Virgin Atlantic Credit Cards
20,000 Virgin Atlantic miles, on first purchase. Plus an additional 5,000 miles for adding an authorized cardholder.
($210 net value)Signup Bonus Chart
3x Virgin Atlantic Purchases
1.5x Everything Else
No Foreign Transaction Fee
The current signup offer is very valuable and should be interesting for almost anyone. Even if you don't expect to fly on Virgin Atlantic, you can use the miles for award tickets on Delta and Virgin Atlantic's other partner airlines.
With the base mileage earning rate of 1.5x miles per dollar and the annual points bonus, a few people might want to use the Virgin Atlantic card as their general-purpose reward card. Otherwise, the ongoing benefits aren't particularly worthwhile.
Virgin Atlantic Credit Card Options
There are two Virgin Atlantic credit cards.
- Black. This is the normal version of the card and makes the most sense for people who want to use the card for their spending, as well as people who just want the card for its signup bonus. Bank of America Webpage. Virgin Atlantic Webpage. Signup Bonus Chart.
- White. The White version of the card has an annual fee of $50, instead of $90, and a normal signup bonus of 12,500 miles, rather than 20,000 miles. It caps the annual bonus points at 7,500, rather than 15,000, doesn't earn the extra .5x miles on everyday purchases, and doesn't earn tier points. Most people are better off spending the extra $40 for the Black card. Virgin Atlantic Webpage.
Introduction to Virgin Atlantic Miles
Virgin Atlantic's frequent flyer program is called Flying Club.
- It can be difficult to get good value when you use Virgin Atlantic miles for Virgin Atlantic's own flights. If you are flying anywhere except London, you'll need to pay the mileage cost for the flight to London and then separately from London to your final destination. In addition, Virgin Atlantic charges the highest fuel surcharges of any airline. For economy-class seats, the fees for an award ticket are often very similar to what you would otherwise have to pay for a regular cash ticket.
- Some awards are cheap enough that they can still be good values. Round trip coach fares can require as few as 20,000 points to London (compared to a typical cost of 50,000 points). Premium economy starts at only 35,000 points, with only slightly higher surcharges.
- As an alternative, you can use your points to fly on one of Virgin Atlantic's partner airlines. They have separate award charts for each partner, including Delta, Singapore, Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia, South Africa, ANA, Jet Airways, Air China, Hawaiian, and SAS. There are some good deals when you redeem points on these partners.
- Prices for Delta flights are around the same number as. For most flights on Delta, Virgin Atlantic points are somewhat equivalent, except you can earn them much faster.
Collecting the Signup Bonus
- The normal signup bonus is not that great. The typical signup bonus is 20,000 Virgin Atlantic miles. That's not bad, but you can only be approved for four Bank of America cards every two years and there are better signup offers available.
- You can earn an additional 5,000 points by adding an authorized cardholder. They need to make a purchase during the first three months you have the card. This is factored into the calculated net value above.
- It is possible to earn the same signup bonus multiple times. Bank of America doesn't limit your ability to earn multiple signup bonuses. You can even have more than one copy of the same card at the same time. However, you will only be approved for four Bank of America cards every two years (with a maximum of three cards in any twelve month period, and two cards in any two month period), so choose your opportunities wisely.
After subtracting the annual fee , the calculated net value for the initial year is $210. Your value may be higher or lower, depending on how much you value Virgin Atlantic Miles. How Much are Points Worth?
- Up to 15,000 bonus miles per year. If you spend at least $15,000 with the card during the year, you'll receive 7,500 miles. If you spend at least $25,000, you'll receive the full 15,000 miles. That level of spending also qualifies you for the companion certificate described below. Spending is based on your anniversary year.
- Earns tier points for Virgin Atlantic elite status. For every $2,500 you spend, you'll receive 25 tier credits to help you qualify for elite status (with a cap of 50 tier points per month). If you spend $25,000 to earn the maximum number of annual bonus miles, you'd can earn up to 250 tier points along the way.
- 50% companion award certificate (with a $25,000 spending requirement). With the certificate, two people can book award tickets for only 150% of the normal number of miles. This is valid only for coach flights on Virgin Atlantic, not on partner airlines. Both passengers will also still need to pay Virgin Atlantic's exorbitant fess and surcharges. Spending is based on every 12 billing cycles starting when you opened your account.
- Elite car rental status. As with all World Elite MasterCards, you get free National Emerald Club Executive and Sixt Platinum status. Instant Car Rental Elite Status.
