Flying Club points earned for Virgin Atlantic transaction using Reward+ card
2nd July 2023 at 18:17Author of the Seas 18 posts
This will be lengthy.
I booked a one-way Virgin Atlantic reward flight using my Flying Club points and paid the taxes, fees & surcharges using my Virgin Atlantic Reward+ credit card. I did this on virginatlantic.com.
The cash amount was in US dollars as the flight is from Miami to Heathrow. There was no option to pay in GBP. Nevertheless, the transaction appeared on my Virgin Atlantic credit card statement showing the GBP amount.
I noticed on the statement that the standard rate (1.5 points per £1) was applied for my earned Flying Club points.
I had expected to receive 3 points per £1 for that particular transaction, so I called Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Credit Card to enquire about this. The agents had to investigate through a third party, so I was finally given an explanation after a couple of weeks.
The transaction being US-based is the reason the standard (1.5) rate was applied to the points. I’m not satisfied this explanation is valid because term 2 under ‘Earning Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Credit Card Points’ section on virginmoney.com specifies: ‘You’ll earn 3 Virgin Points for every £1 you spend directly with Virgin Atlantic or Virgin Holidays.’
There’s no mention of ‘Virgin Atlantic UK’ or ‘Virgin Atlantic US’, just ‘Virgin Atlantic’.
I booked the flight directly with Virgin Atlantic (on virginatlantic.com).
During the purchase, despite the cash component being shown in US dollars, the disclaimer on the same page included: ‘Note this is a UK site.’
Has anyone else experienced this? Am I correct in thinking I should’ve received double points (i.e. 3 points per £1) for that Virgin Atlantic transaction? If not, why not?
Thanks for reading & thanks in advance for your responses.
(I only booked a one-way Virgin Atlantic flight as I’ll be on a transatlantic cruise to Florida before the flight back to London.)3rd July 2023 at 17:17bennymoon 38 posts
I recently paid for flights return from PVG to LHR to bring my partner’s mum over for a trip and that was priced in yuan but then converted by my card back into GBP. I did get the bonus points, they come up as a different bit on my statement as ‘Retailer promotion bonus points’. Also you the VA website will always charge you in the currency of the origin point, I am told however that if you book over the phone the agent can change this for you but I’ve heard sometimes it’s best to do it in the foreign currency as the airline will often give themselves a favourable exchange rate.3rd July 2023 at 20:17Author of the Seas 18 posts
I recently paid for flights return from PVG to LHR to bring my partner’s mum over for a trip and that was priced in yuan but then converted by my card back into GBP. I did get the bonus points, they come up as a different bit on my statement as ‘Retailer promotion bonus points’. Also you the VA website will always charge you in the currency of the origin point, I am told however that if you book over the phone the agent can change this for you but I’ve heard sometimes it’s best to do it in the foreign currency as the airline will often give themselves a favourable exchange rate.
Thanks for your reply @bennymoon.
Just to confirm, you received double, rather than standard, points for that transaction despite GBP not being the original currency?
I wonder if reward flights, even if paid for with the VAR+ credit card on the VA site, aren’t eligible for bonus points.
Or could it be that my receiving 15,000 bonus points as a welcome bonus for my first transaction using the credit card made me ineligible for any double points and any other bonuses?
Nothing relating to any of the two previous paragraphs is outlined in the T&Cs (as far as I can tell), so it’s irritating that I’m having to speculate.
It also annoying that when I rang, most of the agents couldn’t give me a definitive answer to my query and only one agent could advise me as he’d been in communication with the third party, but he was absent every time I ring until Friday 30th June, so it was a waiting game until then.
It’s still a waiting game as it looks like I’ll have to contact them again.
I do wish VAR+ Credit Card / Virgin Money had an email address for queries such as this. Or do they have an email address for such matters?4th July 2023 at 13:32bennymoon 38 posts
I can confirm I received double the points, but they are split up on my statement. So I get the usual 1.5 points for every pound spent in the normal bit about points earned, and then separately, I got an additional 1.5 points for every pound spent because I spent with Virgin. So on the statement it doesn’t show up as 3x points for Virgin, it’s the normal amount plus an additional 1.5x points in a separate field. So to give you an example, if my flights cost £1000 GPB, I would get 1500 points on the part of my statement that says ‘Points earned on purchases’ and then an additional 1500 points on the bit that says ‘Retailer promotion bonus points’. So in total I would get 3000 points for the £1000 purchase.
I don’t think it would have anything to do with your sign-up bonus because I also got that.
On your statement on the ‘A look at your Virgin Points’ do you have a field for ‘Retailer promotion bonus points’? That’s the bit you’re looking for to see if you’ve been given extra points for spending with Virgin. This bit should add up to 1.5 times the amount spent with Virgin as it only shows the bonus points. The normal points are in the other field.4th July 2023 at 16:52Author of the Seas 18 posts
@bennymoon thanks for confirming and also for your pointers.
I’ve had another look at my statement and I can confirm 0.00 is shown on the line corresponding to Retailer promotion bonus points.
Here’s the full info re. points:
Points earned on purchases: 2,098.22
Credit card bonus points: 15,000.00
Retailer promotion bonus points: 0.00
Adjusted points: 0.00
Total points this statement: 17,098.22
Also, here are the details for the transaction in question:
Transaction date: 22 MAY 23
Post date: 23 MAY 23
Description: VIR ATL 9322326798180
853.40 @ 01.239 USA
Blank heading: Virgin Atlant
I’m glad to know the sign-up bonus is irrelevant and that you received double points despite the transaction originally being in a non-GBP currency. This makes my being denied the double points for my VA transaction all the more mystifying.
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