Virgin America Credit Card Review

After disappearing for a time in late 2013, the Virgin America Visa card came back in early 2014 and has become a very popular option well into 2015 among the flying public. There are now two to different cards to choose from: a basic version with a $49 annual fee and a Premium card with a $149 fee.Virgin America Plane

Our in-depth review will help you understand the changes to the program – and whether either of Virgin America’s offerings is right for you.

It was gone for a while, but now it’s back – with a premium option

First, let’s talk about the Virgin America card’s disappearing act in 2013. In October and November 2013, cardholders received a letter informing them that Virgin America’s partnership with Barclaycard (its former issuer) had ended and that the Virgin America Visa card program would end along with it at the end of 2013. Cardholders could expect their cards to be replaced with a Barclaycard product (which ended up being the Barclaycard Arrival).

In January 2014, Virgin America announced that its credit card rewards program was back (with a cool-looking vertical card redesign) and that it had partnered with a new issuer – Comenity. What’s more, Virgin is now offering two credit card options: The Virgin America Visa Signature card (which should look pretty familiar to anyone who had the old card) and the Virgin America Premium Visa Signature card.

The program’s details will definitely require some explaining. But, first, here’s a side-by-side comparison of the new cards:

Compare Virgin America credit cards
Virgin America Visa SignatureVirgin America Premium Visa Signature
Annual fee$49$149
Sign-up bonus10,000 Elevate points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days.15,000 Elevate points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days.
Reward earnings3 points per dollar spent with Virgin America; 1 point per dollar spent elsewhere3 points per dollar spent with Virgin America; 1 point per dollar spent elsewhere
Status pointsN/AEarn 5,000 status points for every $10,000 spent, up to 15,000 status points per year.
Waived change/cancellation feesN/AYou don't have to pay cancellation fees when you change/cancel a refundable ticket.
Free bagsFirst bag free for cardholder and one companionFirst bag free for cardholder and one companion
Companion ticket$150 off companion ticket each year$150 off companion ticket each year

How much are Virgin America Elevate points worth?

That’s the real question that matters and unfortunately, the credit card application fails to shed any light on this.

I’ve read elsewhere what the value is but instead of basing this review off second-hand knowledge, I decided to price out flights myself.
Side by side virgin america comparison

The value of the points stays pretty steady for a sampling of flights I priced out:

Round-trip flight from LA to Chicago

2 months out = $0.0234 per point (pictured)
1 month out = $0.0234 per point ($268 or 11,441 points)
2 days out = $0.0220 per point ($844 or 38,234 points)

Unlike legacy carriers (like United, American and Delta), Virgin doesn’t do rewards redemption in set mileage amounts (ie, 25,000 for a round trip). The number of points you need for a reward flight fluctuates with the price of the ticket — it’s like Southwest in that regard. As you see in all the above flights, the point value is just a tad over 2 cents each, which seems pretty decent.

Can you earn Virgin Elevate points on Virgin Atlantic flights?

Through your Virgin America credit card purchases the answer is “no.” As far as earning frequent flier points through your Elevate account, believe it or not up until 2010 you couldn’t! They finally created a system that allowed you to, but unfortunately, the earnings rate is pretty low … Elevate point value on Virgin Atlantic

As you see, if you were to fly from New York to London using the lowest tier, you would earn points equaling only 10 percent of the distance, which is 6,916 miles. Those 692 points would be worth only $15 (assuming a 2.2 cent point value). Let’s put that another way: To book a $350 flight using Elevate points, you would need to have about 23 roundtrip flights from New York to London.

What’s with those waived change/cancellation fees?

One of the most annoying aspects of flying these days is what happens if your plans change after you already bought the tickets. Need to fly out a day later than you planned? You have to pay at least $100 (depending on the airline) to change your itinerary. Need to cancel your trip? Sure, you’ll be able to use your fare toward a future trip … but you have to pay the change fee first.
The Premium version of the Virgin America waives those fees – you just pay the fare difference between your old and new itinerary. Just keep these fine-print details in mind:

  • The perk doesn’t apply to reward flights; you’ll still have to pay to have your points re-deposited if you make a change to a reward itinerary.
  • You have to go through Virgin’s customer service line and make all changes by phone in order to have the fee waived.
  • The flight must also have been booked with your Premium card, and the reservation must include your Elevate account number.

Status point rollover

As mentioned earlier, this benefit is available only on the Premium version of the card. If you earn more than enough points to reach Gold or Silver status in a year, you get to keep those extra points and use them toward the next year’s status requirements. This is a pretty nice perk when you think about it and one that not all airline cards offer.

Verdict?

If you’re trying to decide between the two cards (which have a $100 difference in the annual fee), the extra perks on the Premium card could be worth it – but only if you’re reaching for status and if you frequently change your travel plans. Otherwise, you’re better off saving $100 per year with the basic card while still enjoying a companion ticket discount and free checked bags. Both cards give you the Visa Signature suite of benefits as well.

