Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic Credit Cards - Everything you need to know


The Virgin Atlantic credit cards have relaunched. Again there are two cards available, the free Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit Card earning an impressive 0.75 miles per £1 spend (equivalent to 0.75% cashback) and the fee paying Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Credit Card earning 1.5 miles per £1 spend (equivalent to 1.5% cashback). It is worth noting that the miles are calculated at the end of the month so you do not miss out if something cost £X.99.

It is worth noting that both cards also have a foreign transaction fee of 2.99%. As these cards are MasterCard issued, they can be added to Curve lowering the FX fee to 1%. This would be especially worthwhile doing for the premium card which would give a net bonus equivalent to 0.5% cashback on spending abroad through Curve. More information about Curve including how to get £5 free when signing up, can be found here.

Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit Card

Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit Card

  • 5,000 Flying Club miles with your first card purchase in the first three months.
  • Earn 0.75 Flying Club miles for every £1 spent on card purchases.
  • Spend £20,000 in a year to unlock exclusive benefits, like companion flights or upgrades.

No Annual fee. Earn rate: 0.75 Flying Club Miles per £1 - Apply

The representative APR is 22.9% variable, based on assumed credit limit of £1,200. The purchase rate is 22.9% variable.

Sign-up bonus: 5,000 Flying Club Miles with your first purchase during the first three months.

Eligibility: You will be both eligible for the card and get the bonus regardless of whether you have the closed MBNA card.

Receive either:

  • A 2-4-1 companion voucher after spending £20,000 in a year. Note that unlike BA you need to be Flying Club Gold to use it in Upper Class and Flying Club Silver to use it in Premium (Premium Economy). Base level ‘Red’ members can only use it in Economy.
  • Or you can choose instead, to upgrade a return Economy redemption flight to Premium Economy. With the voucher being valid for two years and this option being available to all members, a couple could also benefit if they earned two vouchers in consecutive years or each had their own credit card.

Cardholders get free access to Virgin Money lounges around the UK.

Apply Here

Interestingly Virgin has decided make these cards extremely aesthetically pleasing. All information (Name, Number etc.) is printed on the back of this card which also has red edging to really make it stand out.

The perks of this card are as follows:

  • No annual fee.
  • 5,000 miles with your first purchase (within 90 days of card opening).
  • 0.75 Virgin Flying Club miles per £1 spent (valued at about 0.75p).
  • Double miles on online or call centre bookings with Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays.
  • Unlimited free access to Virgin Money lounges across the UK.
  • Spend £20,000 in a card year and select either a 2-4-1 companion voucher or an upgrade voucher. Gold and Silver status members also get the option of Virgin Clubhouse lounge passes.

The reward is triggered as soon as you hit the £20,000 spend within a card year.

All Flying Club members can claim one of the following:

  • A 2-4-1 voucher, valid for two years, for a Virgin Flying Club redemption in Economy.
  • An upgrade to Premium when you book an Economy reward flight (requires reward availability in Premium).

Flying Club members with Silver status can claim one of the following:

  • A 2-4-1 voucher, valid for two years, for a Virgin Flying Club redemption in Premium or Economy.
  • A return upgrade to Premium when you book an Economy reward flight (requires reward availability in Premium).
  • A Virgin Clubhouse lounge pass for Heathrow or Gatwick (requires a same-day Virgin Atlantic flight).

Flying Club members with Gold status can claim one of the following:

  • A 2-4-1 voucher, valid for two years, for a Virgin Flying Club redemption in Upper Class, Premium or Economy.
  • A return upgrade to Premium when you book an Economy reward flight (requires reward availability in Premium).
  • Two Virgin Clubhouse lounge passes for Heathrow or Gatwick (require same-day Virgin Atlantic flights)

As with the BA companion ticket, the taxes and charges are due on 2-4-1 seats. Vouchers are valid for two years and you must fly the outbound leg of your trip before the expiry date.

Conclusion

For day-to-day earning, this card would be a no-brainer, the earning rate of the card is better than any other free MasterCard or Visa credit card currently on the market.

