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Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit Card

By: Peter Stephens | Updated: 10th September 2020.

Great for: Collecting rewards
5 stars question mark
Virgin Atlantic Credit Card

The Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit Card provides the opportunity to earn and spend rewards through Virgin Atlantic as well as a variety of the company’s partners. Cardholders get 0.75 Flying Club miles for every £1 spent on the card. The card’s balance transfer and money transfer offer help to differentiate it from rivals (though note the 3% transfer fee), while a 5,000-mile bonus reward offer for new customers could help to increase its relative appeal.

CREDIT RATING req:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 0.75 Flying Club miles for every £1 spent on the card
  • 1.5 miles for every £1 spent with Virgin Atlantic or Virgin Holidays
  • 5,000 bonus miles after completing one purchase within the first 90 days
  • No annual fee
  • After £20,000 in annual spend, option to choose an upgrade to Premium or get a Companion ticket
  • No non-sterling transaction fee through 30 November 2019

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative rate 22.9% APR (variable)
Purchase rate 22.9% p.a. (variable)
Based on borrowing £1,200

what we like

  • 0.75 Flying Club miles for every £1 spent on the card
  • 5,000 bonus miles after completing one purchase within the first 90 days
  • 0% interest for 6 months on balance and money transfers (3% fee applies)
  • ANNUAL FEE:

    £0
  • REPRESENTATIVE APR:

    22.9%
  • INTRO OFFER:

    5,000 Flying Club miles with one purchase within 90 days
    6 months 0% interest on balance and money transfers

KEY SCORES:

  • 5/5 Perks
  • 3/5Fees
  • 2/5APR

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 0.75 Flying Club miles for every £1 spent on the card
  • 1.5 miles for every £1 spent with Virgin Atlantic or Virgin Holidays
  • 5,000 bonus miles after completing one purchase within the first 90 days
  • No annual fee
  • After £20,000 in annual spend, option to choose an upgrade to Premium or get a Companion ticket
  • No non-sterling transaction fee through 30 November 2019

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative rate 22.9% APR (variable)
Purchase rate 22.9% p.a. (variable)
Based on borrowing £1,200

OUR BOTTOM LINE

The Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit Card provides the opportunity to earn and spend rewards through Virgin Atlantic as well as a variety of the company’s partners. Cardholders get 0.75 Flying Club miles for every £1 in spend. The card’s balance transfer and money transfer offer help to differentiate it from rivals (though note the 3% transfer fee), while a 5,000-mile bonus reward offer for new customers could help to increase its relative appeal.

Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent

What I like about the Virgin Atlantic Reward Card

  • Rewards – All spending on the card generates Flying Club miles. They can be used to pay either partly or wholly for Virgin Atlantic flights or for upgrades to existing tickets. For every £1 spent on the card 0.75 Flying Club miles are earned, while for every £1 spent with Virgin Atlantic or Virgin Holidays 1.5 Flying Club miles are earned. Examples of the rewards on offer include a round-trip economy-to-premium upgrade on a flight to New York in exchange for 17,400 Flying Club miles, or an economy round-trip flight to Hong Kong in exchange for 25,000 Flying Club miles.
  • Partner earning and spending – Flying Club miles can also be earned and spent through a variety of Virgin Atlantic’s partners. These partners include a variety of other airlines, such as Delta, as well as retailers including Tesco and hotel chains such as Hilton. This could make it easier to accumulate rewards, and also provides greater flexibility on how and where they are spent.
  • Introductory offer – As well as Flying Club miles for all spending on the card, there is also a bonus offer available. For account holders who use the card to make any purchase within the first 90 days following account opening, a bonus of 5,000 Flying Club miles will be earned. This means that all cardholders can benefit from a discount on the cost of flights, or other rewards at Virgin Atlantic’s partners, in the short run from obtaining and using the card.
  • Balance transfer and money transfer offer – While the Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit Card is primarily a reward card, it also offers a 0% interest rate for six months on balance transfers and money transfers. This could help cardholders to reduce interest payments on existing debt. Transfers made within the first 60 days after account opening are eligible for the offer. While there is a 3% transfer fee, the offer helps to differentiate the card from other reward cards.
  • No annual fee – The card does not have an annual fee. This means that it may be of interest to consumers who are likely to use the card rarely but who would still like to benefit from the rewards that it offers.

