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Virgin’s new cross-brand loyalty programme ‘Virgin Red’ is out of beta and is now accessible to everyone.
“In a boost for Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club, from today, members in the UK can sign up to Virgin Red, Virgin’s new rewards club. Through the Virgin Red app and website, which celebrates its members for living a life more Virgin, Flying Club members will unlock a wealth of new earning and spending options overnight, across a wide range of products and services from the Virgin family and beyond.
New and existing Flying Club members in the UK can now enrol in Virgin Red and seamlessly link their Flying Club account, creating a shared Virgin Points balance that they can use across either programme. At the heart of the bolstered earning and spending opportunities are Virgin Points – the universal Virgin currency that unlike many other loyalty currencies, have no expiry date.”
To welcome the new members, everyone enrolling in Virgin Red will receive 500 bonus points upon their first ‘earn’ completed via the app – as long as the points earned are credited before 31 July 2021. The terms state that qualifying activity is as follows:
“New members who join Virgin Red from 8 February 2021, will receive an additional 500 bonus points when they do their first earn with Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Limited Edition, Virgin Wines, Octopus Energy, Boots, M&S, John Lewis & Partners, Argos, B&Q, Adidas, Apple UK, ASOS, Currys PC World, TK Maxx, Virgin Balloon Flights, Ebay, Etsy, Lego UK, Virgin Mobile, Just Eat, Fortnum & Mason, AO.com, H&M, Selfridges & Co, Appleyard Flowers, Wayfair, Nike UK, Samsung UK, Very.co.uk, Wickes, Lookfantastic, Dunelm, Made.com & shopDisney.
Virgin Red is an interesting development in the UK loyalty sphere – particularly now that arch-rival British Airways Avios has widened its appeal too through a partnership with Nectar. Leveraging the wider Virgin brand makes a huge amount of sense.
The problem I have (so far – it is very early days) with the new programme, is that the vast majority of the new redemption options provide only 0.5p in value per Virgin Point. Virgin Flying Club members would usually aim to get 1p+ redeeming for flights, so that’s a significant reduction. Having more options is great, and as a floor value, 0.5p is ok, but I would hope to see more attractive (perhaps time-limited or promotional) exchange possibilities as Virgin Red develops.
Remember, you can now effectively trade BA Avios for 0.8p each via Nectar. In other words, the floor value of Avios is now at a 60% premium compared to Virgin Points…