Trying to decide whether you should go for either of these cards in the first place? For the airline’s frequent fliers, the Virgin America credit cards can make sense. But remember the Elevate program without the credit card still earns 5 points per dollar spent on flights, so the card is adding only an additional 3 points per dollar. It probably boils down to whether you like the combination of the rewards, the vertical card design and have affinity for the Virgin America brand, which many people do since it’s a cool airline run by a really talented guy. It seems that everything that Sir Richard Branson starts becomes a valuable and fun enterprise and Virgin America (along with its co-branded credit card) shows every sign of continuing that trend.

Updated August 21, 2015

 
Comments
The responses below 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.

Love Virgin America, fly them all the time. This card seemed like a no-brainer. Get tons of points, discounts, status. What a joke! They freeze your card all the time for either silly reasons (going to the same store twice in one day) or no reason at all (answer these 10 extremely person questions about yourself to reactivate the card, no we don’t know why we are asking you to do this, our system just tells us to). To make matters worse, if you schedule a payment on the card, it doesn’t post to your account for days, if not a week. Even after the money is taken out of your bank account….ummmmmm not acceptable. The kicker for us was after our payment finally did post, the card was immediately deactivated for yet another fraud alert….new card had to be issued. This is after having trying to book plane tickets on Virgin for almost two weeks. Sorry, can’t help you they say, have to wait. Couldn’t even have the card expedited, have to call Visa directly. Called Visa directly, they said they would take care of it and have the card overnighted. Get a call from Visa the next day saying sorry, Comenity Bank has blocked the expedited card. talk to Comenity again and they say there is nothing they can do, will talk to supervisors, will call us back. Never heard back from them again. 3 days on the phone with these fools and a number of emails, and I accomplish nothing. No customer service, everyone passes the buck. Just broke down and booked 10 Virgin flights on my Southwest card. Now I get no free baggage, no free cancellation and no points. And I pay $150 a year for this pleasure? Sorry but a credit card should be hassle free, it’s a tool of convenience. I shouldn’t and can’t spend my time running around in circles for days and hours just to spend money at Virgin America with my Virgin Credit card. A disgrace to the brand!

BUYER BEWARE!!! – I wish I never got this card, you got to jump through hoops to get anything. It is not worth the aggravation.

I have been a Virgin Visa card holder for many years. While they were with Barclay, I could not be happier. But Comenity is just horrible. Their customer service is horrible.

I recently had my wallet stolen while abroad. They certainly could not get a new card to me for my trip. 1. I asked them not to send a new card to my house until I returned. They did anyway.
2. I called to have the card sent to a hotel in the states for my penniless, cardless arrival, they assured me it would be there for my arrival. It wasn’t because they sent it to my house, not the hotel. 3. I pretty much forced the “Supervisor” to give me the card number so I could check into the hotel and he assured me it was activated. It wasn’t, so it did not go through. When you call you are put on hold, passed around. They all tell you the same pat answer. There is no personal service, no emapthy. I am going to stick with AMEX who actually treats their cardholders like humans and is truly helpfu.

I am beyond disappointed with the Virgin America Visa issued by Comminity Bank.

I love to fly Virgin America to New York and Dallas so I got the Virgin Visa Signature card to use instead of my Platinum AmEx, my Platinum AAdvantage card and my Platinum SW Visa card.

Unfortunately, the Virgin card has been an unpleasant joke from day one. My first few months were full of issues about the over-sensitive and unresponsive “fraud protection” aspects of the card. (For instance, if I would visit my local Ralph’s market 3 days of the week, the third charge would be refused as “suspicious”. Plus there was no way to easily deal with charge refusal as one would have to call the “fraud number” and answer personal questions in a non-private place. (I’ve previously noted this in other letters.)

The final nail on the coffin came a few days ago when I called the Virgin America credit card company to get a new card with a chip for use in Europe. First, there are no chips available yet and, secondly, there are “only a few merchants” in Europe who will accept the Virgin America credit card!! Additionally, when I phone customer service most or the people I speak with sound like they arrived yesterday from the local unemployment office; I spend my time educating them :(

Hello?? This is a travel card! Isn’t Virgin owned by a European company? How can they diminish themselves by not having chips and/or being able to use the card in Europe? Our local, small, Southwest regional airlines beats them to no end. I’m saddened that I’ll stop using the Virgin America credit card because it’s such a useless piece of nonsense.

I expect so much better for a quality airlines like Virgin America :(

Thank you all for posting your experiences with the card’s bank. I think I’ll pass on this. I hope Virgin decides to go with another bank with a better reputation!

I never received my companion ticket code in an email for this year. I should have received it last month. Does anyone know how I can get this code? Call Commenity or the airlines?

What is WRONG with this company? ALL I NEED IS A REPLACEMENT CARD. In the past weeks, I’ve been on the phone for over an hour total, talked w 3 supervisors, tried calling their special number that doesn’t work – had them tell me THREE times now, that a card was on its way, had them cancel an emergency replacement card THEY told me to order. I’m now 2.5 weeks without a replacement card. And paying $149 per YEAR for this? They can’t FEDEX a card so they can TRACK it? I even got a PIN number for a card that never arrived.

Had to chime in. Comenity Bank is just terrible. My charges are frequently declined. It’s to the point where I don’t use the card in public to avoid embarrassment. Only use if buying gas or online.

Haven’t had any problems with my elevate points. They post once per month like clockwork. Customer service was kind to me but couldn’t answer any questions. Wouldn’t Recommend this card.

