New Virgin Atlantic American Express: 45,000 Miles with First Purchase and Up to 65,000 Bonus Miles the First Year

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.)

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, 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. Gary-

    When I click on either of the links you provided, I do get an offer that says 65,000 miles in the banners. But there is no mention anywhere in the offer of how to get more than 45,000 miles. Are you assuming that the same extra miles offered on the 20,000 mile deal are also available for the offer you describe?

    Also, when I click on the terms and conditions, I get a pop-up that says the application is not available. Strange, since you link does give a page with an application form.


  2. Keeping it simple, let’s say I just want the 45,000 miles (or perhaps the 50,000 I can apparently earn if I add 2 additional card members).

    What could I do with those miles? The flyingclub site isn’t very clear, but it suggests that I can book an NYC-LON roundtrip for 29,500 miles. Is that correct? If so, what is the fuel surcharge I’d have to pay? And, like BA, is there pooling of miles by family members and any non-surcharge destinations I can travel to? Or any other good use of these miles, like by transferring them to another program? Thanks!

  3. I believe that the T&C conflict with the splash page, in that the T&C say the bonus is 20K miles after first purchase, then 25K miles after $750 spend.

    The splash page doesn’t mention a $750 minimum-spend requirement.

  4. Agree with Miles (#4) that the T&C conflict with the splash page. I am going to call them up and complain.

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