Virgin America Summary Table
- Home Country U.S.
- Major Hubs San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas Love Field
- Airline Alliance None
- Points Are Worth 2 cents/point
- Signature Lounge Virgin America Loft
- Earn Points/Miles
- Redeem Points/Miles
- Airline Fees
- Award Chart Link N/A - awards priced by cash ticket price
Branded and Partnered Credit Cards
Update: Alaska Airlines have merged with Virgin America which means that the “Virgin America” brand will cease to exist.
With Virgin America’s Elevate program merging with Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan at the end of the year, it has already been removed by credit card partners.
Virgin America Elevate Credit Cards
For now, you can earn Elevate points directly through their co-branded cards offered by Comenity.
|Loyalty Program||Credit Card Review|
|Virgin America Elevate Frequent Flyer Program||Virgin America Visa Signature Card|
|Virgin America Premium Visa Signature Card|
American Express Membership Rewards Credit Cards
For a little bit longer, you can earn Membership Rewards and transfer them to Virgin America. However, the transfer ratio is a very poor 2:1.
Recommended Amex Cards (Personal)
|CREDIT CARD||CARD INFO|
|💳 The Platinum Card® from American Express|
Love Special Perks & Travel Benefits?
> This Card Gets You Access To 18 of Them!
|💳 Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express|
|💳 The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express|
Recommended Amex Cards (Business)
|CREDIT CARD||CARD INFO|
|💳 The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN|
Love Special Perks & Exclusive Benefits?
> Here's 41 Benefits You Get With This Card!
|💳 The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN|
> Small Biz Owners Love These 11 Card Benefits
|💳 The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express|
Hotel Partner Credit Cards
Several hotel programs will let you transfer points to Virgin Elevate. However, this is almost always a poor use of hotel points. Unless you are really in a bind, save your hotel points for hotel award stays at your destination.
Virgin America Elevate Overview
The Virgin America Elevate mileage program will end on January 1, 2018, when it is officially folded into Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan.
Elevate points will automatically be transferred into the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program in early 2018. If you transfer now, you’ll get a 30% bonus since points will transfer at a rate of 1 Elevate point to 1.3 Mileage Plan miles.
You cannot transfer back to Elevate, though, so your best bet is to hold until you have a specific award need in either program. As the deadline nears, you can still lock in the 30% transfer bonus while keeping your current options open.
Joining Virgin America Elevate
Enroll in Elevate for free on the Virgin America website. You can earn points for flights taken up to 30 days before enrolling.
How to Sign in to Your Elevate Account
Sign in on the Virgin America homepage. You’ll need to enter your email or Elevate number and password.
Viewing Your Account Activity
You can see multiple years of account activity at the Virgin America Elevate account activity page.
Elevate points expire after 18 months without activity. Any activity where you earn or redeem points resets the clock.
Virgin America Elevate Benefits
Virgin America Elevate Elite Status
Virgin America Elevate has 3 status tiers:
- Elevate Red (general member)
- Elevate Silver
- Elevate Gold
- Complimentary Main Cabin seat selection at booking
- Complimentary upgrades to Main Cabin Select 12 hours prior to departure
- Priority check-in, security, and baggage handling
- 1 free checked bag
- Waived contact center service fee
- All Silver benefits, plus:
- Complimentary upgrades to Main Cabin Select 24 hours prior to departure
- 3 free checked bags
- Award redeposit fee waiver
Value of Virgin America Elevate Elite Status
Virgin America Elevate does not offer complimentary first class upgrades. Elevate Gold and Silver only get complimentary Main Cabin Select at 24 hours and 12 hours prior to departure, respectively. At least elites get complimentary Main Cabin seat selection at booking rather than check-in for Elevate Red members
Other benefits are typical of major U.S. airlines.
Only Elevate Gold gets award booking and redeposit fee waivers, and they also receive a lucrative 140% bonus points.
With the transition to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, many Elevate elite members may find the new program more rewarding.
Earning Virgin America Elevate Elite Status
You only need to earn points or segments to qualify, not both.
|Elevate Silver||Elevate Gold|
Status Points are earned at 5 per eligible dollar spent on Virgin America tickets.
Status Segments are earned for each segment flown on Virgin America.
Hot Tip: Award flights on Virgin America earn Status Segments for the account that booked the award, even if the passenger is different. If you are short Status Segments, book an award for friends or family!
As of 2017, you can now earn Status Points when flying Alaska Airlines (but not Status Segments).
Status Points when flying Alaska Airlines are calculated by fare class and distance flown. Base Points and Fare Class Points are both counted as Status Points.
Elevate Silver (50%) and Gold (140%) earn bonus points just as when flying Virgin America.
|Alaska Airlines Cabin||Alaska Airlines Fare Class||Base Points (% of Miles Flown)||Fare Class Points (% of Miles Flown)|
|Economy – Main Cabin||R, T, G||50%||0%|
|Economy – Main Cabin||K, V, L||75%||0%|
|Economy – Main Cabin||Q, H, M||100%||0%|
|Economy – Main Cabin||B, S, Y||100%||50%|
|First Class||P, F||100%||75%|
How to Earn Virgin America Elevate Points
Last Dates to Earn Virgin America Elevate Miles
With the Virgin America Elevate program ending on December 31, 2017, there are only a few months left to earn Elevate points.
