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A bank that offers rewards credit card, but sometimes get left out of the big sign-up bonus discussions is Bank of America. They don’t have as many travel rewards credit cards as they used to, but they still have a few that can be pretty useful. The Alaska Airlines card might be my favorite that they offer, but the Virgin Atlantic card is in the spotlight today thanks to a sign-up bonus of up to 90,000 miles. That’s a big number, but don’t get too excited just yet.
- 20,000 Flying Club bonus miles after your first retail purchase
- 50,000 additional Flying Club bonus miles after you spend at least $12,000 in qualifying purchases within 6 months of your account open date
- Earn up to 15,000 additional bonus miles upon anniversary
- Earn up to 5,000 Flying Club bonus miles when you add additional authorized users to your card
- 7,500 anniversary Flying Club miles will be posted to your Flying Club account when you spend a minimum of $15,000 in Net Purchases within the anniversary year with your card.
- An additional 7,500 anniversary Flying Club miles will be awarded when you spend $25,000 in Net Purchases within the anniversary year with your card. Earned Anniversary Flying Club miles will be posted to your Flying Club account each year within four to six weeks of the anniversary of your card’s open date.
- If you spend at least $25,000 in Net Purchases using your card within a year (beginning on the date you open your account and continuing for every 12 month period thereafter) the primary cardholder will also qualify for an Economy companion reward ticket for half the standard miles of a reward economy seat, maximum one reward companion ticket per year.
- Earn 3 miles per $1 spent directly on Virgin Atlantic purchases and 1.5 miles per $1 spent on all other purchases
Assuming you can spend the $12,000 required to trigger the 50k additional sign-up bonus miles, you might as well spend the $3k more to get the 7,500 anniversary miles for spending $15k in your first year. Even if you didn’t spend the full $25k in the year to get the full 90k bonus, that is still 82,500 miles in the first year in bonuses + 22,500 from the 1.5x per dollar spent, for a total of 105,000 miles for $15,000 in spending. Keep in mind there is a $90 annual fee for the card.
For some that is an easy spending threshold to hit given all the ways to spend on cards these days, but I know for others that would be a number that is just too high to reach for. If you fall into the latter category then I wouldn’t worry about this offer as there are almost certainly better cards for your daily spending. However, if you are just looking for creative ways to keep earning lots of miles, then this could be a good offer for you if you have a plan for how you will use the miles.
I don’t have a ton of experience with Virgin Atlantic due to fuel surcharges on many award tickets, but I am familiar with the ability to transfer their miles to Hilton at a 1:1.5 ratio. It used to be 1:2, but that alas is no more. If you earned 105,000 Virgin Atlantic miles, that could be 157,500 Hilton HHonors points, which won’t get you far at the top category Hilton properties, but could get you several nights at their mid-tier properties.
Virgin Atlantic also partners with Hawaiian Airlines in case you want to use the miles without fuel surcharges to escape to a Hawaiian paradise. Virgin Atlantic charges from 15,000 for round trip intra-island flights, from 40,000 miles for round trip flights from US – Hawaii in coach, and 80,000 in first class.
If you are interested in this offer, I recommend reading this post by View From the Wing and this one by Million Mile Secrets about the ways to use Virgin Atlantic miles (just remember the transfer rate is no longer 1:2 to Hilton). Virgin Atlantic is also a transfer partner of both Membership Rewards and Ultimate Rewards, but again make sure you have a good understanding of how their program works before earning or transferring in Virgin Atlantic miles.
If you are curious, this is not an affiliate credit card offer, just one big enough I thought it was worth mentioning.