We’ve previously covered how to earn Avios points but what if you’re a member of other rewards schemes? While British Airways tends to be the most popular airline in the UK for racking up and using air miles, Virgin Atlantic also offers a solid rewards scheme, which is really useful if you tend to travel to destinations on the Virgin Atlantic network. Just by using a few travel hacks you can use these miles for free flights and upgrades to Business Class on your next trip abroad.
Here we’ve put together the top ways to earn Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles:
1. Get the Virgin Atlantic Credit Cards
Virgin Atlantic has relaunched its credit cards, scrapping its MBNA cards and offering two new MasterCard cards by Virgin Money. The free Reward card has no annual fee and you’ll get a sign up bonus of 5,000 Virgin Atlantic miles when you make your first purchase of any amount within 90 days. It also gives 0.75 miles for every £1 spent on the card. The Reward+ card has an annual fee of £160 but offers a higher sign up bonus of 15,00 and allows you to earn double the amount of points on your daily spend – 1.5 miles for every £1 spent. Plus, if you spend £20,000 in one year on the free card, or £10,000 on the annual fee card, you’ll be able to choose between an upgrade to Premium or a companion ticket.
2. Fly Virgin Atlantic
Obviously the more you fly, the more miles you’ll earn, so always remember to add your membership number when you fly with Virgin Atlantic. As a new member you’ll start as a “Red” tier member, so for example if you fly from London to New York in Upper Class (Business Class) on a standard fare you’ll earn 200% of the actual miles you’ve flown, which is 13,828. If you become a Silver or Gold Tier member, you’ll earn even more miles every time you fly.
3. Buy miles
If you’re close to scoring that free Business Class upgrade but you don’t quite have enough points yet, there is the option of buying miles so you can top up your balance. In order to buy miles you’ll just need to login to your account and select how many miles you’d like to buy. Every purchase comes with a one-off £15 transaction fee, and then miles are available in 1,000 mile increments. It costs £15 per 1000 miles and you can purchase up to 100,000 miles in the calendar year.
4. Ride Virgin Trains
Travel around the UK on business or to visit family and friends? If you hop on Virgin Trains, make sure you enter your Flying Club number at the checkout in order to earn points every time you travel. You’ll earn 1 mile per £1 spent on a Virgin Trains journey booked online via the Virgin Trains website.
5. Fly with partner airlines
If you travel to the US, or within the US a lot, then you can earn points with Virgin Atlantic’s partner airline, Delta. Points can be earned on all Delta marketed and operated services and miles earned will depend on the ticket type you’re flying on. For example, if you fly in Business Class/Delta One with a J booking class you’ll earn 400% on miles flown.
Alternatively Virgin Atlantic has lots of other partner airlines including Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia, South African Airways, ANA, Jet Airways, Air China, Hawaiian Airlines and SAS. When flying with these airlines, just remember to enter your Flying Club number when adding your passenger details.
6. Buy Virgin Wines
Like a glass of vino after work? Ordering from Virgin Wines will get you 3,000 miles on your first order as a welcome gift, then 750 miles for every repeat order placed through Flying Club. Just another reason to drink wine!
7. Rent a car
Planning on hiring a car next time you travel abroad? Virgin Atlantic allows you to collect Flying Club miles with various car rental partners including Avis, Enterprise, Hertz, Alamo and Sixt. As an example, if you book a car rental with Hertz you’ll receive 1,000 Flying Club miles on leisure rentals and 500 Flying Club miles on corporate rentals, as well as 10% off locations worldwide just for being a Flying Club member.
8. Get the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card
The American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card is a brilliant all-round travel rewards credit card. Although it has an annual fee it comes with a large sign up bonus and the points can be converted into miles on many major airlines, including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Delta. At the time of writing, you can currently earn 20,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend £2,000 in your first three months of card membership. American Express will give you 1 Flying Club mile for every 1 Membership Rewards point, so you’ll have 20,000 Flying Club miles if you choose to convert them.
9. Use hotel partners
Virgin Atlantic has quite a few hotel partners to choose from, including Hilton Honors, Marriott Rewards, IHG Rewards Club, Mandarin Oriental, Yotel, Shangri-La and Starwood Preferred Guest. This means you can earn Flying Club Miles on your hotel bookings as well as your flights and car rentals.
10. Take part in surveys
Have some time to spare? Join the e-Rewards Opinion Panel and you can earn miles just for sharing your opinions. Take part in as many surveys as you like to earn Opinion Points, then convert them into Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles. 1,200 Opinion Points are worth 250 Flying Club Miles.
11. Join Heathrow Rewards
If you fly out of Heathrow then it’s worth signing up for the Heathrow Rewards scheme, which allows you to collect points when you do anything at Heathrow Airport. Miles can be earned on shopping, dining, Heathrow Parking and riding the Heathrow Express – you’ll earn 1 point per £1 you spend. These can be easily converted into Flying Club miles, helping you to earn miles as fast as possible.
12. Shop for groceries
If you regularly shop in Tesco, sign up for the Tesco Clubcard to earn Clubcard points every time you do your weekly shop or buy Tesco Fuel. Earn 2.5 miles per £1 spent in Tesco Stores, Tesco Direct and Tesco.com and have them automatically converted each month.
13. Shop online
John Lewis, Selfridges & Co, Apple, Forever 21 and Currys are just some of the retail stores that will allow you to earn Flying Club miles when you make purchases with them online. In order to collect the miles you’ll need to click through to Virgin Atlantic’s Shops Away site first, otherwise the points won’t be credited to your account.
14. Use the Virgin Atlantic Miles Booster
Virgin Atlantic offers a Miles Booster to help passengers rack up miles faster by purchasing extra miles based on miles to be flown. Once you’ve booked your flight with Virgin Atlantic, just login to your account, click “Manage my flights” and start boosting. If you fly from London to Dubai on a round-trip you could boost with the single flown miles, getting an extra 6,806 miles for £68.06, or you could boost with double the flown miles, getting an extra 13,612 miles for £136.12.
15. Visit South Africa
If you fancy travelling to South Africa, you can earn miles by staying at Sir Richard Branson’s luxury tented safari camp in Kenya’s Maasai Mara. Every night spent at this stunning resort will earn you 6,000 miles. Or, if you’re heading to Cape Town, you can earn miles by staying at Mont Rochelle, – a 26-bedroom hotel and vineyard located in the wine region of Franschhoek. Flying Club members earn 1,000 miles per room, per night.
16. Virgin Atlantic experiences
Experience days always make brilliant presents for friends and family, or even for yourself if you’re feeling adventurous. Whether you decide to take flying lessons, go scuba diving or simply enjoy afternoon tea in a fancy hotel, you can earn 2 miles per £1 spent.