UPDATE: South African has suspended flights between Washington DC and Dakar. Another Unicorn redemption has bitten the dust! 🙁 (Thanks: TimmyD).
Important Update: Virgin Atlantic added more airports to its online booking system. For example, you had to call to book an award flight to Latin America (ex Rio and São Paulo) — not anymore! Other cities in Europe and Asia have also been added.
The Bank of America Virgin Atlantic credit card offer we haven’t seen for quite a while is back: 65,000 miles after an easy spending requirement and adding authorized users. The $90 annual fee is not waived for the first year. Apply before October 31, 2019
Here is the gist.or
Get the Virgin Atlantic credit card and earn:
- 60,000 Flying Club bonus miles after spending $2,000 in the first 90 days
- Earn 3 miles per dollar on Virgin Atlantic purchases, and 1.5 miles per dollar on all other purchases
- Earn a Premium upgrade or a companion ticket after qualifying purchases
- Earn 25 tier points per $2,500 in purchases (maximum 50 per month)
- Up to 15,000 anniversary bonus miles after qualifying purchases
- Up to 5,000 bonus miles for adding two additional cardholders
In addition, this $90 card has an amazing range of travel and shopping protection features. If you’ve been, hmm, upset by the Citi Prestige decision to do away with their protection benefits, you might want to take a closer look.
Virgin Atlantic credit card protective benefits
- Concierge Services
- Mastercard Travel Services
A suite of world-class travel services and benefits provided by a select group of best-in-class service providers designed to deliver truly priceless travel experiences. Cardholders receive complimentary amenities and more through the Luxury Hotels & Resorts Portfolio, upgrades and discounts on select airlines, VIP status at participating car rental companies, additional savings and added-value through our World Elite Cruise, Tour and Vacation program and exclusive discounts on Private Jet and Chauffeured Car Services.
- Trip Cancellation/Interruption
When you use your eligible Mastercard and your trip is cancelled or interrupted as the result of a covered accident or sickness, you can be reimbursed for the unused, non-refundable portion of the common carrier (airline, bus, train, cruise ship) passenger fare (up to $1,500 per year).
- Lost Luggage Insurance: Covers the cost of replacing your checked or carry-on luggage and personal property that is lost or damaged (up to $1,500 per year).
- Trip Delay Insurance
If your trip is delayed more than 6 hours due to a covered loss, you and your family members can be reimbursed for reasonable expenses (up to $250 per trip). The Common Carrier trip must be paid for entirely with your eligible Mastercard.
- MasterRental Collision Damage Waiver
- Travel Accident Insurance with Baggage Delay
You and your family are covered for Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance while riding as a passenger in, entering, or exiting any Common Carrier or at the airport, terminal, or station at the beginning or end of a covered trip when using your eligible Mastercard to initiate and pay for the entire cost of the Common Carrier passenger fare, less redeemable certificates, vouchers, or coupons (up to $500K).
- Baggage Delay Insurance is included on covered travel, and reimburses expenses incurred for emergency purchases of essential items such as toiletries and clothing if a covered person’s baggage is delayed four hours or more while traveling on a covered trip (up to $300).
- Medical Evacuation!!!
Medical Evacuation and Repatriation (!!!) Insurance provides coverage to you and your family for certain expenses if an accidental bodily injury, illness, or disease during the course of the Insured Person’s trip results in the necessary Medical Evacuation and/or Repatriation of a covered person (up to $100K). The Medical Evacuation and/or Repatriation must be ordered by a Physician, who certifies that the transportation and medical treatment are necessary and appropriate and must be approved by the Assistance Services Administrator. Coverage is activated when travel begins on the departure date printed on the Common Carrier Ticket charged to an eligible Mastercard and ends on the return date printed on the Common Carrier ticket.
- Extended Warranty
Extended Warranty doubles the original manufacturer’s warranty and store brand/purchased warranty, where each is 24 months or less, for a total of up to 48 months.
- Price Protection
Should you find a lower price for an eligible new item within 120 days from the date of purchase using your eligible Mastercard, you may be reimbursed for the price difference.