VirginTraveler

Vida, I have had the same problem! Nothing like being told your card is “declined” while standing in a high end salon and KNOWING that your CL is in the five figures with a low balance. It’s ridiculous, and I’ve called Comenity. They have no explanation.

I’m Gold Status and up until recently used my Virgin points and card a lot. No longer. First their prices increased dramatically in 2015.
Then I had nasty dealings with live and robo calls with Commenity. They regularly deny legit charges and freeze my card.
Tonight they called after 9PM asking be to verify six charges. Actually they were all the same merchant trying to get one paid and go thru. Commenity saw it as six different fraud charges. Could not speak to anyone; they said it was a holiday and offices closed. April 14. What holiday? I Googled the date and it’s New Years somewhere near INDIA!
Enough. Virgin really blew it aligning with this their rate bank. Their tactics are alienating consumers. The bank must have cut Richard Branson a big deal for him to decide it was worth it.

thanks for these comments on comenity bank–you’ve persuaded my boyfriend and me to go with another card!

Thanks, Everyone! I was considering this card, but will not pull the trigger now! Very eye opening!

Any payment over 5k takes upwards of 2 weeks or more at times to post below 5k a week. Wow. No pending or declined charges available online and sometimes not even when you call customer service. The customer service leaves something to be desired. Bad fit for Virgin

i have this card- but questions for other users:
I have not seen any points appear in my elevate account…. how long after paying your bill do you see your elevate points usually?
Charges seem to take 4-5 days to appear as pending in the account, and in Mint. that seems like a very long time, right? How can you detect fraudulent use early if you never see pending charges til the next week?
Otherwise I’m excited to start racking up points!!

I couldn’t agree more with the previous comments! Virgin America really dropped the ball when they switched from Barclay to Commenity! We have charged tens of thousands on both cards, and there is no comparison between the customer service of the two card issuers! We’ve experienced our Commenity card being declined multiple times while on vacation for no apparent reason. We now use our Barclaycard when we travel. Most recently Commenity robo called my wife and told her they had inactivated our account due to a merchant security breach. 10 days later we received ONE replacement card, for her, but none for me. When we called to ask where mine was they said they had only been “requested” to send one card out. Wouldn’t it make sense to send BOTH cardholders replacements when they changed our account number? Someone internally dropped the ball. No apology, just told to wait 10 more days for mine to arrive. We enjoy flying Virgin America and travel on them 3-4 times a year. In the past we used the VA card to build up frequent flyer points. But we are currently re-evaluating if we are going to keep this card! Switching to Commenity as their credit card partner definitely diminished the Virgin America brand!

Are you getting the message from these critics about the Comenity credit card. Before I used the Barclay card over others, as I wanted to accrue Virgin miles as this is my favorite airline to the West coast from Washington DC for its service and ease. Come the new card, the rules had changed on how I pay my bill-no longer could I take payment from my bank account (as I do my three other cards) done by phone. I do not want to set up 4 separate accounts (passwords, etc. etc.) when it is so simple over the phone to pay. Obviously my remarks counted for nothing, but today I receive a bill for $49 from Comenity when I have not charged one cent on the Virgin Card. I would if the system had not changed from what I signed up for. You owe it to your customers to listen to these complaints. I would appreciate a response. Bring back your wonderful vibe. Thank you.

You’re world class airline offering world class service. Why would you partner up with a vendor for credit card who does not have the same values as your organization? Comenity Bank already has a bad reputation and yet you still pursued an alliance with them. Very disappointing. When you were with Barclays, everything ran very smoothly and customer satisifaction was great. Everything that other consumers have mentioned in this thread are all true and I’ve had the same terrible experience. I’m yet to find another company who does not mail out the credit card prior to paying the annual due fees. Unreal!

AWFUL CUSTOMER SERVICE!!

I signed up for the Virgin American Visa Credit Card during a promotion of $50 off my flight. The First bad thing of this card, was that they did not charge the flight on my new Virgin American Credit Card, which means I lost out on all of those points in the first place!

Second, they mailed me my $49 annual fee bill in the mail, along with my pin number in a separate mailing. But they NEVER mailed me my actual credit card. Making it impossible for me to start charging $1,000 in the first 90 days to receive my 10,000 Elevate point.

I called customer service, which by the way – the number they give you on your bill is OUT OF SERVICE! When I spoke to the customer service rep they said that it was not their fault that I did not receive my credit card, and that they would not extend the 90 days to charge $1,000. I finally spoke to a “supervisor” who told me that the Elevate customer service rep would give me 10,000 as an inconvenience.

When I spoke to Elevate customer service, they told me that this was not their problem and they would not give me the points. They said I had to call Virgin American Visa back. This is ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS!!

TERRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE! Their credit card seems like a SCAM!!!

I received the Virgin America credit card in June as my daughter was starting college at SMU in Dallas and I enjoy the nonstop Virgin flight from LAX. I like earning miles and therefore put every possible charge on our 3 favorite cards. Understand that we have excellent credit and pay our card balances in full every month.

This card has been such a pain that I’m seriously considering canceling the account. Rarely does a week go by without my card being refused for “security”. I can be at the same grocery market where I always shop and the card will be refused – it doesn’t have to be an “unusual” transaction.

