Virgin Atlantic World Elite MasterCard®
The Bank of America Virgin Atlantic World Elite MasterCard is a fine choice for the avid Virgin Atlantic flyer. With the ability to earn miles quickly, a discounted companion award ticket and bonus miles for spending on the card, the loyal Virgin Atlantic traveler will receive value beyond the annual $90 fee.
A fast track to elite status and attractive redemption options with partner airlines add to the perks of having this card. Enjoy additional World Elite MasterCard benefits too. They include hotel perks, car rental loyalty program status, 24/7 travel assistance and more.
Some negative aspects of the card include high surcharges on Virgin Atlantic award ticket redemptions and high spending thresholds for earning the annual bonus and the companion ticket.
Bonuses and Benefits
Knowing what benefits come with a credit card can help you decide if it’s a good fit for you. Here we cover the bonuses and perks that the Virgin Atlantic World Elite MasterCard® offers and the value of the Bank of America Flying Club miles you earn.
Your first purchase earns you 20,000 Flying Club miles. Receive an additional 2,500 miles for adding an authorized user to your card, for a maximum of 5,000 miles for adding two authorized users. At each card anniversary, you receive 7,500 miles for spending $15,000 and a total of 15,000 bonus miles after spending a total of $25,000.
Cardholders meeting the $25,000 annual minimum spend can redeem for an award ticket and receive a companion award ticket for half the cost in miles. That benefit alone can be worth hundreds of dollars.
What You Get
- Earn 20,000 miles after your first purchase
- 15,000 miles after your cardmember anniversary every year
- 2,500 miles for adding an authorized user
- Another 2,500 miles for adding a second user, for a maximum of 5,000 miles
- 7,500 miles every year you spend $15,000
- Another 7,500 miles annually if you spend $25,000 for a total of 15,000 miles per year
- Half off a companion award fare if you spend $25,000 a year
- 3 miles per dollar spent with Virgin Atlantic
- 1.5 miles per dollar for all other purchases
Miles earned on the Virgin Atlantic World Elite MasterCard are deposited in your Flying Club frequent flyer account. Miles do not expire as long there is qualifying activity on the account, but they expire after three years with no activity.
What is the value of the Flying Club Miles?
The redemption values for travel on Virgin Atlantic can be misleading because of the surcharges you’ll have to pay on award tickets. An economy award ticket from New York to London may be acquired for as little as 20,000 miles, but you’ll pay hundreds of dollars in surcharges. However, business class international tickets can offer good value on partner airlines where surcharges are much lower. You can also minimize surcharges by departing from the U.K.
What is CPM and How Is It Calculated?
Cents Per Mile (CPM) is a way to measure the value of miles. It tells you how many cents you get for each mile you redeem by dividing the cash price of the airline ticket (minus taxes and fees charged for an award ticket) by the number of miles the award flight costs. This is a somewhat subjective calculation because the price of the flight in both cash and miles fluctuates by season and availability.
How we calculate CPM:
The Best Ways to Redeem Flying Club Miles
Flying Club miles are best redeemed for flights with the carrier’s 19 partner airlines because surcharges will be far less than on Virgin Atlantic. Hawaiian Airlines, for example, offers good value redemptions from the U.S. mainland and for inter-island flights.
You’ll find good business class redemptions on partners such as Virgin Australia, Air China, ANA and Air New Zealand. First Class on Air China and ANA are sweet redemptions offering extraordinary experiences. Find business or first class saver award space on the partner airline’s website and call Virgin Atlantic to book the flight using your Flying Club miles.
Virgin Atlantic redemptions during off-peak and standard seasons (excludes holiday and summer travel) offer better value than peak seasons, although surcharges still apply. Another good use of miles is to upgrade to the next cabin. An upgrade from economy to premium economy starts at 17,400 miles roundtrip.
