Virgin Atlantic MasterCard 75,000 Mile Bonus Offer

by on August 22, 2014 · 28 comments

in Bank of America, Virgin Atlantic

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The Virgin Atlantic World Elite MasterCard usually comes with sign-up bonuses of 20,000 miles after the first purchase and 25,000 miles after a spend of $2,500, with the ability to earn 5,000 miles with an authorized user and 15,000 miles every year you spend $25,000. They just launched one of the most lucrative offers I’ve seen, but they also ramped up the spend needed to get the miles:

  • 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 6 months of your account open date
  • 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

This limited time offer is valid now through September 7th.

Earn Up To 90,000 bonus miles with the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard.

Earn Up To 90,000 bonus miles with the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard.

The card has a $90 annual fee, which is not waived the first year. The base earning is pretty lucrative at 1.5 mile per dollar spent (vs. most airline cards that offer 1x) and 3x on Virgin Atlantic purchases (vs. most airline cards that offer 2x). Virgin Atlantic miles are not the most valuable airline miles, but they can be valuable, especially for upgrading and business class redemptions if you don’t mind shelling out for fuel surcharges. However, there are ways to use Flying Club miles without fuel surcharges, as we’ve written about in the past. In general I find that Virgin Atlantic has pretty good award availability, so even though you do get hit with fuel surcharges on awards, they can be a valuable currency to have on hand- it never hurts to diversify!

Here’s a look at the Virgin Atlantic award chart:

Virgin Atlantic Award Chart

Virgin Atlantic Award Chart

So for instance, if you were to redeem from New York (JFK) to London (LHR) using Virgin Atlantic miles, you’d be looking at the following amount of miles:

Economy: 35,000 miles (plus $500 in taxes, fees and fuel surcharges)
Premium Economy: 55,000 miles (plus $810 in taxes, fees and fuel surcharges)
Upper Class: 80,000 miles (plus $1,300 in taxes, fees and fuel surcharges)

Redeeming directly on Virgin Atlantic can come with some hefty fuel surcharges.

Redeeming directly on Virgin Atlantic can come with some hefty fuel surcharges.

However, don’t let the high fuel surcharges on Virgin Atlantic dissuade you, since Virgin Atlantic has 14 different airline partners where you can also use these miles on, including Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Cyprus Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Gulf Air, Jet Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, SAS, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Virgin America and Virgin Australia.

You can also transfer Virgin Atlantic miles to Hilton at a 1:1.5 ratio, so these 90,000 bonus miles would equate to 135,000 Hilton HHonors points, after the recent devaluation back in February.

Although the $90 annual fee isn’t waived, these 50,000 miles after spending the $12,000 could still be worth it to you, especially if you know you have a lot of spending coming up and want to consolidate it on one card to score those extra 15,000 anniversary miles. Plus, since it’s a Bank of America card, if you’ve been hitting Chase or Amex hard for bonuses lately and need to wait a while before your next app-o-rama, this might be a good option to score a decent bonus in the meantime.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Darrin

    Thanks TPG. If you’ve got a stack of Delta miles, but not quite enough for the award you want to book, can you combine, say, 100,000 Delta miles with 50,000 Virgin Atlantic miles? Not sure how that works…

  • Alan

    That’s an awful lot of spending required for a non-premium card.

  • Martin

    There is no way in hell that I will spend $12,000 to get 50,000 miles on any airline. It’s a BAD offer.

  • BubbaJoe123

    That $12k in spend costs you about $240 in foregone rewards (assuming you’re using a 2% cashback card like the Fidelity Amex), or, if it’s incremental spend about the same in fees (if you, say, use the card to make an income tax payment with a 1.9% fee). Add the $90 annual fee, and you’re looking at $330 in cost. For that you get 75k bonus miles plus 18k miles for the spend (assuming none is on Virgin Atlantic), for a total of 93k miles, or 0.35 cents per mile. That’s a pretty darn good deal, actually.
    You could do JFK-LHR round trip in Upper Class for $1630 ($1300 fuel surcharge plus the $330 it cost you to get the miles), which is pretty darn attractive.

