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Earning miles can be fun as well as rewarding. Looking at your Virgin Atlantic Miles account and seeing that you have enough Virgin miles for a free flight or upgrade to Upper Class is an amazing feeling. In this article, I will explain all the ways I was able to earn Virgin miles for free flights and upgrades, help you find the new ways to earn miles in 2021, and all the tips and tricks to make your mile spending go so much further on flights, upgrades, and more!
Here is a list of the ways to earn Virgin Atlantic miles (points):
- Earn Virgin Miles when you fly with Virgin Atlantic;
- Earn miles when you shop for clothes, gadgets, and lots more;
- Filling up your car with petrol will earn you Virgin Miles;
- Gain miles when you learn something new;
- Earn miles as well as cashback on everyday items;
- Earn miles when you save on your car and other insurances;
- Earn Virgin miles on your Christmas shopping;
- Red or White – Earn Virgin Miles with Virgin Wine
- Get bonus Virgin Miles when you buy birthday gifts;
- Earn Virgin Miles for almost every penny you spend!
These are just some of the ways we will cover – but start today and the adventurous amongst you could earn enough miles for your free flight in around 3 months! I’ll cover with you these and more ways to earn enough miles for your free Virgin flight, and ways you can really take advantage of extra savings and really make the most of every mile you earn!
#1 Earn Miles When You Fly with Virgin Atlantic
OK I know, this is the most obvious of them all, but there are thousands of people taking to the skies each year who have not opened up a Virgin Club account and not earning any points! Earning Virgin miles when flying is actually one of the slowest ways to save enough miles for a free flight. This is one of the reasons why so many people only earn a few hundred or a couple of thousand miles. There are much faster ways of earning a lot more miles!
Next Step: So, the very first step, if you haven’t done so already, is to go to the Virgin website and open a Virgin Club account by clicking here – then come back here and continue reading the how-to methods
#2 Earn Virgin Miles When You Shop
Surprisingly Virgin does not over-publicize this, but Virgin has a Shops Away which is connected to so many high street brands and popular online stores. Make a purchase through the Virgin Shops Away with your chosen store, and you’ll earn Virgin miles. The beauty of this is that it will cost you as the buyer no more money than buying direct – except of course if you buy direct you won’t earn any Virgin miles.
At the time of writing (Spring 2021) a few of the stores available on the Virgin Shops Away portal include Boots, John Lewis, Just Eat, eBay, John Lewis, Apple Store, M&S, and hundreds more!
Tip: Check back weekly as Virgin run special flash deals and promotions with huge miles offers, which could see your Virgin miles balance soar as high in the sky as their planes!
I saw one recent flash sale offer which would have given you almost enough miles for a free flight with one magazine subscription, so keep checking the offers.
Next Steps: Check out the Virgin Shops Away portal here
#3 Filling Up Your Car with Petrol to Earn Virgin Miles
This is the one that very few people are doing. Petrol in the UK is eye-wateringly expensive. During a recent US-trip I hired a car and went to the gas station. In the US you pay in advance for the petrol you need, so I went it asking for $70 worth which at the time was £50. Not quite a full tank. I went back out to the car to fill up my tank and it was full at $32 – that is around £25! – I had to go back to the cashier and ask for some money. The UK Government hit us hard with fuel duty and there is little benefit for the motorist.
The only tiny bit of comfort I can give is to see this as a way of boosting your Virgin miles. If you fill up your petrol tank at Tesco and use your Tesco Clubcard, you can convert your Tesco Clubcard points into Virgin Miles. In fact, you can do this automatically.
Our recent calculations highlighted that if you have to top up once a week in petrol, you could be earning around 10,000 Virgin Miles. That’s more than half-way to a free flight!
Next Step: Make sure you have a Clubcard (and if not, you can join Clubcard here) and once you have an account you can set this to automatically convert your Tesco Clubcard points to Virgin Miles each month.
Every little helps!?
#4 Earn While You Lean – Earn Virgin Miles When You Learn a Language
During the lockdown, we have all been trying to find ways to keep busy. It’s like walking has become Britain’s favorite new pastime. Whilst we’ve all tried to embrace as much of the outdoors as possible, and keep Netflix to a minimum, many of us have found ways to keep occupied by picking up a new skill.
Learning a new language can be fun and with the Rosetta Stone language course not only could you be on your way to exploring a new culture and learning the lingo but you’ll also earn 8 Virgin Miles for every £1 spent at Rosetta Stone through the Virgin Shops Away portal.
Next Step: Visit the Virgin Shops Away portal and search for Rosetta Stone
#5 Swap Cashback for Virgin Miles and Boost Your Miles Account
OK, this is like finding a double cherry on a cherry bakewell! Here you can take advantage of two rewards on just one purchase. Double bubble time.
There are various cashback sites out there now, but TopCashback has not only been around a long time now and has a great range of brands and services to earn cashback from – but you can take your cashback and convert them to Virgin Miles, and for doing so you’ll get an uplift of bonus miles too!