Newark–DenverEconomy classMiles price27,154miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$417
San Francisco–ChicagoEconomy classMiles price25,440miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$398
Los Angeles–HoustonEconomy classMiles price19,328miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$317
Punta Cana–AtlantaEconomy classMiles price36,328miles+$104.66 feeDollars price$710
Montego Bay–ChicagoEconomy classMiles price33,896miles+$95.11 feeDollars price$587
Havana–TampaEconomy classMiles price6,624miles+$72.06 feeDollars price$205
Baltimore/Washington–San AntonioBusiness classMiles price125,200miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$1,150
Ft. Lauderdale–PittsburghBusiness classMiles price98,184miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$908
Pittsburgh–PhoenixBusiness classMiles price118,724miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$1,092
Houston–MexicoBusiness classMiles price90,720miles+$92.43 feeDollars price$889
Cancun–Ft. LauderdaleBusiness classMiles price89,040miles+$77.55 feeDollars price$890
Belize City–HoustonBusiness classMiles price104,880miles+$73.81 feeDollars price$991
Other ways you can redeem miles
Hotel Stays28 partners28 part.
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles can be redeemed at select hotel partners, including IHG, Hilton and Kaligo.com.
Car Rental8 partners8 part.
Redemptions for car rentals are limited. Barbados Car Rentals: Redeem miles via Stoutes Car Rental.
Redeem miles for a variety of unique experiences with the Virgin Group. Richard Branson Properties: Redeem miles for safaris, wine experiences, private retreats, Virgin Gallatic or Necker Island. Fine Dining and Private Club Membership: Redeem miles at Babylon or for VIP membership to Roof Gardens.
Redeem miles for train travel via Eurostar or Virgin Trains. Eurostar: Redeem miles for Eurostar e-vouchers Virgin Trains: Redeem miles for e-vouchers on Virgins East Coast trains.
Everyday Earnings with Virgin Atlantic World Elite MasterCard®
The Virgin Atlantic World Elite MasterCard offers solid everyday earning with 1.5 miles for every dollar spent on the card and 3 miles per dollar on Virgin Atlantic purchases.
- Brand earn
- All Other Purchases
There are no special registration rules or bonus categories to remember; earning is simple and straightforward.
Discounted Companion Ticket
Spend $25,000 annually on the card, redeem reward miles for an economy award ticket and receive a second reward ticket for half the miles.
24/7 access to discounted services at over 450 airports worldwide.
No Foreign Transaction Fee
Enjoy freedom from foreign transaction fees.
24/7 access to a personal travel assistant
Earn Elite Status Fast
The Virgin Atlantic World Elite MasterCard offers a faster path to elite status with the Flying Club frequent flyer program. You can earn up to 50 tier points per month, 25 for every $2,500 you spend on the card. 400 tier points are required for Silver status, which provides advance seat selection, dedicated phone line, bonus miles when flying and priority wait list. Top Gold status requires 1,000 tier points.
- Earn 25 tier points for every $2,500 you spend, for a maximum of 50 tier points per month
Fees: the cost of Having Virgin Atlantic World Elite MasterCard®
Considering each Virgin Atlantic Flying Club mile is worth at least 1.5 cents, you won’t have to be a big spender to justify the $90 annual fee. Spending just $4,000 in a year will cover the cost of keeping the card.
The value of the initial sign-up bonus of 20,000 miles will certainly offset the $90 annual fee, which is not waived the first year. At a value of 1.5 cents per mile, you’ll receive $300 in travel value after making your first purchase.
- Annual Fee
- Balance Transfer Fee
Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater
- Foreign Transaction Fee
- Late Payment Fee
Up to $38
See What It Takes to Cover an Annual Fee:
Get anniversary bonus: 15,000 miles
You will receive 15,000 bonus points each anniversary year – enough to cover more than a half of the annual fee.
We strongly recommend to spend not less than $1,334 per months to cover the annual fee in three months.
We’ve broken out our estimates for the first- and second-year net earnings you’ll get with the Virgin Atlantic World Elite MasterCard. Is the card worth getting, and should you keep it after you get the sign-up bonus? Let’s find out.
