15 Best Ways to Earn Lots of Virgin America Elevate Points

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Update: Alaska Airlines have merged with Virgin America. Virgin America Elevate accounts have been converted to Alaska Airline Mileage Plan. See our article on Earning Lots of Alaska Mileage Plan Miles

Purple mood lighting, custom-designed leather seats with video touch-screens, and extra legroom…these are just a few of the reasons why Virgin America has won more than 50 “best in class” awards since starting service in 2007.

Virgin America’s Elevate loyalty program also has a lot to offer. This post will discuss the benefits of Elevate as well as Virgin America points-earning credit cards.

Read on to learn about all of the strategies available to maximize your Elevate points, both with and without using credit cards. Then you can get started earning tons of points too!

Using the Virgin America Credit Cards

Enroll in Elevate

It’s free to sign-up for Elevate, which is a revenue-based loyalty program that allows you to earn 5 points per dollar on Virgin America purchases. You can even earn points for flights already taken (up to 30 days before enrolling)!

When you sign up, choose one of several fun avatars (or “alter egos”) for your account.

virgin america profile avatar
Virgin makes it a little more fun to join a loyalty program by giving you a silly avatar to go with your account.

Begin redeeming with as few as 2,500 points. There are no blackout dates or restrictions for reward flights!

1. Virgin America Credit Cards

There are 2 Virgin America credit cards: the Virgin America Visa Signature Card and Virgin America Premium Visa Signature Card. Both airline cards run sign-up offers with bonus points.

Make sure to evaluate your spending habits before choosing a card that works best for your financial situation. When you’re ready, click on the card links below to learn about sign-up promotions, and then apply!

Loyalty ProgramCredit Card Review
Virgin America Elevate Frequent Flyer ProgramVirgin America Visa Signature Card
Virgin America Premium Visa Signature Card

2. Earn Category Bonus Points

In addition to earning 5x points for Virgin America purchases, you can earn another 3 points per dollar when using a Virgin America credit card. That’s a total of 8x points!

Both Virgin America credit cards also allow you to earn 1 point for every dollar spent on all other purchases.

The more purchases you make with a Virgin America credit card, the more points you earn!

When you use the card for everyday expenses such as groceries, utility bills, and gas in addition to unexpected expenses like doctor’s appointments, haircuts, and more, you can really rack up the points!

3. Elite Status Bonuses

Virgin’s Elevate loyalty program has 3 status tiers: Elevate Red, Elevate Silver, and Elevate Gold.

You start at Elevate Red status as soon as you enroll and then achieve Silver and Gold statuses to earn more points and receive benefits such as premium line access and upgrade eligibility.

Plus, your reward flights count toward elite status qualification!

The table below shows how to qualify for each tier when flying Virgin America and Virgin Australia. You only need to earn points or segments to qualify, not both.

Segments15 30

Visit the Elevate site for more information about the perks and benefits associated with elite status, including 50% bonus points (Silver) or 140% bonus points (Gold)!

Using Credit Cards That Transfer to Virgin America

4. American Express Membership Rewards

Elevate also partners with the American Express Membership Rewards program. Transfer Membership Rewards to your Elevate account in increments of 200 at a ratio of 2:1 plus a small fee.

So, for every 200 Membership Rewards points you transfer, you will get 100 Elevate points!

Recommended Amex Cards (Personal)

The Platinum Card® from American Express - There's currently a welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months. This is our favorite card for getting into 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide (including Priority Pass) and we get about $1,500+ in value from the card every year.

Plus, get up to $200 in Uber credits annually ($15 per month and a $20 bonus in December) — and up to $200 in annual credit for airline incidental charges (e.g. baggage fees). For rates and fees of the Platinum Card, click here.
American Express® Gold Card - We love using this card as it earns 4x points at restaurants worldwide and 4x points at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x).

With a welcome bonus of 35,000 points after you spend $2,000 in your first 3 months and a $100 airfare credit per year, for many this is an easy addition to your wallet. For rates and fees of the Gold Card, click here.

