent on the card?

You earn 1.5 Virgin Points per £1 spent.

This is an exceptionally good return for a Visa or Mastercard.  It is only equalled by the Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard (£240 annual fee, 25,000 Avios sign-up bonus).

Bookings with Virgin Atlantic or Virgin Atlantic Holidays earn double miles.

The number of miles you earn per month is restricted to your credit limit.  For example, if you have a limit of £10,000 then you will only earn miles on the first £10,000 of your spending each month.  This only impacts the small number of people who pay down their account during the month and then run it up again.

Is this a good card to use when travelling?

At present, Virgin Money is not charging any fees when you pay for something in Euro, Swedish Kronor or Romanian Lei.

This is NOT an advertised benefit, but you will see it written in the small print of the credit agreement. In theory it only applies to ‘in person’ transactions and not online spending but this rule does not seem to be applied.

As Virgin Money adds a 3% foreign exchange fee on transactions in all other currencies, you might want to get a separate free credit card to use abroad.

Unfortunately there are no travel rewards cards without any foreign exchange fees globally. One option is to get a free card from Currensea. Currensea is a simple but clever idea. You pay abroad with your Currensea Mastercard debit card. Currensea translates the cost to Sterling with just a 0.5% fee (83% less than the Virgin card charges outside the EU) and withdraws the money from your bank account. You can find out more by clicking here. Currensea is free so there is no risk in giving it a try.

Review Virgin Atlantic Rewards Plus Credit Card

What is a Virgin Point worth?

This is clearly a ‘finger in the air’ exercise. I would, however, flag some key pointers.

Virgin Flying Club has a lot of partners which allows you top up your balance to the level needed for a good redemption:

  • You can earn points by converting Tesco Clubcard points as well as Heathrow Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards points. Even if you never fly with Virgin Atlantic, you could top up your credit card miles with Tesco Clubcard points.

I am happy to value Virgin Points at 0.75p – 1p each, in line with Avios.

How does the Virgin Atlantic Reward Plus card compare to a cashback card?

The majority of UK credit cards offering ‘retail rewards’ – those from Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Sainsburys, John Lewis etc – give you 0.1% to 0.25% back on what you spend.

Offering 1.5 Virgin Points per £1, plus an added bonus for spending £10,000 per year, the Virgin Atlantic Reward Plus credit card is substantially more attractive than the best Mastercard or Visa cashback card.

Anything else I need to know?

In March 2023, Virgin Atlantic joined the SkyTeam alliance. This allows you to redeem Virgin Points on many other airlines including Delta, Air France, KLM, Vietnam Airlines, Korean Air and many more.

Note that you can ONLY manage your account via the Virgin Money app or with paper statements. There is no ability to manage your account via a website.


The Virgin Atlantic Reward+ credit card is one of the best two airline or hotel Visa or Mastercards on the market. The only direct competitor for the title of ‘best non-Amex card’ is the Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard.

15,000 points is a strong sign-up bonus and there is no spending target to hit. You receive the points after making your first purchase on the card.

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard is doubled to 30,000 Virgin Points if you apply by 2nd October. You receive 15,000 Virgin Points with your first purchase and a further 15,000 points if you spend £3,000 within 90 days. Apply here.

You may want to consider downgrading to the free card after that if you are not triggering, or do not value, the annual voucher.

The real strength is the on-going earning rate. 1.5 Virgin Points for every £1 you spend is an excellent return.

The application form for the Virgin Atlantic Reward Plus Mastercard credit card can be found here.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points. The site discusses products offered by lenders but is not a lender itself. Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as an independent credit broker.

Comments (31)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Alex Callahan says:

    Is there an easy way to track how close to hitting the £10k spend target you are? I’ve been going round in circles for a while and aside from manually adding each months spend I can’t see a quick way to do it.

    • Rob says:


    • Jonathan says:

      Probably easiest way is write down the totals of each month’s statement spend.

