Last Updated on 22 July 2022 by Dan
Hello everyone! Having recently changed my credit card I’ve been using Virgin Money’s new “Virgin Cashback” programme as part of my card usage. This has been significantly more beneficial than I expected it to be and I thought I’d share my thoughts in a review of the Virgin Cashback scheme.
One of the reasons I particularly want to highlight this is that there’s a bit of a cash hack here – it provides an opportunity to stack offers, as you can double up ordinary shop online cashback with the Virgin Cashback extra and other cashback websites. I’ve got some more information on this below.
Just a note that we love getting cashback and it’s one of our favourite easy money tips but it should always be a nice bonus – don’t buy things you don’t need just because of some cashback! And when it comes to credit cards we always advocate paying them back in full or if you can’t, making your interest costs as cheap as possible and actively taking steps to reduce your credit card debt.
Virgin Money Back or Virgin Cashback?
One quite note before we begin is that Virgin’s Cashback scheme used to be called “Virgin Money Back” for customers with a Virgin Credit Card. In Summer 2022, Virgin Money renamed this to Virgin Cashback in line with their offering for other customers and improved the look of the scheme. They also made a number of improvements to the scheme which we’ve reflected in our review.
Our old version of this review used the Virgin Money Back wording and phrasing.
As ever – our normal note that we take great care with what we write on this site but it is not official “financial advice” and you need to consider if any financial product is right for your circumstances. We always advocate doing your own research. If you’re in doubt about anything, it’s worth consulting a regulated and reputable financial advisor who can provide tailored advice built for you.
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What is Virgin Cashback?
Virgin Cashback is a scheme that gives you extra cashback on your spending – for those unfamiliar with cashback it’s normally where through buying a specific link provided by a cashback site (like TopCashBack or Quidco) you’ll get the money that would normally go into advertising or referral costs. However, Virgin’s scheme is actually better than that.
With other cashback schemes you have to remember to search for the retailer and click into the offer before buying to allow it to track your purchase – however with Virgin Cashback because it works through your bank account, the cashback will apply automatically if an offer exists so long as you’re opted into the scheme as a whole – I.E no need to opt-in to a specific offer. This is brilliant because it means you can end up saving money without realising it.
Here’s a page showing how offers look when going into the cashback / Virgin Cashback Feature of the Virgin Atlantic Credit Card or the Virgin Money Mobile Banking app:
How do I sign up for Virgin Cashback?
It’s very easy to signup for Virgin Cashback, and you can do so with a Virgin Money Credit or Debit card.
If you’re signing up to Virgin Money’s Credit Card or the Virgin Money Mobile Banking app as a new customer, you’ll be asked to opt in as part of the set-up process when you activate your card.
If you already have a Virgin Money Credit or Debit Card but aren’t logged in then just click “more” in the navigation bar at the bottom of the app and then the “cashback” button to sign up. There’s an example of how this looks in the Virgin Money Credit Card App below.
What retailers are included in Virgin Cashback?
The Virgin Cashback program apparently should make you offers based on your spending profile. In practice, it’s not clear to me the exist this is reality or not, however I’ve found I do have a very good mix of retailers.
These do tend to be non-essential items like clothes and items connected to holidays – sadly not too much in everyday spend, but I got quite a bit back on spending I was doing anyhow when doing a clothes restock.
There’s also been a big benefit appearing at time of writing on 10% cashback on purchases of over £30 at Morrisons, which is a great return rate on a supermarket spend.
What cards can I use with Virgin Cashback?
You have two main options to make use for Virgin Cashback:
- You can use a Virgin Money Debit Card connected to one of the following Virgin Money current accounts:
- M Plus Account
- Club M Account
- M Account
- Current Account Control
- Current Account Tracker
- Private Current Account
It’s important to check your eligibility before applying to any credit card which you can do for free on Virgin Money’s website and won’t affect your credit score. (Whereas this can happen if you formally apply for a credit card and are rejected).
If you’re eligible, one of the Virgin Atlantic Rewards Credit Cards could be worth considering as you can earn Virgin Points (formerly Virgin Flying Club Miles) as well as the Cashback through Virgin Cashback.
There’s a paid card and a free Virgin Atlantic Rewards Credit card – if the paid card is worth it depends on how much you spend and how much you might fly with Virgin Atlantic – we’ve got more detail on both cards which are featured in our guide to the best rewards credit cards here.
How is my cashback paid out with Virgin Cashback?
You now have three options for claiming Virgin Cashback once the cashback has been confirmed, which takes place 35 days after purchase (unless of course you’ve claimed a refund).
Use Virgin Cashback to reduce your credit card balance
You can have any cashback you’ve earned taken off your end of month card statement to reduce the balance you need to settle (just note it won’t count towards your minimum payment).
Use Virgin Cashback to withdraw the balance as cash
You also have the option of having your earned cashback paid directly into either your Virgin Money current account or another UK Bank Account.
Use Virgin Cashback to cash out as Gift Cards
You can now redeem your Virgin cashback as a gift card. The advantage of going down this route is that you’ll receive an enhanced payout rate where you’re get an extra bonus on top of the cashback you put towards it.
The number of retailers is presently fairly limited, however given at time of writing this is a new offering I suspect Virgin Money will look to expand it further.
An example of the gift card cash out screen and some of the present offers can be found below:
Offer stacking with Virgin Cashback and TopCashback/QuidCo
As I mentioned earlier what I particularly like about Virgin Cashback is the ability to combine it with TopCashback or QuidCo. If you’re unfamiliar with how these cashback sites work I have a post here which focuses on TopCashback and one here which focuses on QuidCo.
Perhaps the easiest way to illustrate this is through a recent example.
- I was hiring a car through Europcar for an upcoming holiday, which came out at £200.
2. I went through TopCashBack who were paying a rate of 12.2% on all purchases made through EuropCar. On my £200 spend this meant I got £24.45 back as cashback.
3. I paid for my car hire with my Virgin Atlantic Rewards+ Credit Card. Virgin Cashback had an offer with Europcar where for a spend in excess of £170, I would get 6% cashback – so an additional £12 cashback on that £200 spend.
4. As the Virgin Atlantic Rewards+ Credit Card also pays out Virgin Points on spending to the tune of 1.5 Virgin Points per pound, I also walk away with 300 Virgin Points.
Total extra benefit on a purchase I would make anyhow = £36.45 and 300 Virgin Points.
Overall review of Virgin Cashback
A cashback scheme of course shouldn’t be the first reason you choose a credit card, and you need to make sure that it’s right for you – but we think if all else is equal Virgin Cashback offers so much that it’s a very compelling reason to hold a Virgin Money Credit Card or Virgin Money Debit Card.
The beauty is in the simplicity of the scheme – even without doing anything and spending as normal you can find you earn significant amounts of money back. Start adding on the cashback offer stacking we’re doing above and it really makes a significant difference.
We love it – if you already have a Virgin Money credit card or debit card, opting in is an absolute no brainer.
My only note against is that where using a retailer which does not have an offer on through Virgin Cashback, you may potentially gain slightly more from using a different card that pays a general reward.
If you have any questions about using Virgin Cashback, or have had any particularly large savings from it we’d absolutely love to hear from you! Just drop us a note in the comments section below.