The final straw came today when I received a notice from a well-known charity that my annual donation was declined by Virgin America. While I was speaking to the customer service rep he just happened to mention, “I see 2 charges from the last couple of days which were declined….” yet he couldn’t tell me what was declined. Was it a doctor? A bill for which I’ll be charged a late fee? Another donation? And when was I going to learn about this latest problem?

I spoke to the most senior Virgin America employee available who was apologetic but said she cannot do anything about the “tight security”. I’m tired of being embarrassed by “suspicious” charges; my husband will not even use the Virgin America card any longer after having a workman’s charge refused right after performing work for his business.

To add insult to injury, when I receive a call from the Security Center at Virgin America about the “suspicious activity” it’s a robo-call informing me that I need to call the Virgin America office. I don’t even have the option of speaking with someone right then and clearing the issue while I’m at the store.

The wasted time and embarrassment are not worth the miles :(

I couldn’t more hardily with most of the reviewers. Comenity is indeed a joke. They service the Total Rewards program (Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas) which had a great reward program and free suite offer. I didn’t use the card much for over a year, never carried a balance. The first time I used the card in Vegas, It was declined! I called them on my cell phone, and was informed all purchases in Las Vegas must be approved in advance. Wait,what? “well sir, there is a lot of fraud in las vegas, we do it to protect you”. So I have to call you to use the card? “Yes Sir. I canceled the card on the spot. I gave them authority to charge my checking account for what small balance was there. This is where it gets good: 30 days later I get a late notice, for like $25. The fee was more than the balance. When I called to give them the what for, they refused to admit their mistake, reported my account as 30 days late. But, are you ready? waived the late fee. Either your late or your not, after lengthy back and forth with Experian, I got it removed. This is a rinky dink, regional bank, that has no business in Main Stream Business America, Customer Service is the worst if not close to it. Find another card, another bank, but don’t ever have anything to do with Comenity Bank!

I realize I’m preaching to the choir, but I have to add my agreement with all these reviewers. Same as everyone else, bag check fees were not credited, and even more annoying, they’ve asked me to write them a letter and mail it to them to dispute the charge. I’m not even disputing it, I just want the promised credit. Also haven’t received my companion ticket code yet, which I think should have come right after I paid the annual fee in May! I’m going to try and get that to compensate for the annual fee, and once I’ve used it, I’m cancelling the card immediately.

VirginTraveler

They won’t refund the bag fees or the change/cancel fees, even though they SAY they will refund them within 6-8 weeks. It is insane. Anyone else up for a class action lawsuit? I think they owe me at least $350 at this point in baggage fees and change fees. I also have all of the other issues – the ‘Fraud’ alerts and random charges declined. So embarassing.

Michael Fitzgibbons

This is the worst credit card issuer I’ve ever had. Half my purchases are rejected for “security” reasons, and my credit limit was cut in half when Virgin switched from Barclays. This is a chop shop small limit credit card issuer for department stores, not a real payment card processor.

Awful card. I have good credit, but they gave me a 24.9% interest rate! No thanks!!! I called after I was approved and asked if it could be lowered or at least given a comparable rate to my Barclays card. They said no, so I cancelled within two days of opening the card. This card really has turned me off from Virgin.

Comenity bank is the worst credit card issuer that I’ve ever dealt with. They are a low budget outfit that provides low limit accounts to retail stores. They have no clue how to manage cards people use every day for payments. Avoid this horrible company at all costs

The Virgin signature card clearly states that one of the benefits is “FREE first checked bag for you and a companion.” The fine print says the $25 bag fee will be refunded in 6-8 weeks but when you call you are told to wait 12 weeks. None of my bag fees have been refunded without my calling Commenity . When the credit appears on the statement, it does not say which flight or date it is for so if you have multiple flights, it takes herculean effort to keep track of the refunds. I have NEVER been able to get the refund for a companion. Love Virgin Airlines but the written privileges stated by Commenity are NOT being delivered. I predict a class action suit.

This card is awful now that Comenity took over for Barclay’s. They charge you $25 late fees in addition to finance fees? WTF!? Do these guys think they are American Express? What’s the freaking point of a CREDIT card if they are going to charge you fees like its a debit card. Virgin America really blew it by choosing this new chop shop bank to underwrite their card. I am chopping this card up, dousing it in kerosene, and setting it on fire in my back yard after I finish my rant.

thanks for the review.i was going to pay the $49 dollars but because of all of the horrible reviews of comenity I will not.i hate dealing with companys
that have poor customer service.i’ll stick with Barclays no fee and excellent service.i do love virgin America and fly 4 plus times a year to san Francisco to visit my son.daughter and baby grandson

I am shocked by the comments noted here. I love my VA credit card with Comenity. I have no problems with the website. My payments are posted either same day or next day (depending on the time of day when I make payment). My statements are accurate. Not sure what else I can say other than it is working just fine for me. Oh, and yes, I previously had VA’s Barclay card. That card worked fine for me too.

