Ever since Alaska’s takeover of Virgin America was announced, it seems like Virgin America and JetBlue have been competing more fiercely than ever before. This is likely because JetBlue also wanted to buy Virgin America, but was outbid. Since that time, we’ve seen several promotions and positive changes from both carriers.
A fierce rivalry is good news for competitors. JetBlue ran what was by far the most generous promotion, when they offered to match the points balances of Virgin America Elevate members. The idea behind the promotion was great — if someone earned a lot of points on Virgin America through flying, why not throw those passengers a huge bone that will encourage them to switch some business around?
What JetBlue probably hadn’t considered was the opportunity this presented for people who weren’t even loyal Virgin America flyers. Specifically, Starpoints can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio to Virgin America Elevate, and you even get a 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 points transferred.
To maximize the promotion many people transferred 40,001 Starpoints to Virgin America Elevate, getting them 50,001 Elevate points (worth ~2.2 cents each towards the cost of Virgin America tickets), plus 75,000 JetBlue TrueBlue points (worth ~1.5 cents each towards the cost of JetBlue tickets). That’s potentially $2,000+ worth of travel for 40,001 Starpoints, which is a heck of a deal.