Scroll down for the application link if you don’t want to read the post.
After a very long sabbatical, it seems that the massive Virgin Atlantic credit card sign up bonus offer is back. It’s a very good news. And timely, too. Why is it such a good news?
Not because you want to fly by Virgin Atlantic. Well, yes, it’s a great international airline with excellent service, but they have one dirty secret: dreaded fuel surcharges or as they are known in an airline and a near-airline world YQs. Not unlike British Airways, Virgin adds hundreds of dollars to your “free” award ticket, so at the end of the day, flying free with Virgin doesn’t make a lot of sense. Or at least this is how I feel about it.
But there is more to Virgin Airlines Flying Club Program than meets the eye. And that’s the ability to transfer their points into Hilton HHonors program at a fabulous 1:2 ratio. This is an unadvertised or at least underadvertised bonus, but it’s a great way to replenish or add to your Hilton points. In any case, when there is a frequent miles or hotel loyalty bonus that equals more than 100,000 miles or points it always grabs my attention. Unfailingly!
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Hasn’t Hilton just devalued their program so badly that plenty of their loyal customers swore never to get within an eyesight of another Hilton property? It has and they did, but there is a lot of overreaction in this outcry. Read this post to understand why recent HHonors changes aren’t as terrible as some folks think. And some of those changes are even for the better.
Back to the Virgin card and its bennies.
First they throw this headline into your face with the promise of 65,000-mile bonus.
Reach rewards faster with up to 65,000 Flying Club bonus miles in the first year with the Virgin Atlantic American Express® Card from Bank of America.
Feel free to ignore this, ’cause you ain’t getting 65,000 miles. Well you will if you spend $25,000 on the card within one year (always read the T&C). But what you are getting is still not half-bad.
- 20,000 Flying Club bonus miles after your first retail purchase – CHECK!
- 25,000 additional Flying Club bonus miles after you spend at least $2,500 in qualifying purchases – CHECK!
- Earn up to 15,000 additional bonus miles upon anniversary – IGNORE!
- Earn up to 5,000 Flying Club bonus miles when you add additional authorized users to your Card – CHECK!
- Earn 3 miles per $1 spent directly on Virgin Atlantic purchases and 1.5 miles per $1 spent on all other purchases – CHECK!
This is what it translates to in one sentense. You will get 50,000-mile bonus after spending $2,500 in the first 90 days and adding two authorized users (2,500 miles for each). You can add 10 more users, but you won’t get a single extra mile for it, so don’t go crazy.
If you spend the required $2,500 on the card, you will earn as a minimum 3,750 points on your spend (1.5 miles per $1 spent), so your total will come to 53,750 miles. Turn those miles into 107,500 Hilton HHonors points, and you’ve gotten a single most lucrative HHonors mile-minting device. There are no other credit cards on the market today that come even close, including Hilton own Amex and Citibank branded cards. Let’s see what can you get with all these goodies?
21 nights at one of these hotels (Cat 1 – 5,000 points):
Doubletree by Hilton Beijing (China)
DoubleTree by Hilton Goa / Arpora / Baga (India)
Doubletree by Hilton Merida Yucatan (Mexico)
Hilton Pyramids Golf Resort (Egypt)
Hilton Salalah Resort (Oman)
10 nights at one of these hotels (Cat 2 – 10,000):
Doubletree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur (Malaisia)
DoubleTree by Hilton Sheffield Park UK
Hampton Inn & Suites Mexico City – Centro Historico
Hampton Inn Miami
Hilton Garden Inn Hanoi (Vietnam)
5 nights at one of these hotels: (Cat 3 – 20,000):
Doubletree by Hilton Cape Town (South Africa)
Doubletree Hotel Dallas Near the Galleria
DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Phuket / Surin Beach (Thailand)
Hampton Inn London Croydon
Hilton Garden Inn Sevilla (Spain)
Up to 5 nights at one of these hotels: (Cat 4 – 20-30,000):
London Hyde Park Hotel
Doubletree by Hilton Istanbul Avcilar
DoubleTree by Hilton Luxembourg
Doubletree by Hilton Milan
Up to 3 nights at one of these hotels: (Cat 5 – 30-40,000):
DoubleTree Hotel Los Angeles
Embassy Suites Las Vegas
Excelsior Hilton Palermo
Grand Hilton Seoul hotel
Up to 3 nights at one of these hotels: (Cat 6 – 30-50,000):
British Colonial Hilton Nassau hotel (Bahamas)
DoubleTree by Hilton Amsterdam Centraal
Doubletree Hotel Chicago Magnificent Mile
Embassy Suites San Juan – Hotel & Casino
Up to 3 nights at one of these hotels: (Cat 7 – 30-60,000):
Conrad Centennial Singapore
Doubletree Tower of London
Embassy Suites by Hilton Montreal
Up to 2 nights at one of these hotels: (Cat 8 – 40-70,000):
The Beverly Hilton
Embassy Suites Waikiki Beach Walk
Fiji Beach Resort and Spa Managed by Hilton
Up to 2 nights at one of these hotels: (Cat 9 – 50-80,000):
Conrad Hong Kong
Casa Marina Resort, The Waldorf Astoria Collection
Conrad New York
Hilton Bentley Miami/South Beach
Hilton Tokyo Bay
Now, the hotels from Cat 10 require 70-95,000 points per night which means, uhm, well, avoid. The good news is, there aren’t many of them anyway, and I’ll gladly list them all.
|Conrad Koh Samui||Category 10||70000 – 95000|
|Conrad Maldives Rangali Island||Category 10||70000 – 95000|
|Conrad Tokyo||Category 10||70000 – 95000|
|Doubletree Guest Suites Times Square-New York City||Category 10||70000 – 95000|
|Grand Wailea||Category 10||70000 – 95000|
|Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa||Category 10||70000 – 95000|
|Hilton Labriz Resort & Spa||Category 10||70000 – 95000|
|Hilton Maldives/Iru Fushi Resort & Spa||Category 10||70000 – 95000|
|Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa||Category 10||70000 – 95000|
|Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa||Category 10||70000 – 95000|
So, as you can see, this card will take you a long, long way as long as you do not insist on staying at the most expensive properties at peak times. And I didn’t even take into account Hilton’s new 5th night free redemption award. The reason why I haven’t taken it into account is that we still don’t know which categories the 5th night free award will cover, so I’ll err on the side of caution. In any case, if you want over 100,000 HHonors points quickly and easily, then grab this card. We don’t know when they are going to take the offer off.
1) Kudos to Flyertalk member Aarif1 who posted the link.
2) Please note, I do not receive any financial compensation for recommending this card. If and when there is a potential conflict of interests, I will always let you know.