These estimates are based on an annual monthly spend of $2,000
Top 5 Benefits of the Virgin Atlantic World Elite MasterCard®
You can earn a lot of miles quickly with a 20,000-mile sign-up bonus and up to 15,000 more miles in bonuses annually. A discounted companion award ticket and a faster path to elite status favor the avid Virgin Atlantic traveler, too. And having access to partner airlines offers the option to avoid expensive surcharges on award tickets.
- Big Sign-Up Bonus: Jumpstart earnings with a 20,000-mile sign-up bonus after your first purchase.
- Ongoing Earning Potential: Points add up quickly with 3 miles per dollar for Virgin Atlantic purchases and 1.5 miles for all other purchases. Receive a bonus of 15,000 miles for spending $25,000 in 12 months.
- Discounted Companion Award Ticket: Spend $25,000 annually, purchase an award ticket and receive a companion award ticket for half the miles.
- Faster Path to Elite Status: Spend $2,500 on the card and earn 25 points towards elite status in Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club (maximum 600 tier points per year).
- Airline Partner Redemptions: Redeem miles for flights on partner airlines and avoid Virgin’s hefty fuel surcharges.
If Virgin Atlantic is your preferred airline, you value elite status and your card expenditures will be at least $25,000 annually, you should consider the card. As Virgin Atlantic purchases receive 3 Flying Club miles per dollar, miles can accumulate quickly. The 20,000 -mile sign-up bonus jump starts your earnings and certainly offsets the $90 annual fee. However, the ongoing ability to earn 1.5 miles for daily spending and the 15,000 miles at card anniversary if you spend $25,000 annually ensures continuing value.
Luxury travelers will also find value in World Elite MasterCard benefits, such as hotel perks, rental car loyal program elite status, concierge services and no foreign transaction fees. Cardholders who utilize the annual half-off companion award ticket receive additional value. Those who strive for elite status in the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club frequent flyer program can accomplish the goal faster by earning up to 50 points a month toward status via spending on the card. The card offers minimal value for those who do not fly Virgin Atlantic.
Need more info? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, please click on “Ask Now” below.
Miles earned on the Virgin Atlantic World Elite MasterCard are transferred at the end of each credit card statement period to your Flying Club frequent flier account where they’re ready to be redeemed. Search for flights on the Virgin Atlantic website and book flights online using your miles. Flights are priced in miles plus applicable fees and surcharges.
Although Virgin Atlantic is not a member of any formal airline alliance, it has airline partners that offer potentially greater value for your miles. You can redeem miles for flights on Delta Air Lines, Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia, South African Airways, ANA, Jet Airways, Air China, Hawaiian Airlines and Malaysia Airlines.
To find available award space, search for available flights on the partner airline’s website and then call Virgin Atlantic to book. Or, call Virgin Atlantic directly and they’ll attempt to find availability for you.
Once you have spent $25,000 on the Virgin Atlantic World Elite MasterCard in a year, you’ll qualify for a reduced price companion award ticket. The annual card fee does not count towards the $25,000. The notification for the available award ticket will show up on your Virgin Atlantic Flying Club statement and it must be used within one year of issue.
When the primary cardholder redeems miles for an economy award ticket on Virgin Atlantic, a second award ticket for a companion on the same itinerary will cost only half the normal miles. Taxes, fees and charges must be paid on the companion award ticket.
Whether or not you reap enough rewards from the Virgin Atlantic World Elite MasterCard to justify the $90 annual fee will depend on how often you fly Virgin Atlantic, the amount of spending you do annually on the card and whether you take advantage of the benefits.
The first year you have the card, you’ll certainly receive enough value to offset the annual fee. The 20,000-mile sign-up bonus alone is valued at $300. If you can spend $25,000 on the card, you will receive at least 37,500 miles plus another 15,000-mile bonus, which together would add $788 in value. Taking advantage of the companion award ticket discount could also be worth hundreds.
You can earn miles quickly by spending on any one of the following co-branded credit cards. All cards except the Allegiant World MasterCard offer the additional benefit of redeeming miles for flights on a worldwide network of partner airlines. All cards except the Asiana Visa Signature provide either free or discounted companion tickets.