      Unfortunately they’re not like Amex where you get an easy tracker

  • Joe says:

    How often do we see increased SUB on these, It seems to have been months

    • Rob says:

      Very rare recently but let’s see.

      • Jonathan says:

        Don’t expect too see them as generous as Amex can get like we saw 70k on BAPP and I think it was 100k on Platinum (personal) I can’t remember exactly, but you even with Amex you have to be a bit patient for the heavily lucrative SUB(s)…

        • Rob says:

          The crackpot personal card deals we’ve seen recently are simply not commercially viable and are usually being done for other reasons (risk of not hitting an annual target trying to buy market share etc). Decline rates on applications seem to have gone up sharply – there is a lot of concern about lending to people who may be remortgaging soon from a 1% deal. Virgin Money seems a bit more sensible, for better or worse.

  • JC says:

    If you use the card to buy an ex-USA flight on VS in dollars (direct from VS), does anyone know if you still get the 3 points per pound for virgin atlantic spend, even though the transcation not in GBP?

    • Jonathan says:

      Not sure, but even if you did, you’d have to push for the valuation of 1pence per VS point

      Just use an American credit card if you can obtain one, they’re always far better than what’s on offer here in Europe !

  • Thomas says:

    Seem to recall this card came with free Boingo worldwide wifi access…

    • Rob says:

      It does, but it has been scaled back so I took the line out. Can’t use it on Virgin A330neo or A330-300 for example – not sure about A350 / 787 fleets.

      • teaboy says:

        I used the free Boingo worldwide wifi access on the A350 to Delhi and back in December and January.

  • CarpalTravel says:

    For me, this is truly the least compelling subscription card on the market. Earnings limited to what has been for me (and is often reported) a low credit limit, usually modest bonus points, does not play particularly well at all now with Curve and the high VAA fees leaving me with 700k+ miles I choose not to use for flying a limited other options.

    The lack of website portal leaving you to deal with the woeful app (as mentioned) is just another nail in the box. It amazes me that this card is as popular as it is reported to be.

    • Jonathan says:

      At least VS are now part of SkyTeam giving us all plenty of VS points redemption options if you don’t want to use them on their metal.
      I got a very good redemption on SQ in January, getting around 1.3pence per point in Economy !

    • Charles says:

      How do you mean if doesn’t paly well with Curve?

    • Harrier25 says:

      The app is now a little less buggy than it used to be.

      • Rob says:

        It’s still a disgrace.

        Try making a one-off payment. It won’t store your card details, so you need to dig them out every time. It won’t even store your billing address. Even better, when you add ‘Country’ it doesn’t default to UK, forcing you to spin through 170-odd countries to bring it up.

        • Jonathan says:


          100% agree with you here Rob, for a credit card provider that offers app only services and no traditional website logins, it’s unbelievable that they can’t be bothered to get their systems up to date so that it saves debit card details apart from the 3 digit security number on the signature strip…

          Maybe they might read this and make some improvements !

          • CarpalTravel says:

            Don’t hold your breath. I left an app review that almost uncannily matches what Rob has written above. They replied to it saying: “Thanks for your feedback, we know that this is something customers would like”.

            That was in June 2020…..

          • CarpalTravel says:

            As a side note, it also shows to me how utterly untrustworthy mobile App store reviews are.

            The Virgin Money Credit Card iOS app scores 4.7 out of 5. There is simply no way on earth that can be accurate, especially when the far superior Amex app scores 4.8.

  • BajiNahid says:

    Need a better sign up bonus and hopefully one does come along

  • Manny says:

    I hold a Virgin Atlantic Credit card, I want to get one for my partner, how do I refer them and is there a referral bonus?

  • Richard says:

    I had one of these when they first came out and got the dig up bonus. Got rid of it at least a year ago, probably more. Any know if I can sign again and get a second welcome bonus ?

    • Rob says:

      You can apply and if they accept you, you get the bonus. Unlike Amex, however, you start off on the backfoot when you reapply to Virgin or Barclaycard and your previous cancellation is a negative mark.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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