Virgin Atlantic MasterCard: Up to 65,000 Bonus Miles Plus $100 Global Entry Fee Credit

In January I wrote that Bank of America was back with its 50,000 mile signup bonus for the Virgin Atlantic credit card.

They promote it as ‘up to 65,000 miles’ but 15,000 of those are at your cardmember anniversary and are based on spend with the card — 7500 bonus miles for $15,000 spend in that year, and 7500 more for hitting $25,000 in spend.

So I consider it to be a 50,000 mile bonus.

  • 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 5,000 Flying Club bonus miles when you add additional authorized users to your card (2500 per cardholder up to 2)

What’s new in this offer for the card is that they’re now also offering a $100 fee reimbursement for Global Entry. So if you haven’t signed up yet and are interested in doing so, and don’t have another card or status that gives you the same, then the offer is $100 better than before.

The card used to be offered as an American Express (issued by Bank of America, not by American Express) but is now a World Elite MasterCard (which has some nice benefits).

There’s a $90 annual fee, and it applies even in the first year. Definitely worth it, in my view, for 50,000 points. Here are 8 Great Ways You Can Use Virgin Atlantic Miles that you may not have expected.

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.

And it’s no longer even that good because they’ve dropped the transfer rate to 1:1.5.

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.

(HT: @PointsCentric)


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 Milepoint.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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Comments

  1. At first you say the card is “definitely worth it” and then proceed to trash Virgin Atlantic miles. Which is it?!!?

  2. I believe the card — from Bank of America, so not a ton of tradeoffs other than the Alaska card — is worth it for the bonus, but i want to set expectations appropriately about the limitations of the miles you’re getting.

  3. I’m torn between this card offer and a 30/40k Alaskan card for my next churn. I’m thinking that I’ll be able to use 40K Flying club miles for a 1 way on Delta to Europe in 2015, I may go with VA.

  4. Thanks Gary. 2 questions: 1) I got this card a few months ago. Would BOA benefit-match? 2) which other credit cards reimburse the fee?

  5. We spend a lot of time obsessing about premium travel but I actually like my VS miles for economy travel TO London. It’s only 17.5k miles from the east coast and I charge the fees to my Arrival card. Bang bang, cheap flight to London. Does it rival Ink and SPG? Hardly. But it’s not worthless either.

    Now, I wonder if existing members can get the Global Entry fee credit too.

  6. David plus 1. Especially just TO London one way where taxes are lower. Still waiting, can existing members get Global Entry fee credit?

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