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Here at InsideFlyer UK it’s safe to say we’re fans of Tesco and their Clubcard scheme. It’s an easy way to earn Avios or Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles through everyday spend, with a generous 2.5miles/£1 spent – and they often offer bonuses on transfers. This is in addition to any points you earn via any rewards credit card you use for your purchase.
This weekend however I’ve uncovered a potentially more lucrative offer from upmarket rival Waitrose – offering 4 Flying Club Miles / £1 spent in store (excluding fuel and motorway services spend).
As Tom covered at Christmas, the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club has a shopping portal – Shops Away. This functions exactly like the BA Shopping portal, and other cashback sites like TopCashback or Quidco.
Normally – these portals require you to click through to the retailer and make your purchase online.
This weekend whilst browsing – I noticed a new section on Shops Away – In Store. This works a bit differently. You’ll need to register your credit card details (you can link up to 10 cards), and then purchases you make in physical stores will be tracked. The site advises you leave 24hours between registering and making a purchase to be sure the purchases track.
Currently there are only a limited number of retailers included – with only Waitrose really standing out to me.
Currently there is no end date or validity period posted, and the only exclusions are purchases made at motorway service stations and petrol filling stations.
But you said 6 Miles / £1
The 4 miles / £1 is before any rewards earned on your credit card. If you pay with the MBNA Virgin Atlantic Black Amex you earn 2 miles / £1. Naturally, you can use other rewards credit cards to suit your personal earning strategy.
If you already shop at Waitrose (or the other stores listed), this is a great opportunity to earn some bonus Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles. Even if you don’t generally collect Flying Club Miles – remember they can also be converted into IHG or Hilton hotel points (and with IHG it even counts towards your elite status qualification!).
If you don’t already shop there – you will need to judge whether the potential higher costs of shopping at Waitrose are worth the Miles. I do believe that if you’re careful and don’t get tempted by their “organic, hand crafted, limited edition, gold leaf sausage rolls” (ok – maybe I made that up 😉 ?) or other pricey items, it can be competitive with Tesco.
The trade off is you are authorising a third party to have access to your credit card transaction details. As this is a scheme in partnership with a reputable company like Virgin Atlantic, I trust there will be sufficient security measures in place. All loyalty schemes require you to give over some level of personal information – hence why companies reward you with Points or the equivalent. You will need to decide if you are personally comfortable with this and review the terms and conditions.