You’ll get up to 2.02% interest on savings, plus a freebies if you switch.
Virgin Money launched its new current account in late 2019, based on the B account from Clydesdale Bank. It has some attractive features such as high interest and fee-free spending overseas, but they’ve not been enough to get me to open an account.
But since late 2020 it got a lot more tempting, offering freebies and discounts to entice customers.
Here’s how the account and offers work and my thoughts on whether it’s worth it. Plus my video takes you through some of the features on the app.
Is the Virgin Money M Plus current account any good?
Let’s take a look at each key feature:
The interest on savings
At 2.02% this is the highest paying easy access account for savings at the moment (by a smidge) so it’s certainly worth considering.
There are a few restrictions. The largest is you will only earn interest on balances up to £1,000. Anything over this will get 0%. That works out as £20.20 in interest a year. Not a huge amount but better than what you’ll get elsewhere.
The linked savings account where you can put further money pays 2.02% on the first £25,000. This is variable but it can be beaten elsewhere. You have the option in this account to set up any number of savings pots within this account, all earning interest. This helps you split your savings out for different goals, such as an emergency fund or holiday.
The switching incentives
*Update 3 October 22 – There’s currently no switching offer from Virgin Money *
Unlike other banks, Virgin Money doesn’t offer cash. Instead it rotates between one or a combination of
- 20,000 Virgin Red points
- Free wine
- A Virgin Experiences voucher
- Boosted interest rates
- A charitable donation
I’ve written in full about the latest switching offer.
The Virgin discounts
Virgin Money is calling this new part of the offer “Brighter Money Bundles” – and it is available to all Virgin Money Current Account customers – not just new switchers.
The main offer right now seems to be up to £225 off a Virgin Media package. It’s only for new Virgin Media customers and you have to commit to an 18 month contract and pay a £35 set up fee.
The Virgin Media offers listed at launch can be seen here.
I’ve clicked through to see the offers and prices and it does look like prices are slightly lower than going direct to Virgin Media each month, plus there’s between £50 and £100 bill credit on top. It’s worth checking what you can get via a cashback site though for a proper comparison.
There aren’t any other offers listed right now, but it seems they’ll favour Virgin brands such as the gyms, airline and wine.
Fee free spending abroad
Though we can’t really travel right now, this is a really good feature you only see on Starling or Monzo and some credit cards (though Monzo and some credit cards have restrictions on cash withdrawals).
The app positions itself along the lines of the other challenger bank offerings, with savings pots, budgeting features and the ability to tag and track transactions.
You can also deposit a cheque with your phone and it’s compatible with Apple Pay and Google Pay.
But there are plenty of features it doesn’t have, including some of the extras you’ll get with Starling and Monzo such as round-ups, PIN reveal or the ability to freeze your card.
Should you open a Virgin Money M Plus account?
Let’s start with the good things.
The 2.02% interest is decent as is the linked 1.71% account, especially if you’ve already had the Nationwide FlexDirect account for more than a year. You can’t beat it in an easy access account right now.
If you don’t have a Chase, Starling or Monzo account then it will also be useful for overseas spending.
Both of these make it a decent option, and the switching deal is worth considering. However, if you are going to switch bank I think there are other options you should consider first. In terms of bonuses, I’d go for one which pays cash. You can see the list of the latest ones here.
Listen to Cash Chats, Andy’s twice-weekly podcast. Episodes every Tuesday and Friday.
How to switch to Virgin Money
As with other bank switches you’ll need to open a new account with Virgin Money and then use its website to detail which bank account from a different bank you are switching over. Virgin Money will carry out a credit check.
You will have to close this old account completely as part of the switch, but all your money and future payments in and out will be transferred over. This is guaranteed as part of the Current Account Switching Service. You can read more about how bank switching works here.