Virgin Credit Card is a brand of credit card launched by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group and is available in Australia, South Africa, and The United Kingdom through Virgin Money.
The Virgin Card was launched in Australia in May 2003 and was soon followed by another no-fee card in October 2003 - the Coles Myer Source Mastercard
operated by GE Money
. The most recent issue of the Virgin Card ended 3 April 2008.
The Australian Virgin Credit Card is operated by Westpac Banking Corporation and bears the MasterCard logo.
The card is marketed as a cheaper option to most other credit cards. A cardholder must be an Australian Resident, aged 18 years or older and earning more than AUD
$15,000 per year.
It is a no-frills, low cost card with up to 55 interest-free days and an interest rate of 12.99% (April 2007). There is no points/airline miles scheme. However, discounts are offered by some retailers if the discount scheme is mentioned at the point of sale. A comprehensive restaurant discount scheme, operated by the Entertainment Book company, is also offered. Initially, participation in this scheme was free but if a cardholder wishes to receive a restaurant discount card, Virgin now charges an annual fee of $20.
Marketing slogans included:
- No annual fee...ever - Most low interest rate cards in Australia have an annual fee sometimes up to $80, but Virgin has so far kept the promise not to charge one.
- Low interest rates - Interest rates are lower than most other credit cards provided by banks.
- Mates Rates instant discounts - Instead of a points system the Virgin Credit Card entitles the user to automatic discounts and participating retailers or restaurants.
The Virgin Credit Card was withdrawn from sale in Australia as of 3 April 2008. Existing card holders can continue to operate their cards, but no new cards will be issued.
In the UK
The UK card is marketed mainly on the basis of its promotional balance transfer period. A UK Cardholder must be a UK Resident, aged 18 or over and have a UK Bank Account.
The Card currently offers 0% on Balance transfers for 15 months and 0% on retail purchases for 3 months, with a typical rate of 15.9%APR. (Nov 2007)
The Standard Virgin Money card offers discounts across the Virgin Group, with the notable exception of discounts on Virgin Atlantic flights.
The card is available in a range of colors to "suit the owner" and has a beveled corner, resembling the Mint Card
from the UK. This initially caused some problems in old fashioned sliding credit card imprinters as the card would slip out mid-slide because of the rounded edge.
In The United Kingdom
The Virgin Card was launched in the UK in January 2002. The card is issued and operated by MBNA Europe Bank
based in Chester
. A range of card designs were initially offered such as snakeskin and have subsequently been replaced by different colours. Different cards are available with different offers including special balance transfer rates.
Users of the Virgin Credit Card in the UK are also entitled to discounts on other Virgin Group products. This includes a 10% discount at Zavvi Stores around the UK.