[Edited 5/31/13: This offer has expired.]
Virgin America is offering up to 25,000 bonus points if you sign up for a Visa Signature credit card with Barclays. The limited time offer expires soon, so act fast if you’re interested. First, the offer:
- Earn 20,000 bonus points after your first purchase on the card
- Earn up to 5,000 bonus points for balance transfers within the first 30 days of cardmembership (basically 1 point per $1 transferred up to a 5,000 point max)
- $150 off a companion ticket every year
- 3 Points per dollar spent on Virgin America
- 1 Point per dollar spent elsewhere
- $49 annual fee
- Earn 10,000 Elevate status points each year you spend $25,000 on the card
It’s attractive to me given the unique nature of the Elevate frequent flier program. Since it’s revenue based, they don’t publish a chart of award redemption rates and instead weigh the points required for redemption via inventory management algorithms. More popular flight times require more points, off-peak times less and so on.
I receive a referral credit if you use the link on this page and get approved for a credit card. I remain grateful to any who apply using those links as blogging is my full-time job. The decision to apply for credit is yours and includes the responsibility to read and understand all terms and conditions.
In a quick scan of flights from Los Angeles to New York/JFK, I see oodles of dates where a roundtrip would cost just less than 12,000 Elevate points and $5. Granted the fares on these flights are be in the $300 ballpark, but given you could snag almost two roundtrips in the market for simply signing up for the card and charging one item, it’s better than some legacy program sign-up offers.
Also, for those who fly frequently on the West coast, Los Angeles to San Francisco roundtrips are often less than 5,000 points. Again, the fares might be low, but this sign-up offer is an easy way to get a few intra-California roundtrips by spending $49 for the annual fee and charging one item.
And… for those who are now intrigued by Virgin America’s enhanced loyalty program with elite tiers, this could be a good card to have in your wallet.
What do you think? Deal or no deal?
[Edited to add:] As Phil points out in the comments, if you don’t get approved for the 25k offer, the lower “Platinum” card bonus of 2,500 points with no annual fee is hardly worth the effort.
[Edited 11/15/12 to add:] I received an email from a reader who was approved for the Platinum card and received the 20,000-mile bonus… the above note was accurate as of the 8/22/12 posting, but it appears VX has changed the offer for those not receiving approval for the Signature care.]