The Virgin Atlantic MasterCard is back with one of the better sign-up bonuses I’ve seen on the card, for up to 90,000 bonus miles. It has been a while since we’ve seen this sign-up bonus — the last time I wrote about it was in late 2014.
The Virgin Atlantic MasterCard isn’t 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 — personally I value them at about a penny each, which is among the lowest I value any mileage currency.
Still, this has the potential to be a good sign-up bonus, especially if you have a lot of the other lucrative cards out there, and if you spend a lot in categories that don’t other qualify for bonuses.
The card is 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 within six months
- Earn up to 15,000 additional bonus miles upon anniversary — 7,500 bonus miles if you spend a total of $15,000, and an additional 7,500 bonus miles if you spend a total of $25,000
- 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
There is a $90 annual fee, which isn’t waived the first year.
As you can see the card basically offers 70,000 Flying Club bonus miles after you spend $12,000, and if you add two authorized users you get an additional 5,000 miles, for a total of 75,000 bonus miles.
The card ordinarily offers 1.5 miles per dollar spent, so you’d earn a total of 93,000 miles after spending $12,000 and adding two authorized users. That isn’t half bad, especially for non-bonused spend.
Unfortunately there are fuel surcharges for travel on Virgin Atlantic, though at least the redemption rates are reasonable, at 40,000-50,000 miles for a one-way Upper Class ticket between the US and UK.
For those of you looking to redeem for economy, those redemptions can represent a pretty good deal as well, as carrier imposed surcharges for economy are limited by comparison. 17,500 miles plus ~$130 in taxes and carrier imposed surcharges isn’t bad for a one-way between New York and London.
I’d only sign up for this if you already have most of the other great cards out there, and if you spend a lot in non-bonused categories. Personally I’m tempted to apply for the Virgin Atlantic MasterCard, as I enjoy flying Virgin Atlantic Upper Class, and this is a fairly good way to “fund” that.
(Tip of the hat to MileValue)