30,000 bonus points: A review of the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ credit card
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Behind British Airways’ Executive Club and its Avios currency, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is probably the second-most popular airline loyalty programme in the U.K.
While Virgin Atlantic doesn’t have the same huge fleet or route map that British Airways has, it still has an impressive list of destinations, partners and you can also earn its currency, Virgin Points, directly through two different cobranded credit cards. One of those cards is the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Credit Card.
Who is this card for?
This card is designed for those who fly Virgin Atlantic (or would like to) and want a high-earning card to earn Virgin Points to use on Virgin Atlantic or its partners like KLM and Air France.
This may also be a good option for those travellers who use a high-earning American Express card but also want a Mastercard for those retailers that do not accept American Express.
Sign-up bonus and annual fee
This card offers a huge 30,000 Virgin Points when you spend £3,000 on the card in your first 90 days. Based on TPG’s current valuation of Virgin Points these 30,000 points are worth approximately £360.
There is an annual fee of £160 but with the value of the generous welcome bonus you will be coming out well in front.
This card has a representative APR of 63.9% variable, and a purchase rate of 22.9% variable with an assumed credit limit of £1,200.
Virgin Atlantic’s new premium-economy cabin. Photo courtesy of Virgin Atlantic.
You will earn a generous 3 points for each £1 spent on the card with Virgin Atlantic or Virgin Holidays and 1.5 points per £1 spend on all other purchases.
For a non-American Express card, this is a fantastic earn rate, especially given Mastercard is accepted in more places than American Express.
As of 16 April 2020, the card no longer charges foreign transaction fees on some international purchases. Virgin Money did doing away with the pesky 2.99% foreign transaction fee it charges on some non-sterling purchases. The fee no longer applies to international purchases made within the European Economic Area (EEA). In other words, you won’t be charged the 2.99% fee if you are making a purchase in sterling, euro, Swedish kronor or Romanian lei. For international purchases made outside of the EEA, you’ll still be charged a 2.99% fee.
The best perk of this card if you are planning to spend some serious money is the ‘Virgin Atlantic Reward’ you will receive after spending only £10,000 on the card within each 12 months of your card anniversary date (i.e. the date you activated the card).
- A one-cabin return upgrade in any booking class (excluding Economy Light). Anyone can upgrade from economy to Premium, or Premium to Upper Class, even if you are just an entry-level Flying Club Red member. Fees, taxes and surcharges are applicable for the upgrade; or
- Gold and Silver Flying Club members can book a companion into any class of service (economy, Premium, or Upper Class) for no extra Virgin Points. Red Flying Club members can continue to book a companion into economy or Premium using the Companion Voucher, or into Upper Class for 50% of Virgin Points required for a normal redemption seat. Fees, taxes and surcharges are applicable for both passengers.
- One Virgin Clubhouse worldwide entry pass when flying with Virgin Atlantic, Delta or Air France/KLM. No additional guests can be permitted. If you’re a Flying Club Gold member, you’ll get two passes.
Note the upgrades must have award availability in the higher class to which you wish to upgrade, the travelling companion must still pay taxes and fees for their ‘free’ flight.
Other perks include 0% interest on balance transfers for the first six months, but do note there is a 3% fee for transferring this balance.
As a cardholder, you’ll have access to Virgin Money lounges. These are city lounges in which Virgin Money customers can relax, rather than airport lounges for travellers flying.
Which cards compete with this card?
This is a great card packed with earning benefits but does have a fairly high annual fee. If you would like to still collect Virgin Atlantic Virgin Points without an annual fee but are happy with no sign-up bonus and lower earning rate, you may wish to consider the Virgin Atlantic Rewards Credit Card instead.
However, if you have Virgin Atlantic elite status and will spend £10,000 or more on the card it could be a much better value proposition to have the Rewards+ card in order to obtain that valuable Virgin Atlantic Reward.
Flying Club doesn’t receive as much attention as Executive Club/Avios does, but it’s still an excelent programme with plenty of redemption options when you consider the Air France, KLM and Delta options.
This is a higher-end card with a fantastic earn rate, fantastic sign-up bonus and annual fee to go with it. Plus, now that it no longer charges foreign transaction fees on some purchases, it could be a good option to use if you’re abroad. If you are a higher spender and especially if you have elite status in the Flying Club programme, you can apply for this card here.
Featured image by Patrick Fallon / The Points Guy.
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