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Yesterday I received an email from the JetBlue team about an absolutely amazing promotion. You may have already read about this offer now elsewhere, but I didn’t want to just fire off a quick post without really digging into how amazing it is because this is one of the coolest offers I think we have seen in a while from any program.
JetBlue wants to win over Virgin America flyers, and to do so they are willing to match the number of miles in your Virgin America Elevate account with that same number, or more JetBlue True Blue points – within the following tiers!
To take advantage of this promo, Virgin America members must email a screenshot of their account dashboard including their first name, last name, and points balance to firstname.lastname@example.org by 7/4/2016. You must also include your JetBlue TrueBlue member number in the email.
Once they assess your balance and eligibility, they’ll email you to let you know you’re officially registered for the promotion.
To get the JetBlue points match payout you then have to book and fly one roundtrip JetBlue flight by 08/31/16. Obviously if you already have Virgin America miles and don’t have an issue flying a JetBlue revenue flight by 8/31 then this is a no-brainer, but it is a great deal for many even if you don’t yet have any Virgin America points.
As you may know, Virgin America is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou, and Starwood Preferred Guest. This means you may be able to relatively quickly move some points to Virgin America for the purposes of this promo even if you are starting from scratch.
The transfer rates to Virgin America from those programs are:
American Express Membership Rewards
200 Membership Rewards points = 100 Elevate points
Membership Rewards points must be transferred in increments of 200
1,000 ThankYou points = 500 Elevate points
ThankYou points must be transferred in increments of 1,000.
Starwood Preferred Guest
1 SPG Point = 1 Elevate point
There is no minimum transfer amount for SPG Platinums, a 1,500 point minimum transfer for Golds, and a 2,500 point minimum transfer for General Members.
For every 20,000 Starpoints transferred within the same transaction, Starwood will automatically add another 5,000 Starpoints. This means that if you transfer 40,000 SPG points in one transaction you will end up with 50,000 Virgin America Elevate points.
How to Turn 40,001 Points Into 125,000 Airline “Miles”
If you are in this scenario and are starting from 0 Elevate points, I would recommend a transfer of 40,001 SPG points in one transaction so you would end up with 50,001 Virgin America Elevate points which would match to 75,000 JetBlue points via this promo – assuming you meet all other criteria.
In this case you would turn 40,001 SPG points into total 125.001 airline points, which is pretty tremendous. While this next part is somewhat subjective, to break down the value further, you will often see SPG points valued in the 2.5 cents per point range. This means that 40,001 SPG points would be worth around $1,000 in hotel redemptions to many. I find JetBlue points often to be worth between 1.3 – 1.7 cents each, so let’s call that an average of 1.5 cents for redemptions. That means that 75,000 of them would be worth around $1,125 in award flights.
I have found Virgin America Elevate points to be worth around 2.2 cents each on award flights, so that makes 50,001 of them worth about $1,100. If you went with those numbers, then you would be trading off 40,001 SPG points often valued at around $1,000 for a combined total of 125,001 airline points worth a combined today of around $2,225 in award flights!
Of course you also have to take a round trip paid JetBlue flight in order to get the bonus JetBlue points, and your values for any of these types of points may vary. However, it is a promotion that is pretty unique and certainly worth considering, even if you only participate at one of the lower tier payouts.
While I think all this math is very cool, and there are tons of great uses of Virgin America Elevate points including going to Australia in Virgin Australia business class for 80k miles round trip, personally I will be passing on this opportunity. I’m passing for a combination of reasons including that I don’t really have any Elevate points to start with, I have no need/desire for a JetBlue flight this summer, and while I like JetBlue, they don’t serve my preferred airport of IAH and only have two nonstop destinations from Houston Hobby. In other words, my SPG points are better as SPG points in this case and my time right now is better spent not doing things like mileage runs.
Also remember that point transfers are not instant – One Mile at a Time reports that transfers from SPG to Virgin America take about a day. Even though I’m sitting out, I very much hope many of you are able to participate in this one as I think it is very cool and lucrative for many points collectors. If you wanted to then up your JetBlue balance even more to try out something awesome like the Mint suites, you could get 30,000 points as a sign-up bonus from The JetBlue Plus Card after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days! While you are at it, you can also get JetBlue Mosaic status by matching from another program or doing a challenge!
Who all is pulling the trigger on this cool JetBlue/Virgin America point match?
Terms and Conditions:
*This offer is available to new or existing TrueBlue members. To qualify, members must send an email including their TrueBlue number and a picture of their Elevate® account dashboard showing first name, last name, and points balance to email@example.com by 7/4/2016, await receipt of an email to confirm registration for the promotion and then book new roundtrip flights operated by JetBlue and completed all travel by 08/31/2016. Number of points awarded will be based on Elevate® points balance evidenced by submitted proof. Proof is subject to verification. TrueBlue number must be provided at the time of booking. Offer can only be redeemed one (1) time by any individual. Points awarded in conjunction with this promotion are considered bonus points and do not count towards earning Mosaic status. Offer does not apply to non-revenue travel; is not valid on flights operated by airline partners; is not valid in connection with any Getaways vacation packages, cruises, or any other product or service and may not be combined with other special offers. In the event you cancel your reservation or change your reservation so that it no longer complies with the terms of this offer, you will not receive any of the promotion bonus points. TrueBlue points will be awarded within 4-6 weeks after round-trip flight. Offer can be cancelled or modified at any time. TrueBlue Terms and Conditions apply.
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.