Or, consider other cards for 50,000 more miles or points that transfer into United miles with additional flexibility for your everyday spending.
Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
$1,000 toward travel or transfer to United, Southwest, and more.
Note: This offer may no longer be available. To see the current offers for this and other credit cards, visit our Top Bonus Mile Credit Card Offers page.
Although you may have overlooked Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, this program may hold a lot of value even when you don’t fly overseas. With generous rewards charts for airline partners, Flying Club miles can take you many places in first class – not just the United Kingdom.
When you get the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® from Bank of America, you can earn up to 90,000 Flying Club miles in the first year by meeting spending goals. You can also earn 3 miles per $1 spent directly on Virgin Atlantic purchases, 1.5X miles on all purchases, and 25 tier points when you spend $2,500 on the card, with a maximum of 50 per month. The card comes with a $90 annual fee, and is not waived in the first year.
If you qualify, opening this card and making your first purchase will put you well on your way towards your next trip. The 90,000-mile promotion is offered through several steps:
If you were to spend $12,000 in the first six months from account opening, $25,000 in the first year on everyday spending and add two authorized users, you could earn 127,500 Flying Club miles from:
Our calculator estimates 127,500 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles is worth around $1,100 in travel rewards – but you could get even more value by using these miles by flying their partner airlines.
While $25,000 is a high minimum spend for the full 90,000 Flying Club miles bonus, completing all the requirements would effectively earn you 3.6 miles per dollar. With nine airline partners and three hotel partners, there are many different ways to use these miles, giving you a lot of flexibility to use them for international trips.
The key downside of this offer is that it takes one year to get all of the points – during which time, award charts and award availability may change. That disadvantage can be negated with point transfers: all three bank programs (Membership Rewards, ThankYou Points and Ultimate Rewards) allow you to convert their points into Flying Club miles.
While you can get this promotion even if you currently have a Virgin Atlantic card, Bank of America has restrictions for opening new cards. If you fall into one of these situations, you may not qualify:
While Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles can be used to fly Virgin to and from the United Kingdom, some of the best redemption options come through their partnerships with other airlines. You can see all of the award charts on our Virgin Atlantic Flying Club cheat sheet. Some of our favorite redemptions include:
ANA first class: 90,000 from the United States to Japan
ANA first class is one of the premier products in the sky, offering lay-flat beds, semi-private cubicle seating and a 23-inch in-flight entertainment screen. While United charges 110,000 MileagePlus miles one way for ANA first class, this same flight is bookable though Virgin Atlantic for 90,000 miles round-trip from the Western United States, or 120,000 miles from the Eastern United States round-trip.
The drawback is that finding an ANA award can be difficult, as they do not show up on Virgin Atlantic’s website. To find award space, try looking for Saver First awards on United’s website – then call Virgin Atlantic to redeem your award.
Hawaiian Airlines first class: 80,000 miles from Western U.S.
With lie-flat seats rolling out in first class, Hawaiian Airlines is getting more comfortable to fly. For 80,000 miles round trip, you can fly to Honolulu, Kahului or Kona in their premium cabin – or fly with a companion in economy for the same price.
Again, finding award space may be challenging, because you will have to search Hawaiian’s award chart to see if openings exist before calling Virgin Atlantic to book. If you can’t find any award openings, Delta offers an alternative: first or business class round-trip tickets with no connections are available through the Virgin Atlantic website for 75,000 miles.
Air New Zealand Business Class: 125,000 Flying Club Miles
Featuring memory foam mattresses, full size pillows and award-winning dining options, Air New Zealand business class is a long-haul favorite. A round trip flight to New Zealand is only 125,000 miles, which can easily be covered with the Virgin Atlantic card bonus and transferring points.
Because this product is so popular, finding award availability may be a challenge. You should be able to find awards by searching the Air New Zealand or United websites during their winter (running from May to September) but award space is often very limited during the spring and fall months.
Delta Air Lines Domestic First Class: 30,000 Flying Club Miles
Even if you only plan on flying in the United States, Virgin Atlantic points can get you to your next destination. When using miles on Delta Air Lines round-trip awards for 25,000 miles in economy, and 45,000 in business and first class without a connection.
This is only a good value if you can fly without connecting anywhere else. With just one stop, the price doubles to 50,000 miles in economy, and 60,000 in business and first class.
Another option is to fly Delta across the Atlantic. When flying from the United States direct to the United Kingdom, you can book one-way with no fuel surcharges. Direct flights in Delta One from the east coast (including Atlanta, Detroit and Minneapolis) cost 47,500 miles.
How to find awards on the Virgin Atlantic Website
As we mentioned above, finding partner awards can sometimes be tricky. For most options, you will first need to search the partner’s website to see what is available. From there, you will need to call Virgin Atlantic to book with miles. The good news is that Virgin Atlantic agents are very skilled at finding awards, and can help you find the flight you want or suggest alternatives.
On the upside, finding Delta and Virgin Atlantic awards are very easy on the Virgin Atlantic website. For awards to and from the United Kingdom, start with your origin, and the website will auto-populate with options.
To find domestic awards on Delta, you will have to get a little more creative. After selecting your origin, click on the pin in the “To” box. This will give you access to all the options available to book, and get you well on your way to using your Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles.
Follow @MileCards on Twitter for the latest updates and new offers
Foreign Transaction Fee Waived
Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?
Leave a comment below -- we'll reply shortly -- no need to use your real name. Or, use the email form at the top of the page for private advice.
"These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered."