Last year I signed up for the Virgin America card because I needed a card that would give me a hefty amount of airline points for my Singapore trip. The Virgin America card gave me the 15,000pts upon sign-up + another 3,000pts for traveling with a partner airline.
I hung onto the card and paid the $149 per year for the Premium version because I thought that the free cancellations anytime was well worth the cost. Plus, with the additive bonuses, it came out to a deal.
– The checked bag benefit is AMAZING. Truly, truly amazing. I ended up going to Las Vegas, Seattle, and Portland, where we checked in bags on both trips. For a whole return trip, there’s your $150 value. Just plan three trips and you’ll get your return for the annual fee easily. They also calculate this when you pay with your card, so there’s none of that reimbursement nonesense to deal with anymore.
– You get a $150 companion ticket coupon annually for a +1 on your trips. You can use it for whatever day of the week you travel and there are really no restraints. For our upcoming trip to Portland, I used the coupon for my partner so his flight was free.
– If you have the credit card, at certain hubs, you get to board just after the Status members. I think this is a steller benefit, especially if you’re traveling with carry-on luggage and absolutely cannot check it in for packed flights. Leaving from a major hub, I can almost guarantee that otherwise I’m grouped into Boarding Group D and there’s limited overhead compartment space for my carry-on pieces. (I’m looking at you Louis Vuitton holdall owners!)
– The card costs $150 and I haven’t yet to use the cancellation fee to justify the extra $100. I definitely think that I could downgrade but I’m still holding out for the next emergency that requires me to change my flight and I don’t want to be in a position where I have to give up my paid flight.
– Their partner airlines, not Singapore but Virgin Atlantic, provides really shoddy airline point benefits to make it worth aligning with other carriers. To be honest, I felt like I was better off purchasing a cheaper flight through United than the abismal points I was provided.
Overall it’s a pretty great airline credit card for domestic travel and international travel with Singapore Airlines. I’m not giving it up until there’s an even better card that gives you 8x points per dollar for domestic travel.
What are the best travel benefit credit cards you own? I want some more advice!