Thanks to FlyerTalk, the Bank of America Virgin Atlantic 50-65k sign up offer is back. This is one of those offers that comes and goes periodically, and the sign up offer this time is pretty much the same as it was last time:
- 20,000 points after first purchase
- 25,000 points after $2,500 in spend
- Up to 5,000 points for adding authorized users (2,500 each up to 2 users)
- There is a further 7,500 annual bonus for $15k spend and another 7,500 (so total 15k) for making $25k spend, but I don’t think these are targets worth aiming for unless you are a huge spender and running out of other places to put your spend
So in reality this is a relatively easy 50k sign up bonus. The card also gives tier point status on Virgin Atlantic. This is a niche benefit but if you do fly Virgin Atlantic a reasonable amount this is something to keep in mind. And Virgin Atlantic has made several declarations that they will eventually join an alliance (I’d say the Delta investment would steer it in the SkyTeam direction, but these days you just never know) so in theory could be a way to spend your way to top tier status on some future unknown alliance!
The biggest attraction for me historically of this card has been conversion to Hilton, and the 50k here still converts into 100k Hilton points, making this the single most lucrative Hilton Honors points sign up card in the market (arguably the Citi Reserve’s two nights in a standard room at any resort are more valuable in a post-devaluation world). But still 100k Hilton is a good sign up value and will get you a night at any of their properties globally with some change to spare. While we all love the Conrad Maldives at 37.5k per night today, even at 95k per night that is still a room that can easily go for $800 per night or even more at peak times like Christmas or Easter.
And while I really hate the huge fuel surcharges that Virgin Atlantic apply to redemptions (following right on the heels of British Airways) I actually just used some of my small stash of these points to book a one-way flight from London to Washington DC in their Upper Class product (something they pitch as being between business and first class – it looks like a good business class product). That flight looks like it features their attractive new Upper Class Suite which I am looking forward to trying (and will of course trip report here) and I will also get to check out the London Heathrow Clubhouse which is ranked among the best airline lounges in the world. While normally I would not pay the fuel surcharges, in this instance it’s a work trip and the surcharges are a little less than the cost of an economy seat, so I basically get to expense them and effectively use the miles (40k in this case) to upgrade to the Upper Class product. Not an outrageously spectacular redemption, but hey I sure am looking forward to trying out the product.
It should also be noted this card is highly churnable. I have had many of them in the past, have two right now, and will likely get more in the future.