Other Bank of America Airline cards
|Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card||Asiana Visa Signature® Credit Card||Allegiant World Mastercard®|
|Sign-up bonus||30,000 miles||20,000 miles||30,000 miles||15,000 points|
|APR On Purchases||16.24% to 24.24% Variable±||16.24% to 24.24% Variable±||16.24% to 24.24% Variable±||13.99% to 23.99% Variable±|
|Second Year Value||$360||$765||$439||$240|
While each card above offers a significant sign-up bonus, Asiana requires more spending at $3,000 in the first 90 days to receive it. If you’re looking for a sign-up bonus for very little initial spending, Virgin Atlantic grants the bonus after the first purchase.
Each of these cards offers accelerated earning of three miles per dollar for purchases on their respective co-branded airline. While the Asiana Visa Signature offers double miles on gas and groceries, and the Allegiant World MasterCard offers double on dining, the Virgin Atlantic World Elite MasterCard offers 1.5 miles on all purchases, making it a great everyday card for Virgin Atlantic flyers.
For those same flyers who spend at least $25,000 annually on a credit card, the Virgin Atlantic World Elite MasterCard also fares well and wins out for the Virgin Atlantic traveler wanting maximum ongoing earning potential.
The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card sports a stellar free companion ticket after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days and then at every card anniversary. That same $1,000 of spending earns a 30,000-mile sign-up bonus, making the card a perfect choice for Alaska Airlines travelers who don’t have high annual credit card spending.
Virgin Atlantic’s companion ticket costs half the normal redemption miles, plus you’ll still have to pay Virgin’s high fuel surcharges. Allegiant’s companion ticket offer, while still very valuable, has minimum stay and vacation package requirements.
For travelers to Asia, the Asiana Visa Signature card is a solid choice with benefits like a $100 annual rebate on Asiana ticket purchases, no foreign transaction fee, a 30,000-mile sign-up bonus, 10,000 miles at card renewal and two annual airline lounge passes.
The Allegiant World MasterCard, with its priority boarding, easy redemption, lower annual fee and free companion ticket benefits, provides great value for the domestic traveler who flies frequently on Allegiant. While the sign-up bonus is the lowest of these cards, points go further with the carrier’s low fares.
Compare Virgin Atlantic World Elite MasterCard® to Other Cards
Having a credit card that earns miles that your airline of choice is a good move, and all of the cards below offer that benefit. You’ll also find that redeeming miles for flights on partner airlines is another option with these cards.
- Delta Reserve Credit Card
40,000 miles offerRead Review
- Chase United MileagePlus® Explorer Card
40,000 miles offerRead Review
- AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®
50,000 miles offerRead Review
With a $450 annual fee, the highest of the cards above, the Delta Reserve works for those flyers who value luxury travel. Lounge access, a free first class companion ticket, upgrade priority and the ability to earn miles for elite status by spending on the card, all justify the annual fee for avid Delta travelers, but perhaps not for others.
The United MileagePlus Explorer card sports a sweet 50,000-mile sign-up bonus, lounge passes, free checked bags and priority boarding. A $3,000 spend is required to earn the sign-up bonus, but it’s a generous amount of miles worth a lot of free travel.
The AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite MasterCard has elements of both previously mentioned cards. It caters to the luxury traveler with World Elite MasterCard travel benefits, priority boarding, free checked bag and the ability to earn elite qualifying dollars on American Airlines. It also delivers a nice 50,000-mile sign-up bonus after your first purchase. You get all of that for a $95 annual fee.
While the Virgin Atlantic World Elite MasterCard’s sign-up bonus is only 20,000 miles, spending $25,000 on the card annually earns at least another 37,500 miles plus 15,000 bonus miles, for a total of 72,500 miles in the first year. You can’t ignore the 1.5 miles per dollar earning power on everyday purchases or the discounted companion award ticket either. Considering triple miles on Virgin Atlantic purchases, the highest of all the cards, it’s a solid choice for Virgin Atlantic fliers.