Next Step: Join TopCashback (if you haven’t done so already) and make sure when it comes to collecting your payout you choose to be paid in Virgin Miles
#6 Save £££ on Your Car Insurance (or other insurances) and Earn Virgin Miles
If like me, you scour the net each time your insurance policies need renewing in search of the best deals – you’ll understand just how much you can save by searching around. Sometimes up to £200-£300 a year or more, especially if your policy is about to auto-renew! As well as getting a great deal on your insurance you could also be getting some very nice Virgin Miles if you shop for your insurance through the Virgin Shops Away.
If you can’t find a great deal there, then check out Top Cashback. They have great insurance cashback offers, and equally, you can choose to convert your cash back into Virgin Miles instead of cash. It’s always worth getting a few quotes to make sure you’re getting the best deal, but with some insurance policies offering up to xxx Virgin Miles, you may want to factor this into any savings comparison.
Tip: If you swap insurances a lot, struggle to remember who you’re currently insured with or when your policies are up for renewal, you’ll find our new app invaluable. It helps you keep all your insurance details in one easy place!
Check out our Wimi – Where Is My Insurance app (developed by the creators of The Points Guru!).
Next Step: After checking out our app, be sure to use the Virgin Shops Away portal when your insurance is up for renewal.
#7 Earn Virgin Miles with when Christmas Shopping
Christmas is one of our biggest yearly spends. Gifts, decorations, drink, and usually more food than you can eat in three months all add up. We’ve already seen that you can earn Virgin Miles when shopping for yourself, but here’s a great way to get a little back in return.
Christmas spending is a great way to boost your Virgin Miles. Here are just some of the ways:
- Gift shopping – through the Virgin Shops Away;
- Food and Drink Shopping – purchase your Christmas shopping at Tesco, make sure you use your Tesco Clubcard, and set your Clubcard points to automatically convert to Virgin Miles;
- Petrol – driving around to see family and friends can mean the odd fill-up or two. Use Tesco petrol stations, again use your Tesco Clubcard, and exchange them for Virgin Miles;
Next Step: Visit the Virgin Atlantic Spend portal, log in and look for the Shops Away link to see all the retailers you can earn through.
#8 Extra Virgin Miles for Wine Connoisseurs
If unique hand-crafted wine from around the world is your thing, you could find your Virgin Miles account boosting with Virgin Wine orders
Place an order and you’ll receive 350 Virgin Miles – nice!
At the time of writing, they are offering a pretty amazing deal which includes a 3,000 Virgin Miles welcome bonus as well as a £50 Virgin Wines voucher off your first purchase! A 12-bottle case of mixed red and white wines usually costing £131.88 could be purchased for £69.88 (less than £6.00 per bottle) AND you’d receive 3,000 bonus Virgin Miles. This is a pretty good offer and one that may not be around for too long.
Next Step: Visit the Virgin Atlantic Spend portal, log in and look for the Virgin Wine offer and links
#9 The Gift that Keeps on Giving
This is a similar offering to earn Virgin miles when doing your Christmas shopping, but as well as Christmas it’s surprising how many birthday, anniversary, and special occasion gifts we buy every year! Each £1 we spend on gifts is an opportunity to earn Virgin Miles for our account and reach a free flight, or fabulous upgrade sooner. Again, the Virgin Shops Away is your friend here. Bookmark it in your browser and see if you can combine a gift purchase and some miles for yourself!
Next Step: Check out the Virgin Shops Away portal for gift ideas, inspiration, and mile-earning opportunities
#10 Double Up Everything with a Virgin Atlantic Credit Card
This method is where things really get exciting! The Virgin Atlantic Credit Card, offered through Virgin Money, is the official credit card of the Virgin Atlantic brand and offers you the opportunity not only to earn a welcome bonus of up to 15,000 miles (which is enough for a return flight to New York alone, minus the taxes) but for every £1 you spend on your credit card on almost anything you’ll earn up to 1.5 miles.
Yes, that’s pretty much anything you spend, anywhere! Very smart and savvy Virgin Mile savers often will purchase everything on their Virgin Credit Card each month – but just as Martin Lewis advises, make sure you pay your credit card bill off in full every month to avoid interest and charges.
Taking this one step further and being really crafty, we can take an expense – such as say renewing your car insurance through the Virgin Shops Away – and pay using the credit card. Not only will you earn the Virgin Miles through the Virgin Shops Away, or the Top Cashback website, but you’ll also earn the extra miles through the Virgin Credit Card too!
If you do go for this option (which is one of the best ways to boost your Virgin Miles) make sure this is the best option for you. Getting into debt for miles or points is never a good idea.
Virgin Atlantic have two credit cards available:
Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit Card
- Earn 0.75 Virgin Miles (Points) for every £1 spent
- Spend £20,000 in one year to unlock benefits such as free companion flights
- No annual fee
- No bonus signup points though
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Credit Card
- Earn 1.5 Virgin Miles (Points) for every £1 spent
- Spend £10,000 in one year to unlock benefits such as free companion flights
- Earn 15,000 Virgin Miles (Points) if you make any card purchase within 90 days (so even if you spend £1 – take advantage of this!);
- £160 annual fee
One major benefit of having a Virgin Credit Card is the chance to pick up a free companion flight voucher. What this means is if you book a flight using your Virgin Miles, you can get a free flight for a friend, partner, spouse, etc… It has to be on the same flight, so you will have to travel together, and you both will have to pay the taxes and fees but if you have enough miles this can save a lot of money.