I had a Virgin American Visa when it was managed by Barclay. During the time the card was managed by Barclay I experience excellent customer service. My experience with Comenity thus far has been horrible. The serviced rendered to me by Comenity is lacking in knowledge and common sense. I have been trying for 6 days to get resolution to an issue with inconsistencies between what is on the statement versus what is on my online account. I was initially speaking with Raven in Kansas. She transferred me to Toni. The called dropped after speaking with them both for almost 50 minutes. Toni did not bother to call me back. I had to call back and the service rep wanted me to start explaining my issue all over. I asked for a supervisor and was transferred back into the queue. Finally I reach Ranita and she transferred me to Martha who said she is a lead in the customer service department. In the end Martha was unable to help me in any real way.

Other issues I have experienced are;

1) The website not accepting my password
2) The monthly statements don’t always open.
3) Available cash amount is incorrect.
4) No ownership of customer service issues.

I hope to avoid using my Virgin American Visa in order to avoid dealing with
Comenity bank!

I have loved virgin, but I HATE this bank. They put me into the wrong card, and then told me the only way to get the card I signed up for was to eat the $50 I paid (because I only realized it was wrong after I used it), and wait 30 days.

I am going to stop flying VIRGIN as well… DO NOT GET THIS CARD – there is reason you have not heard of the bank. they don’t treat people like valuable customers.

This is the worst card ever. DO NOT GET THIS CARD. I too LOVE Virgin and cannot believe they would associate with this card. The experience with Commenity is nothing like what I experience with Virgin. They hold my payments for 10-21 days, they shut off my card every 2 or 3 days for suspected fraud – even when I call – (they claim the online charges set it off – who doesn’t shop on line???), their website is awful and so is their customer service(everyone tells me something different) I charged all of my charges on the Barlcays version of this card and now hardly ever use my new card. Why would they want to give up all of that business? STAY AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Virgin is GREAT. Comenity is AWFUL! Virgin, are you REALLY going to risk your brand ID by staying affiliated with this backwards bank? I’ve been wondering why, when I spend the same amount each month I did with my Barclay’s card, that I reach my limit so soon and my card gets cut off – some of the other posts here may explain. I’ve asked THREE times, if I could get my credit limit raised and have been refused. I have PERFECT credit and credit limits 2-3 times as high with other cards. Their website is ridiculous and archaic. You can’t even cancel or change your set payments online? You have to CALL to do that? I’m now having to make payments 2x per month to avoid my card being cut off. Ridiculous. Virgin, seriously, this bank makes me want to look at Southwest again. :/

Here’s what folks don’t seem to get about these cards. The platinum version basically turns Virgin into Southwest. I fly maybe once a month, and only Virgin if possible. Now because of this card, I show up at the airport whenever I feel like it day of, request to board the next plane and provided they have seats I board at no cost (assuming the ticket price is the same which it most often is). That alone is worth the $100. Factor in the status point roll over and its a no brainer. As of today I have 25,000 status points for the year, by end of year I’ll probably have 30k. That means I’m half way there to getting status next year, fantastic perk!

The first bag free offer is a joke. They clearly said that it would take 6-8 weeks for those charges to appear on my account as a credit. It has now been 9 weeks and the agent told me to wait until my next statement (12 weeks after the charge). Who knows if the credit will ever come. I had wanted to get away from the “big banks” with this card, but Comenity is not very sophisticated. Also, it is very strange that charges do not show up for days after they have been made online — there must be an antiquated processing system in place.

I have had the same issue for two separate trips (the first one from May 2014). WTF!

Currently reviewing my account and I have 4 checked bag $25 charges with Comenity. The ONLY one I have received a credit for was from a flight in April, and the reason its the only one to be reimbursed is because I had to call and hound them regarding the matter after 15 weeks. Finally got the credit in August.

On top of that, I had fraud activity in early June and it took them nearly 2 months to reimburse the charge – also after repeated phone calls. It also took them 2.5 weeks to send out a replacement card.

This bank is absolute shit. Virgin really dropped the ball, I never had any issues with Barclays.

Love Virgin America, I pretty much fly them all the time from NYC – SF. Got the Premium card, paid my $149 and started to use it. Comenity customer service isn’t too bad, but the fraud department are idiots. Comenity told me I have a daily charge limit of 15k, the fraud department said 5k. Thinking that I’ll get my 15k status points quickly, I attempt to charge 15k for my cabinets, and guess what? The fraud department shut my account. I call Comenity a day before to inform them I’ll have a large charge coming in, and was told it be fine, on the day of the charge, the fraud department calls me and said I can only charge 5k per day, so I did, and decided to have my contractor charge 5k the next day, but that’s when all the headaches started. Fraud department never called me, just shut my account down, can’t get any answers from them other then to send in SS#, Bank Statement, and Government Issued ID. Funny thing is, each charge I made, I paid my balance in full as soon as the charge post from my checking account. I’m guessing then don’t want to give me my 15k status points, plus I haven’t received my $150 voucher as well. If anyone is thinking of moving up on status with this card, I say forget about it.

