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It’s been a busy couple of days for Virgin America and Alaska Airlines. Yesterday, we told you how Mileage Plan members were seeing 10,000 bonus miles in their accounts and how it was possible to transfer Elevate points to Mileage Plan miles at a 1 to 1.3 ratio. Now, you can also redeem Mileage Plan miles for Virgin America travel.
With this new booking option, Alaska Mileage Plan members will be able to redeem their miles for Virgin America travel at fixed rates, meaning redemptions will not follow Virgin’s revenue-based award pricing. So, as long as there’s award availability on Virgin, you’ll be able to redeem your Mileage Plan miles at the same, fixed rate.
Here’s how the fixed award costs break down for one-way tickets:
|Virgin America Flights (From Continental US)||Main Cabin||First Class|
Those award levels are pretty standard, but what makes this new option special is that there is so much Virgin American award availability. To check out availability or to book one of these awards, go to Alaska’s website and search for award travel on your desired route(s).
Here’s an example of how wide open Virgin award availability is using Mileage Plan miles when flying from New York (JFK) to San Francisco (SFO):
Here’s a sample of availability from San Francisco (SFO) to Maui (OGG) in February, with award tickets starting at 20,000 miles one-way:
There’s also a lot of availability on flights from Los Angeles (LAX) to Fort Lauderdale (FLL) in February with Virgin:
There’s even good availability starting at the lowest fare (7,500 miles) for intra-state travel from Los Angeles (LAX) to San Francisco (SFO):
There are definitely some sweet spots to take advantage of in this new option to use Mileage Plan miles for Virgin America flights — especially considering Virgin’s premium domestic product.
If you’re looking to increase your stash of Alaska miles in order to take advantage of this option, consider signing up for the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card. It comes with a sign-up bonus of 30,000 points after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days. You’ll get an annual companion fare from $121 after making $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days, as well as no foreign transaction fees.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
- 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