One of the advantages of the Virgin Atlantic accounts is that they are delivered with a Mastercard, which is more widely accepted than the biggest rival, the British Airways American Express cards.
In addition to Virgin Atlantic flights, you can also use points on Eurostar, Delta and Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand, Jet Airways, Air China, ANA, Scandinavian Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines.
For BA Executive Club points can be used on airlines from Iberia, American Airlines and OneWorld, including Finnair and Qantas.
The best card for you really depends on where you want to fly, and the airlines that operate in your neighborhood.
The American Express British Airways Premium Plus comes with an annual fee of £ 195 and a much higher rate of 76 APR per cent – which gives you 25,000 Avios bonus if you spend £ 3,000 in three months, a free accompanying voucher after an annual payout from £ 10,000 and 1.5 Avios per £ 1 invested.
In the first year, a monthly payout of £ 1,000 on the card earns 40,000 points, enough to get a return from London to Bermuda with an accompanying ticket.
The American Express British Airways credit card does not have an annual fee and interest of 22.9 APR per cent.
You will receive 5000 Avios if you spend £ 1,000 in the first three months, 1 Avios per £ 1 invested and the free accompanying voucher after £ 20,000 annual card spending.
In the first year, a monthly expense of £ 1,000 on the card earns you 17,000 Avios. You could bring that back to Portugal or Spain, but you would not have spent enough to earn the corresponding voucher.
If you do not want to commit yourself to one scheme, try the American Express Membership Rewards scheme.
It offers points that can be exchanged for like-for-like with various airlines, including Virgin, BA, Etihad and Emirates.
There are two options, the premium Preferred Rewards Gold with an annual allowance of £ 140 (apart from the first year) and an interest rate of 22.9 per cent on expenses.
You earn 20,000 membership fees if you spend £ 2,000 within three months, 10,000 additional points after spending £ 15,000, one point for every £ 1 spend.
The free alternative, Rewards Card, offers 10,000 membership fees if you spend £ 1,000 within three months, plus one point per £ 1 invested. It comes with a 22.9 percent APR.