VAMisleadingMarketing

Well I got majorly played by Virgin America and its Credit Card. I forked over $149 when I read about the awesome benefit ” No change or cancel fees. Period” “Enjoy maximum flexibility to modify your travel plans without paying an additional fee to change or cancel your non-refundable Virgin America flights. You’ll only need to pay the difference in fare when making a change.” PEOPLE CONSIDERING THE CREDIT CARD BECAUSE OF THIS BENEFIT BEWARE. Once you cancel a non-refundable ticket, it goes into your travel bank … so when you get your new ticket and want to make yet another change, they WILL CHARGE YOU $150 change fee! So the “PERIOD” in their marketing campaign is completely misleading! They will wave the change fee only once per new ticket purchased! Southwest Airlines, here I come. No change fees ever for real!

@PrimaScriptura

Poor customer service. I called with 2 questions regarding this card prior to applying. They were so rude in and acted as if I was bothering them.

Question:

1.) Do you have an automatic “pay the full statement” option?
2.) Do you have “pre-approved” card offers?

Virgin America should return to having Barclays manage their cards as opposed to these amateurs.

I’ll Stick with my AMEX Platinum and let these knuckle heads fend for themselves. The quality of the Airline is not congruent to the quality of it’s credit card.

Comenity bank is a pretty bad experience. Their online portal leaves a lot to be desired and it takes DAYS before transactions post to the account. This is in contrast to my chase Bank account which actually lets me setup IMMEDIATE alerts on my phone if transactions match certain rules.

The two good things about this card are (1) that the card design is very sexy. I get compliments on it frequently. (2) I am getting rewards points for using it.

Other than that, I’m sure there are plenty of better cards out there…particularly with banks that are more tech-savvy than Comenity.

BEWARE of this card. I had a fraudulent charge and filled out the paperwork and spoke and answered questions from the Investigator months ago. The charge is still on my card, still accruing interest and still not settled. I have never experienced this with other cards. If you have a fraudulent charge they usually credit you the amount until the investigation is complete. Comenity Bank not only takes months to investigate a clearly fraudulent charge ($400 at a 7-11 somewhere in the mid west), but they demand you continue to pay for it with interest until they are done investigating otherwise it shows up as delinquent on your credit report. Unbelievable. VIrgin should stick to airplanes or find a reputable banking institution for their cards.

LH Livingston

Comenity Bank is extremely difficult to deal with, and completely guilty of “bait & switch” tactics. I applied for the card with the $49 fee twice. The first time, I got the bill with the $149 fee, I cancelled the card. I re-applied a month or so ago for the cheaper card. I had to apply by phone because the on-line software didn’t work. That process took 5 days of persistence on my part. Anyhow, my bill arrived today, again with a $149 fee. I got on the phone, was told that this cannot be changed for a year. I escalated up a level, and got the same nonsense. I escalated up a level again and again. I finally got someone who agreed to waive the fee for now, but I have to watch the bills over the year to make sure to apply for the lower fee card when given that option in about a year. I used to be in the advertising business. My clients would never have been allowed to get away with such “bait & switch” tactics.

Comenity Sucks

Couldn’t agree more with the previous posters. This card is a joke. I can essentially only use the card for half the month while I wait for my paid-in-full monthly payment to clear. The web site is down almost every other time I try to log-in. I’m going back to my old United card

I just recently got this new Comenity Bank card and I cannot even get their website to work! I think I will be closing this account after I see the initial spend bonus miles land in my Virgin account. Really disappointing, Virgin America should be ashamed!

Thanks for the updates on the Virgin C/Cards I was about to apply for one but after reading the reports that’s not going to happen. I also have a stella credit report.

The Virgin Visa Card Comenity Bank is the WORST. They accept your payment and put a 10-21 Day HOLD on your payment before they credit your account. So you pay, they cash your check but you cannot use that money (your money) until they have it for between 10-21 Days. No Credit Card Company does that. Are you kidding? What is the point of paying off your card when you cannot use it for 10-21 Days. Horrible Card. Virgin America should be ashamed!

Louis Kessler

I had the same problem and had to cancel my card. What a joke of aa bank Comenity is. I needed a real credit card and it failed. Comenity doesn’t process payments or charges for days after you make them. So even if you want to pay your card off you can’t until days later. I had one huge purchase and it rendered what was supposed to be my main credit card useless.

Comenity is simply the worst credit card issuer out there. Virgin should be ashamed of itself.

Process for new VX card is a complete and total joke/failure. Got a one page rejection saying my address didn’t match my credit report – address is the same one I use for prior VX card – and for many bills (office address of 5 years). I reapplied using my home address in any event and got another one page letter rejecting me saying I applied twice. Jet Blue?

Louis Kessler

Comenity bank is the worst I’ve ever seen. I didn’t even get my card unti a amonth and a half after I applied for it. In the mean time Comenity started charging me the penalty rate for the $150 service charge I could not have paid off because I didn’t yet have a card.

Comenity is awful. Virgin America needs to apologize to its customers.

Comenity is terrible. I charged over $100k last year on the old Barclaycard have good credit otherwise and am still having trouble getting approved from the Comenity bogons. I love VX but will switch to JetBlue exclusively if I can’t get the new card. Grrrrr

Louis Kessler

Just awful I also am switching airlines as Comenit';s business practices are incompetent. They don’t process payments or charges for days, so if you meet your limit you can’t pay it off immediately and your card becomes useless.

