Virgin America and Barclays Offer New Visa Signature Card with No Annual Fee

Cardholders Can Earn ‘Absurdly Simple’ Rewards on Award-Winning Airline

San Francisco — Oct. 8, 2008 — Virgin America, the California-based airline that is reinventing domestic travel and Barclaycard US, the credit card business of Barclays PLC in the U.S., today announced the launch of the new Virgin America Visa Signature Card -- an “Absurdly Simple” co-branded credit card that offers guests premium Visa Signature services, rewards, and amenities -- with no annual fee.

Starting today, consumers can pre-register for the card on the Virgin America Web site ( Cardholders can start earning points on Virgin America’s first-of-its-kind no black-out date loyalty program, Elevate, beginning Oct. 23.

The Virgin America ‘Absurdly Simple’ Visa Signature Card rewards cardholders with triple Elevate points on all Virgin America purchases, enabling them to quickly earn free travel on the airline that has captured a list of travel industry best-in-class awards, including most recently Best Domestic Airline in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards.

As a special bonus, customers who apply by Nov. 30, 2008 will have an opportunity to earn a free one-way ticket*. Once guests are approved and use their card they can earn bonus Elevate points after their first purchase and bonus points for balance transfers. Members can use their card to earn three points for every $1 spent on Virgin America flights and on all purchases, such as films, snacks, and cocktails on the airline’s RED™ in-flight entertainment system. Members will also rack up points for all other purchases at the rate of one point for every dollar spent.

Launched in August 2007, Virgin America is reinventing the U.S. flying experience with upscale, tech-savvy amenities, top-notch service, transparent and simple booking, and a loyalty program that delivers real rewards without making members jump through hoops. Elevate members can redeem points for any unsold seat – on any Virgin America flight, at any time. Virgin America Elevate members can also easily manage past and upcoming trips on-line in just a few clicks.

“At Virgin America, our goal is to reinvent the domestic flying experience with a simple, easy-to-use booking structure, attractive fares, and upscale amenities and design you won’t find on other U.S. carriers,” said Virgin America President and CEO David Cush. “In order to provide our customers with a similar credit card experience, we partnered with Barclays, a company known for unrivalled customer service and innovative, customizable reward programs. Barclays understands the needs of our smart travelers and helped us design an absurdly simple, no-fee Visa Signature card program that our customers will love.”

“Working closely with Virgin America, we customized a rewards program that will deepen the way consumers engage with the airline by helping them earn reward travel and bonus points faster, with no annual fee,” said Lloyd M. Wirshba, Chief Executive Officer, Barclaycard US. “We are thrilled to partner with such an innovative and trailblazing company as Virgin America in introducing a new credit card program that will provide unique travel experiences to our mutual customers.” Beginning today, customers can sign up for the card, as well as join Virgin America’s Elevate frequent flier program, by visiting Once approved, Virgin America Visa Signature Cardholders will enjoy the following benefits:

  • 2,500 Elevate bonus points after the first purchase
  • One point per dollar spent on everyday purchases
  • Triple points on Virgin America purchases
  • 0% APR and 1 point per dollar on first balance transfer – up to 2,500 bonus points
  • 300 bonus points for every $5,000 spent per year (limit 1,200 annual bonus points)

As always, Elevate points are good for any unsold seat on any flight anytime, with no blackout dates or restrictions of any kind. In addition, the program features Visa Signature benefits including:

  • Sports & Entertainment – Access to premier sports and entertainment events, including VIP packages to once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as the Olympics, pre-sale tickets, and preferred seating at top Broadway shows.
  • Travel, Hotel & Spa – Experience incredible travel packages, special offers, and upgrades at some of the world’s finest hotels and resorts.
  • Shopping – Explore the in-store and online offers from favorite retailers, including Brookstone, Bliss, and 1-800-FLOWERS.COM®.
  • Concierge – Take advantage of a complimentary concierge service for restaurant recommendations or reservations, vacation-planning assistance, or other personalized services 24 hours a day.
  • Fine Wine & Food – Select from a host of premier gourmet events and experiences and other culinary adventures.

Virgin America flies to seven cities, including: SFO to LAX, SFO to JFK, SFO to SAN, SFO to IAD, SFO to LAS, SFO to SEA, LAX to JFK, LAX to IAD, LAX to SEA, and now non-stop flights from JFK to LAS.

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Media Contact:

Virgin America: Abby Lunardini, (650) 533-7576/
EPA: Deb Berlin 202-343-9231/

EDITORS NOTE: Virgin America is a U.S. controlled and operated airline and an entirely separate company from Virgin Atlantic. Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is a minority share investor in Virgin America.

About Virgin America: Launched in August 2007, Virgin America is a California-based airline that offers guests attractive fares and a host of innovative features aimed at reinventing air travel. Virgin America’s base of operations is San Francisco International Airport’s ultra-modern and convenient International Terminal. The airline’s new Airbus A320-family aircraft offer interactive in-flight entertainment systems and power outlets for electronic gear. In September 2008, Virgin America was rated the “Best Business Class” among U.S. carriers in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2008 Business Travel Poll. In July 2008, Virgin America was named “Best Domestic Airline” in Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards. In Zagat’s 2007 Global Airlines Survey, the airline was ranked #1 among U.S. carriers for quality in First/Business Class. To learn more:

About Barclaycard US: Headquartered in Wilmington, Del., Barclaycard US creates customized co-branded credit card programs for some of the country’s most successful travel, entertainment, retail and financial institutions, including US Airways, Best Western, Carnival Cruise Lines, Travelocity, L.L.Bean, Barnes & Noble, BJ’s Wholesale Club and UBS. The company employs 1,200 associates and was named a Top Employer in Delaware in 2008. For more information please Globally, Barclaycard provides credit cards in the U.K., Germany, Spain, Italy and Portugal. In the Nordic region, Barclaycard operates through Entercard, a joint venture with Swedbank. Barclaycard is a division of Barclays PLC, a major global financial services provider engaged in retail and commercial banking, credit cards, investment banking, wealth management and investment management services. With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries, employs 135,000 people and services accounts for over 27 million customers and clients worldwide. For further information about Barclays, please visit

For More Information, contact:

Karen To
Sparkpr for Barclaycard US
(415) 321-1890
Kevin Sullivan
Barclaycard US
(302) 255-8637
Abby Lunardini
Virgin America
(650) 533-7576

*To be eligible for a free flight, you must apply by November 30, 2008 and use the card by January 31, 2009. Travel must be completed by May 20, 2009. No blackout dates. Certain restrictions apply. One-way flight voucher does not include Passenger Facility Charges of up to $9 each way, September 11 Security Fees of up to $5 each way and a Federal Segment Tax of $3.50 per domestic segment. Promo code is valid for travel in the Main Cabin but excludes Main Cabin Select.