Last Updated on 30 September 2021 by Dan
Hello everyone! Having recently changed my credit card I’ve been using Virgin Money’s new “Virgin Money Back” 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 Money Back 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 Money Back extra. 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.
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 Money Back?
Virgin Money Back 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 Money Back 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.
How do I sign up for Virgin Money Back?
It’s very easy to signup for Virgin Money Back.
If you’re signing up to Virgin Money’s Credit Card 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 Card but aren’t logged in then just click “more” in the navigation bar at the bottom of the app and then the “cashback” offer to sign up.
What retailers are included in Virgin Money Back?
The Virgin Money Back 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. When I first got the card only 7 offers appears, but now I have a very extensive range covering a lot of major brands.
These do tend to be non-essential items like clothes and items connected to holidays – sadly no supermarkets or everyday spend yet – but I got quite a bit back on spending I was doing anyhow when doing a clothes restock.
What cards can I use with Virgin Money Back?
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 Money Back.
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 Money Back
You can choose one of two options after the cash has been confirmed into your account, which takes place 35 days after purchase (unless of course you’ve claimed a refund).
The easiest route is to 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).
You also have the option of having your earned cashback paid directly into another UK Bank Account.
Offer stacking with Virgin Money Back and TopCashback/QuidCo
As I mentioned earlier what I particularly like about Virgin Money Back 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.
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 Money Back 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 Money Back
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 Money Back offers so much that it’s a very compelling reason to hold a Virgin Money Credit 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, 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 Money Back, you may potentially gain slightly more from using a different card that pays a general reward.
If you have any questions about using Virgin Money Back, 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.