Signup Bonus Of Up to 90,000 Virgin Atlantic Miles

Back in August an offer came out promising up to 90,000 miles for the Virgin Atlantic co-brand credit card. It returned at the beginning of October.

Now, these are Virgin Atlantic miles which aren’t the most valuable. And the offer required a whole bunch of spend. So it’s wasn’t the greatest card offer out there. In fact, I view the card as 75,000 miles for $12,000 spend and wouldn’t take it all the way to capture the full offer on the table.

But it was from an issuer without too many co-brand cards (my only current Bank of America card is an Alaska Visa), and it’s potentially a lot of miles.

The link for the offer appeared to die each time, so it seemed like the chance for this was gone. But it turns out that PointsCentric found another link that works.

This card used to come 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 90,000 miles but I wouldn’t think about it that way. There are several pieces to the bonus, and you should probably take less than the full miles. And you should know that Virgin Atlantic miles are among the least valuable.

The offer is:

  • 20,000 Flying Club bonus miles after first purchase
  • 50,000 additional Flying Club bonus miles after spending $12,000 in within 6 months
  • Earn up to 15,000 additional bonus miles upon anniversary — 7500 if you spend $15,000 in the year on the card, and 15,000 if you spend $25,000 in the year on the card.
  • Earn up to 5,000 Flying Club bonus miles when you add additional authorized users to your card

Sign up. Put $12,000 on the card. And you get 70,000 miles. Add authorized users and it’s 75,000 miles.

Now, if you’re going to do $12,000 in spend, you might as well spend $3000 more for an extra 7500 but that does require keeping the card through its anniversary.

There are some unique benefits of MasterCard and this card is being issued as a World Elite MasterCard. Those have much better travel benefits than 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 the ratio nhas been devalued to 1-to-1.5. And Hilton devalued. 75,000 Hilton HHonors points doesn’t especially appeal to me, but some folks will find that useful.

Still, Virgin miles are fairly easy to acquire. Points transfer into Virgin from both American Express Membership Rewards and from Chase Ultimate Rewards.

I’m not a fan of Virgin Atlantic miles, although I have a ton. This offer is strong enough that it has tempted me many times. But I’ve never redeeemed the points. That’s why I put together a list of the great ways to redeem Virgin Atlantic’s miles.

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. (Better off in most cases using Delta miles for the same awards on Virgin flights.)

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.


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. “Easy to get” miles that I’d likely never find a use for, while dedicating $12,000 in spend that could be going to cover multiple enrollment bonuses on other cards that have more valuable miles associated with them. Get rid of those abominable “fuel surcharges” and maybe I’d get curious. Yes, I know you feel sort of obligated to inform readers of everything in the market, but that card and program look like real dogs.

  2. @Travis – looking back at my records, I last applied for this card on 4/29/13. I met spend and cancelled sometime in late summer or fall 2013. I just applied again yesterday and was approved.

    I went ahead and applied for this card again because I don’t really ever turn down opportunities to crank out Hhonors points and I view the math as favorable. The total gain here will be 88,000 VS miles (20000 + 50000 + 1.5*12000). The total cost will be the $90 AF + $3.95*24 to get the spend + $12000*.02 in standard 2% opportunity cost, so $424.80. So at 88000*1.5 = 132,000 hhonors points for $424.80 that is 0.322 cents/point, which I view as favorable since I am selective about my hhonors redemptions and always get at least 0.5 cents/point in value, often more (usually with C&P redemptions or 5th-night-free international redemptions at low-tier properties). As always, do the math for yourself given your personal earn/burn style and evaluate whether it makes sense for you.

  3. Link still seems to be working.

    90K (or even 75K) miles is pretty useful for me. This, topped off with 12500 Chase points will take my family of five to London with a very reasonable surcharge.

    Then 4500 Avios pp (22500 total) to Paris with almost no fee. Then Oneworld (using AA miles) or Star (using United, possibly topped up with Chase) will get us back from Paris for 30K miles each.

    RT for 52000 miles + ~$250 pp. That’s a pretty decent coach redemption. I just checked, and there is availability for 5 seats on each of the three legs for many dates, but a paid itinerary would be quite expensive. Better than 2c/point, even taking into account the fees, so not a bad deal at all.

  4. Update on March 30, 2015: Confirming that I received the card with an insert with T&C specifying the 20K + 50K etc.

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