  • BubbaJoe123

    Nope, can’t combine them.

  • ABC

    Are there limits to mixing airlines on VA awards and how do you look for inventories for a DL->VS->SK ticket? (getting to the transatlantic flight and to the final destination).

  • BubbaJoe123

    You can complete it all in 5 minutes for under $240 out of pocket.

  • H Patel

    It’s 20k plus 50k bonuses. What about the $12k you spend to get the bonus. Don’t you get 1.5miles per $ spent? So another 18k miles. And if you spend $15k in the year, you get 7.5k miles bonus per regular card benefits. So by my calc, looking at around 92k miles in a year. That right? If so, I may be up for this….

  • Alan

    Without setting off alarm bells?

  • BubbaJoe123

    Sure. Make a $12k federal tax payment, 1.87% fee, so $224 fee. Assuming you do your taxes in February, you’re looking at missing out on maybe six months of interest at maybe 75bps after-tax, so maybe $40 in interest. It’s a six-month period, so if you wait until December to make the payment, the interest cost essentially goes away.

  • BubbaJoe123

    1. It’s actually 55k in bonuses, if you add an authorized user (add’l 5k points).
    2. You only get those annual spend miles on the anniversary (so you have to pay two annual fees, I think).
    I see it as 93k points (20k upfront, 55k in bonuses, plus 18k for the $12k in spend).

  • Alan

    You must either own your own business or have a very high tax bracket. I consider myself to be on the upper side of middle class, but I have a typical salaried job, and I’ve never seen a tax bill like that. I like that approach, though.

  • Alan

    That’s my math, too. I just wasn’t going to mention it.

  • BubbaJoe123

    Doesn’t matter. You can make estimated payments on your taxes in just about any amount, within reason – last year I made $50k in est tax payments, and got a $45k refund. IRS didn’t bat an eye.

  • Danny

    You can do so much better if you’re bonus hunting than 12K spend for 50K miles. It’s objectively a fairly bad bonus. You can get 140K RC/Marriott points for 2K. You can get 45K chase points for 3K spend with the CSP. Etc etc etc.

    Most people don’t have infinite spend, and have to decide how to allocate the spend they do have in the best way.

  • AYD

    I got this card in February 2014 with the 50-65k bonus. Can I cancel and reapply and get this bonus?

  • Steve

    I’d like to know if you can mix airlines on an award. I’m looking at Hawaiian and Delta on a roundtrip.

  • Rusty Longwood

    Nice BubbaJoe. The refund does come when yearly taxes are filed, so I guess you have to be able to handle the float if you’re overpaying. That said I’ll definitely look into this for my Barclays.

  • John Hill

    Thanks, used your link and was instantly approved, although with a $2K CL. Guess I’ll call about that since it would be hard to spend 12K in 6 months with that CL. I’ve been beating up Chase, Barclays and Amex pretty hard so a BofA card was good timing for me.

  • mileshunter

    You say “Plus, since it’s a Bank
    of America card, if you’ve been hitting Chase or Amex hard for bonuses
    lately and need to wait a while before your next app-o-rama, this might
    be a good option to score a decent bonus in the meantime.”

    What about Citi? How does applying for this card affect Citi applications and how does Citi applications affect this?

  • Alan

    Same thing. He just mentions Chase because so many of the best cards come from them.

  • mileshunter

    Does BOA hit Experian? That’s what Citi looks at.

  • Trav

    Take a look at booking your trip with one way awards. Delta there and VA back or vice versa…

  • Brian C. Lee

    I think it depends on which state you live in.

  • mileshunter

    Anyone with experience based on NY residence?

  • stephaniejmota

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  • Matt

    I’m not familiar with BoA credit cards, when purchasing Amex gift cards are these considered cash advances or purchases? Thanks!

  • Mike Conrad

    Hmm, high annual fee, ridiculous spend requirement, exorbitant flight surcharges, ultra-high mileage chart values, and the worst award availability in the business. What’s not to like?

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