Virgin America’s Elevate program has come out with a fairly lucrative promotion valid for travel between October 6 and December 19, 2014. Registration is required prior to your first travel date, though previously booked travel does also qualify for the promotion.
The promotion is entitled Feel The Earn, and through it Virgin America is offering a couple of ways to earn bonus Elevate points.
Triple points for First Class and double points for Main Cabin Select
Virgin America Elevate members ordinarily earn five points per dollar spent on Virgin America, so through this promotion you earn 10 points per dollar spent on Main Cabin Select tickets (fare classes W, Q, and Z), and 15 points per dollar spent on First Class tickets (fare classes J, C, and D). The flight has to be marketed and operated by Virgin America to qualify, and the bonus is based on your original fare class — in other words, an upgrade day of departure wouldn’t qualify for the bonus.
For those of you not familiar with Elevate, it’s a revenue based frequent flyer program, meaning the cost of an award ticket is based directly on the cost of a revenue ticket. Each Elevate point can be redeemed for roughly 2.2 cents towards the cost of a Virgin America ticket. That means through this promotion you’re earning a return of ~22% on Main Cabin Select tickets, and ~33% on First Class tickets. That’s a huge bonus.
There’s no limit on the number of bonus points you can earn.
Virgin America First Class
Also earn up to 25,000 bonus points
On top of that, Virgin America is offering threshold bonuses based on how many total qualifying points you earn for Virgin America flights between October 6 and December 19, 2014 (this applies for all cabins, including Main Cabin).
The thresholds are as follows:
To clarify, qualifying points in this instance are the same as base points, meaning it’s based on the earnings rate of five points per dollar.
In other words:
- Spend $500 pre-tax and earn 1,000 bonus points (worth ~$22)
- Spend $1,000 pre-tax and earn 2,500 bonus points (worth ~$55)
- Spend $2,000 pre-tax and earn 5,000 bonus points (worth ~$110)
- Spend $3,000 pre-tax and earn 10,000 bonus points (worth ~220)
- Spend $4,000 pre-tax and earn 15,000 bonus points (worth ~$330)
- Spend $5,000 pre-tax and earn 25,000 bonus points (worth ~$550)
25,000 points are worth roughly $550, so that’s an additional ~10% return on you spend if you max out the promotion.
Put another way, if you spent $5,000 on First Class tickets between now and December 19 you’d earn a total of 100,000 Elevate points — that’s worth roughly $2,200 in Virgin America travel. That’s a huge bonus.
While I don’t usually get excited about revenue based frequent flyer programs, this is an extremely lucrative promotion. If I were a Virgin America flyer I’d be doing the happy dance right now. If I spent a lot on flights and/or booked premium domestic tickets and weren’t especially loyal to the legacy carriers I’d also probably switch some flights over this promotion.
What do you think of Virgin America’s Feel The Earn promotion? Do you plan on taking advantage of it?