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Virgin Atlantic’s bumper credit card sign up bonus ends today, should you sign up now?

One of the advantages of the Virgin Atlantic accounts is that they come with a Mastercard, which are more widely accepted than its biggest rival, the British Airways American Express cards.

As well as Virgin Atlantic flights you can use points on Eurostar, Delta and Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand, Jet Airways, Air China, ANA, Scandinavian Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines.

For BA Executive Club, points can be used on Iberia, American Airlines and OneWorld partner airlines including Finnair and Qantas. 

The best card for you therefore really depends on where you want to fly, and the airlines that operate near you.   

The American Express British Airways Premium Plus comes with a £195 annual fee and a far larger 76 APR per cent interest – that gets you 25,000 bonus Avios if you spend £3,000 in three months, a free companion voucher after a £10,000 annual spend and 1.5 Avios per £1 spent.

In the first year, a £1,000 monthly spend on the card earns 40,000 points – enough to get you a return from London to Bermuda with a companion ticket.

The American Express British Airways credit card has no annual fee and interest at 22.9 APR per cent. 

You get 5,000 Avios when you spend £1,000 in the first three months, 1 Avios per £1 spent and the free companion voucher after £20,000 annual card spend.

In the first year a £1,000 monthly spend on the card earns you 17,000 Avios. That could get you to Portugal or Spain and back, but you wouldn’t have spent enough to earn the companion voucher.

If you don’t want to tie yourself to one scheme, try the American Express Membership Rewards scheme.

It offers points that can be swapped like-for-like with several airlines including Virgin, BA, Etihad and Emirates. 

There are two options, the premium Preferred Rewards Gold with a £140 annual fee ( waived for the first year) and 22.9 per cent interest on spending. 

You earn 20,000 membership rewards if you spend £2,000 within three months, 10,000 extra points after a £15,000 spend, one point for each £1 of spending. 

The fee-free alternative, Rewards Card, offers 10,000 membership rewards if you spend £1,000 within three months, plus one point per £1 spent. It comes with an APR of 22.9 per cent.