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Virgin America Premium Visa Signature Credit Card Review

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Who Is the Virgin America Premium Visa Signature Card Good For?

The Virgin America Premium Visa Signature card will be useful to anyone who often flies in the United States. Virgin America serves three cities in Mexico, but most of the airline’s routes are in the continental U.S. With the Premium card, you can get up to eight points per dollar on Virgin flights.

Although it positions itself as a low-cost carrier, Virgin America is one of the most pleasant domestic airlines to fly on. It offers comfortable seats with a 32-inch pitch, power ports and individual entertainment screens with free satellite television.

Virgin America offers two co-branded credit cards
Virgin America offers two co-branded credit cards

While the Premium card features a relatively high annual fee, the card also carries some unique benefits not available with the regular Virgin America Visa Signature card.

One of the greatest benefits of the card is the ability to earn up to 15,000 elite status points a year with the carrier’s frequent flyer program, Elevate. Most airlines don’t offer a way to earn elite status without flying.

Another great feature of the card is that it waives the standard cancellation fee for flights. This is a fantastic benefit that means you can buy nonrefundable fares and still cancel them at any time.

Sign-Up Bonus

You’ll get 15,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first three months of having the card. You can also get up to 15,000 elite status points a year at a rate of 5,000 points for every $10,000 spent.

Points Earned

  • 8 points per dollar for Virgin America flights (5 points as an Elevate member, plus 3 more for using the card)
  • 3 points per dollar for other Virgin America purchases
  • 1 point per dollar for everything else

What Do Your Points Get You?

Virgin America Elevate is a revenue-based program, so the cost for an award flight is directly tied to the cash price of the ticket. The airline states that 2,500 points are equal to $65. However, that is the base value, and award tickets can be priced differently. In any case, the cheaper the flight, the fewer points you need to buy a seat.

Usage Perks:

  • Earn status points without flying
  • High earning rate on Virgin America flights
  • No cancellation or change fees
  • Free checked bag
  • $150 off a companion ticket annually
  • Points don’t expire for cardholders
Virgin America Premium Visa Signature cardholder perks
Virgin America Premium Visa Signature cardholder perks

Usage Quirks:

  • Low sign-up bonus
  • High annual fee

How Far Do Your Points Go?

In addition to domestic flights, you can use Elevate points to fly internationally. Virgin America has the following partners:

  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Virgin Australia
  • Emirates
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines

These programs have fixed redemption charts. For example, a round-trip flight between Los Angeles and Tokyo costs 40,000 points. Be careful, though: Virgin Atlantic, Emirates and Singapore add fuel surcharges to their flights.

Additional Cardholder Benefits:

  • Save 20 percent on some in-flight purchases
  • Extended warranty
  • Return protection
  • Purchase protection
  • Zero liability
  • Baggage insurance plan
  • Trip cancellation coverage
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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