Are you shopping around for a new credit card? Credit Karma is here to help! Some members of our team are sharing their opinions on the cards in their wallets. In this edition of "Credit Karma Weighs In," our team member, Jennifer, CFP®, shares her thoughts on the Virgin America Visa Signature® credit card.
The Virgin America Visa Signature® credit card from Comenity Capital Bank can be a great card for fans of the fun and stylish travel experience that Virgin America offers. While it comes with a $49 annual fee, the points program, free checked bags and discounts on companion tickets and in-flight purchases can make it a great choice for those looking for an airline rewards card.
Rewards: With the Virgin America Visa Signature® card, you can earn 10,000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases within your first 90 days as a cardholder, which can get you up to $200 off your next reward flight. You can earn three points per $1 spent with Virgin America, and if you're a member of their loyalty program, you could potentially earn an additional five points per $1 spent with them on base fare. For all other eligible purchases, you'll earn one point per $1 spent.
In addition, you can get $150 off a companion ticket booked on virginamerica.com each year, and you and your plus one each get a free checked bag within standard weight and size restrictions on any Virgin America flight purchased with your card. Furthermore, you can save 20 percent on REDTM in-flight purchases (excluding wifi, charitable donations and Red Store purchases) made with your card. There's no limit on how many points you can earn, points don't expire as long as you are a cardholder in good standing and there are no blackout dates or restrictions on reward flights.
Jennifer's Rewards Rating:
Customer Service: I haven't needed to contact Virgin America's customer service department yet, but if I did, it'd be to share mostly positive feedback. Their website is user-friendly and fun to use, and their flight attendants have always been friendly and accommodating. However, Virgin America doesn't have an app, which would make checking in, tracking my flight and handling my boarding pass more convenient. Overall though, I've enjoyed my experience with them, as they seem committed to making the whole experience enjoyable.
Jennifer's Customer Service Rating:
Application Process: You can apply for the Virgin America Visa Signature® card online or over the phone. The application process online was straightforward, but it did take a couple of weeks to get my card in the mail.
Jennifer's Application Process Rating:
Tips and Tricks
Check the Virgin America website for partner deals. One downside of the card is that Virgin America doesn't fly to as many locations as other airlines. However, you can use your points with their partner airlines, including Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, Emirates, Hawaiian Airlines and Singapore Airlines. They also have a handful of partnerships with hotels, online retailers and rental car companies that you can take advantage of deals with.
Book your companion ticket before your annual membership renews. Your $150 toward a companion ticket will expire if you don't use it within one year of the date the discount code is emailed to you (which is typically six to eight weeks after your annual renewal), so if you want to take advantage of this perk, I recommend you book the companion ticket prior to your renewal date. I set up a reminder on my calendar to make sure I don't miss the deadline.
Consider upgrading to the Virgin America Premium Visa Signature®. If you fly Virgin America a lot, or if you need flexibility, you may want to consider the Virgin America Premium Visa Signature® card instead. While this premium card has a higher annual fee of $149, you can earn up to 15,000 bonus points and 15,000 status points annually, which could help you reach a higher frequent flyer status and unlock more benefits. And perhaps best of all, with the Virgin America Premium Visa Signature® card, you don't have to pay for changes or cancellations to your itinerary. Changing a flight can cost up to $150, so this could be a useful feature if your travel plans change frequently.
The Virgin America Visa Signature® card can be a great choice if you frequently fly Virgin America and want to rack up rewards. Your travel experiences can be affordable yet enjoyable, and the card provides great opportunities to earn points and qualify for discounts. However, make sure the destinations you like to travel to are part of the flight offerings for Virgin America and their partner airlines.
If you're considering applying for a new credit card, it's generally a good idea to first check out consumer reviews to see what current cardholders really think. If you've got a credit card that you love, consider writing a review to help others out!
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