The limitation on the Virgin Atlantic routes however, does mean that even frequent flyers could struggle to get Gold status. As such the restriction on the companion ticket appear, at first, to be fairly lousy. Personally however, I feel it makes sense from Virgins perspective as people invested in this card will actively try and fly Virgin Atlantic. Virgin has recently confirmed that when using the 2-4-1 voucher, the flight does not need to originate in the UK. Using the ticket for your return flight (by booking it separately) can drastically lower the taxes and fees to make even an economy redemption "value for money".

For me, the option to claim an upgrade voucher (rather than a 2-4-1) is what differentiates this product in the market. I can think of countless examples of when single friends have been frustrated at travel offers and deals predominantly targeting couples. With the days numbered for the TSB Avios card (which also offers an upgrade voucher), it is great to see another entrance into this niche.

Apply Here

  • No Card fee.
  • With economy redemptions often the worst value, due to the high taxes and fees. The limitations placed on the companion ticket mean that ‘Red’ status members would be better to use the upgrade voucher.

Conclusion

For day-to-day earning, this card would be a no-brainer, the earning rate of the card is better than any other free MasterCard or Visa credit card currently on the market.

The limitation on the Virgin Atlantic routes however, does mean that even frequent flyers could struggle to get Gold status. As such the restriction on the companion ticket appear, at first, to be fairly lousy. Personally however, I feel it makes sense from Virgins perspective as people invested in this card will actively try and fly Virgin Atlantic. Virgin has recently confirmed that when using the 2-4-1 voucher, the flight does not need to originate in the UK. Using the ticket for your return flight (by booking it separately) can drastically lower the taxes and fees to make even an economy redemption "value for money".

For me, the option to claim an upgrade voucher (rather than a 2-4-1) is what differentiates this product in the market. I can think of countless examples of when single friends have been frustrated at travel offers and deals predominantly targeting couples. With the days numbered for the TSB Avios card (which also offers an upgrade voucher), it is great to see another entrance into this niche.

Apply Here

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Credit Card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Credit Card

  • 15,000 Flying Club miles with your first card purchase in the first three months.
  • Earn 1.5 Flying Club miles for every £1 spent on card purchases.
  • Spend £10,000 in a year to unlock exclusive benefits, like companion flights or upgrades.
  • Free global Wi-Fi access via Boingo.

Annual fee £160. Earn rate: 1.5 Flying Club Miles per £1 - Apply

The representative APR is 63.9% variable, based an annual fee of £160 and an assumed credit limit of £1,200. The purchase rate is 22.9% variable.

Sign-up bonus: 15,000 Flying Club Miles on your first purchase during the first three months.

Eligibility: You will be both eligible for the card and get the bonus regardless of whether you have the closed MBNA card.

Receive either:

  • A 2-4-1 companion voucher after spending £20,000 in a year. Note that unlike BA you need to be Flying Club Gold to use it in Upper Class and Flying Club Silver to use it in Premium (Premium Economy). Base level ‘Red’ members can only use it in Economy.
  • Or you can choose instead, to upgrade a return Economy redemption flight to Premium Economy. With the voucher being valid for two years and this option being available to all members, a couple could also benefit if they earned two vouchers in consecutive years or each had their own credit card.

Cardholders get free access to Virgin Money lounges around the UK.

Apply Here

Interestingly Virgin has decided make these cards extremely aesthetically pleasing. All information (Name, Number etc.) is printed on the back of this card which also has red edging to really make it stand out.

The perks of this card are as follows:

  • 15,000 miles with your first purchase (within 90 days of card opening).
  • 1.5 Virgin Flying Club miles per £1 spent (valued at about 1.5p).
  • Double miles on online or call centre bookings with Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays.
  • Unlimited free access to Virgin Money lounges across the UK.
  • Free global Wi-Fi access via Boingo.
  • Spend £10,000 in a card year and select either a 2-4-1 companion voucher or an upgrade voucher. Gold and Silver status members also get the option of Virgin Clubhouse lounge passes.

The reward is triggered as soon as you hit the £20,000 spend within a card year.

All Flying Club members can claim one of the following:

  • A 2-4-1 voucher, valid for two years, for a Virgin Flying Club redemption in Economy.
  • An upgrade to Premium when you book an Economy reward flight (requires reward availability in Premium).

