[Click to apply: 90,000 Virgin Atlantic miles with $25,000 spend in first year]
Bank of America has not been a huge player in the airline space to date, maintaining their relationship with Virgin Atlantic, Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Air - mostly regional players - while focusing mostly on their surprisingly successful cash-back card.
The recently revived 90,000-mile offer changes things. The Bank of America Virgin Atlantic MasterCard is one of the best offers out there from a nominal perspective and could fit nicely into your wallet. Here are the details:
- 20,000 Flying Club bonus miles after your first retail purchase
- 50,000 additional miles after $12,000 spend in first 6 months
- 15,000 additional miles after $25,000 spend in first 12 months (or 7,500 miles with $15,000 spend)
- 5,000 additional miles after adding an authorized user
- $90 annual fee
- 3 miles per $1 spend on Virgin Atlantic purchases
- 1.5 miles per $1 spend on everything else
- 1% foreign transaction fee (in addition to any local fee)
- Approval difficulty: Moderate (680+ credit score with decent income)
- Churn status: Easy (can be reapplied for after 30 days; reports of 4 applications in one day working!!)
One word of caution before moving any further: Virgin Atlantic miles are notoriously expensive to use – they, along with British Airways, assess fuel surcharges that can quickly rise into the several hundreds of dollars. And it is increasingly difficult to find partner award flights without fees.
With that said, there are exceptions to this - most notably Hawaiian Airlines, where 40,000 miles for economy or 80,000 miles for first class will net you a low-fee round-trip award ticket. But the miles uses are limited to a much greater degree than, say, a United or American.
Now, back to the card. As you can see, that is a lot of spend…but for a lot of miles. The $90 annual fee hurts, but assuming you can meet the year spend threshold then the 90,000 miles will more than offset that in value, even with a slightly lower value-per-mile than the United or American’s of the world.
The 1.5 miles per dollar spent helps offset the lower value, as that return is better than nearly every other airlines card out there (save for the Chase United Club card...with a $395 annual fee). And, since the credit card can reportedly be churned very easily, a savvy planner could take advantage of Virgin Atlantic’s multiple travel partners and simply transfer miles as they come in. Visit their transfer page to get a full list of partners.
To summarize, the Virgin Atlantic MasterCard is a great option to pad your miles wallet and wait for the right opportunity to use them. It is also a great, low-fee option for intra-continental travel throughout North America (including the Hawaii option outlined earlier), Europe and Australia.
Finally, for those that like to travel first class at a discounted, albeit still expensive, rate, Virgin Atlantic miles can be used all over the world – including hard-to-reach destinations like South Africa, UAE, and more – with fees ranging from a few hundred dollars and up. That’s not bad when compared to a several thousand-dollar ticket that the seat would normally cost.
The spend is big, but if you are able to meet it I recommend applying immediately. And, if you can afford it, apply for a few cards at once to maximize gains - especially lucrative since Bank of America applications do not have to be "saved" like the Chase and Citibank's of the world.
Click to apply: 90,000 Virgin Atlantic miles with $25,000 spend in first year.
Personal application support line: 1-877-721-9405.
Click here to check your application status.
Click here for the Bank of America contact page.
Photos credit to Bank of America.