The standard offer for the Bank of America-issued American Express is for 20,000 Flying Club miles after first purchase and 2,500 Flying Club miles for each of the first two authorized users added to your Card.
But there’s also a new, better offer out there: 45,000 miles with first purchase, in addition to the other benefits — an extra 25,000 miles beyond the standard offer.
The card also offers 1.5 miles per dollar on all spend, an additional 7,500 Flying Club miles when you spend $15,000 and an additional 7,500 miles when you spend $25,000 each year.
In addition, the card also helps towards elite status, with one tier point per $2,500, up to 2 points per month and thus 24 per year. It takes 15 tier points to qualify for Silver, and 10 to renew. It takes 40 tier points to qualify for Gold, and 30 to renew — so a heavy spending Gold member can make 80% of retaining Gold just with the card.
Finally, while the British Airways card is offering a free companion award for spending $30,000 in a year, this card offers a 50% off award redemption for a companion after spending $25,000 in a year. Not quite the BA offer, but certainly a meaningful benefit.
Bottom-line, this new signup offer is pretty great — 45,000 miles with first purchase, add two cardholders to the account for another 5000 miles, and then there are plenty of bonuses for actually using the card.
Love the signup bonuses, love the 1.5 miles per dollar, am not a regular Virgin customer so not too concerned with their status — and their award chart is rather expensive, especially for trips beyond London (and their taxes and fees tend to be even higher than BA’s) so I don’t plan to put the requisite spend on the card. But I may want a boost to my Virgin account, which I now primarily use for accumulating miles from Avis rentals, where I earn 1000 miles per one-day rental even on discounted rates.
(Hat tip to Jared Blank.)