Virgin Atlantic MasterCard 50,000 Point Signup Bonus is Back

Bank of America has brought back a strong signup bonus on their co-branded Virgin Atlantic credit card.

They used to offer the card as an American Express (one of those oddball American Express cards not issued by American Express). Now it’s a MasterCard.

It’s advertised as a signup bonus of up to 65,000 miles but I wouldn’t think about it that way.

Reach rewards faster with up to 65,000 Flying Club bonus miles in the first year with the Virgin Atlantic World Elite MasterCard® credit card from Bank of America.

The offer is:

  • 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 — 7500 after $15,000 spend and 7500 after $25,000 in spend.
  • Earn up to 5,000 Flying Club bonus miles when you add additional authorized users to your card (2500 per cardholder up to 2)

So adding two authorized users and spending $2500 on the card gets you 50,000 points. There’s a $90 annual fee, and it applies even in the first year. Definitely worth it, in my view, for 50,000 points.

There are some nique benefits of MasterCard and this card is being issued as a World Elite MasterCard, and is about the least expensive card with that designation. World Elite cards have a much better travel benefits program that simple World MasterCards do.

One of the popular uses for Virgin miles in the past was converting to Hilton at one-to-two, 50,000 Virgin miles would yield 100,000 Hilton points. But since the March 28th Hilton devaluation that doesn’t appeal nearly as much. A 100,000 point HHonors balance to me is now just two nights at the Embassy Suites Portland instead of the Conrad Koh Samui.

Still, Virgin miles are fairly easy to acquire to top off an account — I earn 1000 Virgin miles per one-day Avis car rental. And points transfer into Virgin from both American Express Membership Rewards and from Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Of course where paid travel would entail a fuel surcharge, Virgin adds that to the cost of an award ticket.

They’ve reduced fuel surcharges on economy awards but those aren’t the awards I’m looking for.

What’s more, departures in a premium cabin originating in the U.K. entail a substantial tax — on top of the surcharges. So Virgin award tickets often aren’t cheap.


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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Already applied for this card earlier today and was automatically rejected, which is unusual for me. Could be related to applying for Alaska card and recently canceling before annual fee hit.

  2. @David, That sure is strange, as B of A has been quite generous to me too. I guess, I will wait a while before I jump in for this new card. Thanks for the heads up.

  3. @David Unlikely you were rejected just for canceling an Alaska card. B of A is well known for the churnability of it’s ccs.

    Did you call the Recon # and see if you can talk them into it? My app for the Virgin card was also automatically rejected last month. I called in, offered to move some credit from my Alaska card, and was approved in about 5 minutes. And they then gave me double the CL of the amount I moved from the other card. Go figure…

    Monday would be the day to call. The number to talk with a B of A Credit Analyst, is: 866-530-9829

  4. @Robert,
    I did call what I thought was a recon line, but maybe not. The woman was unhelpful. I will try that number Monday to see what happens. Sadly I have no credit to move in though, since I cancelled Alaska already.

    @ram,
    This might just have to do with me. Not sure why, but I got only 1 out of 6 cards I applied for yesterday automatically. I usually do much better, although applying for and being rejected for US Air card is just sort of tradition at this point. I did wait 90 days from last round(except for Alaska air, which was about 45 days ago I got, and a week or two ago cancelled).

  5. @David Sometimes the CSR you get makes a difference. What’s that thing that Gary keeps saying? Oh, yeah, hang up and call back.

    I’d say always try at least 3 calls. And make sure you catch the CSRs name, so if you call back and get them again, you can avoid trying with the same person twice. “Sorry, I’ve got a call on the other line; I’ll have to call back later”. 😉

    Not clear about your Alaska card, did you only keep it 6 weeks, or did you cancel just before the fee hit? If the former, that could be part of the problem. Since B of A will let you hold multiples of the same card, I usually keep B of A cards for 9 months. I’ve had 3 Virgin ccs open at once in the past. B of A doesn’t seem to care. I think that’s better than making it too obvious you are churning thru a ‘churn and immediate dump’ pattern. Plus you have a card to move CL from to your new app if necessary.

  6. I know you like to bash Hilton, but 5 free nights at the Hilton Prague Old Town or the Doubletree Phuket on $2500 spend? There are lots of 20,000 point hotels still out there in good destinations. Beggars can’t be choosers; I’ll take it!

  7. @Jen…$90 annual fee + $2500 spend @ standard opportunity cost of 2% comes out to $140. That’s 0.14 cents per point; take it or leave it, I will take it.

  8. @ David Sorry about that. I had used that number in the past, but yeah, I just called it and got the same message.

    Check back here tomorrow, hopefully I’ll have a working number for you by then.

  9. @ Dave 1-866-865-78739

    Seems to be available during business hours on the East Coast, so if you get the message to “call back during business hours”, try again the next morning.

    Good Luck….

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