Awesome Promo: Turn 40,001 Points Into 125,000 Airline “Miles”

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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 promo

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!

JetBlue Virgin Promo.jpg

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 pointsmatch@jetblue.com 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

Citi ThankYou

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!

JetBlue Mint

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 pointsmatch@jetblue.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.

Comments

  1. I rushed and transferred 40k from SPG to Virgin america for a total of 50k points, short by one. I need to wait till tomorrow to transfer another 1k.
    I live in LA so plenty of cheapo for round trip in july and august. in fact, i can get a turn around round trip for about $100.
    Just hope jetblue doesn’t back out.

    I read that it is difficult to redeem biz class for Virgin australia.

    Know of any other good partner redemption?

  2. I can confirm that I did my SPG transfer around 10pm EST on Friday and the points were in my elevate account by Saturday afternoon.

    We are Boston based and have plans to visit LA for Christmas, this transfer just solidified that we will be traveling on Virgin America. The 75,000 trueblue points that never expire were too good to pass up though.

    I guess I got lucky that my SPG Amex bonus posted last week. I never expected to transfer so soon, but for me this offer is too good to pass up.

    Summer, I am honestly surprised you are not all over this deal. With your love of Hawaii, the fact that the trueblue points never expire, and the pending merger with Alaska, I would think this would be a great promo for you. Do you have a specific redemption of your SPG points in mind that would cause you to pass on this opportunity?

    • We aren’t swimming in SPG points so don’t want to knock 40k off the total when none of these are really convenient airlines for us. Taking a JetBlue flight this summer also would be quite a challenge to fit in for me. I love this promo a ton, but it’s just not the right one for me.

      • I completely understand that. I have passed on some very lucerative promotions in the past. I think this just goes to show that the true value of a point is variable from person to person.

        If you truly value each SPG points at 2.5¢, 2.2¢ for the Elevate points, and 1.3¢ for the TrueBlue points, then as a rational person you should be jumping at the chance to turn $1,000 worth of SPG points into $2,075 of other currencies. Yet you are not. This means to me that either your personal value of an SPG point is higher than 2.5¢ or your personal value of Elevate/TrueBlue is lower than the 2.2¢/1.3¢ that you declare. I think personal value is true for everyone, but this very important nuance is missing from the great majority of points blogs.

        • I personally value spg points more…at least I get a greater return than that for them. Usually closer to 4 cents + for ski season properties. 😉

          • It sounds like you made the right decision! I one time redeems 65,000 Delta Skymiles for a round trip domestic ticket. I needed to go and the cash price was over $1,000. The value per mile was actually good, but it still killed me to do it. It was the right decision. Have fun skiing!

  3. Summer, what is minimum transfer? I only have 38000 pts spg . I have citi thankyou and some amex. I was thinking of using spg for the flight and hotel promo. but that would mean I need to get more points. But would this transfer be better? As I really can’t use SPG unless I go to asia. I live in west coast. Would this promo. be good for me as I need more points for flying domestic. Thanks

  4. Is there anything good to do with Virgin points? I don’t have a convenient airport to use them, but seems like a great opportunity to use my Citi points

  5. Hi,
    Do I actually have to wait until they send me an email to book a flight? I just booked a jetblue flight yesterday to fly in August and will send in the required info today, but will they still give me the bonus points?

    • I cancelled our tickets within the first 24 hour window so there were no penalties. Still waiting for JetBlue to register me for the promo. My husband got his email confirmation yesterday.

  6. To Chelsea: I would have waited to book the flight after I got the confirmation but I am not sure. It says in the terms of the promo steps to take in that order. Hope it works out for you! I was also going to book before since there was that fare sale but didn’t want to risk it.

    Question: Can we use our Virgin miles once we are confirmed for the promo? I was concerned about draining my account before I fly my JetBlue in August and get the match.

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