I hate wasting people’s time with articles that are irrelevant to them, so I’m going to tell you upfront that this article does not apply to you unless
- You have 40,001 Starpoints in your account now (if you have less than this, you might still want to read on for a good SPG/Virgin/SQ trifecta opportunity)
- Your travel schedule allows you to take a roundtrip Jetblue flight by 31 Aug 2016
- You see yourself taking a few more flights with Jetblue in the near future
If these conditions do apply to you, I think today might be your lucky day.
Jetblue no love Virgin America. Virgin America mergy mergy with Alaska Airlines, create big west coast airline. Jetblue worried. Jetblue launch promotion to convert Virgin America frequent flyers to Jetblue’s program.
This promotion matches your Elevate points with an equivalent number of Jetblue TrueBlue points. The ratio is 1:1 or better. This means you keep both your current Elevate points plus you get TrueBlue points.
You only need to register for this promotion and take one round trip Jetblue flight by the 31st of August 2016.
Virgin America Elevate points transfer at a 1:1 ratio with SPG points. If you transfer 40,001 Starwood points to Elevate, you will get 50,001 Elevate points (because SPG gives you a 5,000 mile bonus for every 20,000 SPG points transferred)
After you take your Jetblue flight you will have 50,001 Elevate points and 75,000 Trueblue points. Trueblue points have a value of ~1.4 US cents each, so you’re talking US$1,050 of value towards travel with Jetblue.
What about the Elevate points? There’s options for that too
Redeem SQ awards without fuel surcharges
SQ has a partnership with Virgin America that lets you redeem Elevate awards for SQ flights.
The catch here is that Virgin America has access to the same bucket of premium cabin award space that Star Alliance partners have, i.e. zero. So don’t expect to redeem suites or long haul first/business class products this way. At best you will get SQ’s regional business class on the A330 to places like BKK.
BUT if you’re looking at redeeming economy awards this might be a great deal because Virgin America doesn’t charge you fuel surcharges for SQ tickets. The advice below does not represent a departure from my stance that you shouldn’t redeem for economy in general- it’s just that prices are so low and there’s no surcharges that I think in this case it makes sense. 6,000 points for a roundtrip to Bali, anyone?
Here are some sample prices (round trip economy)
- Singapore to Bangkok (6,000 points + US$51)
- Singapore to Bali (6,000 points + US$27)
- Singapore to Male (16,000 points + US$46)
- Singapore to Tokyo (20,000 points + US$55)
- Singapore to Sydney (20,000 points + US$141)
- Singapore to Auckland (40,000 points + US$65)
- Singapore to Zurich (40,000 points + US$72)
- Singapore to Frankfurt (40,000 points + US$134)
- Singapore to Paris (40,000 points + US$96)
- Singapore to London (40,000 points + US$228- because of LHR’s ridiculous airport passenger duty)
- Singapore to Moscow (40,000 points + US$50)
For reasons I don’t quite understand, I cannot price Singapore to USA on the website. I’m not sure if you can call in to Virgin America and book this (you’ll need to call in and book all partner awards anyway), but OMMAT suggests it is 35,000 points round trip economy.
Use it for travel with Virgin America’s other partners
Virgin America also partners with Emirates, Hawaiian, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia. You can play around with the award pricing here, suffice to say that if for whatever reason in the future you need to redeem a flight from Los Angeles to Sydney, you can’t get much better than 80,000 Elevate points and US$130.
Most of the flights originating from Singapore will be with Singapore Airlines (so see the above section), but there are also flights with Emirates from Singapore to Brisbane, Colombo,
Use it for travel on Virgin America
Elevate points have a value of ~2.2 US cents each, so you’re looking at US$1,100 of travel with Virgin America. Remember that Virgin America doesn’t have a distance based award chart for travel with Virgin America. The number of Elevate miles needed depends on the price of your particular route.
Wait long enough for them to be converted to Alaska Airlines miles when the Virgin/Alaska integration happens
This is probably the worst option of all given that who knows what will happen in the interim? The timeline for this is uncertain but likely to be 1-1.5 years away.
I think this is a great opportunity. Pity I don’t have any opportunity to fly Jetblue before 31 Aug but if I did I’d totally take them up on this. In fact, just writing this article has led me to consider transferring SPG points to Virgin America for their awesome rates on short haul SQ economy redemptions. 6,000 points + US$51 to Bangkok is much better than SQ’s 21,250 miles + S$160.
If you’re sold on the idea, do the following
- Elevate® members must email a screenshot of their account dashboard to email@example.com 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!