What kind of compnay won’t let you pay off your balance immediately? They refused my money though they knew the charges were present because my credit limit had been met.

When I received my $49 card it included a list of Visa Benefits (rental insurance, flight cancellation, etc). However, when I called card services I was told to call Visa’s concierge service directly since they benefits were under Visa and they weren’t very familiar with it. Visa’s concierge looks up my account and says that they don’t see the benefits attached so I should call Comenity directly. Comenity then says that my card level does not include Visa benefits and the booklet included was meant for only premium cardholders.

TL;DR Got the runaround from Virgin -> Visa -> Comenity only to find out that the Visa Benefits pamphlet included with my card don’t apply to my regular signature card.

New VA premium signature card is extremely disappointing. Looks like it was printed on cardboard. Cheap all around for a brand that is supposed to “elevate” what is edgy and young. Not to mention that the application process was horrific. They ran my credit twice after misunderstanding which card I wanted and actually sent out two separate ( not linked ) cards. Disorganized mishmash of a disaster. Take a lesson from AMEX on customer service.

I FULLY agree with Nick. Very disappointing. The card does NOT match up to the hype or the marketing of it and doesn’t look even close to the card in the advertisements. There is no app for Virgin America, or for Comenity bank (the bank that issues the cards). Their website does not allow you to see pending charges and it seems several steps down from the AMEX or Chase website when it comes to a modern web interface with current, pertinent information. After I got the card I received an email that Comenity was doing a “nip and tuck” on the cosmetics of the card and a replacement would be sent. That was a lie. After 1 month, no replacement pretty card. I canceled the account. Ugh. So sad.

BDL – have yo received the replacement card that does not look like the qualitiy of a hotel key? An updates on a better web portal interface for users?

so far- “flying like a boss” (virgin ad line) is still like flying like anything else.

Robert in San Diego

I found it interesting that no one yet has mentioned how difficult it is to read the smaller font both the card number and the other information on the card. I’m all about edgy unique design ideas but they totally missed the mark on this card design. Form should always follow function and for customers who have difficulty reading small print forget it. This card is extremely difficult to read without a magnifying glass or reading glasses because they made the font size small to fit the vertical design. Really dumb. They could have achieved the same look and innovative design idea keeping it horizontal perhaps even better. I recently got my new card and immediately thought to myself, what were they thinking? I wish I had known that before I ordered it. I use my cards daily and this one’s a chore to read. VA You missed the mark.

Their $150.00 companion ticket is ok as long as you pay cash, you can not use it with elevated points. We like the airlines for flying to Cancun and in the states, but it doesn’t fly to Hawaii and there sister company (Hawaiian Air) only has limited space,& dates available for elevated members & its way over priced. What is going to happen to our elevated points if we don’t get a new card with Virgin.

Virgin America now has their new credit card available, pre-approved for current cardholders.

Even less value since today (11/6) Barclays sent a letter advising the VX Visa card will be replaced in January 2014 by a generic, non-Virgin America related, travel MasterCard. The typical kind of 2 points per travel dollar 1 point for all others. Oh well, loyalty to VX is waining. (PS, agree with the constant fraud denials and challenging BarclayCard Philipines call center.)

I got the same letter. Really disappointing. I sent a message to Virgin America asking if there was going to be another card that would let you directly earn Elevate points and I got a very generic response saying that I’ll be getting a letter from Barclays — the same letter I told them I received.

The worst part of new Barclays card is the $89 annual fee! Not sure I’m keeping the card at that price.

Sent a question through the Facebook page, got the generic response, pushed back a little and was told they would provide more info on a new credit card program in early 2014. Responded with a “suggestion” that they provide some more transparent communication to their customers so we didn’t have to “hunt info down reactively”. Final reply was that there is a limited amount of info that can be released to the public and I should communicate with Barclays… seems VX missed the point.

I’ve had a Virgin America card for 4 years or so. Today I tried to transfer 30,000 points to my wife’s account. If you’re an elevate member, there are frequent reminders via email and website ads that you can gift anyone up to 30,000 miles a year, no hassle, just click a button, that’s it. What they don’t tell you is that the gift will cost you $600. When I called to ask, their response was “yes, sir, that’s a third-party website.” As if that explains anything. I said, “You understand that this $600 fee isn’t disclosed anywhere,” and the agent responded with silence. “What’s the $600 for?” Silence. I don’t know if that’s common with other programs, but this is my only card and only program.

Sorry to hear about your bad luck. With Chase Sapphire, Club Carlson Hotel, British Air , and Starwood Hotels you can transfer points between eligible family members for free. All the others typically cost you $. :(

To earn STATUS points, if you have a Visa Signature, is it 9x or 8x more points per dollar spent on a Virgin America flight?

You mentioned something through the blog. As far as using points for partner hotels, you don’t need the credit card, just a good ol’Elevate account, how do you do this. Thanks

I signed up for the Virgin America card yesterday and cancelled it today. If it wasn’t linked from Virgin’s website itself I would think the entire card company was a scam. Their customer service is non existent and their English is incomprehensible (I expect people at call center’s to not be fluent- this was unreal). They provide no help and are incredibly rude.

