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What are the benefits of the free Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard credit card?

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Why should you get the Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard credit card?

Today, I want to look at the top 10 card benefits you will receive if you apply for a free Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard credit card.

You can apply for the card here.

Here is the legal information we need to tell you:

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

Bonus: None

Read our full review

Other information:

  • Get a ‘2 for 1’ voucher, valid on cash or points tickets, when you spend £20,000 in a year
  • Alternatively, claim an upgrade voucher or Clubhouse lounge passes
  • Annual fee: Free

Representative 26.9% APR variable

See if you qualify for the sign-up bonus +

There is no sign-up bonus on the free Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard.

You may want to consider applying for the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard instead.  This comes with a £160 annual fee but has a sign-up bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points.  You also receive a higher earning rate of 1.5 miles per £1 spent.

You cannot apply if you have had the free Virgin Atlantic Reward credit card in the previous six months.  You are free to apply if you have any other Virgin Money credit card or the paid-for Virgin Atlantic Reward+ credit card.

Learn more about the card benefits +

When you spend £20,000 per year on the Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard, you can choose a benefit.  This is what you can pick from:

A 2-4-1 voucher, valid for two years, for a Virgin Atlantic cash flight or Virgin Flying Club redemption, in Upper Class, Premium or Economy

A return upgrade – on either a cash or points ticket – from Premium to Upper Class, or from Economy Delight/Classic to Premium.  You can either upgrade 1 x return flight if travelling alone or 2 x one-way legs of two return flights if travelling with someone else.

For elite members, Virgin Clubhouse lounge passes (require a same-day Virgin Atlantic or Delta Air Lines flight) – one pass if you are Silver, two passes if you are Gold

Here’s the 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.  This means that, for Upper Class redemptions for Red members, it is effectively a ‘2 for 1.5’ voucher. For Economy or Premium redemptions, it is a genuine ‘2 for 1’.

Taxes and charges need to be paid on the ‘free’ ticket as part of your 2-4-1 booking

Vouchers are valid for two years and you must fly the outbound leg of your trip before the expiry date

If you are interested in the paid-for Virgin Atlantic Reward Plus credit card, we have a similar article on the benefits of that card here.

The top 10 benefits of the Virgin Atlantic Reward credit card:

1. There is an occasional sign-up bonus

Whilst the card does not usually have a sign-up bonus, it does offer one occasionally via special promotions.

If the information box above shows a bonus, you will receive this. The box is automatically updated with the best deal available on the date you are reading this.

2. You receive 0.75 Virgin Points for every £1 you spend on the card

There are a few exceptions (cash withdrawals do not earn points) but in reality virtually every £1 you spend will earn you 0.75 Virgin Points.

At 0.75 miles per £1, which I would value at 0.75p, you are receiving a very generous rate for a free travel rewards credit card.

3. You earn double miles when you spend with Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays

1.5 Virgin Points per £1 you spend is a decent extra return on your flight and holiday spending.

Benefits of the free Virgin Atlantic Reward credit card

4. You do not pay foreign exchanges fees in the Eurozone

The Virgin Atlantic cards are the ONLY travel credit cards which charge no foreign exchange fees in the Eurozone.

There are also no fees for purchases in Romania or Slovakia.

This will save you 3% over using a traditional credit card.

5. You get a special bonus for spending £20,000 in a card year

You can choose one of the following options when your annual spending hits £20,000:

  • A 2-4-1 voucher, valid for two years, for a Virgin Flying Club points redemption OR a Virgin Atlantic cash ticket, in Upper Class, Premium or Economy
  • A return upgrade – on either a cash or points ticket – from Premium to Upper Class, or from Economy Delight/Classic to Premium.  You can either upgrade 1 x return flight if travelling alone or 2 x one-way legs of two return flights if travelling with someone else.
  • A Virgin Clubhouse lounge pass (requires a same-day Virgin Atlantic, Delta, KLM or Air France flight)