Flying Club members with Silver status can claim one of the following:

  • A 2-4-1 voucher, valid for two years, for a Virgin Flying Club redemption in Premium or Economy.
  • A return upgrade to Premium when you book an Economy reward flight (requires reward availability in Premium).
  • A Virgin Clubhouse lounge pass for Heathrow or Gatwick (requires a same-day Virgin Atlantic flight).

Flying Club members with Gold status can claim one of the following:

  • A 2-4-1 voucher, valid for two years, for a Virgin Flying Club redemption in Upper Class, Premium or Economy.
  • A return upgrade to Premium when you book an Economy reward flight (requires reward availability in Premium).
  • Two Virgin Clubhouse lounge passes for Heathrow or Gatwick (require same-day Virgin Atlantic flights).

As with the BA companion ticket, the taxes and charges are due on 2-4-1 seats. Vouchers are valid for two years and you must fly the outbound leg of your trip before the expiry date.

Conclusion

For day-to-day earning, this card would be a no-brainer, the earning rate of the card is better than any other premium MasterCard or Visa credit card currently on the market (equivalent to 1.5% cashback). This coupled with the 15,000 mile sign-up bonus, certainly makes for a tempting card.

The limitation on the Virgin Atlantic routes however, does mean that even frequent flyers could struggle to get Gold status. As such the restriction on the companion ticket appear, at first, to be fairly lousy. Personally however, I feel it makes sense from Virgins perspective as people invested in this card will actively try and fly Virgin Atlantic. Virgin has recently confirmed that when using the 2-4-1 voucher, the flight does not need to originate in the UK. Using the ticket for your return flight (by booking it separately) can drastically lower the taxes and fees to make even an economy redemption "value for money".

For me, the option to claim an upgrade voucher (rather than a 2-4-1) is what differentiates this product in the market. I can think of countless examples of when single friends have been frustrated at travel offers and deals predominantly targeting couples. With the days numbered for the TSB Avios card (which also offers an upgrade voucher), it is great to see another entrance into this niche.

Apply Here

  • £160 annual fee.
  • With economy redemptions often the worst value, due to the high taxes and fees. The limitations placed on the companion ticket mean that ‘Red’ status members would be better to use the upgrade voucher.
  • Virgin will allow you to also apply for the free credit card and collect the 5,000 bonus points albeit not at the same time.

Conclusion

For day-to-day earning, this card would be a no-brainer, the earning rate of the card is better than any other premium MasterCard or Visa credit card currently on the market (equivalent to 1.5% cashback). This coupled with the 15,000 mile sign-up bonus, certainly makes for a tempting card.

The limitation on the Virgin Atlantic routes however, does mean that even frequent flyers could struggle to get Gold status. As such the restriction on the companion ticket appear, at first, to be fairly lousy. Personally however, I feel it makes sense from Virgins perspective as people invested in this card will actively try and fly Virgin Atlantic. Virgin has recently confirmed that when using the 2-4-1 voucher, the flight does not need to originate in the UK. Using the ticket for your return flight (by booking it separately) can drastically lower the taxes and fees to make even an economy redemption "value for money".

For me, the option to claim an upgrade voucher (rather than a 2-4-1) is what differentiates this product in the market. I can think of countless examples of when single friends have been frustrated at travel offers and deals predominantly targeting couples. With the days numbered for the TSB Avios card (which also offers an upgrade voucher), it is great to see another entrance into this niche.

Apply Here

It should be noted that by discussing credit and charge cards on this site, we are in effect, acting as a credit broker. Expert with Points Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA FRN 792662) to act as a credit broker.

This is a journalistic website, as such, we merely describe different travel related credit card options available to you; it is your responsibility to determine whether these products are suitable for your financial circumstances. Nothing on Expert with Points should be seen as constituting financial advice. Recommendations given, for any financial products, are based on the benefits and perks they offer.

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Ross Slater

Ross Slater

Ross is Expert with Points' main contributor. Sharing his knowledge of various travel reward schemes, to help your travelling go further.

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