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Reminder: Last Day For 20,000 Point Virgin America Visa Sign Up Bonus

by on August 31, 2012 · 10 comments

in Credit Cards, Virgin America

Just a friendly reminder for you Virgin America flyers that the special 20,000-point sign up offer for the Virgin America Visa is ending today, August 31, 2012.

While 20,000 points might not seem like a huge amount, usually the first-use bonus on this card is just 10,000 points, so this promo is worth double, and equates to spending $4,000 on the airline, or as much as $460 in Virgin America flights since Elevate points are worth about 1.6-2.3 cents a piece when redeemed for flights- in addition to other valuable perks.

When you complete a balance transfer within the first 30 days, you get another 5,000 bonus points, bringing the combined possible bonus to 25,000 Elevate points.

Here are the other details of the card:

-20,000 bonus points with first purchase
-3 points per $1 spent on Virgin America
-1 point per $1 on everything else
-10,000 status points when you spend $25,000 annually
-300 bonus points for every $5,000 in net purchases each year up to an annual maximum of 1,200 points
-$150 off a companion ticket each year
-$49 annual fee

I’ve never flown Virgin America, but a lot of people really love it, including many TPG readers, and they have great features on their planes like internet access, on-demand video and snacks that beat out many of their competitors’ offerings. TPG managing editor Eric wrote about his experience flying their Main Cabin Select here.

There aren’t tons of ways to score bonus Elevate points – and certainly not in the thousands, like with this sign-up bonus. Silver and Gold members of their new elite program will earn 25% and 100% bonuses on points respectively, but again, that’s based on spending on the airline. At the moment, you could also take advantage of the 30% transfer bonus from Amex to Virgin America, the ratio is now 200 Amex = 130 Elevate points until September 2. The transfer bonus is usually a paltry 2 Amex points to 1 Elevate point. That means for now you are getting between .8 and 1.15 cents per American Express Membership Rewards points, which isn’t a good deal for redemptions on Virgin America flights because you can purchase tickets with American Express’s Pay With Points at 1 cent per point (1.25 for Platinum cardholders) and you earn Elevate points on those flights. However, if you’re looking to top up your account for a particular award, you could consider this option.

Remember, you can redeem Virgin America Elevate points on the airline’s partners including Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia. For example, a Virgin Atlantic ticket in Upper Class from New York JFK to London require just 25,000 Elevate points + $550 in taxes and fees each way, so with the sign-up and balance transfer bonus, you’ve at least got the mileage requirement covered for one leg. On Virgin Australia, you’d need just 25,000 Elevate points $375 in taxes and fees to fly each way from LAX to Sydney in coach, so you’d be halfway to a roundtrip redemption with this credit card offer (roundtrip premium economy would be 70,000 points plus $790, and business would be 90,000 + $950).

If you’re a Virgin flyer and have been thinking about this card, now would be the time to get it since this bonus is historically higher than the airline has offered before, and combined with elite and Amex transfer bonuses, you could really raise your points balance quickly.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author.s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

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  • James K.

    Also worth pointing out that Points.com has a pretty good exchange rate between US and Virgin. You’d get north of 15000 Dividend Miles for 20k Elevate points

  • PJ

    If you have busy c c applications AWAY, you might not want to call Barclays Reconsideration with anticipation they would be as friendly as Chase people.. My answer to their questions” why did you apply so many cards in the past year ? ” My frank answer did not go nowhere ” I see your VA card as a good everyday card when I can only get 1% off just as how I use AMEX Starwood Preferred. Many cards I applied was simply they invited me with huge sign on bonus.. as high as 100K on Amex Platinum 75K on amex gold ..50K on Sappire Preferred with 1st purchase 55K on United Explorer 2Freenights at anyplace Hyatt or Fairmont , 50K on southwest 100K on british Airways I would be abnormal if I could resist the temptation… To be honest with you , as now my go to card is Chase Freedom and SPG card unless other cards offer me more rebates..” OOOPS I gave him a 101 lesson on credit cards but I did not get the VA card.

    Maybe time to aks my daughter to apply :)

  • arcticbull

    One way to London would require “just 25,000 Elevate points + $550 in taxes and fees each way” — are you serious? I mean I love this blog. But suggesting that I pay ELEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS in fuel surcharges plus 50,000 points for a round trip from JFK to London and calling it a good deal? That’s madness.

    First of all, you’re quoting the one-way prices as though they’re 1/2 round trip, they’re not. One way on VS from JFK-LHR in Upper Class is 25K points, but the round trip is 35K points. That’s a big difference. Round trip in Economy is 15K points.

    But consider that during recent promos the Business return trip cost $1800 – 10% Chase BA discount = ~$1600. That makes these points worth 2cpm in Business class. And Economy costs $691 right now, and YQ is $650. You’re saving $41 and not earning any miles, and the miles you used are worth just 0.27cpm — you may as well buy toasters.

    That’s an awful award chart by any measure.

  • arcticbull

    Totally not worth a hit on your credit score for a measly 15K US Air. They’re worth at most $200. I won’t apply for a card unless I get >$500 out of the application.

  • Stvr

    This has been Episode 136 of TPG SHILLING FOR REFERRAL $$$

  • scott

    I can understand plugging a card if the bonus is at good. Something has to pay the bills. But plugging a card for 20,000 virgin america miles? I am a huge TPG fan, but this seems like a new low…

    I still have faith TPG will deliver quality content, as he has in the past. Please don’t let me down, Brian.

    ps. i said “but plugging”

  • arcticbull

    *sigh* the article is still wrong, it implies you can fly JFK-LHR for 50K+$1100 round trip in Upper Class, it’s 35K+$1100, not that it makes it any better. VX doesn’t allow you to do one-ways at 1/2 round trip. That’s kind of important. What an awful redemption.

  • arcticbull

    I usually try, but I’m having a hard time defending this post -_-

  • John

    Hi Guys
    I stopped using TPG links long time ago. He only
    Pushes card with bad signups for money. I like the blog
    but its not kosher anymore. He doesnt even answer people’s
    Comments anymore

  • PJ

    I hate to disagree with you guys agreeably: I do big – 100 K from AMex Platinum Chase Sapphire Preferred 100K from Chase BA I also do small : “tiny” $200 $100 from Chase Freedom cards .

    Try to recognize this: each VA elevate point is worth 2.3 cents on their often already low fare. 20K can fly 3 one way non stop IAD-SFO or JFK-west coast . That is $450 savings . How much is a recit pull worth on many of us with 800+ credit score ? how far can your $ grow in a bank these days

    I did apply for the card and got rejected for ” too many card applying activities” If I and/or possibly many others applied the card after TPG’s posting then you guys attacking his efforts are very narrow minded ( no need to use other wordings)

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