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Virgin America just launched a promotion that will allow you to rack up tons of points if you purchase Main Cabin Select or First Class fares and a decent amount of points if you purchase and fly in coach fares from now until December 31, 2013. Elevate points can be redeemed for any Virgin America flight, but the value of the points towards airfare depends on the flight, but they are normally worth 1.2 to 2 cents a piece towards airfare. So a $500 flight would cost ~25,000 points.
First Class/ Main Cabin Select Bonus:
Normally you earn 5 Elevate points per dollar spent. From now until December 31, 2013 you will earn 10 points per dollar when you book First Class (J, C, D Fare Classes) or Main Cabin Select (W, Q, Z Fare Classes). If you purchase economy and upgrade, it will not be eligible for double points. This offer is only good for flights ticketed and operated by Virgin America .
Bonus for all:
Then there’s a separate bonus of up to 25,000 additional points that is calculated on the base amount of points you earn from flights September 10- December 31, 2013 which includes Economy, Main Cabin Select and First Class fares. So if you book MCS/First, you can double dip the original double points, plus this additional bonus haul:
$2,500 in base points earned ($500 in spend) = 1,000 Elevate point bonus (~$20 value)
$5,000 in base points earned ($1,000 in spend) = 2,500 Elevate point bonus (~$50 value)
$10,000 in base points earned ($2,000 in spend) = 5,000 Elevate point bonus (~$100 value)
$15,000 in base points earned ($3,000 in spend) = 10,000 Elevate point bonus (~$200 value)
$20,000 in base points earned ($4,000 in spend) = 15,000 Elevate point bonus (~$300 value)
$25,000 in base points earned ($5,000 in spend) = 25,000 Elevate point bonus (~$500 value)
Cherry on top:
All bonus points earned during the promotion will count towards elite status. You need 20,000 Elite Qualifying Points for Silver and 50,000 for Gold.
So if you’re an uber- Virgin America flyer and drop $25,000 in Main Cabin Select/ First Class fares during this promotion, you’d haul 150,000 bonus points, worth ~$3,000, plus the base points of 125,000 ($2,500 in value) and if you were already gold, you’d get an additional 125,000 elite bonus points ($2,500 in value) for a grand total of $8,000 back on $25,000 spent- a 32% return- not including the actual credit card spend. If purchased on a Premier Rewards Gold, you’d get 75,000 Amex points (100,000 if booked through Amex Travel) and an additional 15,000 points when you hit $30,000 in spend on the card. Check out this post for maximizing airfare spend.
Clearly most people will spend less than $25,000 during this period, but it goes to show this promotion is actually pretty lucrative for those high-value customers. Here’s to hoping other airlines will launch similar promotions!
Here are the key terms and conditions:
“To qualify for this offer, guests must a) be enrolled in Elevate prior to registering for the offer, b) register for the offer prior to their travel date and c) correctly add their Elevate account number to their reservation prior to their first travel date. Any changes or cancellations might result in disqualification from the offer. All travel not normally eligible for earning reward points, including Elevate reward bookings, are excluded from this offer. Bonus Elevate points cannot be transferred between accounts and will only be earned if the member has entered their Elevate membership number in their booking. If the member has chosen to earn points or miles with a partner airline loyalty program, these flights will be excluded from this offer and no bonus points will be earned on your travel with Virgin America.”