For a limited time, you can get a juicy air miles bonus with the Virgin Atlantic credit cards.
If you fancy cutting the cost of next year's holiday, then you may want to take advantage of the new bonus mile offers with the Virgin Atlantic credit cards.
The Virgin Atlantic White Credit Card
With the White Credit Card, if you open the card before 31st October and spend £1,000 within the first 90 days, you'll get 7,000 bonus Flying Club Miles. That's on top of the 3,000 bonus miles you get just for making a purchase on the card in those first 90 days, taking the total to 10,000 miles.
You actually get two cards, an American Express and a Visa.
With the American Express, you earn one Flying Club Mile for every £1 you spend, which jumps to two miles for every £1 spent with Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays. With the Visa you earn one mile for every £2 you spend, and one mile for every £1 spent with Virgin.
Spend £10,000 across the year and you get a free upgrade from economy to premium economy, while spending £15,000 across a year will bag you a free companion ticket when you buy a qualifying fare.
The Virgin Atlantic Black Credit Card
The Black Credit Card offers even bigger bonuses.
Open the card before 31st October and spend £2,000 in the first 90 days and you'll get a whopping 6,500 bonus miles. That's on top of the 18,500 miles you get for making a purchase on the card in the first 90 days, taking the total to 25,000 bonus miles.
Again, you get two cards, an American Express and a Visa.
This time you get two miles for every £1 spent on everyday purchases and four miles for every £1 spent with Virgin on the American Express. Meanwhile with the Visa you get one mile for every £1 spent on everyday purchases and two miles for every £1 spent with Virgin.
You only have to spend £5,000 in a year in order to qualify for a free upgrade from economy to premium economy, while you can get a companion flight if you spend £7,500 in a year.
However, you do need to take into account the annual fee: a whopping £140.
Spending your miles
The bonus miles certainly help, but you'll still need to do a fair bit of spending to get a free flight (and that's before you add on taxes, etc).
Here's a breakdown of how much some of the destinations Virgin flies to will set you back in terms of Flying Club Miles (based on flights from London airports).
|Destination||Economy||Premium economy||Upper class|
Alternatively you can spend your miles upgrading your cabin class, which costs anything from 10,000 miles to 30,000 miles, depending on the destination and what class you want to upgrade to. If you're planning a long-haul trip and you do a decent amount of spending on your credit card anyway, the Black cards in particular might provide a cheap way of enjoying a more comfortable flight.
Alternative travel credit cards
Many airlines now offer their own credit cards which offer you the chance to cut the cost of future travel.
For example, there's the British Airways American Express card. Spend £1,000 in your first three months with the card and you'll get a bonus 9,000 Avios (formerly known as Airmiles), so long as you take out the card before 30th September. Those 9,000 Avios will be enough for a return flight to all sorts of European destinations, such as Brussels, Berlin and Milan (though you'll have to pay £35 on top).
You earn one Avios for virtually every £1 you spend.
Spend £20,000 on the card over a year and you'll get a free companion voucher.
That's not the only card that helps you build up Avios though; there's also the Lloyds Bank Avios Rewards and TSB Avios cards.
With the Lloyds cards you earn 1.25 Avios for every £1 spent on the American Express and for every £5 spent on the MasterCard. You also get double Avios for the first six months on the American Express, as well as a flight upgrade voucher when you spend £7,000 in a year.
The TSB Avios pays one Avios for every £1 spent on the American Express and for every £5 spent on the MasterCard.
Both banks also have premier versions of the cards which offer more Avios, but come with annual fees.
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