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Until 18 December, Virgin Atlantic’s shopping portal, Shops Away, is offering double miles on purchases made at 12 very mainstream retailers. “Coincidentally”, the Avios eStore (and BA‘s Gate 365) is also offering double Avios at exactly the same retailers.
As you probably know, the Shops Away portal allows you to earn Virgin Flying Club miles on your online purchases. You simply click through to the retailer via the Shops Away portal, and then shop as normal.
The double miles retailers are Tesco Direct, John Lewis, House of Fraser, Selfridges, NET-A-PORTER, Apple, Currys, ASOS, lookfantastic.com, Argos, notonthehighstreet.com and Groupon.
Does this mean you should do all your shopping at these retailers via Shops Away or Avios eStore? If so, which one?
Possibly. The key to remember with “shopping portals” like this is that there are a plethora of options, including pure cash, in the form of cashback.
Obviously if you’re desperate for Virgin miles or Avios, then you should give some serious though to using Shops Away or the Avios eStore/Gate 365 and benefiting from the double miles. However, here’s a comparison of the 12 “double miles” shopping options against the cashback option.
|Shop||Virgin miles (Shops Away)||Avios (Avios eStore/Gate 365)||Cashback (TopCashback)
|Tesco Direct||2 miles/£1||4 Avios/£1||1.72%-5.75%|
|John Lewis||4 miles/£1||4 Avios/£1||N/A|
|House of Fraser||4 miles/£1||4 Avios/£1||5.5% (new customer)
1.1% (existing customer)
|Selfridges||14 miles/£1||12 Avios/£1||N/A|
|NET-A-PORTER||14 miles/£1||12 Avios/£1||N/A|
|Apple||4 miles/£1||8 Avios/£1||N/A|
|Currys||2 miles/£1||4 Avios/£1||1.1%-6.05%|
|ASOS||4 miles/£1||8 Avios/£1||11.5%|
|lookfantastic.com||12 miles/£1||14 Avios/£1||11.5%|
|Argos||4 miles/£1||4 Avios/£1||1.26%|
|notonthehighstreet.com||8 miles/£1||10 Avios/£1||5%|
|Groupon||8 miles/£1||10 Avios/£1||8%|
I’d value a Virgin mile or Avios at around 1 pence each, so as you can see, exactly where the best value is varies considerably.
However, even the “best value” may not be the best value for you. If you’re 100 Virgin Flying Club miles away from making a great value Virgin Flying Club redemption, then a £50 spend at Currys is almost certainly better done via Shops Away (2 miles per £1) than it is via Avios eStore (4 Avios per £1) of even TopCashback at 6.05% cashback. Don’t lose sight of your overall “end game”!
Don’t forget that if you haven’t already done so, you can get 1250 free Avios if you join TopCashback via this link.