Virgin Money Credit Cards
Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin brand has always aimed to shake things up, and his venture into the financial services was no different. The current iteration of Virgin Money was born from the ashes of the financial crisis, when the group bought the struggling Northern Rock in 2012. Since then it has also taken over CYBG, which includes Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks. From the get-go, its message was that it will try to do things differently to the more traditional high street banks.
This innovative approach can be seen front-and-center in the Virgin Money lounges open to all customers across the country. However, when it comes to its credit card offers it is more traditional than you may expect. Here you will find long interest-free deals, travel benefits and group perks. One thing that it does do differently though, is try to tailor the card to your individual needs, with its site requiring you to do an eligibility check that won’t affect your credit score before you can even view what cards it has on offer.
What does Virgin Money do well?
Virgin Money is quite comfortable at the top of the best buys. If you are looking for long balance transfer and money transfer deals, the likelihood is that you will see a Virgin card in the mix. And this is where its strength lies. It offers some of the longest interest-free periods around for balance transfers — and the less popular money transfers.
Within its balance transfer and money transfer portfolios you will find different combinations in terms of the length of introductory offers and fees. The longest offers will have higher fees, while the slightly shorter interest-free periods will have a lower transfer fee attached. There are also different APRs available depending on your individual circumstances.
Virgin is also very good for allrounder cards. These are cards where you can benefit from 0% on balance transfers, money transfers and purchases. All the interest-free terms are kept at a similar length, making it something which could cover a lot of financial needs in one card.
And of course you can’t think about the Virgin brand without thinking about travel. And this feeds through to its credit card portfolio. The provider has a specific travel card which features no fees for overseas spending, and it also has specific Virgin Atlantic credit cards which use its flying club miles reward scheme. This scheme allows users to earn flying club miles through spending on their card, and then convert these points to pay for flights around the world. The Virgin Atlantic cards also offer generous welcome awards dependent on a qualifying spend in the first few months of card ownership.
It is being part of a larger enterprise that makes Virgin stand out from the crowd. Virgin Money cardholders stand to benefit from Virgin Group discounts, as well as take advantage of the Virgin Red and Virgin Money Back programmes. The Virgin Red app sends offers direct to your phone which include the chance to enjoy Virgin experiences, plus save money on things such as travel, food, beauty and health. The Virgin Money Back scheme enables users to earn cashback when they use their credit card online at over 500 well-known brands.
Where does Virgin Money fall down?
If you have a less than squeaky clean credit score then Virgin Money is not somewhere you want to look for your next card. It asks that all applicants have a good or excellent credit, plus it has some minimum household income requirements.
Other things to watch out for with Virgin Money cards are its promotional periods. While its balance transfer and money transfer fees are around the market average for its 60 day transfer window, they take quite a jump once you are out of the promotional period. So if you are getting a card for the purpose of making a transfer, make sure you do it within the specified time frame.
Additionally, while it can be said that Virgin Money cards offer a cashback in the form of its Virgin Money Back scheme — this is rather limited. You are not automatically registered for the programme, and cashback can only be earned on the offers found on the Virgin Money Back website. Similarly, its travel card sells itself on travel discounts, but in reality this is a small percentage savings on Virgin Holidays.
What will you find in Virgin Money’s card portfolio?
What you are likely to find with a Virgin Money credit card is a choice of competitive deals for balance transfers and money transfers. Its interest-free introductory balance transfer offers are among some of the longest on the market, and while its fees are not the lowest, it does have options so that you can pick the right one for your financial needs. Meanwhile, money transfer cards are hard to come by, let alone money transfer cards which have a long interest-free period. So to find cards which offer this alongside a generous balance transfer offer is a rarity.
If you are after a specific travel card, then Virgin Money also has you covered. Its travel card has no fees on foreign transactions, as well as a decent interest-free offer on the trio of purchases, balance transfers and money transfers. Finally, if you are after specific travel rewards, then its Virgin Atlantic card offerings could tick that box, allowing you to earn flying club points to contribute towards your next trip abroad.
How to apply for Virgin Money cards
You can apply through the Virgin Money website. You will need to complete an eligibility check first, which is a soft search that will not affect your credit rating.
To be eligible you need to have an income of at least £7,000 a year or a household income of at least £15,000 a year. Virgin Money also requires applicants to have a good credit history, be aged 18 or over and be a UK resident with a UK bank or building society account.
As part of your application you will need to provide details of your bank or building society account.
After that, you should receive an instant decision on your application. If Virgin Money needs any further information, it will be in touch in five working days.