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How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

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There are many ways of earning Virgin Flying Club miles (now called Virgin Points) from UK credit cards.

Not only can you earn points with every £1 you spend, but many cards come with generous sign-up bonuses to help your points build up.

How to Virgin Points from UK credit cards

This article is updated on a regular basis.  You should assume that all of the information is correct but please double-check before making any applications.

The official Virgin Atlantic credit cards have no FX fees in the Eurozone but charge 3% elsewhere. The other cards listed below add a 3% foreign exchange fee everywhere. One alternative 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 most cards charge) 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.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

Earning Virgin Points from the official Virgin Atlantic credit cards:

Virgin Atlantic has two dedicated credit cards which can earn you Virgin Points.

The Reward+ card comes with a bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points which you receive after making your first purchase with the card.

Click for an article which will help you decide which of the two Virgin Atlantic credit cards is best for you.

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

Bonus: None

Read our full reviewApply here

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.

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

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

Bonus: 15,000 points and 3 points per £1 spent until 14th April
SPECIAL OFFER

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Get a ‘2 for 1’ voucher, valid on cash or points tickets, when you spend £10,000 in a year
  • Alternatively, claim an upgrade voucher or Clubhouse lounge passes
  • Annual fee: £160

Representative 69.7% APR variable based on an assumed £1,200 credit limit and £160 annual fee.  Interest rate on purchases 26.9% APR variable.

See if you qualify for the 15,000 points sign-up bonus +

You receive a bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points after your first purchase, however small.

Apply by 4th March and you will receive double Virgin Points on all spending until 14th April, up to a maximum of £5,000.

There are no restrictions on earning the bonus if you are accepted.  However, you cannot apply for a card if you currently have, or in the previous six months have had, a Virgin Atlantic credit card.  You are free to apply if you have any other Virgin Money credit card.

Learn more about the card benefits +

When you spend £10,000 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

Earning Virgin Points from American Express cards:

If you wanted more flexibililty, the following cards earn American Express Membership Rewards points.

American Express Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points. However, you can also convert them to various other airline and hotel schemes if you wish.

The Platinum Card from American Express

Bonus: 40,000 points

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Two Priority Pass cards, each allowing two people into 1,400 airport lounges
  • Elite status in four major hotel loyalty programmes
  • Comprehensive travel insurance
  • £300 per year of restaurant credit
  • £100 per year to spend at Harvey Nichols
  • Annual fee: £650

Representative 704.6% APR variable based on an assumed £1,200 credit limit and £650 annual fee. Interest rate on purchases 31.0% APR variable.

See if you qualify for the 40,000 points sign-up bonus +

You will receive 40,000 American Express Membership Rewards points as a sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card if you spend £6,000 within three months of signing up.

Membership Rewards points are hugely flexible.  You can transfer them into Avios, Virgin Flying Club or other airlines (at 1:1) or into various hotels schemes, into Club Eurostar or use them for shopping vouchers.

This is the ONLY personal American Express card where you still qualify for the bonus if you already hold a British Airways American Express card.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous 24 months, have held any other personal American Express card which earns Membership Rewards points.  This includes The Platinum Card and Preferred Rewards Gold.

You are OK if you had a supplementary card on someone else’s American Express account.

You are OK if, currently or in the previous 24 months, you have held any other American Express card, including the British Airways, Marriott and Nectar cards.

For clarity, you can still apply for The Platinum Card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You would still benefit from the long list of other benefits.

Learn more about the card benefits +

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with an unrivalled list of benefits for the keen traveller.

Your personal travel patterns will determine which of these is the most valuable.  The key benefits are:

Full comprehensive travel insurance for you, your family and the family of your supplementary cardholder, subject to enrolment

Two Priority Pass cards, each of which allows the holder and a guest unlimited free access to 1,400 airport lounges

Elite status in four major hotel loyalty schemes: Marriott Bonvoy (Gold), Hilton Honors (Gold), Radisson Rewards (Premium), MeliaRewards (Gold)

Access to Eurostar lounges, irrespective of travel class

£150 per year to spend in over 160 UK restaurants

£150 per year to spend in over 1,200 international restaurants

£100 per year to spend at Harvey Nichols, instore or online (no minimum spend required)

£300 per year of dining credit – £150 to be spent at 150+ UK restaurants and £150 to be spent at 1,200+ restaurants outside the UK

You need a minimum personal income of £35,000 to apply for the card.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Bonus: 20,000 points

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Amex Gold is our recommended ‘first card’ for a miles and points beginner
  • Get four free airport lounge passes when you sign up, and a further four each year
  • After your four free passes, you can visit further lounges for a small fee
  • You receive £120 of Deliveroo credit each year (24 x £5 credits)
  • Annual fee: Free for the first year, £195 from Year 2

Representative 88.8% APR variable.  Annual fee applies after the first year.

See if you qualify for the 20,000 points sign-up bonus +

You will receive 20,000 American Express Membership Rewards points as a sign-up bonus on the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold card if you spend £3,000 within 90 days of signing up.

