Earn double points for every £1 on Virgin Trains Ticketing bookings

Apr 27, 2022

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Virgin Trains Ticketing is increasing its points offering to members in a bid to boost business alongside the government’s “Great British Rail Sale”.

Between now and 27 May, Virgin Red members will not only enjoy a trove of discounts on journeys up and down Britain, but will also earn six Virgin Points for every £1 they spend on tickets, rather than the usual three.

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The offering comes a week after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps sparked a backlash with the launch of his “nation’s largest-ever rail sale” — a deal his critics see as a sleight-of-hand trick to distract attention from Britain’s “insultingly” expensive train network.

The “first-of-its-kind” price slash will see tickets discounted by up to 50% as service providers across the rail business get together to do their bit for the cost-of-living crisis.

And Virgin Trains Ticketing, for its part, is offering members the chance to squirrel away points too which can be used on a cornucopia of rewards.

“Virgin Red members can choose to spend their Virgin Points on around 200 rewards across five different reward categories with Virgin Red from sausage rolls to cinema tickets,” the company said in a statement. “Virgin Red members can also save up their Virgin Points to purchase something bigger if they get into the earning habit.”

Related: How to earn and use 100,000 Virgin Points

The increased points offering Virgin says, applies to all journeys so long as they are booked before 27 May.

An off-peak return from London Paddington to Cardiff Central, at a cost of £50, for instance, will earn 300 Virgin Points, rather than the usual 150.

Meanwhile, an off-peak return from Birmingham New Street to Bristol Temple Meads (£25.50) will collect 152 Virgin Points.

As for the rewards, here are a few examples of what your points can get you:

  • Sausage Roll (200 points)
  • Cup of coffee (325 points)
  • One cinema ticket (1,350 points)
  • Flights plus money (3,000 + points)
  • Donate to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR (1,000 points)

“The Great British Rail sale is the perfect time for Virgin Red members to not only enjoy discounted tickets but also be rewarded for booking them – especially as we’re doubling the number of points on offer for all tickets bought,” said Andrea Burchett, International and Strategic Development Director.

Related: Virgin Red launches with new ways to earn and spend Virgin Points

What are Virgin Points and How can you earn them?

Virgin Points is the loyalty currency of Virgin Red and Virgin Atlantic, and are a valuable mileage currency with plenty of great uses.

The first thing you need to do is sign up through the Virgin Red website. 

You are given the option to link your Virgin Red account to your Flying Club account. This is a good idea because it allows you to spend Virgin Points across both reward clubs, and see all your points in one place.

You need to download the Virgin Red app to earn points on train travel. Image via Virgin.com

You cannot earn points on train travel by booking through the Trainline website. Instead, you need to download the Virgin Red app (it won’t allow you to book through the website).

Once you’ve signed into your account on the app, it’s easy:

  1. Go to the “earn” section
  2. Scroll down to the “book train tickets” button
  3. Click “get points”
  4. Search for your ticket and book.

You’ll usually receive your Virgin Points 56 days after your travel date or (if you decide not to travel) the final date on which your ticket is valid.  

What about earning Virgin points on other sites?

When it comes to earning points through Virgin Red’s cornucopia of partner offers (see below) you’ll need to follow similar steps as above, always via the Virgin Red website or app. 

Image via Virgin.com

In other words, you won’t be able to earn points through, say, Booking.com’s website directly.

In that example, you would need to link your Genius account (Booking.com’s own loyalty program) with your Virgin Red account. Then, make your purchase by accessing Booking.com via the “Get Points” button on the Virgin Red app or website and complete your transaction within one browsing session.

Where else can you earn Virgin points?

You can start by crediting flights from the following airlines:

  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Air France/KLM
  • Air New Zealand
  • ANA
  • Delta
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • SAS
  • Singapore Airlines
  • South African Airways
  • Virgin Australia

Then there are also Virgin Atlantic co-branded credit cards which both come with good earning rates:

Related: How to earn and use 100,000 Virgin Points

Flying Club also offers a fantastic miles booster, while you can also convert Tesco Clubcard points to Virgin Points as well as transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards at a rate of 1:1.

Virgin Red also offers a huge range of ways to earn and redeem Virgin Points, including:

  • Booking train tickets through Virgin Train Ticketing (earn 6 points per £1);
  • Switching to an M Plus current account (earn 20,000 points);
  • Switching to Octopus Energy (up to 7,400 Virgin points);
  • Shopping at Dunelm (1 point per £1), B&Q (1 point per £1) and Made (3 per £1);
  • Signing up to Virgin Media (earn up to 10,500 Points);
  • Purchasing wine through the Discovery Wine Club (receive a £50 voucher plus 2,000 points);
  • Shopping at TK Maxx (2 points per £1), H&M (5 points per £1), ASOS (from 2 points per £1); and Adidas (4 points per £1);
  • Food deliveries from Just Eat (up to 25 points per £1);
  • Shopping at Boots (£1 point per £1);
  • Booking accommodation through Booking.com (8 points per £1),

That’s just a slice. You can find the full list here.

There is also the ability to earn Virgin Points directly with the following hotels:

Finally, you can earn Virgin Points with miscellaneous partners like Virgin Money, Hertz and Heathrow Rewards.

Can I earn avios on train travel?

Virgin Red isn’t the only loyalty programme linked to train travel.

Related: 10 ways to earn Avios you might not know about

You can earn British Airways Avios points there too. In fact, new Trainline customers can earn up to 3 Avios for every £1 spent.

Like Virgin Red, you must book your train tickets via British Airways’ online shopping portal. Image via BA.com

For existing Trainline customers, however, the deal’s not so sweet: they only get one Avios for every £2 spent.

But remember: like Virgin Red, you cannot earn points through Virgin Trains Ticketing website directly. You must book your train tickets via British Airways’ online shopping portal.

Featured photo by Getty Images

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