Virgin America is offering up to an 80% bonus on purchased miles. (You have to log in to see the details, though I produce them below.)
I’ve seen them run this offer a couple of times before — though in the fall it was only for 8 hours. This time it’s valid through April 4.
With this offer — at the 80% bonus level — you’re paying about 2.9 cents per mile, which sounds high but Virgin America’s currency is somewhat deflated compared to most mileage programs.
Virgin America’s points are worth 2.2 cents apiece towards Virgin America travel, so it’s not a good deal to buy points and redeem them on Virgin America. But it can be a good deal to top off an account towards a specific award.
For instance, 30,000 miles is enough for a one-way San Francisco – London award in Upper Class on Virgin Atlantic, but that purchase will need to be paired with ~ $458 in taxes and fees.
And it can also be useful for short haul Singapore Airlines awards, although note that Virgin America has access to limited Singapore partner inventory and not Singapore’s generous offerings for its own members.
They partner with Emirates as well (though no first class permitted) and Virgin Australia.
Point purchases are processed by points.com, so to answer a common question about such transactions they do not post as travel or airfare to the credit card used for the purchase (and thus won’t earn applicable category bonuses).
The bonus point offer available when you buy or gift Elevate points between March 12 to April 4th 2015. Price includes all applicable charges. GST/HST will be charged to Canadian Residents. Members can purchase a maximum of 20,000 Elevate points before any bonus in their individual account per calendar year. Members can receive a maximum gift of 20,000 Elevate points before any bonus in their individual account per calendar year. Please allow 72 hours for points to appear in the Elevate account. Purchases (Buy, Gift or Transfer of Elevate points) are not eligible to earn status points. All purchases (Buy, Gift or Transfer of Elevate points) are non-refundable. Points required to redeem an Elevate travel reward on Virgin America will be publicly available on a seat and flight-specific basis and are subject to change. Domestic reward bookings are subject to a security fee of $2.50 per segment, payable by credit card or Virgin America credit file. The Passenger Facility Charge and Segment Fees are waived for domestic reward bookings. For international reward bookings, Virgin America guests are responsible for the taxes and fees incurred from international travel. These taxes and fees are subject to change at the discretion of each country’s government and also vary from country to country depending on the origin and destination. All Elevate Terms and Conditions apply. Terms and Conditions apply. Please allow up to 72 hours for your points to post. Price includes all applicable charges. GST/HST will be charged to Canadian Residents. Members can purchase a maximum of 20,000 Elevate points in their individual account per calendar year.