- Access to Mastercard's luxury hotel program. Another benefit of high-end MasterCards is access to MasterCard's luxury hotel program. When you use the program to book one of the participating hotels, you'll get a number of valuable benefits, like free breakfast, a $100 hotel credit, a room upgrade, and late checkout.Take Advantage of Luxury Hotel Programs for Valuable Extra Perks.
- Free ShopRunner membership. Like all World Elite MasterCards, your card entitles you to a complimentary ShopRunner membership, which provides free two-day and return shipping from around 150 of the largest online retailers. ShopRunner.
- DoorDash and Hello Fresh discounts. Cardmembers who have a DoorDash membership get $5 off their first two orders each month when paid for by their Mastercard. If you don't have a free membership from Chase, you can get your first three months membership for free through Mastercard. You also get a 5% credit back on each HelloFresh purchase.
- Some additional discounts. If you pay for at least 5 Lyft rides each calendar month with your Mastercard, you'll receive a $10 Lyft credit good for the following month (once you enroll in the Lyft app). You also receive double Fandango points, a 5% reward rebate at Boxed, and $5 off every Postmates order of $25 or more.
- Free museum entry. As with all Bank of America credit cards, you'll get free admission to hundreds of museums on the first weekend of every month. Admission is for the cardholder only. Guests are not included, nor are any special exhibitions and other ticketed shows. Museums on Us.
- BankAmeriDeals. Bank of America has a shopping discount program that works like Amex Offers. To get each discount, you'll need to "activate" it through their website. Once activated, discounts are automatically applied when you use your card for the corresponding purchase. Most deals are cash-back based (typically 10%). BankAmeriDeals.
- If you aren't aiming for the annual bonus, you are slightly better off making your Virgin Atlantic purchases with a card that earns a high reward rate on all your airfare spending. 3x Virgin Atlantic miles are better than what you'd earn from most general-purpose reward cards, but not quite as good as what you'd earn from a card that offers high bonus rewards on airfare spending. For example, you are probably better off earning 3x Ultimate Rewards points and receiving travel insurance benefits with the Sapphire Reserve card or 3x or 5x Membership Rewards points with on of the Amex cards. These flexible points can be turned into Virgin Atlantic miles, as well as used for other types of award redemptions. Best Credit Cards for Travel Spending.
- If you are focusing on earning the highest possible annual bonus, you'll be earning an extra .6x miles per dollar. If you spend exactly $25,000 on the card, you'd be earning 3.6x miles on Virgin Atlantic purchases and 2.1x miles on all other purchases.
- Even if you can't completely optimize the annual bonus miles, the Virgin Atlantic card is a potentially interesting general-purpose reward card. You'll earn 1.5x miles on all your purchases, with a potential to earn the additional bonus miles. And you'll be earning additional tier points along the way. Of course, if you want more flexibility than you'd get from stockpiling Virgin Atlantic miles, you should stick with other options (and the Amex Blue for Business card is almost certainly a better option for people who can use business cards). Get a Great General Purpose Reward Card and Use It for All of Your Spending.
- If you are thinking of using the card for your everyday spending, make sure to get the Black version. The White version of the card only earns 1x mile per dollar.
Getting Rid of the Card
You can cancel without worrying about losing your Virgin miles. Once you earn them, they are treated like any other miles in your Virgina Airlines account.
- If you cancel your card, you may not be able to easily get it back. Bank of America limits your ability to get more than 4 cards every 24 months and 3 cards every 12 months. And you can't get one of their cards if you've gotten more than 3 personal credit cards from any bank in the last 12 months (7 cards for BOA banking customers). If you are signing up for bunch of new credit cards, you won't be able to get new Bank of America cards.
- If you decide to cancel, you may want to change to the Cash Rewards Card instead. The Cash Rewards Card earns a base rate of 3% on your choice of categories, including online shopping. With Platinum Honors status, the reward rate is boosted to 5.25%. Since bonus rewards are capped for each quarter, it can be helpful to have multiple copies of the card. But the only way to currently get multiple copies is to convert from other Bank of America cards.
- If you want to cancel your Virgin Airlines Card, it is best to do so before you are charged your annual fee. Bank of America may refund the fee if you cancel shortly afterwards, but they may not.
- You might be able to receive a retention offer to keep your card. It could be enough to make it worthwhile to keep the card.
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