In order to achieve this bonus, you will either need to spend £20,000 a year on the Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit Card or £10,000 a year on the Virgin Atlantic Reward Plus Credit Card (which does though come with a £160 annual fee). A fantastic opportunity for two people to fly for the price of one each year if you can meet the minimum requirements.
Next Step: Check out the Virgin Credit Cards on offer and click here for the current sign-up bonus offers available!
How Many Virgin Miles Can I Earn in a Year?
We have run many calculations on this, and we believe it’s possible for an average UK person to be able to earn up to around 60,000 Virgin Miles in a single year spending no more than they currently do. This 60,000 Virgin Miles number is based on taking advantage of the Virgin Atlantic Reward Plus Credit Card welcome bonus which isn’t of course available in year two, but after year one it should still be possible to boost your miles account by a further 30,000-40,000 every year.
It takes time and patience, as well as looking out for great offers and deals. You also want to sign up for the Virgin Atlantic newsletter which will tell you of Virgin Miles spending offers. These offers often reduce the number of miles needed for certain flight purchases or upgrades – and help you get to your goal quicker.
An Upper Class flight to New York is from 95,000 Virgin Miles. Using these methods, you could earn this number of miles in less than 24 months! If you’ve ever dreamed of flying in Business Class, and experience the Virgin Lounges, this could be the best opportunity.
Bonus Virgin Miles Boosting Tips
The above list should have given you some great ideas and get you started, but there are even more ways to earn Virgin Miles.
Here are a few more options you can consider (offers come and go, so be quick as they may not hang around for much longer):
- Virgin Hotels – Earn 1,000 Virgin Miles for every qualifying booking and stay
- Virgin Experience Day Vouchers – Earn 9 Virgin Miles for every £1 spent
- Switch to the Virgin Money Current Account – Earn 15,000 Virgin Miles
- Switch to Octopus Energy – Earn up to 7,400 Virgin Miles
- Buy on eBay – Earn 1 Virgin Mile for every £1 spent
How Much do Flights Cost with Virgin Miles
Flights can start from around 18,000-20,000 miles return. The longer flights and less popular routes are likely to cost more Virgin Miles.
As of today, here are the lowest number of Virgin Miles for these popular routes:
- 15,000 Virgin Miles to fly to New York
- 18,000 Virgin Miles to fly to Tel Aviv;
- 20,000 Virgin Miles to fly to Barbados
- 25,000 Virgin Miles to fly to Hong Kong
- 30,000 Virgin Miles to fly to Las Vegas
You will have noticed that earning enough Virgin Miles for a free flight can be pretty easy. Just a couple of the methods in this article will get you there. It’s really important to note that a ‘free flight’ is not 100% free. You will still have to pay the taxes for the flight. This can be as much as 80% of the cost of a standard flight.
Free Flight Using Virgin Miles in Standard Economy
For example, a Standard Economy return flight to New York costs from £319, but around £265 of this is airport taxes which are still payable which is a whopping 83% of the price you pay. This means your 20,000 miles has only saved you around £54 – or that each mile is worth £0.0027 each. By far the lowest value of them all.
Flying Standard Economy is never a good way to use your Virgin Miles because of how much the fare is made up of payable taxes. Virgin Miles are best spent on either Premium Economy or Upper Class flights, or for flight upgrades.
Free Flight Using Virgin Miles in Premium Economy
For example, a Premium Economy return flight to New York is from 35,000 Virgin Miles and £483 taxes (at time of writing). The cash price for this same flight is £776.72 – so in this case the taxes are making up 62% of the price. This means your 35,000 miles has saved you £293.72 – or that each mile is worth £0.008 per mile (almost 4 times as much than when booking a Standard Economy flight).
Free Flight Using Virgin Miles in Upper Class
One final example, in case Upper Class (Virgin’s equivalent of Upper Class) has been your dream and you want to save up – an Upper Class return flight to New York is from 95,000 Virgin Airmiles and £673 taxes (at time of writing). The cash price for this same flight is £1,584.72 – so the taxes are making up 42% of the price.
This now means your 95,000 miles has saved you £911.72 – or that each mile is now worth £0.009 a mile. This is achievable within 24 months. Use your Virgin Credit Card, spend the minimum requirements and meet the terms, then you could earn a free companion voucher – meaning two people could fly return to New York in Upper Class for less than £1,350 – which ordinarily would cost over £3,100!
How to Earn Virgin Miles – In Summary
You’ve reached the end! This is the type of dedication needed for you to achieve a huge Virgin Miles balance and take to the skies in style. This isn’t a one-time opportunity, you can repeat these methods every year and earn, earn and earn. If you’ve ever wondered how people travel Business Class on Virgin Miles – this is one of the most common ways. There are hundreds of Virgin Mile boosting opportunities at any one time. Keep checking, sign up to newsletters and watch out for the offers!