50,000 Mile Virgin Atlantic American Express is Back

Via MilesAbound, the Virgin Atlantic American Express from Bank of America is back offering:

  • 20,000 points after first purchase
  • 25,000 more after $2,500 spend
  • 2,500 points for each of 2 authorized users added to the account

That’s an easy 50,000 Virgin Atlantic miles.

You can also earn 7500 more points after $15,000 spend and then 7500 if you hit $25,000 spend within a year.

And even though the card earns 1.5 miles per dollar on all purchases I don’t value Virgin Atlantic miles enough (because you can’t mix and match partners, their award chart can be quite expensive, and awards entail fuel surcharges) to justify the spend. So I view it as a 50,000 mile bonus card rather than one that generates 65,000 bonus miles.

While Virgin miles are far from the most valuable, I do collect them, largely through my one day Avis rentals which generate a minimum 1000 miles. I’ve gotten this card under this offer before as well.

It used to be that some people would find the best strategy would be to transfer Virgin miles to Hilton (at 1:2, meaning this would generate 100,000 Hilton HHonors points though with recent devaluations that’s only one night at the top HHonors properties).

But it’s a Bank of America card and there aren’t very many valuable signup bonuses from Bank of America — meaning that any big bonus is worth considering signing up for. The card isn’t from Chase, American Express, or Citibank.

It’s not my link, I don’t get any referral credit for it, and as a result I also don’t know how long the offer will be available for. If it sticks around it probably makes my next top 10 credit card signup bonus list largely because of the headline bonus figure and that it isn’t from one of the major rewards issuers so it won’t conflict in most cases with other signups you might be considering.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. This card has a pretty steep membership fee — $90/year, and it isn’t waived in year one. Does that make this a less attractive deal?

  2. Hi Gary – is this card churnable? i already have this one, can I get another without cancelling current card? I am just not as familiar with BofA practices. Thanks.

  3. Gary, how often is it churnable? And how long to wait to reapply after cancellation?

  4. Thanks for the link! Hope it’s still there for my next AOR in ~1 month. Annual fee is somewhat high but I will gladly do $90 and divert some spend to this card for a free night in a Conrad somewhere, why not?

    Question – I read most of what I could find on the hilton deval at the time but I can’t seem to recall hearing anything concrete about high/low season rates in terms of when they will be applied where. Has anything quantitative come out, or is it at the discretion of the property, or is that yet TBA? I feel that the extent to which that is applied will really determine if indeed the sky is still falling. If the low season rates are applied fairly, then it might be fine in my book – I actually like going to places off-peak.

  5. @CW – unlike at SPG where the number of high season dates is limited by the program, high season varies by hotel (you can look it up on the hilton site). The Conrad Koh Samui is high season for 10 months of the year.

  6. @Dave Op I have never tested the limits on BofA cards to see just how churnable they are, since there aren’t really that many fantastic BofA offers. But I’ve certainly gotten cards after having caneclled and waited 6 months. Others may have different useful experiences and data points here

  7. Top 10? I would rathrr earn 25, 000 Alaska miles for $1 spend now that Hilton is decimated.

  8. Ah, thanks. Found the monthly redemption rates on the hhonorspointssearchtool. Did a couple test cases – koh samui, bentley MIA, and WA chicago. Not only do most of them maintain highest-of-the-high season for 8+ months of the year, they never have a lowest-of-the-low at all. Lovely!

  9. yes but what to do with VS miles? want 70K for free? hey are useless unless there are HH u want.

  10. Since you don’t like HHonors and think the Virgin YQ is too high, what are you doing with your Virgin miles? Is there a partner you value?

    “While Virgin miles are far from the most valuable, I do collect them”

  11. Gary,

    I have about as much interest in paying YQ and taxes on VS as you have in riding Y on WN.

    I actually got this card last year with the intent on flying VS to Europe this year, but I just couldn’t justify the $2000 in taxes and fees (half my budget for a three week trip) for a plane ride to LHR. Not to mention we’d need onward arrangements. So I transferred the points to Hilton instead, and used UA miles to actually get to the places I wanted to go… for $200 in taxes for the two of us.

  12. I’m having a really hard time finding cards I haven’t had (in some cases, multipy times)so any new card is interesting. All my Virgin Air points are from car rentals too, but no sense passing up almost free miles. Will apply & transfer them to Hilton.

  13. Rookie question: Are Virgin America and Virgin Atlantic points combinable for booking awards?

  14. I am a little confused as well. Virgin Atlantic and Virgin America are two different companies? They have two different mileage program.

  15. @Kathy, no they are not. The only relation between both VAs is the name and one shareholder, but besides that they are totally different companies.

  16. it’s good to see that bank of america is rolling out promotions tho… maybe they’ll hike up the one for alaska card?

  17. My 60000 Hilton point is barely enough for ONLY ONE NIGHT at a Hampton Inn.

    Even a million hilton point is worthless now.

    this is HORRIBLE.
    conrad in koh samui is 90000 points a night.

  18. Given the taxes/fuel surcharges, I don’t think it pays for most folks (including me) to redeem these miles to fly on VS. But my recollection is that they have some airline partners that don’t charge YQ. Like isn’t there an intra-island deal on Hawaiian? Has anyone done a summary of these partner options, and does Virgin actually publish a partner award chart?

  19. Does anyone have a data point on how soon the authorized user miles were awarded? I have received all of the other miles within a couple weeks of meeting the minimum spend, but haven’t seen the 5,000 yet. If it makes any difference, I added the AU over the phone after receiving the card because I forgot to do it with the initial application. Thanks.

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