Virgin Atlantic credit cards have been rebranded. Please see our review of the new Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit Card instead!
The no-fee Virgin Atlantic White credit cards earn double miles on Virgin flight and Holiday purchases and provide the chance to earn two Premium Economy upgrades and a Companion Reward ticket each year.
Virgin Atlantic White Card Features
- On the Amex, earn 1 Flying Club Mile for every £1 spent on general purchases and 2 Flying Club Miles for every £1 spent at Virgin Atlantic or Virgin Holidays
- On the Visa, earn 1 Flying Club Mile for every £2 spent on general purchases and 1 Flying Club Miles for every £1 spent at Virgin Atlantic or Virgin Holidays
- Receive a Premium Economy upgrade on an economy redemption when you spend £10,000 on the White Amex in a year (you can earn two of these upgrades a year)
- Earn a complimentary companion reward flight when you spend £15,000 on the Amex in a year when you purchase a full-fare flight
- Earn 3,000 bonus miles with you first purchase in the first 90 days
- Welcome bonus
- Premium Economy upgrades
- Companion Rewards seat
- Double miles for Virgin flight and Holidays purchases
- Virgin has fewer airline partners with which to share miles
Virgin Atlantic White Credit Card Review
The Virgin White American Express card can achieve rewards rates of around 2.5% on Virgin flights and Holidays spending and 1.3% on other general spending – it can be your card for all purchases where Amex is accepted. Where Amex is not accepted, you can still earn half of those rewards by using the Virgin White Visa card. (Cardholders receive both an American Express card and a Visa card.)
Like all airline cards, your ultimate rewards rate is a function of how you redeem your miles. Generally speaking, you can maximize your rewards by redeeming Flying Club miles on Upper Class seats or upgrades. The following chart is based on data gathered from some popular routes out of the UK and illustrates where you can find the best use of Flying Club Miles.
Besides accumulating Flying Club miles with the White card, you have the chance to earn up to two Premium Economy upgrades and one Companion Reward seat per year. One Premium Economy upgrade is earned when you spend £10,000 on the Amex – you can do this twice a year. The Companion Reward is earned when you spend £15,000 on the Amex – you can do this once a year. Although you receive both Visa and American Express cards, we recommend using the Amex wherever possible – the Amex earns Flying Club miles faster, and your Amex spend contributes to upgrade and companion voucher eligibility.
Bottom Line: The primary purpose of the Virgin Atlantic White cards is to earn Flying Club miles and other perks through purchases on your card. The fastest way to earn Flying Club miles is by paying for Virgin Atlantic flights or Virgin Holidays with the Amex card, at a rate of 2 Flying Club miles per £1 spent. Using the Amex on general spending will earn you 1 Flying Club mile for every £1 spent. The value of these perks depends on how you use them.
Premium Economy Upgrade
The chart below (based on data gathered from a recent search) gives you an idea of the value of a Premium Economy upgrade, in both pounds and Flying Club miles, for some popular destinations out of the UK. You can see the Premium Economy upgrade can be worth hundreds of pounds, or thousands of Flying Club miles.
Estimated Value of Premium Economy Upgrade
|Cash Price Difference, Premium Economy - Economy||Upgrade with Flying Club Miles, Economy to Premium Economy|
Companion Reward Seat
The value of the Companion Reward seat is also dependent on how you use it. The chart below shows some sample flight costs for the same popular destinations. While you clearly get the most value by using the Companion Reward on an Upper Class ticket, remember the original Flying Club member must first buy a ticket for cash in the same cabin class!
|Estimated Virgin Fares||Economy||Premium Economy||Upper Class|
The Companion Reward flight is awarded when you buy a full fare qualifying Virgin Atlantic flight, only after you’ve reached £15,000 of Amex purchases for the year. (A full fare qualifying flight are those tickets purchased in booking classes: Y,B,R,L,U,M,E,Q,X,W,S,H and J.) A Companion Reward ticket can only be used to accompany a ticket in the same cabin class on the same day and flight, purchased at a qualifying adult fare. Companion Rewards are valid for twelve months from the date they’re added to your Flying Club account.
The rewards rate on a Virgin White card is between 0.7% and 2.6%. We calculate the upper value as follows: by spending £1 on the Amex for a Virgin Atlantic flight or holiday, you earn 2 Flying Club miles. Assuming each Flying Club mile is worth £0.013, 2 miles per £1 spent means a 2.6% rewards rate. (This is the math: 2 * £0.013 = £0.026, or 2.6% of £1 spent) The lowest value is calculated using the lower rate of 1 Flying Club mile per £2 on everyday spending on the Visa card, for a rewards rate of 0.7%. The other rewards rates are calculated following the same methodology.
|Rewards Rate on Virgin Flights and Holidays Spend||Rewards Rate on Other General Spending|
|Virgin White Amex||2.6%||1.3%|
|Virgin White Visa||1.3%||0.7%|
Keep in mind that the rewards rate on a Virgin White credit card, like all airline cards, can be quite variable depending on how you spend your Flying Club miles. Generally speaking, redeeming your miles on economy seats is a poor use of miles and redeeming your miles on Upper Class seats or upgrades is the best use of miles.
What is the Value of a Flying Club Mile?
We have assumed an average value of £0.013 per Flying Club mile for the calculations in this review. The actual value you achieve will depend on how you redeem your miles – the value of miles is quite variable, depending on how you use them. After analyzing flight data on some popular routes out of the UK, we’ve found the best use of miles to be redeeming them for Upper Class flights or upgrading from Premium Economy to Upper Class, as you can see in the following table.
|Virgin Flying Club Usage||Value per Point|
|Premium Economy Seat||£0.011|
|Upgrade from Economy to Premium Economy||£0.012|
|Upgrade from Premium Economy to Upper Class||£0.020|
Those who want to travel to a destination not serviced by Virgin Atlantic can use their Flying Club miles at any of Virgin’s partner airlines, listed below:
- Singapore Airlines
- Air New Zealand
- Virgin Australia
- South African Airways
- Jet Airways
- Air China
- Hawaiin Airlines
- Malaysia Airlines