Is the virgin Atlantic Black card worth it or not???

Old Nov 13, 18, 7:21 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Nov 2018
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Is the virgin Atlantic Black card worth it or not???

So earlier this year I flew over with my wife and kids to England from the US to see my family and friends, being the first time in nearly 20 years seeing them on English soil. I have never been a frequent flyer but with my parents really getting up there in age they are now unable to visit here in the states as they have been doing regularly since I left old Blighty all those years ago. The flight I took was with Virgin Atlantic from Boston to Manchester and I thought the experience was great on both legs and I can see myself being a loyal customer if I start flying more regularly over to England.

All but one of my credit cards give me cash rewards.I recently got a bank of America travel rewards credit card and I generally like it but I wanted to explore the possibility of obtaining a airline specific rewards card such a the Virgin Atlantic black card especially as it is my plan as of now to fly Virgin when going to England. Whether rightly or wrongly, if it is my plan to stay loyal to one particular airline then it might be beneficial to have their branded credit card. I read the reviews regarding the black card and they were overall pretty good with the exception of a few common criticisms:
1) Apparently unlike other airlines, Virgin slaps on fuel surcharges when using their rewards points which to me beggars the question if Virgin are going to immediately devalue the miles with the surcharges then what is the point of having them.
2) Apparently unlike other airlines, Virgin does make it difficult to use the miles for tickets.

Again these are not my observations, just comments I have read and so I was wondering if there is anyone out there who has first hand knowledge of Virgin's flyer club and whether it is actually worth getting there black card for my circumstances (I envision flying on Virgin twice a year). I am M$er so providing I don't get shut down, I will easily meet the spending requirements.

Any advice would be very much appreciated
leedspaddy is offline  
Old Nov 14, 18, 2:03 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Barcelona, London, on a plane
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Not only do Virgin Atlantic add surcharges, but they are higher for itineraries departing the US. (i.e. you'll pay more in total surcharges for US-LHR-US versus LHR-US-LHR) But you spend as little as 20,000 miles per person for a return in Economy, versus 60,000+ miles for a no-surcharge airline such as AA or UA.

Still... unless you are trying to fly in Upper Class, you are probably better off with a cashback or similar card where you just buy a regular paid ticket with points and can choose the best fare / airline for your travel dates, instead of being committed to just one airline.

A substantial percentage of US based Flying Club members use their miles to fly on ANA to Japan in Business or First... Others aim for rewards on Delta.
craigthemif is offline  
Old Nov 14, 18, 8:23 am
  #3  
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Thanks Craig for the information. I am not looking to utilse any air miles I get, to use for upgrades. I just want a cheaper way of flying. I don't understand after the way you describe Virgin's flying club why anyone would want to use them in the first place as it seems like a pointless exercise once the surcharges are added in. On the same topic, I did wanted to ask, do passengers get charged the same surcharge if they used their miles for Delta or is the surcharge applied towards any airline in the Flying club? Personally, I think your suggestion of just using other rewards credit cards other than Virgin's would be the right way to go but the reason why I was thinking about Virgin outside of the great flying experience was because I am limited on other air miles rewards cards.....can't get Chase yet because of 5/24 and I suspect I can't get Delta skymiles because I am blacklisted with Amex which doesn't leave a lot of options left outside of my current rewards cards.
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Old Nov 14, 18, 12:29 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Barcelona, London, on a plane
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Posts: 7,200
You must fly a lot (or have been really aggressive with your credit) to have maxed out 5/24 yet only fly in Economy...


Flying Club passes along whatever surcharges are applied by the airline. There are also extra surcharges added on DL flights to the UK to avoid an obvious discrepancy between VS metal and DL metal. Even ANA has surcharges, but they are low enough that people are happy to take a 100K signup bonus and fly in Business Class to Japan for just the taxes and surcharges.

If you want "almost free" award flights, Flying Club isn't for you...
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Old Nov 14, 18, 12:40 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by craigthemif View Post
You must fly a lot (or have been really aggressive with your credit) to have maxed out 5/24 yet only fly in Economy...


Flying Club passes along whatever surcharges are applied by the airline. There are also extra surcharges added on DL flights to the UK to avoid an obvious discrepancy between VS metal and DL metal. Even ANA has surcharges, but they are low enough that people are happy to take a 100K signup bonus and fly in Business Class to Japan for just the taxes and surcharges.

If you want "almost free" award flights, Flying Club isn't for you...
HI Craig, No I don't fly a lot at all but I have been very aggressive with my credit. I was in rebuild mode for a few years to improve my credit enough to get a mortgage and then once I attained that, I was determined to shed myself of all the crap cards and replace them with better ones that matched my now good to excellent credit. Problem was when I started this process, I was unaware of the 5/24 rule with Chase so by the time I found out I was way over the 5/24. Oh well, I guess it really doesn't matter anymore as you have cleared up a lot for me as it pertains to air miles and I think I am just going to stick with my BOA and Discover miles cards to get cheaper flights. Thanks for your insight, I really appreciated it.
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