There is some 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.  This means that, for Upper Class redemptions for Red members, it is effectively a ‘2 for 1.5’ voucher. For Economy or Premium redemptions, it is a genuine ‘2 for 1’.
  • If you are a Gold member, you would receive two Clubhouse lounge passes instead on one if you chose that option
  • Taxes and charges need to be paid on the ‘free’ ticket as part of your 2-4-1 booking
  • Vouchers are valid for two years and you must fly the outbound leg of your trip before the expiry date

Reward seat availability is required to use the voucher.  This means:

  • You can only upgrade a flight if there is a reward seat in the higher class (irrespective of whether you are upgrading a cash or a points ticket)
  • You can only apply a 2-4-1 voucher to a cash booking if there is a reward seat available for the 2nd ‘free’ seat

6. The cards have a good cashback programme which doesn’t require opting in

Virgin Money, like many credit card companies, offers cashback rewards when you spend at specific retailers.

What is different about the Virgin Money programme is that none of the offers require you to opt in. You can simply forget about the scheme and bank the cash whenever you unknowingly trigger it at a particular merchant.

Benefits of free Virgin Atlantic reward credit card

7. The card is free for life

The Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard credit card is free for life.

Other cards with annual fees may offer better earning rates but, unless you are a very heavy spender, you will often struggle to justify the fee from the extra miles earned.

8. You receive 0% interest for six months on balance transfers and money transfers

A 3% fee is payable.

9. As a Mastercard, it is far more flexible than an American Express card

Many of the travel rewards credit cards we cover are American Express cards.  The problem with these is that they are not universally accepted.

As a Mastercard, your Virgin Atlantic Reward credit card is accepted virtually everywhere that cards are taken.

10. You don’t need a high income to apply

The minimum income requirement is just £7,000 for yourself or at least £15,000 across your household.

Conclusion

The Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard is the most generous free credit card in the UK in terms of rewards.  0.75 Virgin Points per £1 spent is an excellent deal.  Getting a 2-4-1 voucher or other bonus for spending £20,000 in a year is the icing on the cake.

It is also an excellent card for using in the Eurozone, irrespective of whether you normally collect Virgin Points or not, because of its lack of FX fees. This saves you 3% on your Euro spending.

You can sign up for the Virgin Atlantic Reward credit card on the official website here.

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

Bonus: None

Read our full review

Other information:

  • Get a ‘2 for 1’ voucher, valid on cash or points tickets, when you spend £20,000 in a year
  • Alternatively, claim an upgrade voucher or Clubhouse lounge passes
  • Annual fee: Free

Representative 26.9% APR variable

See if you qualify for the sign-up bonus +

There is no sign-up bonus on the free Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard.

You may want to consider applying for the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard instead.  This comes with a £160 annual fee but has a sign-up bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points.  You also receive a higher earning rate of 1.5 miles per £1 spent.

You cannot apply if you have had the free Virgin Atlantic Reward credit card in the previous six months.  You are free to apply if you have any other Virgin Money credit card or the paid-for Virgin Atlantic Reward+ credit card.

Learn more about the card benefits +

When you spend £20,000 per year on the Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard, you can choose a benefit.  This is what you can pick from:

A 2-4-1 voucher, valid for two years, for a Virgin Atlantic cash flight or Virgin Flying Club redemption, in Upper Class, Premium or Economy

A return upgrade – on either a cash or points ticket – from Premium to Upper Class, or from Economy Delight/Classic to Premium.  You can either upgrade 1 x return flight if travelling alone or 2 x one-way legs of two return flights if travelling with someone else.

For elite members, Virgin Clubhouse lounge passes (require a same-day Virgin Atlantic or Delta Air Lines flight) – one pass if you are Silver, two passes if you are Gold

Here’s the 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.  This means that, for Upper Class redemptions for Red members, it is effectively a ‘2 for 1.5’ voucher. For Economy or Premium redemptions, it is a genuine ‘2 for 1’.

Taxes and charges need to be paid on the ‘free’ ticket as part of your 2-4-1 booking

Vouchers are valid for two years and you must fly the outbound leg of your trip before the expiry date

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.

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