Virgin Money launches digital bank: New transaction, savings accounts & rewards

ELLIE MCLACHLAN
Virgin Money launched its new ‘digital bank’ today, including a transaction account that allows you to earn rewards points and redeem them for cash. There’s also a new savings account with a rate that puts it among the top bonus savings rates on Canstar’s database.
Virgin Money launches digital bank
Virgin Money has launched a new digital bank. Image supplied.

Virgin Money Australia is expanding beyond its existing credit card, insurance and superannuation product offerings, today launching a transaction account, two savings accounts and a rewards program.

It’s made possible via the launch of Virgin Money’s new digital bank, which is run on the cloud-based banking platform Temenos.

The new technology is set to give customers access to their credit cards, transaction accounts, savings accounts and loyalty program details all in the same spot, housed within a new mobile app.

Virgin Money home loans will soon be added to the Temenos platform as well, and will continue to be guaranteed by the Bank of Queensland (BOQ), which owns Virgin Money.

Virgin Money is the first of the BOQ group’s brands to move onto the new digital platform, with BOQ itself set to follow next. A BOQ spokesperson told Canstar that ME Bank will join shortly after, once the recently-announced acquisition of ME Bank by BOQ is complete.

Here are some more details of the three new banking products available at Virgin Money, and how the new rewards program works.

Virgin Money Go transaction account

According to Virgin Money, features of this account will include:

  • No monthly fee
  • Earn eight Virgin Money Rewards points per transaction on everyday purchases, when monthly criteria are met (see below)
  • Access to make transactions with Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay
  • A debit card issued by Visa.

The rewards earn rate on the Go transaction account competes with Bankwest, which also offers rewards on debit card purchases. Bankwest offers three Qantas Points per transaction compared to Virgin Money’s eight, although Bankwest’s offer does also let customers earn Qantas Points based on their account balance.

Canstar finance expert Steve Mickenbecker said it was a “rare feature” to have loyalty points on spend through a transaction account, which was something usually reserved only for credit card spend.

Monthly criteria to earn 8 Virgin Money Rewards points per transaction:

  • If you are 25 years or older, deposit $2,000 or more into your Go account from an external account, and make at least five debit card purchases, direct debits or BPAY payments in the previous month which settle in that month (not pending).
  • If you are between 18 and 24 years old, deposit $1,000 or more into your Go account from an external account, and make at least five debit card purchases, direct debits or BPAY payments in the previous month which settle in that month (not pending).
  • If you are between 14 and 17 years old, no monthly criteria apply in order to earn the Rewards points.

Virgin Money Boost Saver account

Virgin Money says it will automatically open a Boost Saver account for you if you open a Go transaction account. Features of the Boost Saver include:

  • A 1.20% total interest rate (made up of a 0.10% base rate + 1.10% bonus rate available when the monthly criteria are met)
  • Set up to nine personalised savings goals
  • Joint account available
  • Deposits guaranteed up to $250,000 by the government guarantee.

The Boost Saver account’s interest rate matches neobank 86 400’s bonus rate of 1.20%, though 86 400’s Save Account only requires a deposit of $1,000 each month and has no card purchase requirements to earn the full rate (see Virgin Money’s bonus criteria below).

Westpac and BOQ still have the highest bonus savings rates on Canstar’s database, at 3% for 18-29 year-olds with a Westpac Life account and the same rate for 14-24 year-olds with a BOQ Fast Track Starter account, assuming bonus criteria are met. ING follows at 1.35% with its Savings Maximiser account, then AMP Bank’s Saver Account (1.25%) and 86 400 and Virgin Money’s accounts (1.20%).

Monthly criteria to earn bonus interest on the Boost Saver account:

  • If you are 25 years or older, deposit $2,000 or more into your Go account from an external account, and make at least five debit card purchases, direct debits or BPAY payments in the previous month which settle in that month (not pending).
  • If you are between 18 and 24 years old, deposit $1,000 or more into your Go account from an external account, and make at least five debit card purchases, direct debits or BPAY payments in the previous month which settle in that month (not pending).
  • If you are between 14 and 17 years, no monthly criteria apply in order to earn the bonus interest.

Virgin Money Grow Saver account

Virgin Money says the features of this account include:

  • 0.65% total interest (0.10% base rate + 0.55% bonus rate available when the monthly criteria are met)
  • No transaction account required
  • Set up to nine personalised savings goals
  • Joint account available
  • Deposits guaranteed up to $250,000 by the government guarantee.

Monthly criteria to earn bonus interest on the Grow Saver account:

  • Make at least one deposit into your Grow Saver account.
  • Make no more than one withdrawal per month (including any internal transfers or Pay Someone transfers) out of your Grow Saver.

Virgin Money Rewards

The Virgin Money Rewards program is powered by customer loyalty business Ascenda, and allows customers to turn rewards points into cash, or to use their points to book accommodation or purchase online gift vouchers. The key features of the program include:

  • Earn eight Virgin Money Rewards points per transaction on everyday purchases, when monthly criteria are met (see Go account criteria above).
  • Earn and redeem points at around 100 partners, including: Menulog, THE ICONIC, HelloFresh and Virgin Active.
  • Get 5,000 bonus points when you take out a new Go account and make a settled purchase in the first 30 days – offer valid until 30 June 2021, and terms and conditions apply.
  • Swap your points for cash back into your Go, Boost Saver or Grow Saver account.
  • Use your points to ‘erase’ a recent purchase and replenish your account with the equivalent cash amount, within 90 days of the transaction.
  • Purchase instant online gift vouchers with Ascenda’s gift card partners.
  • Earn points for your birthday or reaching a milestone.
  • Book a hotel stay and earn five points upon check-out per $1 spent on the booking.

The new Virgin Money digital bank app is now available to download via the App Store and Google Play.

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This content was reviewed by Sub Editor Tom Letts and Deputy Editor Sean Callery as part of our fact-checking process.


Ellie McLachlan is responsible for leading and breaking financial news on mortgages, money and much more. Ellie studied a Bachelor of Journalism and Arts at UQ and has worked at major metropolitan and regional news organisations.

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