We just got word that the limited-time offer on the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® ends Dec. 12, 2019. If you’ve been looking for an airline credit card with decent rewards and a reasonable spending requirement, you’ll want to pencil in that date and consider applying for this card.
Considering the recurring benefits offered by this card, it’s a good one to keep for the long term — the generous welcome bonus is a nice bit of icing on the cake.
This limited-time offer on the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® is pretty substantial. You could earn up to 80,000 miles, though the total bonus only comes after earning your sign-up bonus with required spending, adding authorized users and finally meeting an even higher spending requirement to earn anniversary miles.
Need more to go on than just a welcome bonus? Here are some reasons you should consider applying for the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® now:
Super cheap redemption possibilities
The Virgin Atlantic Flying Club program has some pretty great redemption sweet spots that can help you go farther with fewer miles. Below are a few of our favorites:
U.S. to London starting at 20,000 miles round-trip: That’s not a typo. Virgin Atlantic charges just 10,000 miles and $149 for one-way flights between the East Coast and London. Of course, the taxes are a bit higher on the return at 197 GBP (roughly $254 USD), but the program allows one-way award redemptions. Flying out of the West Coast will set you back just 15,000 miles each way, with similar taxes and fees.
United Kingdom to Tel Aviv for 18,000 miles round-trip: Using the U.K. as your base, you can continue to travel the world cheaply. A round-trip economy class flight between the U.K. and Tel Aviv, for example, costs just 18,000 miles and $265.
With the welcome bonus from this card, you can book both of these awards and still have miles left over. If you’re short a few thousand miles, Virgin Atlantic allows Money Plus Miles redemptions, starting at 3,000 miles.
While most airline credit cards get judged solely on their welcome bonuses and award programs, the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® has valuable benefits beyond those two factors that makes it great for long-term use.
Companion rewards and bonus miles for using the card
Companion rewards are a great way to stretch your hard-earned miles further, and the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® helps you do just that. Spend $25,000 in a calendar year and you can choose between a one-cabin upgrade on an award flight (economy classic to premium) or a companion fare in the same cabin.
But it doesn’t stop there: Cardholders who spend $25,000 in a year also get 15,000 Flying Club bonus miles on their anniversary, and you’ll actually get half of those miles (7,500) after spending only $15,000. This is a recurring benefit, which is great if you want to earn miles at a slightly accelerated rate. (Note that these are the “anniversary miles” we mentioned above that can get you to 80,000 points in your first year — if you spend enough.)
Earn 1.5 miles per $1 on everything
You don’t see this often with airline co-branded cards anymore. The Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® earns 3 miles per $1 on Virgin Atlantic purchases and 1.5 miles per $1 on everything else. This is great for those who want a card that earns more than 1 mile per $1 without having to keep track of category bonuses and thinking about ways to maximize them.
Considering Virgin Atlantic has some incredible sweet spot redemptions, these miles can go a long way. Literally.
Get rewarded for adding an authorized user
Adding an authorized user gets you an extra 2,500 miles. You can earn this bonus for up to two authorized users. Not only can this help you bank an extra 5,000 miles, but those users can also help you meet the spending requirement faster. Win-win. But what can you actually do with all of those miles? That’s where it gets interesting — and fun.
Spend your way to Virgin Atlantic elite status
If you like flying Virgin Atlantic so much that you decide to go for elite status, the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® can help you get there faster. The card offers 25 tier points for every $2,500 spent. You can earn up to 50 tier points per month this way. It takes 400 tier points per calendar year to earn silver elite status and 1,000 tier points for top-tier Gold. Essentially, you can earn silver status purely through credit card spending or get halfway to Gold by charging $5,000 on the card every month.
What does elite status with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club get you? The perks are actually pretty nice if you’re a semi-frequent traveler:
Virgin Atlantic Silver elite benefits
- Earn 30% bonus miles on Virgin Atlantic flights.
- 7% off and 2x miles on Virgin Holidays.
- Premium check-in and priority boarding.
- Priority baggage handling.
- Anytime standard seat assignment when flying any cabin.
Virgin Atlantic Gold elite benefits
- Earn 60% bonus miles on Virgin Atlantic flights.
- Free exit row seat options when flying Economy Classic.
- Anytime seat assignment for cardholder and companions.
- Upper Class check-in and priority boarding.
- Free checked bag on top of regular allowance.
- Clubhouse access when flying Delta Air Lines. One guest allowed.
- Revivals lounge access.
- 10% off and 2x on Virgin Holidays.
- Complimentary spa treatment at the lounge, plus 10% off additional treatments.
With the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® , you can get to these benefits with a lot less flying.
Reasonable annual fees, no foreign transaction fees
The Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® has a $90 annual fee, which is lower than most other rewards credit cards. For example, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® and British Airways Visa Signature® Card both carry annual fees of $95. While it’s only a small difference, this can add up over the years. Plus, with the card’s other benefits, a lower annual fee is just icing on the cake.
No foreign transactions aren’t always a given, so the fact that you can use this card abroad without incurring them is a plus.
The bottom line
The Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® has a lot of recurring benefits that make it worth applying for. The limited-time offer, expiring on Dec. 12, 2019, provides an added incentive to get in on a bigger welcome bonus. That higher bonus is especially relevant when taking into account the card’s recurring benefits. And if you’re going to keep a card in the long run, then you want to make sure to get the biggest welcome bonus possible.
How to maximize your rewardsYou want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- No annual fee: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
- Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card
- Premium travel rewards: The Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Business travelers: The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Find the best travel credit card for you
3 Things to Do When You Get a Virgin Atlantic Mastercard
3 Things to Know Before Getting the Virgin Atlantic Mastercard