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Virgin America unveils yearly fees plus extra perks to new credit cards

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As an Elevate member of Virgin America's Elevate frequent flyer club who’s been accumulating mileage points via use of its Barclay Visa Card for the last three years, it came as somewhat of a shock that the company is doing away with the old card and ringing in a new that comes with yearly fees. If I remember right the old card came with a promise of no yearly fees (however, I have to look up the contract).

Anyhow for Virgin America credit cardholders who don’t mind yearly fees, the perks are pretty good, but now we have weigh in the difference between what Barclay is offering (that company also is issuing its own credit card but hasn’t released details as yet). If this confuses you, here’s what happened Barclay and Virgin America teamed up to offer a credit card which earned miles per use. Then as of 2014 the two went separate ways with their own credit cards. Get it?

In a release received today, Jan. 8, Virgin America released details such as:

1. The new card is a partnership with Alliance Data Retail Services, which manages more than 120 private label and co-brand credit programs and is an Alliance Data Systems Corporation (NYSE: ADS) business.

2. The Virgin America Visa Signature® Credit Card and a first-ever Virgin America Premium Visa Signature® Card offers perks to make their travel experience more convenient, flexible and rewarding.

3. If you sign up for one of the two new Virgin America Visa Signature® Cards unveiled today you will earn triple Elevate points on all Virgin America purchases, and also as of this moment, Elevate points can be redeemed with Virgin Limited Edition, SirRichard Branson's collection of world-class retreats – including his private Necker Island.

The visually distinctive cards feature the first-ever moodlit "window and include:

  • Virgin America Visa Signature® Card (annual fee $49)*:
  • Free first checked bag each for the cardholder and their plus-one on all Virgin America flights;
  • Bring a friend along for the ride with $150 off a companion ticket every year;
  • Save 20% on all RED™ in-flight purchases including meals, snacks, cocktails, and on-demand entertainment;
  • Earn 10,000 Elevate bonus reward points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days of being a cardholder;
  • Earn 3 reward points per $1 spent with Virgin America; Earn 1 point per $1 spent everywhere else; and
  • Elevate points don't expire as long as the guest is a cardholder.
  • Virgin America Premium Visa Signature® Card (annual fee $149)*:

All of the benefits of the $49 annual fee card, plus:

  • Freedom to modify travel plans at any time without incurring change or cancels fees on Virgin America flights;
  • Earn up to 15,000 status points towards Elevate Gold or Elevate Silver status when spending$30,000 in a calendar year (5,000 Status points per $10,000 spent);
  • Ability to carry forward any additional status points at annual renewal; and
  • Earn 15,000 Elevate bonus reward points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days of being a cardholder.

Full program details can be viewed on the airline's website www.virginamerica.com/creditcard.

Check out the Richard Branson video for a taste of Virgin America.

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