Virgin Credit

Virgin Credit

British Airways has wowed frequent flyers with its offer of 100,000 miles for obtaining a co-branded credit card. Now BA’s rival, Virgin Atlantic Airways, is offering Flying Club members up to 65,000 bonus miles in their first year as cardholders of the Virgin Atlantic American Express Card from Bank of America. Cardholders will get 45,000 Flying Club bonus miles when spending at least $750 in the first 90 days of owning the card and then three miles for every dollar spent on Virgin Atlantic purchases and 1.5 miles per dollar spent on retail purchases. Upon their anniversary of obtaining the card, cardholders get 7,500 bonus miles when spending a minimum of $15,000 in net purchases with an additional 7,500 bonus miles if spending reaches at least $25,000 in net purchases. To get to the full 65,000 bonus miles advertised, you’ll need to also get 2,500 bonus miles for each of two authorized users added to the card.

If you spend $25,000 in net purchases within a year, you will qualify for an economy companion award ticket for half the standard miles of an award economy seat (maximum one per year).

To sweeten the pot, Flying Club members will earn up to two tier points per month to boost their chances of earning or keeping elite status, up to a maximum of 24 tier points per year. It takes 15 tier points to qualify for Silver status and 10 to renew and 40 to qualify for Gold status with 30 to renew.

The card comes with a $90 annual fee and a zero percent introductory APR for purchases, balance transfers and direct deposits for the first seven billing cycles. Visit to apply.

Bottom line: Although not as lucrative from the start as the British Airways Visa Signature Card offer, it makes up some ground when you compare that you’ll get three miles per dollar spent with airline purchases with Virgin Atlantic compared with 2.5 miles per dollar spent with British Airways and 1.5 miles per retail purchase with Virgin Atlantic compared to 1.25 with British Airways–and the extra boost toward elite is a sought-after feature. British Airways is offering a two-for-one award voucher when their cardholders spend at least $30,000 per year while Virgin Atlantic only offers half off the companion award ticket–but at a lower threshold of $25,000 spent per year. Virgin offers a bargain award from the U.S. to Europe at 40,000 miles so with just the annual fee of $90 and a spend of $750 on the card, you’ve already got a free ticket for that London jaunt you’ve been wanting to take.

With the popularity of Virgin Atlantic and its Clubhouse experience, we anticipate quite a few U.S.-based frequent flyers to give in to this particular plastic temptation.

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