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For a limited time, Bank of America has increased the sign-up bonus on the Virgin Atlantic card to 70,000 miles. Plus, you’ll get 5,000 more miles for adding 2 authorized users to your account.
Even though it’s marketed as a 90,000 mile card, you’ll only get the last 15,000 miles on your card anniversary, and only if you spend a lot. So this is really a 75,000 mile offer!
And you’ll have to spend $12,000 in the 1st 6 months to get the full bonus. But there are lots of ways to do that!
Is it worth meeting such a high minimum spending requirement for this card? Let’s find out.
What’s the Deal?
Link: Bank of America Virgin Atlantic
Until December 19, 2014, you’ll get the increased sign-up bonus on the Bank of America Virgin Atlantic card. This bonus works a little differently. You’ll get:
- 20,000 miles after your 1st purchase
- 50,000 miles after you spend $12,000 in qualifying purchases in the 1st 6 months
- 5,000 miles when you add 2 authorized users
- Up to 15,000 miles on your card anniversary (7,500 miles if you spend more than $15,000 in a year, and another 7,500 miles if you spend over $25,000)
- A Companion award ticket for half the miles of a standard award ticket, when you spend $25,000 in a year
- 3 miles per $1 you spend on Virgin Atlantic
- 1.5 miles per $1 you spend on everything else
The annual fee of $90 is NOT waived for the 1st year.
I don’t like that this card is marketed as a 90,000 mile card, because you’ll have to spend at least $25,000 on the card (and pay a 2nd annual fee) to get the full bonus.
Is It Worth It?
If you’re comfortable meeting the minimum spending requirement, and like Virgin Atlantic miles, this could be a good card for you.
But keep in mind, Virgin Atlantic adds high fuel surcharges to their award tickets.
For example, 70,000 Virgin Atlantic miles is enough for 2 round-trip, coach class tickets between New York and London. But you’ll also pay $1,000 in taxes and fees!
Or you could use 70,000 miles for a round-trip, Premium Economy class ticket between Los Angeles and London. As long as you don’t mind paying the extra $810 in fees.
Sometimes Virgin Atlantic has award seat sales. You’ll pay fewer miles, but the taxes and fees are still high.
You could use Virgin Atlantic miles for award tickets on Hawaiian airlines and avoid paying fuel surcharges. A low-level, round-trip coach class ticket between the mainland and Hawaii costs 40,000 miles.
I prefer transferring Virgin Atlantic miles to Hilton hotels. Even though the transfer rate isn’t as good as it used to be, you’ll still get 3 Hilton hotel points for every 2 Virgin Atlantic miles you transfer.
So 75,000 Virgin Atlantic miles is worth 112,500 Hilton points. That’s enough for 1 night (with points left over) at a top-tier Category 10 hotel, like the Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort and Spa.
That said, if you want a card that earns Hilton stays, the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve is a much better choice. You’ll get 2 free weekend nights at (almost) any Hilton after you spend only $2,500 in the 1st 4 months.
Note: Bank of America lets you get the same card (and bonus) over and over again. So if you’ve had this card in the past, or even still have an account, you can still apply for the increased bonus.
Until December 19, 2014, you’ll get 75,000 miles when you sign-up for the Bank of America Virgin Atlantic card. But you’ll have to spend $12,000 in the 1st 6 months and add 2 authorized users!
You’ll also get up to 15,000 miles on your card anniversary, but only if you spend $25,000 in a year.
Some folks might not feel comfortable meeting the minimum spending requirement, so do what’s best for you.
Remember, Virgin Atlantic adds high fuel surcharges to their award tickets. But you can use the miles on Hawaiian Airlines (with no fuel surcharges), or transfer them to Hilton hotels.
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