Virgin Atlantic Mastercard (Up To) 90K Sign-Up Bonus

Link: Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® credit card from Bank of America

I’ve written in the past about the Virgin Atlantic Mastercard. It’s not the most lucrative credit card out there given that I don’t find it to be very rewarding for everyday spend, and I don’t find their Flying Club miles to be all that valuable.

That being said, the previous sign-up bonus was marketed as offering up to 65,000 miles as a sign-up bonus, which was broken down as follows:

  • 20,000 Flying Club bonus miles after your first retail purchase
  • 25,000 additional Flying Club bonus miles after you spend at least $2,500 in qualifying purchases
  • Earn up to 15,000 additional bonus miles upon anniversary
  • Earn up to 5,000 Flying Club bonus miles when you add additional authorized users to your card
  • Earn 3 miles per $1 spent directly on Virgin Atlantic purchases and 1.5 miles per $1 spent on all other purchases

In practice it was more of a 50,000 mile sign-up bonus after spending $2,500 and adding two authorized users. You only receive the 15,000 mile anniversary bonus if you spend at least $25,000 on the card, which probably isn’t worth it.

It looks like Bank of America has an increased sign-up bonus on the card, though it requires some additional spending. It still has the $90 annual fee, which isn’t waived the first year.

Virgin-Atlantic-Mastercard

It’s marketed as offering up to 90,000 miles, as follows:

  • 20,000 Flying Club bonus miles after your first retail purchase
  • 50,000 additional Flying Club bonus miles after you spend at least $12,000 in qualifying purchases
  • Earn up to 15,000 additional bonus miles upon anniversary
  • Earn up to 5,000 Flying Club bonus miles when you add additional authorized users to your card
  • Earn 3 miles per $1 spent directly on Virgin Atlantic purchases and 1.5 miles per $1 spent on all other purchases

As you can see, the big difference here is that you’re earning 50,000 bonus miles after spending $12,000, as opposed to an additional 25,000 bonus miles after spending $2,500. That means for an extra $9,500 of spend you’re earning 25,000 bonus miles, or a total of 43,000 additional Flying Club miles factoring in the miles you earn through spend (that’s because you ordinarily earn 1.5 miles per dollar spent, so your $12,000 of spend automatically earns you 18,000 miles).

If you’re a big spender, earning a total of 93,000 miles after spending $12,000 and adding two authorized users isn’t half bad, especially for non-bonused spend.

If you can’t (or don’t want to) reach the $12,000 of spend, the previous version of the offer is your best bet, which is still a good sign-up bonus.

And I do love Virgin Atlantic…

Virgin-Atlantic-Upper-Class
Virgin Atlantic Upper Class A330

(Tip of the hat to PointsCentric)

Comments

  1. VA miles also transfer to Hilton at a 1:1.5 ratio. So this could be worth 135k Hilton HHonors points based on the 90k signup bonus alone.

  2. This card gives a 7500 mile bonus after reaching $15k in spending in a card year. So if you apply for this offer, it’s probably worth it to spend the additional $3k over the $12k spending requirement. You get 105k miles total that way:

    20k miles first purchase bonus + 50k miles after reaching $12k in spending + 5k authorized user miles + ($15k * 1.5miles/$) + 7.5k bonus miles for reaching $15k = 105k miles

    If you only spend the minimum $12k, you get 93k miles. Spending only $3k more gives you 105k total, which means you’re effectively earning 4 miles per dollar for ever dollar between $12k and $15k in spending (12k additional miles for $3k additional spend) = 4 miles per dollar). Also, the 100k threshold is important if you’re in the western US, as 50k is the one-way cost for a VS Upper Class redemption from the west coast.

    Just some food for thought for those of you who are considering getting this card. 🙂

  3. Also, unless I’m mistaken, there’s only one version of this card, which means you qualify for the full bonus as long as you get approved. On some other BOA cards (like the Alaska card) there are multiple versions and if you get approved for the lower version, the bonus is significantly less.

  4. from what I gather from here and there…the only value of this mile is to convert to hilton? Is there any sweet spots to use these miles on flight?

  5. @ John K — I don’t find the redemption value to be horrible for travel on Virgin Atlantic. It’s not cheap, but for one-way flights on them it’s still one of the best options.

  6. I’ve found 2 uses for Flying Club miles – LAX-LHR in upper class for 50K one-way (pay the stupid fuel and taxes) and I just booked 3 LAX-IAD round trips on VX for 75K a person (slightly higher than the 68K Elevate points but easier to obtain with 1:1 transfers from MR or Chase). Try finding 3 F class seats for low miles on UA or AA on a trans-con nonstop….

  7. I’ve had this card before, but I closed it over a year ago. Do you know if BofA awards bonuses to previous cardholders?

  8. @ George — I believe it was issued as an American Express and not Mastercard then, in which case you should be eligible.

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