Membership Rewards points are hugely flexible, which is why we recommend this as the best choice for your first miles and points card.  You can transfer them into Avios, Virgin Flying Club or other airlines (at 1:1) or into various hotels schemes, into Club Eurostar or use them for shopping vouchers.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous 24 months, have held any other personal American Express card.

You are OK if you had a supplementary card on someone else’s American Express account.

You are OK if, currently or in the previous 24 months, you have held a Business American Express card.

For clarity, you can still apply for the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You would still benefit from the four free airport lounge passes and the ‘no fee in Year 1’ offer.

Learn more about the card benefits +

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold comes with four free airport lounge passes.  These allow either you and up to three friends, or yourself four times, to visit any of the 1,400 lounges in the Priority Pass network.  You make additional lounge visits for £24 per person.  You receive an additional four free passes each year.

You earn double Membership Rewards points on all airline spend (made directly on an airline website) and all spend made outside the UK.

You will receive up to 12,500 bonus Membership Rewards points each year, based on how much you spend.

You receive £120 of Deliveroo credit each year.  Amex will repay you £5 for the first two Deliveroo orders charged to your Gold card each month.

Other benefits include a 10% discount on Hertz car rentals, Avis Preferred Plus car rental status and special deals at 350 selected hotels worldwide, where Preferred Rewards Gold cardholders receive a $75 in-hotel credit per stay.

You need a minimum personal income of £20,000 to apply for the card.

American Express Rewards

Bonus: 10,000 points

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Your best choice if you want a ‘free for life’ card which earns Membership Rewards points
  • A good choice if you want to close a Gold or Platinum card but keep your points intact
  • Annual fee: Free

Representative 31.0% APR variable

See if you qualify for the 10,000 points sign-up bonus +

You will receive 10,000 American Express Membership Rewards points as a sign-up bonus on the American Express Rewards card if you spend £2,000 within 90 days of signing up.

Membership Rewards points are hugely flexible. You can transfer them into Avios, Virgin Flying Club or other airlines (at 1:1) or into various hotels schemes, into Club Eurostar or use them for shopping vouchers.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous 24 months, have held any other personal American Express card.

You are OK if you had a supplementary card on someone else’s American Express account.

You are OK if, currently or in the previous 24 months, you have held a Business American Express card.

For clarity, you can still apply for the American Express Rewards card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You may want to do this if you are thinking of swapping your Preferred Rewards Gold or Platinum card for a free alternative, and would prefer to keep your existing Membership Rewards points balance alive.

Learn more about the card benefits +

American Express Rewards is the only ‘free for life’ American Express card which lets you collect Membership Rewards points.

We do NOT recommend this card if you would also qualify for the sign-up bonus on American Express Preferred Rewards Gold.  The Gold card is free for the first year, comes with four free airport lounge passes and £120 of Deliveroo credit and has a higher sign-up bonus of 20,000 points.

The best reason to get American Express Rewards is if you are coming to the end of your free first year with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold, or no longer want to pay the fee on The Platinum Card, but want to keep your Membership Rewards points intact.

You need a minimum personal income of £20,000 to apply for the card.

Earning Virgin Points from the Marriott Bonvoy credit card:

I have included the Marriott Bonvoy American Express card because the points you earn convert at a generous 3:1 into Virgin Points.

The Marriott Amex also offers flexibility. Use your points for Marriott hotel stays or convert them to over 40 frequent flyer programmes, including Virgin Flying Club.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

Bonus: 20,000 points

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • 15 elite night credits per year to help you towards higher status
  • Free night, up to 25,000 points, when you spend £25,000 per year.
  • Upgrade to Gold Elite status when you spend £15,000 in a card year
  • Annual fee: £95

Representative 54.8% APR variable based on an assumed £1,200 credit limit and £95 annual fee. Interest rate on purchases 31.0% APR variable.

See if you qualify for the 20,000 points sign-up bonus: +

You will receive 20,000 points as a sign-up bonus on the Marriott Bonvoy American Express card if you spend £3,000 within 90 days of signing up.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous 24 months, have held any other personal American Express card.

You are OK if you had a supplementary card on someone else’s American Express account.

You are OK if, currently or in the previous 24 months, you have held a Business American Express card.

For clarity, you can still apply for the Marriott Bonvoy American Express card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You would still benefit from the 15 elite night credits per year, the free night (up to 25,000 points) for spending £25,000 and Gold Elite status for spending £15,000.

Learn more about the card benefits +

You will receive 15 elite night credits per year in Marriott Bonvoy.  The first batch will arrive within 60 days on applying and then in Spring in each subsequent year.

15 elite nights will automatically get you Silver Elite status in Marriott Bonvoy and put you nearer to Gold Elite and higher tiers.

If you spend £15,000 per card year, you will be upgraded to Gold Elite status in Marriott Bonvoy.

If you spend £25,000 per card year, you will receive a free night voucher, valid at any hotel where reward nights cost up to 25,000 points.

