Ever since Alaska’s takeover of Virgin America was announced, it seems like Virgin America and JetBlue have been competing fiercely. This is likely because JetBlue also wanted to buy Virgin America, but was outbid. Since that time, Virgin America has improved status benefits and added status matches for JetBlue elites, JetBlue has offered free tickets to residents of New York and California who haven’t flown JetBlue before, and JetBlue has improved and expanded their status challenge to Virgin America flyers.
However, now we’re seeing the best promotion yet.
JetBlue will match your Virgin America points balance
JetBlue TrueBlue is offering a points match opportunity, where they’ll match your balance of Virgin America Elevate points… and in some cases they’ll do even better than that.
Here’s how JetBlue describes the promotion:
If you’re a Virgin America® flyer and Elevate® member looking to spread your wings, but don’t want to lose out on any points – then you’ve met your match!
Earn with JetBlue, too – just for giving our award-winning experience a try! Show us your Elevate® Points balance by 7/4/2016, then book and fly one roundtrip JetBlue flight by 08/31/16 and we’ll match (or give you more) TrueBlue points!
Here’s the chart showing how many TrueBlue points you can get after a qualifying roundtrip flight by August 31, 2016:
As you can see, in some cases they’ll more than match your balance of JetBlue points. If you have 50,001 Virgin America Elevate points you’ll receive 75,000 TrueBlue points.
How do you take advantage of the offer?
Here’s the process they describe for taking advantage of the promotion:
- Elevate® members must email a screenshot of their account dashboard to [email protected] by 7/4/2016. Screenshots must include first name, last name, and points balance. Please include your TrueBlue number in the email. If you are not a TrueBlue member yet, sign up now.
- Once we assess your balance and eligibility, we’ll email you to let you know if you’re officially registered for the promotion.
- Then book and fly one roundtrip JetBlue flight by 08/31/16.
- Enjoy your new TrueBlue points balance – and love for JetBlue!
Offer terms & conditions
Here are the terms & conditions of the promotion:
*This offer is available to new or existing TrueBlue members. To qualify, members must send an email including their TrueBlue number and a picture of their Elevate® account dashboard showing first name, last name, and points balance to [email protected] by 7/4/2016, await receipt of an email to confirm registration for the promotion and then book new roundtrip flights operated by JetBlue and completed all travel by 08/31/2016. Number of points awarded will be based on Elevate® points balance evidenced by submitted proof. Proof is are subject to verification. TrueBlue number must be provided at the time of booking. Offer can only be redeemed one (1) time by any individual. Points awarded in conjunction with this promotion are considered bonus points and do not count towards earning Mosaic status. Offer does not apply to non-revenue travel; is not valid on flights operated by airline partners; is not valid in connection with any Getaways vacation packages, cruises, or any other product or service and may not be combined with other special offers. In the event you cancel your reservation or change your reservation so that it no longer complies with the terms of this offer, you will not receive any of the promotion bonus points. TrueBlue points will be awarded within 4-6 weeks after round-trip flight. Offer can be cancelled or modified at any time. TrueBlue Terms and Conditions apply.
Both JetBlue TrueBlue and Virgin America Elevate are revenue based. JetBlue points are typically worth ~1.4 cents towards the cost of a ticket, while Virgin America points are typically worth ~2.2 cents towards the cost of a ticket. The difference is that Virgin America allows award redemptions on select partner airlines using a traditional award chart as well, and in some cases those represent exceptional values.
Here’s what makes this promotion really great
Part of what makes this promotion so incredible is that it doesn’t state how you have to earn those Virgin America Elevate points. In other words, they don’t have to be earned through flying.
In April, Starwood Preferred Guest added Virgin America Elevate as a partner to their excellent mileage transfer program. This means SPG points can be transferred to Virgin America Elevate points at a 1:1 ratio, with a 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 points transferred. That means you can essentially convert Starpoints into Virgin America Elevate points at a 1:1.25 ratio.
Earlier this week I transferred points from Starwood to Virgin America Elevate, as I was planning on booking a one-way business class ticket between Los Angeles and Sydney on Virgin Australia. Now I have a balance of ~53,000 Virgin America Elevate points. Could that have come at a better time?!
So if I submit this for a match, I’d receive 75,000 TrueBlue points, which are good for ~$1,000 in airfare on JetBlue. Of course I have to take a flight on JetBlue, but I can book that pretty inexpensively. If I pick up JetBlue Plus Card, I get a further 10% refund on redemptions, meaning I can get even more value out of the points.
While you do need to take a flight on JetBlue, this is still an incredible offer. I’ll be submitting my request shortly, and will report back. For anyone who has been considering transferring points from Starwood to Virgin America Elevate (which is a good deal in and of itself, given that you’ll get ~2.7 cents of airfare per Starpoint if transferring in the right increments), you have even more of an incentive to do it now.
This is an incredible promotion on the part of JetBlue, one of the most generous we’ve seen in a long time. I’ll be submitting my request right away, and will report back. Even if you’re not a Virgin America flyer, it may very well make sense to transfer Starpoints to Virgin America for the purposes of this promotion. Virgin America is arguably Starwood’s most lucrative airline transfer partner to begin with (even if the redemption options are somewhat limited), and this makes it all the more worthwhile.
Do you plan on taking advantage of JetBlue’s points match campaign?