Two hours after I signed up for the card I started getting calls from a phishing/scam phone number asking me if I wanted to lower my rate on the card. When I reported this to the Virgin card people, they said “oh sorry to hear that” but didn’t ask for anymore info nor did they say they’d report it.

When I asked for an email confirmation that my card had been canceled, they said they didn’t have access to email…… And if i wanted an email, I would have to fax them a request for an email to be sent. This was the worst experience I’ve ever bad with a CC company and I would urge you not to sign up for their card. I’m honestly scared that my information has been compromised by them.

I just got this card, having jumped on the deal which I read through perhaps too quickly when I booked my first Virgin America flight directly through Virgin America’s website. They popped up the deal at the end of the transaction using a card I already had, but be aware that the ticket you just paid for already, that ticket does not count for 3 elevate points per dollar when you agree to get the card, and you can’t get online approval for the card first by searching for the deal and applying before actually buying the ticket – the online approval for the card does not actually set up your account yet, so you can’t then buy the ticket you want now with the card, unless you wait on the ticket a week or so for the physical card to come in the mail.

As for folks having trouble with automatic fraud suspicion suspending the card, I have had this happen with Citibank cards and chase bank cards, 3 separate times that I recall now. One time because someone got a copy of my card and used it to buy gas at a location 500 miles away within minutes of me buying lunch. The bank suspended the card and called me immediately, all was sorted out quickly. The other times I had simply made several large purchases within hours of each other, and the bank temporarily suspended the card for 24 hours but also called immediately to verify I had purchased those items. After confirming, the card was made active again.

I asked about these automatic triggers and both banks said that if I plan to travel overseas or a long way from home and make large purchases far from the location I always use the card, the fraud detection can get triggered. I only need call in advance and notify the bank that I plan to do this, and they will disable the location based fraud detection for the time period I specify. It is them incumbent on you though to call the bank as quickly as possible if you do lose your card. TI can confirm this for Citibank and Chase, but I don’t know about Barclays. Hopefully this is helpful for anyone reading who has run into trouble with their cards on vacation because of automatic fraud detection. I see a few stories above about that.

Disappointed because points acquired through the card do not improve your ‘status’ with the airline. Was surprised to learn this. Despite being an Elevate ‘Founding Member’ and putting a majority of my monthly spend on their credit card, I don’t receive any preferential boarding or other on-board perks. Very surprising and disappointing!!!!

Useless card, don’t waste your money and time on this. There are lot better cards around. Check CHASE CARD, it is far better then this one.

Thank you very much. This helps me a lot to pick my first credit card! I don’t use virgin America usually (they don’t flight to the destinations which I fly often). So I probably won’t get this one….. I really appreciate your review

They need customer support who speaks english. Majority of the time I am just trying to understand. As well, they need to know what they are doing and not trying to match the issue with the instruction sheet on their table.

Last, I can’t believe their fraud department works from 8am – 8pm EST, not even PST. In comparison to Citi bank, which operates 24 hours, Barclay is BAD. Please save yourself some trouble and not get this card.

I actually like this card very much, and use it for my “all other purchases” (e.g. gas I use Costco AMEX, restaurant I use either Costco AMEX or Chase Freedom when it’s 5%, etc.). The rewards are the ~2.2% mentioned, which is better than any other card out there. Since Virgin America is typically the cheapest flight out there for the usual places I go out of SFO, this card is a no-brainer for me. I’ve had a few callbacks from their fraud department, but that was after I made a purchase, and I never had any rejected purchases. I had a few fraudulent charges on the card, and their customer service worked on it right away and reversed them. I guess I’ve been lucky.

Great Airlines…The Credit Card is Awful.

I had charges on two separate occasions denied, despite having a stellar credit rating and never having a late payment and always paying my bill in full each and every month.

Turns out their security department thought they had detected fraudulent use on my card, which is fine, except that the security department wasn’t working over the weekend and my card was neutered for a weekend, while I was traveling. I escalated to the customer service manager who was useless and kept repeating there was nothing he could do. Pay a fee for the card and the then having the card suspended with no ability to rectify the problem. This happened twice. I returned the card. Don’t have this problem with Chase.

Customer Service was absolutely non existent.

GREAT AIRLINE, GREAT BENEFITS, TERRIBLE CARD. I believe it is due Juniper/Barclay’s policies. They keep blocking my card every time I use it due to “suspicious activities” a.k.a. their “fraud protection” department.

Not only that, but the APR on this card is over 25%. My other cards average 10% APR.

If there is a Virgin America Visa card out there not connected to this bank(s), I recommend checking that one out.

The card rewards fall very short, but the service on the planes and the airplanes are first rate.

You didn’t point out the best thing of all which is you just booked a flight to Chicago for 13k points whereas the same flight would cost 25k on all other airlines on their flat rate policy. I fly round trip from LA to SF for under 6k points on Virgin. Beat that!

TERRIBLE CARD – TERRIBLE PEOPLE AT CALL CENTER – HORRIBLE COMMUNICATION

Completely agree.

I pay my card bills in full every month which left it a zero balance, and my card was cancelled due to the fact “I did not use it for a period of time”.

Zero warning.

When asking for help from their call center, they would simply re-read the statement “You did not use your card for a period of time and the bank decided to close your account… Can I help you with anything else?”.