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1. 25,000 Mile Virgin Atlantic
Bank of America used to issue a Virgin Atlantic card (no longer available) under a license from American Express card with a 50,000 mile sign-up bonus after spending $2,500 in 3 months and adding 2 authorized users. You can transfer Virgin Atlantic miles to Hilton hotel points in a 1:2 ratio, so this was one of the best ways to earn Hilton points.
Virgin Atlantic also reduced the fuel surcharges on coach awards, so it could be worth using Virgin Atlantic miles for coach flights to London. You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to Virgin Atlantic, but I prefer saving my Ultimate Rewards points for United, Hyatt, and Southwest.
Bank of America has a new MasterCard version – the Virgin Atlantic World Elite with 25,000 Virgin Atlantic miles. You get 20,000 miles after your 1st purchase and 5,000 Virgin Atlantic miles for adding 2 authorized users. The screenshot application doesn’t show the additional 5,000 miles for adding 2 cardholders, but the press release indicates the additional 5,000 mile bonus.
If you’re a Big Spender, you get 7,500 Virgin Atlantic miles after spending $15,000 within 1 anniversary year and another 7,5000 miles after spending $25,000 within 1 year.
The ad copy suggests that you will get 15,000 extra miles “upon anniversary” but doesn’t mention that you have to spend $25,000 to get them!
Like the previous Bank of America American Express card, you earn:
- 3 miles for every $1 spent on Virgin Atlantic
- 1.5 miles for every $1 spent everywhere else
I’d wait for another 50,000 mile offer before applying for the card.
2. Southwest 50,000 Points
Thanks to the readers for writing in about a targeted offer for 50,000 Southwest points after spending $2,000 within 3 months. This is much better than the current offer of 25,000 points after spending $1,000 within 3 months.
Unfortunately, the emails were targeted and you need an invitation code to apply, but keep an eye out for them in your email.
You can sign-up for Southwest email offers and you just may get an offer via email.
3. Ritz – Carlton 70,000 to 140,000 Points
Frequent Miler writes about two Ritz-Carlton cards:
- One with a 70,000 bonus and the annual fee waived
- Another with a 140,000 bonus, but with the $395 annual fee not waived
You can use Ritz-Carlton points to book Marriott hotels and the Gold status (free internet) you get with the Ritz-Carlton cards is valid at Marriott hotels.
It costs 30,000 to 70,000 points for 1 night at a the Ritz-Carlton.
The annual fee is $395, but gets you a $200 airline credit (per calendar year) and Gold status.
So getting the card with the 140,000 point bonus means that you’re paying $395 for an extra 70,000 points. Remember that you get the $200 airline credit each calendar year regardless of which version of the card you have.
I don’t have a Ritz (or Marriott) card yet, because it takes a lot of points to get a free night at Marriott, but it could be worth it to some folks.