Last Chance: Virgin Atlantic Mastercard 90K Bonus Ending Soon

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Update: These offers for Alaska Airlines Visa Business Card®, the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business and the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business have expired. Learn more about the current offers here.


Since August 2018, the Virgin Atlantic Mastercard has been offering one of its best offers, which I wrote about a while back.

It’s worth noting that if you’re interested in this offer, it’s set to expire on January 30, 2019, so you have just a couple of days left to take advantage of this offer.

The Virgin Atlantic Mastercard isn’t the most lucrative credit card out there, but this is still an excellent offer. While Flying Club miles aren’t especially valuable for travel on Virgin Atlantic (especially after the 2017 devaluation), there are some excellent partner redemption opportunities.

This has the potential to be a good welcome bonus, especially if you already have a lot of the other lucrative cards out there, and if you spend a lot in categories that don’t other qualify for bonuses. The card is marketed as offering up to 90,000 miles, as follows:

  • 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 six months
  • Earn up to 15,000 additional bonus miles upon anniversary — 7,500 bonus miles if you spend a total of $15,000, and an additional 7,500 bonus miles if you spend a total of $25,000
  • Earn up to 5,000 Flying Club bonus miles when you add additional authorized users to your card
  • Earn 3 miles per $1 spent directly on Virgin Atlantic purchases and 1.5 miles per $1 spent on all other purchases

There is a $90 annual fee, which isn’t waived the first year.

As you can see the card basically offers 70,000 Flying Club bonus miles after you spend $12,000, and if you add two authorized users you get an additional 5,000 miles, for a total of 75,000 bonus miles.

The card ordinarily offers 1.5 miles per dollar spent, so you’d earn a total of 93,000 miles after spending $12,000 and adding two authorized users. That’s the equivalent of almost eight miles per dollar spent.

Perhaps more accurately, to look at it marginally beyond the initial sign-up bonus, you’re earning over four miles per dollar spent (since you get 50,000 bonus miles for spending $12,000). That isn’t half bad, especially for non-bonused spend.

However, when you’re looking to redeem your miles, not only are there hefty carrier imposed surcharges for travel on Virgin Atlantic, but they also now have much higher redemption rates than they used to. Here’s the peak and off-peak pricing for travel on Virgin Atlantic:

Roundtrip to/from London andEconomyPremium EconomyUpper Class
US - Northeast: Boston, Newark, New York JFK, Washington DCStandard: 20,000
Peak: 40,000

Fuel Surcharges of $645.10 to $774.12
Standard: 35,000
Peak: 55,000

Fuel Surcharges of $750.00 to $900.00
Standard: 95,000
Peak: 115,000

Fuel Surcharges of $1120 to $1344
US - Midwest: Atlanta and DetroitStandard: 25,000
Peak: 45,000

Fuel Surcharges of $645.10 to $774.12
Standard: 45,000
Peak: 65,000

Fuel Surcharges of $750.00 to $900.00
Standard: 95,000
Peak: 115,000

Fuel Surcharges of $1120 to $1344
US - South: Miami and OrlandoStandard: 25,000
Peak: 45,000

Fuel Surcharges of $645.10 to $774.12
Standard: 45,000
Peak: 65,000

Fuel Surcharges of $750.00 to $900.00
Standard: 95,000
Peak: 115,000

Fuel Surcharges of $1120 to $1344
US - West: Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, SeattleStandard: 30,000
Peak: 50,000

Fuel Surcharges of $603.00 to $723.60
Standard: 55,000
Peak: 75,000

Fuel Surcharges of $707.90 to $849.80
Standard: 135,000
Peak: 155,000

Fuel Surcharges of $1153.93 to $1384.68


Virgin Atlantic 747 Upper Class

That’s a big increase, though in some cases it can still represent a good deal. I do love Virgin Atlantic Upper Class, including their Clubhouses in New York and London.


Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse London Heathrow

The single best use of Virgin Atlantic miles is for travel in ANA first & business class. Here’s their current pricing for travel on ANA:

Virgin Atlantic could change these redemption rates at any time, though, given what a good deal it is. 120,000 miles for a roundtrip first class ticket between the US and Japan with minimal fuel surcharges is tough to beat.


ANA first class

There are lots of other great uses of Flying Club miles, it just sometimes takes some creativity.

Alternative cards to consider

If you’re willing to get a business card and can put big spend on a card, I’d seriously consider the offers on two of Capital One’s cards, which are ending today.

The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business has a $95 annual fee that’s waived for the first year, and offers a tiered welcome bonus of up to 200,000 miles, as follows:

  • Earn 50,000 Spark miles when you spend $5,000 within the first three months
  • Earn an additional 150,000 Spark miles when you spend $50,000 within the first six months

Meanwhile the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business has a $95 annual fee that’s waived the first year, and offers a tiered welcome bonus of up to $2,000, as follows:

  • Earn $500 when you spend $5,000 within the first three months
  • Earn an additional $1,500 when you spend $50,000 within the first six months

Those are some huge bonuses, and you can read more about them here.

On top of that, if you want to get another Bank of America card with a much lower spend requirement, the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business Card has a $75 annual fee and offers 30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 within 90 days, plus a buy one ticket, get one for just taxes and fees ($0 fare plus taxes and fees from just $22).

Bottom line

I’d only sign up for the Virgin Atlantic Mastercard if you already have most of the other great cards out there, and if you spend a lot in non-bonused categories. If that’s the case, this could be a great value, especially if you’re taking advantage of one of Virgin Atlantic’s excellent partner airline redemptions.

If you’ve been considering this card, you only have a couple more days to act.

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Comments

  1. I find it surreal Virgin Atlantic hasn’t axe the ANA sweetspot especially after bonus transfer. Not SkyTeam style.

  2. A good use of Virgin miles are redemptions on Delta domestic and to the Caribbean. I recently used 35,000 VS miles and $120 in fees for a direct economy round trip on Delta from Atlanta to St Lucia. The ticket was available for 100,000 Delta miles and around $15 fees or for $1,042.

    Paradoxically I use DL miles to book transatlantic on VS and VS miles to book domestic on DL…

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