Or, consider other cards for 50,000 more miles or points that transfer into United miles with additional flexibility for your everyday spending.
Reward nights start at 10,000 points. Free anniversary night (no points needed) good at any IHG hotel (Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, more).
$1,000 toward travel or transfer to United, Southwest, and more.
Amex Membership Rewards regularly offers special bonuses when you transfer points to airline mile partners.
And Virgin America is one of the more frequent transfer bonuses.
Now, there’s a transfer bonus with a special twist.
When you transfer 80,000 Membership Rewards points to Virgin America through 10/31/16, not only do you get a 25% bonus on the usual transfer rate (200 Amex points = 125 Virgin America points, so 80,000 Amex points = 50,000 total Virgin America Elevate points), you also get Virgin America Elevate Gold status.
Status will be awarded for qualifying Card Members within 14 days of transfer of 80,000 points and will remain in effect until January 1, 2018.
A similar offer was made available last year.
Elevate Gold is filled with some nice perks if you happen to fly Virgin America…
As for the points themselves…
It’s an okay, but not great trade.
80,000 Amex points are worth over $1,500 if you use them wisely with transfer partners. For example, that many points can get you a one way Business Class award to Asia with Delta SkyMiles.
50,000 Elevate points are worth around $1,000 in Virgin America flights.
There are some decent partner options. For example, if you’re willing to sweat it out, Virgin Australia tends to open up Business Class seats within 2 weeks of departure, and you can snag a one way Business Class award to Australia for 45,000 points.
That’s worth over $2,000.
Alaska Airlines is in the process of acquiring Virgin America.
The loyalty programs themselves probably won’t merge until sometime in 2018 or later, so you probably won’t get your status converted directly into Alaska status out of this.
But Alaska is still granting status matches to Virgin America elite level members, and Virgin America Gold gets matched to Alaska Mileage Plan MVP Gold.
To request consideration for a status match, email: email@example.com with the front and back of your membership card, and a copy of your statement showing the status level. If this is popular, don’t be surprised if Alaska tries to put in a provision requiring a certain number of flights on the statement, but the deal didn’t go wild last year.
JetBlue also matches Virgin America status with its Mosaic status, and the big global airlines United, Delta, and American tend to offer a status match ‘challenge’ that lets you keep the status for a year if you fly a certain amount in a 3 month period.
And some international airlines might match the status if you want to experiment.
There are reports that Airberlin Topbonus matches Virgin Gold with Topbonus Gold, which gets you OneWorld Sapphire status.
And that gets you access to American Admirals Clubs when you’re flying on American or a OneWorld partner, even if you’re not on an international trip.
Follow @MileCards on Twitter for the latest updates and new offers
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