- Purchase Assurance
Insures you for 90 days for theft, damage, or loss of purchases made with your eligible Mastercard.
- Satisfaction Guarantee
Purchases made entirely with your eligible Mastercard are protected for 60 days from the date of purchase for a full refund in the event that the cardholder is dissatisfied with the purchase. Limit of $250 per claim and four claims per year.
But let’s talk about something that’s even closer to our hearts. Here is what the Virgin Atlantic credit card welcome bonus can get you. Remember that you will get 60,000 miles after spending $2,000 within the first 90 days and another 5,000 miles after adding 2 authorized users. The card also gets you 3x on Virgin Atlantic purchases and 1.5x on all other purchases. Thus, upon meeting your spending requirement you will have 68,000 miles!
Round trip in Business Class to Africa on South African Airways
Don’t use Virgin Atlantic miles to fly Virgin Atlantic unless you’re a glutton for punishment, or you’ll pay dearly for the privilege. True values of Virgin Atlantic miles are in booking on partners. For example, You can fly South African in Business Class to Senegal for 50,000 miles per round trip. This is simply incredible!
Most flights with Virgin Atlantic miles can be booked one way for 50%. So your 68,000 miles can also buy you 2 one-way segments to and in Africa with 18,000 miles to spare.
What else can you do if you’re into exploring Africa?
You can earn more miles and fly to South Africa with a stopover in Dakar for 100,000 miles per round trip in Business Class. To get there, you’ll need another 32,000 miles, which you can get as a transfer from most credit card reward programs. Citi and Amex often have 30% bonus transfers offers that can greatly add to the loot you earn from your Virgin Atlantic credit card welcome bonus (and vice versa).
You can also get a one-way ticket in Business on a nonstop flight to South Africa. Since it costs 75,000 miles, you’ll only need 7,000 more in addition to your welcome bonus, which is super easy. Just spend $4,670 and you’re there.
Note: Virgin Atlantic currently adds fuel surcharges to South African flights ($400-$600).
Other ways to use your Virgin Atlantic Credit Card Offer
Fly one way in Business Class to South America for 45,000 miles.Visit Europe on Delta for 50,000 miles or Asia/Middle East for 60,000. You can also fly one way to Africa, including South Africa, for the same 60,000 miles — that’s more expensive than South African, but there won’t be any fuel surcharges.
And yes, you can get there in Delta One Suites, too. Same price.
Here is the list of the most current (I hope) routes with Delta One Suites to Asia and Australia. Please let me know if there are more routes I need to know about.
- Atlanta — Seoul
- Detroit — Tokyo
- Detroit — Seoul
- Detroit — Shanghai
- Detroit — Beijing
- Los Angeles — Tokyo
- Los Angeles — Shanghai
- Seattle — Tokyo
- Seattle — Shanghai
- Seattle — Seoul
- Los Angeles — Sydney
For Europe it’s a bit messy for now. The first three are valid until the end of October 2019, but they keep refurbishing new planes. For now, you can find Delta One Suites on A350, A330-Neo, and some 777s. Always verify that you’re indeed getting a Delta One Suite before booking. Check Premium Flights to learn how.
- Atlanta — Paris
- Atlanta — Amsterdam
- Minneapolis — Paris
- Detroit — Amsterdam
- Los Angeles — Paris
You can even fly to New Zealand or Cook Islands for 45,000-62,500 miles in Business, although finding actual award space wouldn’t be easy on those routes. Let’s recap
This 65,000-mile Virgin Atlantic credit card offer is terrific. It’s just ridiculous that I didn’t see the goodness of Virgin Atlantic miles until just a couple years ago. Go for it if you can!
Use the bonus to book a round-trip flight in Business to Dakar or for a one-way flight in Business — to anywhere in the world. If you have credit card rewards, such as Chase, Citi, or Amex points — especially Citi or Amex, since they’ve offered considerable transfer bonuses before and are likely to offer them in the future– this card can be even a better value.
Are you going for this card and if not — why not?