Virgin America has announced that conversion of Elevate points to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan will be at 1:1.3. You’ll get 1.3 Alaska Airlines miles for every 1 Virgin America mile.
And they’ll announce how to move miles on January 9:
On January 9, 2017, we will invite you to enroll in Alaska’s award-winning Mileage Plan, enabling access to book award travel on Alaska Airlines and Alaska Global Partners network to over 900 worldwide destinations. Plus, you’ll receive more detail on how you can convert your Elevate points to Alaska Mileage Plan miles at a rate of 1.3 Mileage Plan miles per Elevate point. And for elite-level Elevate members, Alaska Mileage Plan will automatically match your elite status!
One Mile at a Time says this seems like “a very fair and thoughtful transfer ratio” although I think it’s a bit tight-fisted. Virgin America’s program is revenue-based, and their points-pricing deflated.
Los Angeles – Sydney for 80,000 miles roundtrip in business class is about half the cost of comparable carriers. There are other great redemption values as well, though of course Virgin America adds fuel surcharges to awards while Alaska adds them only to British Airways redemptions.
One key play with this new is leveraging new Starwood to Virgin America transfers. Since Starwood transfers points 1:1 into Virgin America (versus deflated transfers at 2:1 from Citibank and 2:1 from Membership Rewards) you can do this:
- Starwood transfers 20,000 points to 25,000 Virgin American Elevate points.
- That will yield 32,500 Alaska Airlines miles
- For an effective 62.5% bonus when moving Starpoints in increments of 20,000.
- That’s 30% better than transferring to Starpoints directly, which like Elevate is 1:1