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With all of the credit card offerings out there, it can be easy to miss a gem like the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard®. I’m tempted to call this a diamond in the rough because this airline credit card can offer a ton of value depending on your travel style. Now through December 18th this card has an increased bonus offer of up to 80,000 miles in the first year after meeting various spending requirements and adding authorized users.
For starters, you’ll get lots of flexibility with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles because they can be redeemed not only on Virgin Atlantic flights but also on partner airlines like Delta and ANA. And there are some seriously sweet redemption options. For instance, you can book a round-trip first-class flight on ANA from the U.S. to Japan (a flight that could cost upwards of $10,000+) for just 110,000 miles and approximately $300 in fees.
Here are six reasons you should get the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard®.
Huge welcome bonus
For a limited time, you can earn up to 80,000 bonus miles.
You’ll earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 within the first 90 days of account opening, up to 5,000 bonus miles after adding two authorized users (2,500 bonus miles for each authorized user) and 15,000 bonus miles after meeting the following requirements during the first year:
- Earn 7,500 bonus miles when you spend $15,000
- Earn an additional 7,500 bonus miles when you spend a total of $25,000
If you meet all of the bonus requirements, you’d get 80,000 miles plus an additional 37,500 miles for the $25,000 in spend at 1.5 points per dollar. You could end up with 117,500 Virgin miles just in the first year of having this card.
Virgin Atlantic miles are worth around 1.5 cents each, although they can be worth much, much more (like the first-class ticket we talked about earlier).
You can read our full Virgin Atlantic credit card review for more on how you can earn and redeem your miles with the card.
Great for everyday spend
If you fly Virgin Atlantic routes, you can quickly rack up miles for your next award ticket. With the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® you’ll earn:
- 3 Virgin Atlantic miles per $1 spent directly on Virgin Atlantic purchases
- 1.5 Virgin Atlantic miles per $1 spent on all other purchases
Virgin Atlantic miles are worth around 1.5 cents per point, so you’re essentially getting 4.5 cents back per dollar on Virgin Atlantic purchases (1.5 cents per mile X 3 miles) and 2.25 cents per point in value on all other purchases (1.5 cents per mile X 1.5 miles). That’s a great return on everyday spend.
The 1.5x miles on all purchases is better than nearly every other airline cobranded card, many of which usually offer just 1x miles on all purchases and maybe a limited bonus category, like gas stations or rental cars. Additionally, you can effectively increase your earn rate to 2.1x miles per dollar on all purchases if you meet the following anniversary bonus spend requirements.
Consider this the card that keeps on giving, because even after you earn the welcome bonus, you can earn a sizeable bonus of up to 15,000 miles each anniversary year if you meet the spending requirements.
You can earn:
- 7,500 bonus miles when you spend $15,000
- An additional 7,500 bonus miles when you spend a total of $25,000
Outside of a welcome bonus, it’s unusual to be able to earn a big chunk of miles quickly like this.
In fact, if you spend $25,000 on the card each year, this effectively means you’re earning a 2.1x miles per dollar on all purchases. That’s one of the best earn rates out there for non-bonused spending.
Companion pass, upgrades and more
For a card with a low annual fee of just $90, the following perk is almost unheard of.
As a Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® cardmember, if you spend $25,000 on the card in your previous anniversary year, you can bring a companion with you on your next Virgin Atlantic award flight. You’ll just pay taxes and fees.
Depending on your elite status with Virgin Atlantic, you can redeem this companion voucher for a seat in economy, premium economy, or business class:
- Red tier: economy class
- Silver tier: economy or premium economy class
- Gold tier: economy, premium economy or business class
Alternatively, if you decide not to use the companion pass, you can opt for a seat upgrade from economy to premium economy for your next award flight.
This card will also fast-track you toward Virgin Atlantic elite status. You’ll earn 25 Tier Points for every $2,500 you spend on the card. You can earn a maximum of 50 Tier Points every month from spend. You need 400 Tier points for Virgin Atlantic Silver status.
Virgin Atlantic’s award-chart sweet spots
There are many ways you can get an insane amount of value from your Virgin Atlantic miles via its myriad partners. Here are just a few examples:
- Round-trip business-class flight on ANA from the U.S. to Japan for 90,000 miles
- Round-trip first-class flight on ANA from the U.S. to Japan for 110,000 miles
- One-way business-class flight on New Zealand Air from the U.S. to New Zealand for 62,500 miles
- One-way business-class flight on Delta from the U.S. to Europe for 50,000 miles
- One-way domestic first-class flight on Delta for 22,500 miles
Are you based in the U.S. and don’t plan on traveling abroad? Virgin miles are still super-useful since you can use them on domestic Delta flights, with one-way economy flights across the U.S. for just 12,500 miles. Using Virgin miles will help insulate you from Delta’s variable SkyMiles award pricing.
You can check out our in-depth guide on Virgin Atlantic award sweet spots here.
You can get this card even if you’re over 5/24
Many banks have implemented new application rules over the past years which can affect your chances of approval if you’ve opened up a lot of cards in a short time frame. Chase, for instance, has their 5/24 rule, where you will not be approved for most of their cards if you’ve opened five or more cards from any bank (not counting certain business credit cards) in the past 24 months.
That rule does not apply to the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard®, which is issued by Bank of America. So even if you’re over 5/24, you should still be eligible for the Virgin Atlantic card.
You don’t have to be a Virgin Atlantic frequent flyer to get great value from the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard®. It’s an amazing card for your everyday purchases and is especially great for those who can meet spending requirements, thanks to the anniversary bonus and choice of either a companion voucher or seat upgrade.
Outside of those perks, the miles you earn can be redeemed on several partner airlines and if you know where to look, there are also some incredible sweet spots in the award chart that can make Virgin Atlantic miles very valuable.
Let us know if you have the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® and what you enjoy most about the card in the comments below.
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