“ Type: Credit Card „
A combination of being a skint backpacker, the very good looking air hostess and pain killers somewhat distorted my view on credit cards.
I'll admit, on the flight I thought, this air miles thing might come in handy; I might be able to pay my wage into the card and make loads of air miles each month. A free flight every year... or so it seemed!
Now, the card terms itself are pretty simple, it's a credit card and at that time had 0% interest for the first 12 months. What a great introductory offer. The percentage is high after that, but wont empty the bank. There is plenty of goodies too, free upgrades, reduced flight costs, discounts and free balance transfers. There is also an opportunity to upgrade to silver and gold membership depending on how much you use the card for air travel, allowing access to executive lounges and the like.
To give an opening limit of £2500 was to me, as it is most young people a dream! So I blew the lot in America and Canada. I also paid for the flight back to the UK. Eventually after a few months I clocked up almost 10,000 air miles. This was using my wages and special deals Virgin pushed towards its card users.
OK, so here is the catch. When I paid for the tickets for a friend of mine to come to the UK and return back to the states, I could not claim the air miles because although I bought the ticket, she was the passenger. At the check in desk I asked if I could upgrade my friend with the 10,000 air miles... HERE IS WHAT THEY DON'T TELL YOU!
10,000 miles, therefore £10,000 of use on the card could not upgrade a passenger. So I contacted the information line and asked just exactly what I could get. For 45,000 air miles I could get reduced airfare (not tax) on a single way trip. The particular journey I wanted to take was £700 return if I booked it online, as if not a member.
So for spending £45,000 worth of usage on a credit card, I could get under £350 trip to my destination? What a con! Its easier to open up and ISA.
Unless you open up the black card, which has an annual fee of around £300 at the time, you don't get anywhere near a beneficial service. Or you could in theory undertake forty-five £1000 trips, then have a little bit of a discount for a holiday. Sigh! A waste of time!
This card has very little to offer unless opened by the extremely wealthy or the extremely silly.