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The Virgin Atlantic credit card from Bank of America is back with its very large sign up bonus of 90,000 miles. This may seem like a windfall for a single card offer, but be prepared to work hard to earn all those miles. If you’re looking for another card with a smaller requirement to get your welcome offer, you might consider the Barclay Arrival card ($600 welcome offer) or Capital One Savor card ($500 welcome offer) – or check out our top credit card offers in the menu above

Big bonus, but lots of requirements

The Virgin Atlantic card offer (not an affiliate link) comes with a very large bonus overall, but it requires a lot of spend to maximize. Bonus miles are awarded in the following ways:

  • 20,000 miles after your first purchase
  • 50,000 miles after spending at least $12,000 in purchases in the first 6 months after account opening
  • 2,500 miles per additional cardholder added (up to 2 cardholders, 5,000 miles total)
  • 15,000 anniversary miles after “qualifying purchases” (which is $25,000 in annual spending)

So the bonus is heavily broken up. The first 25,000 miles are easy, since all you have to do is make a purchase and add two authorized users. The next 65,000 miles take some work. You’ll have to spend $25,000 to maximize the bonus, which may be a bit too much for some. The average monthly spend you’ll need to meet is a little north of $2,000 per month, so this could really eat in to hitting sign up bonuses on other cards.

Assuming you get this card, I would plan to hold it for 23 months to maximize the bonus. The card earn 1.5 Virgin Atlantic miles per $1 spent, so if you make exactly $25,000 in purchases over the first year and renew, you’ll earn a total of 127,500 Virgin Atlantic miles. This is enough for two one-way tickets to Europe on Delta metal in business class and a domestic economy round-trip on Delta. Not a bad haul.

You’ll also pay two annul fees of $90 each, so factor that into whether this card is a fit for you.

Virgin Atlantic miles are valuable

Like I mentioned, you can use Virgin Atlantic miles to fly to Europe on Delta flights. If you *don’t* fly to the UK (based on my award searches with Virgin Atlantic), you’ll pay only 50,000 VS miles and $5.60 to fly to Europe one-way in Delta One. You can fly to East Asia for just 60,000 miles and $5.60, which is a great deal as well.

There are other great uses of Virgin Atlantic miles, including premium cabin round-trips on ANA. These are based on distance, but are a good deal no matter where you’re flying from in the U.S. There are other deals to be found on partner airlines as well. I actually wouldn’t suggest using Virgin Atlantic miles on their own flights, which are sadly subject to enormous fuel surcharges.

Ease of use may be a bit more difficult for Virgin Atlantic miles, although I’ve not found it too difficult to find award space. But that not to say using them is impossible.The website picks up Delta availability, but it can be a bit touchy to navigate.

Conclusion

If you can meet the spend and have a plan for the miles, this is a solid offer. I’ve been interested in this card, but have never held it. It was one my my denials last year from Bank of America. I’m not sure I’ll try again in the future, or sit this one out. Since I just jumped off the 5/24 bandwagon, I might consider it, if the offer sticks around for a couple months. If you’re looking for another card with a smaller requirement to get your welcome offer, you might consider the Barclay Arrival card ($600 welcome offer) or Capital One Savor card ($500 welcome offer) – or check out our top credit card offers in the menu above

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