Chase Sapphire Reserve℠

500 Free Virgin America Points + Refer A Friend Promo

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

There have been major upheavals in the world of frequent flyer programs in the past year, with first Delta and then United announcing huge changes to their mileage programs and how flyers will earn elite status.

Hoping to capitalize on uncertainty and shifting loyalty among frequent flyers, Virgin America recently launched a new promo meant to entice them from other airlines to the Elevate program with bonuses not just for new members, but also for the existing members who refer them.

Here is my referral link, but feel free to share your own in the comments section below for other readers to use.

Screen shot 2014-07-14 at 10.29.55 AM

Dubbed the “Loyalty Made Me Do It – Break Free With Virgin America” promo, the airline is offering new Elevate members 500 points (the equivalent of spending $100 on airfare) just for signing up, and the opportunity to earn 2,500-7,500 bonus points by taking their first flight by December 31, 2014. Existing members who refer a new member to the program can also earn bonus points when the new member takes their first flight.

Screen shot 2014-07-14 at 10.29.33 AM
Everyone benefits from Virgin America’s new referral bonus.

Both the new member and the referring member earn the following bonuses based on the cabin in which the new member takes their first flight:

  • Main Cabin: 2,500 points
  • Main Cabin Select: 5,000 points
  • First Class: 7,500 points

Key Details
Regular Elevate members earn 5 points per $1 spent on airfare, so earning 7,500 bonus points is like spending $1,500 on tickets. By my most recent points valuation, you can redeem Virgin America points for between 1.5-2.3 cents apiece toward travel, so the maximum bonus for booking a first class flight is worth at least $112.50, or as much as $172.50.

You don’t actually have to be referred as a new member to earn any of these bonuses, but you might as well spread the love a little bit and click someone else’s referral link so that everyone earns more bonus points.

The terms and conditions state that to qualify for the bonuses, flights must be ticketed through and operated by Virgin America (so partner flights don’t count), and that the bonus points do not count toward status. The new member’s Elevate number must also be on the reservation prior to travel, so you can’t credit a past flight to score this bonus.

However, there’s no mention of needing to book a round-trip flight, so you could just book a cheap one-way flight in first class (like one of these $199 fares from Los Angeles to Las Vegas) in order to score the full bonus.

Score the full bonus on a cheap first class fare like these.
Score the full bonus on a cheap first class one-way fare like these.

There’s also no limit to the number of referrals you can make, so tell everyone you know who might be interested, and send them your link to earn as many points as possible.

I have still not flown Virgin America, but I’ve been meaning to for a long time now thanks to all the great things I’ve heard about the airline, its customer service, and the amenities on the plane (including WiFi and decent dining options). TPG Special Contributor Eric Rosen flew Virgin America a while ago and wrote up his experience in Main Cabin Select, so it’s something I’m looking forward to trying in the near future, especially if I earn a bunch of bonus points toward an award ticket!

Here are the rest of the terms & conditions:

Refer-A-Friend Bonus Points Offer

This offer is open to existing Elevate® program members (Referrer) who refer non-Elevate members (Referee) to join the Elevate Program via the ‘Loyalty Made Me Do It’ promotion microsite.

Referees are required to enroll in the Elevate program via the email, Facebook, or Twitter referral link as received by the Referee, and then take their first Virgin America flight after enrolling in order for both parties to earn bonus reward points.

Elevate program administrators, secondary contacts, travel agents, or any other travel bookers making bookings on behalf of third parties are not eligible to participate in this offer. You may not enroll on behalf of new members; they must enroll using the referral link directly at virginamerica.com and accept the Elevate program terms and conditions.

Referrer Bonus Points

For every person you refer who enrolls in the Elevate program, you will earn bonus reward points according to the cabin in which they complete their first flight with Virgin America: Main Cabin 2,500 points, Main Cabin Select 5,000 points and First Class 7,500 points. In order to qualify for this offer, your Referee’s booking must be made in a qualifying revenue booking class and flown between July 7, 2014 and December 31, 2014. Referees must correctly add their Elevate number to their reservation prior to their travel date. Only tickets that are ticketed on a Virgin America prefix (‘VX’) and operated on Virgin America qualify for this offer subject to these terms. Any changes or cancellations may result in disqualification from the offer. All travel not normally eligible for earning Points, including Elevate reward bookings, are excluded from this offer.

Bonus reward points will be credited to the Referrer”s account within 4-6 weeks after the Referee has completed their first qualifying flight. Bonus Points earned by the Referrer in this offer will not qualify towards Elevate Gold or Elevate Silver status. Bonus Points cannot be transferred between accounts and will only be earned if the Referee has entered their Elevate membership number in their booking. If the Referee 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.

There is no limit to the amount of referrals you may make via the ‘Loyalty Made Me Do It’ microsite.

Referee Bonus Points

Referees will earn 500 bonus reward points upon enrolling in the Elevate program. Referees will also earn additional bonus reward points according to the cabin in which they complete their first flight with Virgin America after enrolling in the Elevate program: Main Cabin 2,500 points, Main Cabin Select 5,000 points, and First Class 7,500 points. In order to qualify for this offer, the Referee’s booking must be made in a qualifying revenue booking class and flown between July 7, 2014 and December 31, 2014. Referees must correctly add their Elevate number to their reservation prior to their travel date. Only tickets that are ticketed on a Virgin America prefix (‘VX’) and operated on Virgin America qualify for this offer subject to these terms. Any changes or cancellations may result in disqualification from the offer. All travel not normally eligible for earning Points, including Elevate reward bookings, are excluded from this offer.

Bonus reward points will be credited to the Referee’s account within 4-6 weeks after completion of their first qualifying flight. Bonus Points earned by the Referee in this offer will not qualify towards Elevate Gold or Elevate Silver status. Bonus Points cannot be transferred between accounts and will only be earned if the Referee has entered their Elevate membership number in their booking. If the Referee 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.

Virgin America reserves the right to change, suspend or cancel this offer at any time without notice, and the bonus point levels listed are subject to changes at any time. Membership in the Elevate Program is offered at the discretion of Virgin America. Participation as an Elevate Member is subject to any terms and conditions, rules, policies and procedures that Virgin America may at its discretion change at any time without notice. Virgin America reserves the right to terminate the program or change the program terms, benefits, conditions of participation or points levels, in whole or in part, at any time, with or without notice. Virgin America’s Elevate Member Guide is posted at http://www.virginamerica.com/cms/elevate-frequent-flyer/member-guide.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Apply Now
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Rating
N/A 16.24%-23.24% Variable Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95 0% Excellent Credit