Recommended Amex Cards (Business)

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express - Even though this card carries a hefty annual fee, we get ~$1,250+ in value per year by leveraging as many of the benefits/perks card.

Get access to 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide, $200 in airline fee credits for incidentals (e.g. baggage fees) and a lot more. Also, earn a welcome bonus of up to 75,000 points (terms apply). For rates and fees of the Business Platinum, click here.
American Express® Business Gold Card - probably our favorite Amex business card because we earn 4x points across the top 2 select categories that we spend the most money in each month. The 4x points applies to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year. This means you'll max out at a (whopping) 600,000 points per year. After that, you earn 1x. For rates and fees of the Business Gold Card, click here.
The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express - This is a real simple card that earns you 2x points on business purchases up to $50,000 annually (then 1x). There's no annual fee. For rates and fees of The Blue Business Plus, click here.

5. Citi ThankYou Rewards

Citi ThankYou Rewards is also a partner of Virgin Elevate. Transfer your points earned with Citi to get closer to a redemption!

Citi ThankYou Rewards is one of the newest Elevate partners. Earn points with your Citi ThankYou Premier Card or Citi Prestige Credit Card and transfer them to your Elevate account.

1,000 ThankYou points equal 500 Elevate points! Find more details about the program in our review from the link below.

Travel to Earn Elevate Points

6. Stay with Elevate Hotel Partners

There are 15 Elevate hotel partners, each offering bonus points per night or $1 spent. The following table lists all of them. Use the links to get more details about each offer.

Airbnb1 pt/$1Marriott HotelsUp to 1 pt/$1Starwood Hotels & Resorts2 pts/$1
Hilton Hotels1 pt/$2Morgans Hotel GroupUp to 1,000Thompson HotelsUp to 2 pts/$1
Joie de Vivre1 pt/$1One & Only Palmilla2 pts/$1Virgin Hotels Chicago1,000
Kaligo.comUp to 5 pts/$1PointsHoundUp to 5,000Viceroy500
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group400RocketmilesUp to 6,000Virgin Limited EditionUp to 20,000

Note that if you are interested in earning hotel points, you can use one of the appropriate hotel credit cards:

7. Fly Virgin America Partner Airlines

virgin america airline partners
You’ll find the Virgin America partners listed on your screen like this. Select one to learn more!

Book a flight with one of Virgin America’s partner airlines and earn points based on the type of fare and distance. Flights must be operated by Virgin America.

Always include your Elevate membership number to ensure you get credit. Find the number of points for each mile traveled in each class of service by clicking the links in the table below:

Airline PartnerPoints % of Miles
Virgin Australia20%-80%

Although Hawaiian Airlines is also a Virgin America partner, you cannot earn miles for flights. However, you can redeem Elevate points for Hawaiian Airlines flights.

8. Book a Rental Car

Rent a car with one of Virgin America’s rental car partners or other transportation partners to add points to your Elevate account.

The following table includes participating companies and their current offers:

Rental CompanyMilesRental CompanyMiles
Alamo4 pts/$1Embarque1 pt/$1
AvisUp to 3 pts/$1 and 35% offHertzUp to 2 pts/$1 and 35%off
BudgetUp to 3 pts/$1 and 30% offNationalUp to 4 pts/$1 and 30% off
Carey1 pt/$1SixtUp to 600 pts

9. Book Virgin Vacations

virgin america virgin vacations
Take a vacation using one of Virgin America’s vacation packages and you’ll be able to earn lots of extra points!

Choose a unique travel package from Virgin Vacations to earn 1 point per $1 spent. Whether you want to get away for a weekend alone or explore Europe with the family, Virgin Vacations has a ton of affordable options.

Speak with a Destination Specialist to book your trip by calling 1-877-929-1825.

Shopping & Dining

10. The Elevate Fly Store

virgin america elevate fly store
Use the Elevate Fly Store to find new places to earn points with hundreds of online retailers.

