Virgin Atlantic is offering one of the highest credit card bonuses out there, with a 90,000 mile sign-up. It sounds like a great deal for a $90 annual fee, but be sure to read the fine print.
The Virgin Atlantic World Elite MasterCard
90,000 miles is a heck of a bonus, especially if you include the miles from your spend, but Virgin is going to make you work for it. You’ll get 20,000 miles after your first purchase, but the big chunk of 50,000 comes after you spend $12,000 within six months of opening the card. On a dollar per month spend basis, that’s ahead of even the “$5,000 in three months” that shows up with some promotions. Add in the 18,000 you get from your spend and you’re at 88,000 miles. And finally, you’ll get 2,500 miles per authorized user, up to 5,000. Total: 93,000, of which 75,000 were part of the sign-up bonus.
So where are the other 15,000 miles? It comes on your one year anniversary, but it appears that you need to spend another $25,000 to get there. Is it worth it to spend another $25,000 on the card to pick up 15,000 more miles? Unlikely.
Bonus Flying Club Miles: You will receive 20,000 miles after your first Purchase made with your card. 7,500 anniversary miles will be posted to your Flying Club account after you spend a minimum of $15,000 in Purchases within the anniversary year with your card. An additional 7,500 anniversary miles will be awarded after you spend a total of $25,000 in Purchases within the anniversary year with your card. Earned Anniversary 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. The value of these rewards may constitute taxable income to you. You may be issued an Internal Revenue Service Form 1099 (or other appropriate form) that reflects the value of such rewards. Please consult your tax advisor, as neither we, nor our affiliates, provide tax advice. Tier Points: You will earn 1 tier point for every $2,500 spent on Purchases with the card. A maximum 2 tier points can be earned per month. A maximum of 24 tier points can be earned per year. For a more detailed explanation, visit virginatlantic.com/plastic Q&A’s.
Where You Can Go
US to UK in Upper Class? Yes, please. My previous experience wasn’t great, but it’s a decent product on the right plane. 80,000 – 100,000 is a nice price to pay, as well. But look at that column to the right of the price in miles. They’re making up for the miles with taxes and fees (and the taxes aren’t particularly high).
Fortunately, Virgin Atlantic has a number of partners who provide an even better experience, and usually without all the fees. If you want to use your miles, you may be better off doing it with one of their redemption partners:
Do You Need The Card?
“90,000” makes for a great headline number, but do you really need the credit card? Probably not, unless you fly Virgin Atlantic frequently. Three points per mile spent and a tier bonus are nice, but they will mostly help you on the host airline, with a few benefits that carry over to partners.
On the other hand, you could just as easily apply for a Chase Card and get 50,000 – 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points. Then, convert them to Flying Club if that’s what you want to do.
Cover Photo: VS media library