Whenever you apply for a credit card make sure you read the terms and conditions of the card and the rewards program to find out about minimum spend requirements and any restrictions to ensure you can successfully obtain the card and earn the rewards it offers.
Card Terms and Conditions
While it's easy to focus on the rewards offered by the Virgin Atlantic World Elite MasterCard, it's worth taking a closer look at the terms and conditions. There's a lot to consider as you think about how you're going to use the card. Will you carry a balance, get a cash advance or maybe make a big purchase? Below is a rundown of the various interest rates, purchase protections, security features and mobile banking options that come with this World Elite MasterCard.
- Intro APR:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Intro APR for balance transfers:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Ongoing APR:
- 16.24% to 24.24% Variable±
- Minimum Grace Period:
- 25 days
- Extended Warranty Protection:
- The original warranty of 24 months or less on an eligible item purchased with your card will be doubled in length.
- Price Protection:
- You may receive reimbursement for eligible items if they’re sold for less than your purchase price. Coverage is for 120 days.
Cash Advance Features
- Ongoing APR:
- 19.24% to 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness when you open your account, for Direct Deposit and Check Cash Advances, and 26.24% for Bank Cash Advances
- Cash Advance Fee:
- Direct Deposit and Check Cash Advances: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater ATM, Over-the-Counter, Same-Day Online and Cash Equivalent Cash Advances: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater
Security and Protections
The Virgin Atlantic World Elite MasterCard offers ID theft services, easy monitoring of your account, alert setting and access to your account via the Bank of America Mobile Banking App. EMV chip technology and ShopSafe provide additional acceptance and security.
- Master Card Id Theft Monitoring:
- Scans, detects and resolves identity theft.
- Custom Account Alerts:
- Custom email and text alerts for payments and account balances. Receive notifications for unusual transactions or unauthorized withdrawals.
- Bank Of America Mobile Banking:
- Monitor your account securely online.
- Chip Technology:
- Worldwide acceptance and security at merchants using chip enabled terminals.
- Zero Liability And Fraud Alerts:
- Don’t worry about fraudulent activity. Notification and zero liability is yours if such activity is detected.
- Free Shop Safe Service:
- Create a temporary credit card number to shop securely. Your real credit card number remains private and secure.
Chase makes it easy to maintain your account with its flexible mobile banking tools. Available for virtually any phone, tablet or computer.
- Chase Mobile Banking:
- Manage your Virgin Atlantic World Elite MasterCard account online with the Bank of America Mobile Banking App.
- Digital Payments:
- Compatible with Apple Pay, Microsoft Wallet, Samsung Pay or Android Pay
- Masterpass Digital Wallet:
- Click, tap or touch wherever MasterCard is accepted to simplify check out.
- Bank of America Mobile Banking:
- Manage your card account online.
Additional Cardholder Benefits
The Virgin Atlantic credit card offers World Elite MasterCard level travel benefits that provide assistance right when you need it. Having baggage insurance, emergency assistance, accident insurance and auto rental coverage could save the day.
Master Card Travel Benefits
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver:
- Secondary theft and collision coverage for rentals in the U.S. and abroad.
- Baggage Delay Insurance:
- Bags delayed more than 6 hours? Receive up to $100 for reimbursement of essential items.
- Lost Luggage Reimbursement:
- Don’t worry about your bags getting lost, stolen or damaged. Get up to $3,000 per passenger, including the cardholder and immediate family members on the same travel itinerary.
- Roadside Dispatch:
- One call and help is on the way for roadside assistance, lockout service, towing, jumpstart or gas delivery. Service fees apply.
- Worldwide Accident Insurance:
- Get worldwide accidental death and dismemberment coverage up to $500,000. Pay with your card or points for air, bus train or cruise ship transport to qualify.
- 24/7 Travel And Emergency Assistance:
- Help when you need it for legal and medical referrals, or other travel emergencies. Service charges apply.