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INSIDER SECRET: Virgin Atlantic miles are one of the best options for booking award flights to Japan because its partner award chart for ANA features incredible business-class and first-class deals from the US for 90,000-120,000 miles round-trip.
The Bank of America Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® has a limited-time sign-up offer for up to 80,000 miles in the first year. But for most, this offer will amount to a bonus of 60,000-65,000 miles because earning the extra miles and perks requires a huge amount of spending.
It’s an attractive offer, since Virgin Atlantic miles are some of the easiest to earn since they transfer from most major transferable-points program. Let’s take a look at what you’ll get with the Virgin Atlantic credit card and the best options you have for earning and burning Virgin Atlantic miles.
Limited-Time Virgin Atlantic Credit Card Offer
If you’re approved for the Virgin Atlantic credit card, here’s how you can earn up to 80,000 miles in the first year:
- Earn 60,000 miles after spending $2,000 in the first 90 days of account opening
- Earn up to 5,000 miles for adding authorized users (2,500 miles each for the first two authorized users)
- Earn up to 15,000 bonus miles each account anniversary
- 7,500 bonus miles after spending $15,000+ within the past cardmember year
- 7,500 bonus miles after spending $25,000+ (in total) within the past cardmember year
That’s a lot of hoops to jump through, so it’s better to look at this as a 60,000-mile offer unless you plan on spending a lot on the card and adding two or more authorized users to your account. Another reason you might want to spend $25,000+ on the card in a year is to earn a companion award. When you earn Virgin’s Enhanced Anniversary Award Benefit, you’ll get your choice of either an:
- Upgrade from economy to premium economy on a Virgin Atlantic award flight
- Bring along a companion in the same class on a Virgin Atlantic award flight for only the cost of taxes + fees (which can be high)
The value of having the ability to bring along a companion is limited by the fact that taxes and fees on Virgin Atlantic award flights can be outrageous. As an example, a economy award from New York to London will set you back ~$350 in fees while an Upper Class (business class) award on the same route comes with $1,500+ in fees. Also, the cabin that the companion fare is valid for varies based on your Virgin Atlantic elite status. Basic-level (Red) members can bring a companion along in economy class only, Silver members (second tier) can bring a companion along in up to premium economy and Gold members (top tier) can bring a companion along in any cabin class including business class.
Once you’ve earned an Enhanced Anniversary Award Benefit, it will expire in two years.
The Virgin Atlantic credit card earns Virgin Atlantic miles and elite-tier credits at the following rates:
- 3x miles on Virgin Atlantic purchases
- 1.5x miles on all other purchases
- 25 elite-tier credits per $2,500 spent, up to 50 credits per month
The Virgin Atlantic credit card has a $90 annual fee.
The Virgin Atlantic card is useful for helping to earn elite status and perks when flying with Virgin Atlantic, but Virgin Atlantic miles are actually much more lucrative when you use them for partner award travel. You can use Virgin Atlantic miles to book Delta business-class flights to Europe starting at 50,000 miles one-way and Delta domestic flights for 12,500 miles one-way. The one drawback is that with Virgin Atlantic partner awards on Delta you’ll pay per segment, so if you have to add a connection, you’ll pay more.
Virgin Atlantic miles are also an exceptional deal for flying to Japan on ANA. You can book round-trip flights in first class from anywhere in the US that ANA flies for only 120,000 miles. That’s one of the best miles and points sweet spots of any program.
If you want to stock up on Virgin Atlantic miles in a hurry, you’re in luck because they transfer from most major transferable points program, including:
If you wanted to earn 80,000 points that can be transferred to Virgin Atlantic, you could open the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, which has an intro bonus of 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first three months of account opening. That’s way less than what you’d have to spend with the Virgin Atlantic card to earn the same number of miles.
You can apply for the Virgin Atlantic card here.
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