Virgin Money bank switching offer: 10% interest

This is the first deal from the bank in 19 months

While most bank switching offers provide cash, Virgin Money usually takes a different approach. Since launching in late 2019, the offers have included free wine, charity donations, Virgin Experience vouchers, cashback and Virgin Red points.

This one takes yet another approach, a massive interest rate on savings that could be worth £110. Here’s what you need to know.

*Update 22/5/24: from 1 August 2024 the underlying rate will drop from 2% to 1%, plus the £35 via Snoop has been paused. Both have been reflected in the article below*

What you’ll get for switching

The switch offer from 1 May until 31 May 2024 offers the following:

  • 10% gross / 10.47% AER interest on balances of up to £1,000 for 12 months

This is on top of an ongoing rate of 1% gross / 1.01% AER on the same amount of cash with two of the accounts (M Plus and Club M), which means it’s effectively a combined 11% return.

However if you have the full £1,000 saved the interest paid won’t compound at this rate, so you’re actually looking at 11% gross and a total interest of £110.

Other ongoing extras provided with the Virgin Money M current accounts include:

  • Access to a 5.05% paying one year fixed ISA
  • Fee free spending abroad

How to qualify for the offer

To qualify for the Virgin Money switching incentive you need to :

  • Not have an existing Virgin Money M, M Plus or Club M account or closed one since 30 April 2024
  • Live in the UK
  • Be aged 16 or above (18 to open online)

This means if you’ve previously had a switching deal from Virgin Money but have since closed your account you’ll be able to take advantage of this one too.

You can only get the offer once, so you won’t be able to double up with a joint account, though there’s nothing stopping you both opening up individual accounts

How to get the offer

By 31 May 2024 you need to open one of the following accounts:

  • Virgin Money M
  • Virgin Money M Plus
  • Virgin Money Club M

Then by 26 June 2024 you need to:

I’ve written more about how to switch bank accounts here.

How to earn the 10% bonus interest

This bonus rate of interest will apply from 1 July 2024 to 30 June 2025, so there’s at least one month if not two where you’ll only be earning the underlying 1%.

That means it’s better to keep your cash in a better paying account until then, and only move your money on 1 July.

Bear in mind that if you have the full £1,000 saved, you won’t be earning the same rate on the interest once it’s paid, so you’ll want to move that money to a different account each month to get the best return.

Just a note, if you’re offered the M current account you won’t get the 1% rate as well, just the 10% bonus.

When you get the money

Both the 1% interest and the bonus 10% interest will be paid on the last working day of each month into your current account.

You’ll need to keep your current account open in order to get the interest.

How to get an extra £35 on top

Sign up via Snoop for up to £35 in Amazon vouchers

There’s an extra offer running on Snoop which will earn you a £30 Amazon voucher if you sign up and switch via the budgeting app Snoop. And if you’re new to Snoop you can also get a £5 welcome Amazon voucher when you connect another current account.

*Update 23/5/24 – This offer has been paused. We’ll update it if it returns. You can still get the £5 for joining Snoop*

All the details of the welcome offer here, while you’ll see info on the offer within the app.

Switch offer summary

Up to £110 in interest

Switching bonus10% gross bonus interest (10.47% AER)
Only on balances of up to £1,000
One for 12 months from 1 July 2024 to 30 June 2025
Standard interest1% gross on up to £1,000
Bonus paidOn the last working day of each month, starting July 2024
Open to existing customersNo
RequirementsOpen a new Virgin M, M Plus or Club M current account by 31 May
Switch using the Current Account Switch Service and close your old account by 26 June 2024
Transfer two direct debits as part of the switch
ExclusionsNot had a Virgin Money M, M Plus or Club M current account since 30 April 2024
Offer ends30 May 2024

How it compares to other switching incentives

Offering interest is different from the switching incentives we see from other banks. Most banks go with hard cash, usually between £150 and £200. You can see the latest ones here,

Should you switch to Virgin Money?