You need a minimum personal income of £20,000 to apply for the card.

Earning Virgin Points from small business cards:

If you want to earn Virgin Points from a small business card, your two options are the American Express Business Platinum card and the American Express Business Gold card.

American Express Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points. You can also convert them to various other airline and hotel schemes if you wish.

American Express Business Platinum

Bonus: 120,000 Membership Rewards points
SPECIAL OFFER

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Get £200 per year to spend at Amex Travel
  • Two Priority Pass cards, each allowing two people into 1,400 airport lounges
  • Elite status in four major hotel loyalty programmes
  • Get £150 per year to spend at Dell
  • Get £300 per year to spend at job ads site Indeed
  • Comprehensive travel insurance
  • Annual fee: £650

This is a charge card, not a credit card. You must clear your balance in full each month.  Annual fee £650.

See if you qualify for the 120,000 points bonus +

You will receive 80,000 American Express Membership Rewards points as a sign-up bonus on the American Express Business Platinum card if you spend £12,000 within 90 days.

You will receive a further 40,000 Membership Rewards points if you keep the card for 14 months and make a single purchase between months 14 and 17.

Membership Rewards points are hugely flexible.  You can transfer them into Avios, Virgin Flying Club or other airlines (at 1:1) or into various hotels schemes, into Club Eurostar or use them for shopping vouchers.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous 13 months, have held any other American Express card which earns Membership Rewards points.  This includes Business or personal Gold, Business or personal Platinum and the personal American Express Rewards credit card.

You are OK if you had a complimentary card on someone else’s American Express account.

You are OK if the only American Express card you have had in the previous 13 months was a British Airways, Marriott Bonvoy, Nectar, Amex Cashback or Harrods American Express card.

For clarity, you can still apply for the American Express Business Platinum card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You would still benefit from all of the other card features including the £200 of annual Amex Travel credit.

Learn more about the card benefits +

American Express Business Platinum comes with an unrivalled list of benefits for the keen traveller.

Your personal travel patterns will determine which of these is the most valuable.  The key benefits are:

£200 of Amex Travel credit per membership year

Full comprehensive travel insurance for you, your family and the family of up to five complimentary cardholders, subject to enrolment

Two Priority Pass cards, each of which allows the holder and a guest unlimited free access to 1,400 airport lounges

Elite status in four major hotel loyalty schemes: Marriott Bonvoy (Gold), Hilton Honors (Gold), Radisson Rewards (Premium), MeliaRewards (Gold)

Other benefits include:

£150 of Dell statement credit per year – you receive £75 credit on Dell purchases betweeen January and June and £75 credit on purchases between July and December

£300 of credit to run job advertisements at indeed.com (£75 per quarter)

Digital subscription to The Times and The Sunday Times, worth over £300

You need a minimum personal income of £35,000 to apply for the card.

American Express Business Gold

Bonus: 60,000 Membership Rewards points
SPECIAL OFFER

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Annual fee: Free for the first year, £195 from Year 2
  • Points transfer at 1:1 into Avios, Virgin Points and other airline schemes
  • Get £100 per year to spend at Dell

This is a charge card, not a credit card. You must clear your balance in full each month.  Annual fee £195 from Year 2, free in Year 1.

See if you qualify for the 60,000 points sign-up bonus +

You will receive 40,000 American Express Membership Rewards points as a sign-up bonus on the American Express Business Gold card if you spend £6,000 within 90 days.

You will receive an additional 20,000 American Express Membership Rewards points if you keep the card for 14 months and make one purchase between months 14 and 17.

Membership Rewards points are hugely flexible.  You can transfer them into Avios, Virgin Flying Club or other airlines (at 1:1) or into various hotels schemes, into Club Eurostar or use them for shopping vouchers.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous 13 months, have held any other American Express card which earns Membership Rewards points.  This includes Business or personal Gold, Business or personal Platinum and the personal American Express Rewards credit card.

You are OK if you had a complimentary card on someone else’s American Express account.

You are OK if the only American Express card you have had in the previous 13 months was a British Airways, Marriott Bonvoy, Nectar, Amex Cashback or Harrods American Express card.

For clarity, you can still apply for the American Express Business Gold card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You would still benefit from the ‘no fee in Year 1’ offer.

Learn more about the card benefits +

You receive £100 of Dell statement credit per calendar year.  This is made available in two parts.  You receive a £50 credit on Dell purchases made between January and June and a £50 credit on Dell purchases made between July and December.  There is no minimum spend requirement.

You can apply for complimentary Amex business cards for your employees.

You will receive one consolidated statement showing the spend on your card and all of the complimentary cards.  All of the Membership Rewards points earned on the complimentary cards will flow into your personal account.

Depending on when in your monthly cycle you make a payment, you will effectively receive up to 54 days free credit on your spending.

American Express statements provide more underlying transaction detail for flights and certain other transactions than Visa or Mastercard statements, making it easier to reconcile transactions.

You need a minimum personal income of £20,000 to apply for the card.

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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