Why trust me

I have been writing for The Motley Fool since 2013, and have experienced the booms and busts of the UK economy for a number of decades both as an investor and a consumer. I have held various senior management positions during my career, while also setting up my own manufacturing company in 1996. It was subsequently sold in 2007. I have a keen interest in consumer finance, as well as in the stock market.

What could be improved

  • Rewards spending – Spending their accumulated Flying Club miles may be challenging for some consumers. Since Virgin Atlantic is focused on long-haul flights, consumers who do not want to fly long distances may need to spend their points with one of the company’s partners. This may mean that while they obtain the card with the idea of accumulating airmiles, they end up using their Flying Club miles at retailers, hotels and other non-airline companies, which tend to give a lower value to the points.
  • Foreign transaction fees – There is a temporary promotion that removes foreign transaction fees on this card through 30 November 2019. That’s great. However, it’s term-limited, which means that in December, cardholders will likely have to start paying non-sterling transaction fees again. Previously this fee amounted to 2.99% of each foreign transaction, so it seems safe to assume that’s what it will return to in December. That amount might seem small, but it can really add up to significant amounts over the long run. As such, it’ll be a good idea to keep the 30 November date in mind if using this card, and, after that, it may be worth considering having a second credit card that does not have a non-sterling transaction fee.

How does it stack up?

The Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit Card is likely to appeal to consumers who regularly use the services of Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Travel – companies that offer the chance to accumulate double points on spending.

Frequent Virgin Atlantic customers may gain the most from features such as seating upgrades or discounts on flights. However, since Flying Club miles can be spent at a variety of partners, it is likely that consumers will be able to find goods or services for which they can use their rewards.

The balance transfer and money transfer offer from the Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit Card helps to differentiate the card from other reward cards. It could enable consumers with existing credit card debt or a personal loan to reduce their interest costs and improve their financial situation.

Currently, cardholders won’t face a non-sterling transaction fee, which makes the card a bit more attractive against competing rewards cards. That said, this is likely to change after 30 November 2019, and the card may once again have near-3% foreign transaction fee.

Credit score

The advertised features of the card, such as its interest rate and the balance transfer period, are representative. This means they must be offered to the majority of successful applicants, with the remainder potentially being offered less favourable terms. The possibility of not being offered the features as advertised could reduce the appeal of the card.

How to apply

Applications for the card can be made online. In order to apply, you should have a number of details available. They include your employment situation, address history and details of any existing debts that you wish to transfer onto the card. You should also have your Virgin Atlantic Flying Club membership number available when applying, although this can be submitted following a successful application.

In order to apply for the card, you must not be an existing Virgin Atlantic Credit Card customer. You must also have an annual income of at least £7,000.

Is the Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit Card right for you?

If you are a regular Virgin Atlantic or Virgin Holidays customer, the card could be highly appealing. Double Flying Club miles — 1.5 miles versus the normal 0.75 per £1 — are accumulated through spending with either company, which could make it easier to accumulate rewards.

For consumers who do not use either company regularly, the card may still be of interest due to its partner network. Before applying for the card, it may be worth checking that you are likely to use some of the partners in order to accumulate and spend Flying Club miles in future.

The balance transfer and money transfer offer helps the card to stand out from other reward cards. Likewise, the bonus offer of 5,000 Flying Club miles is a sweetener that makes the card rewarding from the very start.

And, at least until December, this could also make a good travelling companion, as Virgin has done away with the foreign transaction fee, so you won’t face extra fees when using this card abroad.

See the Best Rewards Credit Cards


The Motley Fool receives compensation from some advertisers who provide products and services that may be covered by our editorial team. It’s one way we make money. But know that our editorial integrity and transparency matters most and our ratings aren’t influenced by compensation. The statements above are The Motley Fool’s alone and have not been provided or endorsed by bank advertisers. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in Lloyds, Tesco and Barclays.