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People who know me know that I am not one to advertise for companies or products. This is my review for the Virgin Atlantic credit card as opposed to an advertisement for them. I signed up to the account a year ago when I felt I needed a credit card for some work expenses. Since then, I have been able to upgrade to Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class twice and I am currently sitting on enough air-miles for a return economy flight during the off peak season.
What are the two different Virgin Atlantic credit card accounts
The Virgin Atlantic credit card offers two different kinds of accounts. The Black credit card account has a variable representative APR of 57.4% and gives you slightly increased rewards but the downside is that it comes with an annual fee of £140. If, like me, you are not going to be a ‘power user’ I would suggest the White credit card account. This account gives you an American Express as well as Visa credit card, both of which are issued by MBNA (Bank of America).
The fact that I now have two cards on the account is something I have found incredibly useful. There have been more than a few occasions when I have asked to pay for something only to be told that AMEX is not accepted there. Instead of fretting, I just replace it with the Visa credit card instead. This feature was one of the main selling points for me when I first signed up.
What rewards do you get?
With the Virgin Atlantic White credit card, you get 1 air-mile for every £1 you spend on the American Express and 1 air-mile for every £2 you spend on the VISA. Naturally the AMEX is always my first port of call but getting half the air-miles on the VISA is a good second best. I mentioned above that the Black credit card has slightly better rewards. With the charged for account, you get 2 miles for every £1 spent on the AMEX and 1 mile for every £1 spent on the Visa. Even with the doubled rewards, I still felt the White card would be better suited for me due to the lack of an annual fee.
With the White card, when you spend £10,000 in a year, you will receive an upgrade to Premium Economy (for one person) when you redeem your Flying Club miles for an Economy class redemption. A 2nd voucher is available when you spend £20,000. You only receive your voucher at the end of each card year, irrespective of when you pass the spend target. Spend £15,000 on the free American Express card and you will receive a free ticket for a companion (as always, taxes apply) when you purchase a full fare. Unlike the upgrade voucher, this voucher is issued as soon as you have passed the spend threshold. The Black account has the same offer but with reduced thresholds: £5000 & £10,000 for the upgrades respectively and £7,500 for the companion flight.
They also have some sign up offers available. I was lucky enough to make use of mine a get my bonus 10,000 air-miles when I signed up.
Recently, I had an instance that was flagged as fraud on my account. Ultimately, it turned out to be a mistake but the service I got from Virgin Atlantic and MBNA was superb. They were helpful every step of the way and I had my new cards within 14 days of my initial phone call to inform them
What can I get with Virgin Atlantic air-miles?
Recently, Virgin Atlantic changed their mile scheme rewards. From January they have changed to a seasonal model. During the off peak season, economy reward flights start at 20,000 miles whilst during the peak season, the same flights start at 40,000 miles. This means that for 20,000, you will be able to fly from London to New York and back.
Now, I mentioned before that I am not a ‘power user’ by any stretch of the imagination. But, in the time since I have had my cards, when adding in all my bonuses etc I have still managed to accrue enough for a return economy flight as well as 2 Upper Class upgrades.
The added fact that you can get Virgin Atlantic air-miles from your Tesco Clubcard as well means that your can get a lot of miles very quickly.
With having both the American Express and Visa cards on one account, the Virgin Atlantic credit card is certainly useful. The service is fantastic and the ability to pay off your credit card online or via direct debit is rather useful. The Black account with the annual fee would be useful to the kind of person who spends a lot on credit cards and enjoys to travel. For people like myself, who only use the cards occasionally and for big purchases, the White account is perfect.
Why not check your eligibility today and see if you can earn upgrades and reward flights?