From January 1, 2018, all accounts will be Alaska Mileage Plan for the combined airline.
Virgin America has now published a detailed timetable of when points earning will end for each of its partners:
|Virgin America Partner||Last Day to Earn Virgin America Points|
|All other partner airlines||9/30/17|
|Car rental partners||9/30/17|
|American Express point transfers||10/31/17|
|Points.com point transfer||10/31/17|
|Shopping & other misc. partners||9/30/17|
Earning Points Through Flying
Elevate reward points are revenue-based, which means they’re earned by ticket price rather than distance flown.
- Elevate Red (base members) – 5 points per dollar
- Elevate Silver – 5 points per dollar + 50% bonus
- Elevate Gold – 5 points per dollar + 140% bonus
Partner airlines earn points according to ticket fare class and distance flown:
|Airline Partner||Points % of Miles|
|Virgin Atlantic||No longer a partner|
Earning Points in Other Ways
The Virgin America Visa Signature Card allows you to earn up to 3 points per dollar spent. Travel benefits include a free checked bag, $150 off a companion ticket each year, and 20% off RED in-flight purchases.
Virgin America has various partners that still earn miles; see the full list and deadline to earn.
For more, see our article on how to earn Virgin America Elevate loyalty points.
How to Redeem Virgin America Elevate Points
Virgin America Award Flights
Awards flights on Virgin America are revenue-based. The number of points needed depends on the cash price of the ticket.
This means there are no great outsized award values and no need to learn complex award charts.
Simply search for a flight in points on the Virgin America website and redeem for an award.
No Award Upgrades
Elevate points may not be used for upgrades to first class on cash tickets.
Instead, you must directly use points to purchase first class tickets.
Partner Award Flights
Virgin America Elevate partner flight awards use the more traditional distance-based award chart method.
Miles prices often seem cheaper than with other airlines because Virgin America Elevate points are a deflated points currency.
For example, American Express Membership Rewards transfer at a 1:1 ratio for most airline partners. For Virgin America Elevate, it is 2:1.
With the merger with Alaska Airlines, there is only a limited time left to redeem for awards and travel on Virgin America partners.
|Airline||Redeem Points By||Travel By|
Use the Points Calculator to check the points price. This is not a guarantee that awards are available; not all routes flown by partner airlines are possible to book with Virgin American Elevate awards.
To check partner award availability, call Virgin America at 877-359-8474. Award availability often differs from what partner airlines make available to their own members.
Also note that taxes and fees added to Virgin America partner awards can be exorbitant.
Hot Tip: Transfer your Virgin America Elevate points to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan at a 1:3 ratio to redeem for flights on Alaska’s partners.
Elevate is Virgin America's frequent flyer program. The program boasts no blackout dates for rewards travel, rewards flights starting at 2,500 points, and points earning at a minimum of 5x per dollar spent.
The program has varying levels of elite status and the ability to use points with travel partners.
Benefits of elite status include reserved seats, upgrades, lounge discounts, additional points earned, faster lines, free checked bags, and discount fares.
The 3 status levels in the Elevate program are Red (starting status), Silver, and Gold. You must reach 20,000 and 50,000 points respectively to earn the higher 2 status tiers.
At these tiers, you’ll earn a 50% (Silver) and 140% (Gold) bonus on points, and you’ll be able to utilize the full range of benefits offered.
You can join Virgin America Elevate for free.
You can find your number in several ways. First, you can log in and find your number under your account information.
Next, you can look for an email with your rewards number in it. If you can’t find an email, you can use the “forgot my password” tool to log back in.
If none of those methods work, you can always call customer service to have them provide your number.
On the day of your flight, you can select Express seats for free as available. Otherwise, you can purchase upgrades with cash up to 24 hours before the flight, depending on your elite status.
Points vary depending on the particular flight and time, but Virgin states that prices start at 2,500 points. You can use their points calculator here to find some popular destinations, which can range from 15,000 to 60,000+ points.
Virgin America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Virgin Group, which is a company founded by Sir Richard Branson.
+1 (877) 359-8474
International flights can be booked through partner airlines: Virgin Australia, Emirates, Hawaiian Airlines, and Singapore Airlines.
Virgin flies to over 2 dozen destinations.
Bags cost $25 for the first checked bag in Main Cabin and up to $100 for oversized bags. Sporting equipment costs $50. Fees may be waived depending on your elite status and ticket class.
Yes, there are 2 versions of the card: the Virgin America Visa Signature Card and the Virgin America Premium Visa Signature Card. These cards earn you even better benefits and discounts on products while helping you earn points more quickly.
While the standard card helps you earn more bonus points, the Premium card helps you earn more status points that will allow you to reach elite status more quickly.
You can sign in to the Elevate program here.