Andy’s Analysis

If you have £1,000 and aren’t likely to touch it for a full year then it’s a free £120. Of course, if you put that money in a top one year fix paying 5.15% AER, you’d earn £51.50. So really the profit with this account is £68.50. That’s well down on the usual switching deals.

Combining with going via Snoop for another £35 in Amazon vouchers will get you just over £100. That’s better than nothing, though of course a more lucrative switching deal could come later this year from Virgin or elsewhere.

Personally I’d wait to see if a better deal does come later.

Which Virgin current account should you choose?

There are three accounts you can go for here. The M is only for those who can’t get the other two (it’s a ‘basic’ account), while the Club M has travel insurance added for a monthly £12.50 fee.

Though the Club M is worth a look if you want the included insurance policies (it’s one of the cheapest packaged accounts out there), most people will be best off going for the M Plus.

When it launched, the M Plus account was one of the highest paying places to put your savings, but in the last few years it’s been blown out of the water by alternatives. You do however get access to the top paying 1 year fixed ISA, and a decent enough easy access ISA.

Though you can use it free free overseas, it’s not the best option for holiday spending. And the cashback offers are fine but not a reason to get the account. The app is fine, though again not one of my top picks. So overall I personally wouldn’t make it my main current account. Here’s my full review.

Virgin Money M Plus

BenefitsFee-free spending overseas
Discounts with other Virgin brands
Interest2.02% AER (variable) on the first £1,000 saved
2.5% AER (variable) in linked M Plus Saver easy access account (up to £25,000)
FeeNone
RequirementsNone
Multiple accounts?Only one solo account and one joint account

What customers think

Over at our sister site Smart Money People, customers leaving reviews rate Virgin Money’s M Plus account as a 4 out of 5. You can read the reviews or leave your own here.

Smart Money People advert

Previous offers

  • 20,000 Virgin Red points (13 April to 17 August 2022)
  • 5% interest on savings
  • Virgin Experience voucher
  • 12 bottles of Virgin wine

Virgin tends to change switching offers three or four times a year. A regular offer was free wine, so I’m including this for reference in case it comes back.

Free wine

The first offer which gave 15 bottles of wine worth £180 ended on the 14th February 2021 and was replaced with fewer bottles but an additional £50 charity donation. The section has been updated to reflect the latter offer, which ended in June 2021.

Virgin Money claims the 12 free bottles are worth £150. That’s an average of £12.50 per bottle. You have a choice of a red and white selection, or if you don’t drink or a non-alcoholic bundle on 15 bottles worth £75.

Here’s what you’ll get with the red and white selection:

  • Silenus Limited Release Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon – Red – x1
  • Les Arbousiers Reserve Sauvignon Blanc – White – x1
  • Bendico Terre Siciliane Vermentino – White – x1
  • Finca Manzanos Selection de la Familia Rioja Blanco – White – x2
  • El Nubarron Cabernet – Red – x2
  • Depasso Nero d’Avola Leggermente Appassito – Red – x1
  • Finca Manzanos Selection de la Familia Rioja – Red – x1
  • Torre Aguila Gran Reserva – Red – x1
  • Brio Pinot Grigio – White – x2

The non-alcoholic option of 15 bottles is valued at £75.

I’ve had a look for the wines elsewhere for comparison, but they are only on the Virgin Wine website. So it’s hard to say if their selling price is a fair price. But you can compare them to other mixed cases they do sell.

The total value of this selection is closer to £140 when based on the single bottle price sold by Virgin Wines. But if you buy other mixed cases from Virgin Wine you’d get a discount of between 6% and 21%.

Though this bundle is exclusive to switchers, let’s assume you’d get 13% off if it was sold to other customers. Then it’d be around £120. So not as much as stated, but that’s still a decent “freebie”.

But of course, if you were buying 12 bottles of wine yourself, would you usually get them from Virgin? Possibly not.

