26,000 Air Miles and a Free Upgrade in 1 Year

Over the past year I have managed to accumulate over 26,000 air miles on my Virgin flying club account as well a free upgrade from economy to premium economy on any flight.

26,000 Air Miles and a Free Upgrade in 1 Year

How did I do it?

How have I managed to rack up so many miles and score a free upgrade. To start I applied for a Virgin Atlantic White credit card, at the time this came with a sign up bonus of only 3,000 miles, with another 3,000 miles bonus when you spent £2,000 within 3 months (The bonuses now are so much better).

I used the card for everyday purchases such as fuel and food shopping, as well as the more extravagant costs such as my short break to Rome. By paying the balance off in full each month, I spent nothing more than I would have usually but I also came out with around 12,000 air miles.

As I had spent over £10,000 on the cards within a year I also qualified for a free upgrade from economy to premium economy on any flight.

To get my miles up to 26,000 I took advantage of the various promotions offered by Virgin throughout the year. So it’s a good idea to check your emails from them now and again.

One time they offered 3,000 bonus miles if you signed up for the Virgin Wine Club and ordered a case of wine. Now I hate wine but my girlfriend Sarah loves it so ordering a case of 12 for £70 and gaining 3,000 miles seemed like a great deal. After I received the case and the miles, I cancelled my account with the wine club with no hassle.

Another time they offered 5,000 miles if you invested £1,000 with their Virgin FTSE ISA. Again this seemed like a great deal, you should be investing as much as you can within an ISA each year and with the benefit of 5,000 miles I couldn’t say no.

3000 + 3000 + 12000 + 3000 + 5000 = 26000 Air Miles and a Free Upgrade

If you’re not already using a credit card to build up air miles then the good news is that with some of the current offers available by Virgin Atlantic there is no better time to start.

Virgin Atlantic have two different types of cards available, the White version and the Black version. To accumulate the miles above I used the white version but I have now just upgraded to the Black version, I will explain why below but first lets take a look at the cards.

The White Cards

26,000 Air Miles and a Free Upgrade in 1 Year - 1

As for bonus miles you receive:

  • 3,000 bonus miles on your first card purchase with either card.
  • A further 7,000 bonus miles when you spend a total of £1,000 within 90 days of your account opening and apply by 31 March 2014.

26,000 Air Miles and a Free Upgrade in 1 Year - 2

There is no annual fee and 0% on balance transfers for up to 6 months from the date your account is opened, although there is a 2% handling fee.

The Black Cards

26,000 Air Miles and a Free Upgrade in 1 Year - 3

As for bonus miles you receive:

  • 18,500 bonus miles on your first card purchase with either card.
  • A further 6,500 bonus miles when you spend a total of £2,000 within 90 days of your account opening and apply by 31 March 2014.

26,000 Air Miles and a Free Upgrade in 1 Year - 4

There is an annual fee to pay of £140 and 0% on balance transfers for up to 6 months from the date your account is opened, the same 2% handling fee applies.

Which Card Should you Get?

Well that really depends on your individual circumstances. If you don’t want to pay the £140 annual fee and do not think that you will spend the required £2,000 within 90 days to get the further bonus miles than perhaps you shouldn’t get the black cards. However you do get a huge 18,500 miles just for signing up.

The reason I have just upgraded to the Black cards is because, as I already hold the white cards, I am not eligible for their new bonuses. However after calling Virgin directly I have been told that applying for the black cards means I would technically be a new customer on those cards and therefore eligible for their bonus miles.

So by applying for the black cards and spending £2,000 within 90 days I am set double my miles to over 50,000. If I also go on to spend £5,000 during the year I will also receive a second free upgrade.

If you haven’t checked out the Virgin Atlantic credit cards before, now is a great time to sign up and receive a bucket load of free miles.

If you’re like me and already own either the white or black cards try applying for the other set to receive a nice little boost to your total miles.

If you are thinking about applying for either the White or Black Virgin Credit cards then send me an email first at traveloninspiration@gmail.com because by being referred by a friend we can each get an additional 3,000 bonus miles for nothing.

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