Earlier this year, JetBlue wanted to merge with Virgin America, but Alaska Airlines ended up winning the bidding war. Now they are just fighting over potential customers, which means some interesting things for us!
The newest promotion offers to match your Virgin America Elevate points subject to certain conditions:
How good is this deal? If you have 50,001 Virgin America points and fly one roundtrip on JetBlue by 8/31, you can get 75,000 free JetBlue points. 75,000 JetBlue points will vary in value, but a reasonable estimate is $1,050 in airfare. This is based on 1.4 cents per JetBlue point as calculated in my JetBlue credit card review. Assuming you live near a JetBlue-served airport, a roundtrip will cost a minimum of $68 to $200. Therefore, there is a lot of room for “profit” on this deal.
- Elevate® members must email a screenshot of their account dashboard to email@example.com by 7/4/2016. Screenshots must include first name, last name, and points balance. Please include your TrueBlue number in the email. If you are not a TrueBlue member yet, sign up now.
- Once we assess your balance and eligibility, we’ll email you to let you know if you’re officially registered for the promotion.
- Then book and fly one roundtrip JetBlue flight by 08/31/16.
How do I get Virgin America Elevate points?
- You might already have some from being a Virgin America customer.
- You can transfer Starwood Preferred Guest points on a 1:1 basis. If you transfer a minimum of 20,000 points, you’ll get 25,000 Virgin Elevate points. Thus, if transfer 40,001 SPG points, that would give you exactly 50,001 Virgin Points.
- You can transfer Citi ThankYou points on a 2:1 basis. So 10,000 Citi ThankYou points would be 5,000 Virgin Elevate points.
- You can transfer American Express Membership Rewards points on a 2:1 basis. So 10,000 AmEx MR points would be 5,000 Virgin Elevate points.
Reality check. This is possibly a great deal for a net “profit” of $900+ of free JetBlue airfare, but there are a lot of moving parts:
- You’ll need a plan to get 50,001 Virgin points. Are you willing to give up 40,001 SPG Starpoints to get there? This isn’t a big hurdle, considering that you can simply buy 30,000 Starpoints per account for $735 right now, and you can combine Starpoints from multiple accounts.
- You’ll need to have a plan to redeem those Virgin America Elevate points, so hopefully you live next to an airport served by Virgin America or partner airline like Hawaiian and want to fly somewhere on their route map. If you’re patient, Alaska Airlines. Based on previous calculations, 50,000 Virgin America points can buy roughly $800 to $1,300 in airfare. Virgin America route map.
- You’ll need a plan to redeem those JetBlue points, so you should also live near an airport served by JetBlue and want to fly somewhere on their route map. Again, 75,000 JetBlue points is worth roughly $1,050 in economy airfare. JetBlue route map.
- You’ll need to buy a roundtrip ticket on JetBlue and complete your flight by August 31st. Fares start at a little under $100. Some people will just do a “mileage run” and effectively spend a day flying around in a circle to qualify. If you needed to fly anyway, that would be even better.