You could easily get 12 decent bottles of wine from the supermarket or somewhere like Majestic at £9 each, totalling £108. And if you timed it for when these wines were on offer (let’s assume an average of 25%), you’d pay closer to £81 in total, or £6.75 a bottle.

So personally I’d value the free wine at around the £80 mark. Though it’s some £60 less than the promised value, it’s still comparable with the cash bonuses offered by other banks.

Virgin Red Points

One offer was 20,000 Virgin Red points. There’s a long list of things you can swap your points for on the Virgin Red site. Here are a few examples:

  • Virgin Wine
  • Virgin Experiences
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • EMI records
  • Virgin Voyages
  • Greggs
  • Vue
  • AO Arena concerts
  • Charity donations
  • London Theatre Direct

This is certainly the most flexible Virgin Money switching offer so far. If you want wine, you can get wine. If you don’t, you can pick from a number of different things. And if you collect Virgin points to go towards flights, then this is a hefty boost.

But what’s the actual value of the points? This gives a rough guide to the value of the points based on the cost of buying some of the options elsewhere:

ProductPoints neededCost elsewhereValue of 100 pointsValue of 20,000 points
12 bottles of Virgin Wine16,000Around £11067p£137.50
Greggs sausage roll200£150p£100
Vinyl album4,000£2563p£125
Mustang driving via Virgin Experience6,000£3965p£130
Money off Virgin Atlantic flights3,000£16.5055p£110

If we use the examples above of ways to redeem your points, we can assume you’ll get between £100 and £140 of goods for your 20,000 points.

However, the question is – would you pay that much for them? The wine, for example, might be worth £110 according to Virgin, but you could easily buy a dozen bottles of equivalent wine at the supermarket when on offer for less than £80.

Likewise you might find other items such as an album or experience for less elsewhere, or use voucher codes to bring prices down.

Plus, there’s very little that comes in at 20,000 points so you might have to mix and match different options. That could mean you buy things you don’t really want or need with leftover points, or perhaps not be able to use them all.

So I think you should be more conservative in the value of the points at closer to £100. Still decent, but beatable elsewhere.

13 thoughts on “Virgin Money bank switching offer: 10% interest

  1. Andy any further info on how to get the £30 Snoop bonus? I signed up via their link but there’s no indication in the Snoop app that it’s tracked and no information on how my bonus £30 can be claimed.

  2. Hi Andy,

    After switching the 2 direct debits do they have to stay on the account? If so, how long for?

  3. How does the Snoop extra switching offer work? Do I have to link the account with my old provider to Snoop before it moves to Virgin?

  4. Hi Andy, if I’ve had a Virgin switching offer in the last two years, can I also benefit from this new offer on a joint account?

  5. Hi Andy. Great website and info. Could I ask, on the new Virgin offer of 25% cash back on supermarket spend, are e-gift cards from Sainsburys eligible cash back purchases at https://www.sainsburysgiftcard.co.uk/. ?

    Thanks

  6. How is this possible as stated on your Virgin M Plus review dated 14Feb22?
    “You’ll get up to 5.02% interest on savings, plus a freebies if you switch”

    Thank you

    1. The offers change and sadly the 5.02% has ended

  7. So if I used 16000 points on case of wine could I use the remaining 4000 on greggs at lunchtime for sandwiches and how long would the remaining points be valid for

  8. Do you need to keep £1000 in the linked savings account and two direct debits active for the full 12 months in order to receive the bonus interest?

    1. No, I’ve checked with Virgin and the direct debits are only required until you get the £100 experience voucher, so they can be cancelled and you’ll still get the bonus

      1. Thanks for checking. I will be keeping the £1000 in the current account for the bonus interest and putting the £1000 in the linked saver (required for the £100 voucher) into a higher interest rate account (Chase for the moment)

  9. Do I have to switch current accounts. I realise not doing so will mean the lower interest rate.
    Do I have to set up direct debits if I am not switching?

    1. No, you can just open up an account with Virgin Money

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