Who doesn’t love to shop? When you visit the Elevate Fly Store, you can earn up to 10 points per $1 spent on purchases at a wide array of online retailers.

Target, Nordstrom, Apple, Sephora…almost any top retailer you could need is included! Follow the steps below to get started:

  1. Sign in to the Elevate Fly Store
  2. Browse and select a retailer
  3. Click “Shop Now” to be directed to the store’s site.
  4. Shop as normal
  5. Purchases will appear in your Elevate account as “Pending”
  6. Once purchases are validated, they will appear as “Approved”

You MUST be signed in and enter the retailer’s site through the Elevate Fly Store to earn points. Make sure to enable cookies in your browser.

Complete terms and conditions for the Elevate Fly Store are available here.

11. Other Retail Partners

virgin america other retail partners gilt
Additional retailers like Gilt have special offers for Virgin America patrons. Be sure to check back every once in awhile to find some great opportunities!

Check out the retailers in the table below for opportunities to earn additional points. Always be on the lookout for special offers, as they change frequently!

CompanyProduct or serviceBonus points
TelefloraFlowers10 pts/$1
Virgin WinesWine2,000 pts. plus 1 pt/$1 future purchases
GiltClothing and accessories500 pts. after first purchase
Gilt CityClothing and accessories500 pts. after first purchase
Texture (only until 1/17)MagazinesUp to 1,900 pts
MoglRestaurantsUp to 30 pts. and 25% cash back
Peek.comLocal adventures500 pts at enrollment, then 1 pt/$1

Special Points-Earning Opportunities

12. Earn Points With Energy Offers

virgin america nrg home solar
Power your home with solar and earn additional Virgin Elevate points for doing so. Offers change, so find the latest ones by going to Virgin’s site.

Earn up to 15,000 points for enrolling in NRG Home Solar. First, find out if you qualify to lease a system for $0 down and free installation. You’ll earn ,500 points when you have a solar specialist visit your home and 12,500 points if you sign a lease.

In addition to a 2,500-point enrollment bonus, Energy Plus awards 1 Elevate point for each $1 spent on the supply portion of your electric bill.

Offers like these are investments. Always research an offer before making a decision to be sure it fits your needs.

13. Earn Points With e-Rewards

virgin america e-rewards
Fill out online surveys, earn points. It’s super simple and a great way to pass the time if you need something to do while still earning a little value in return.

Earn points for sharing your opinions on surveys as part of the e-Rewards Opinion Panel. You’ll earn e-Rewards Currency that can be redeemed for Elevate Points. Complete your first survey within 3 months of enrolling for 150 extra Elevate Points!

14. Earn Points With Points.com

Points.com is one way to collect and exchange all those extra points you have sitting in different accounts. While you may lose a lot of points’ value, it’s better to get something than nothing!

Exchange points between Elevate and other loyalty programs at Points.com, and before you know it you’ll have enough for a free flight on Virgin America.

Points.com also allows you to trade points with other members.

Be careful, because transfer rates can be quite high at times. Also keep an eye out for promotions that enable you to exchange points without having to pay a fee!

U.P. Pro Tips

15. Special Promotions

Throughout the year, Virgin America offers special opportunities to Elevate members so they can earn extra points.

For example, recently members could earn 500 Elevate points for registering to receive emails. Also, to celebrate their 9th anniversary, Virgin America offered 999 bonus Elevate points on select flights. Be on the lookout for their next special promotion!

In Conclusion

Wow – credit card points, category bonuses, and a wide array of shopping and travel points! There are so many ways to earn Virgin America Elevate points that we’re sure you can’t wait to get started!

Use the strategies we outlined in the above article and watch your points multiply!

Photo Credits:
Virgin America Featured Image Ivan_Sabo / Shutterstock.com


Where does Virgin America fly?

Find more information on the more than 20 Virgin America destination cities here.

What is the Virgin America Elevate loyalty program? Is it free?

Elevate is Virgin America’s free frequent flyer program. Members earn 5 points per dollar spent (more for Virgin America credit cardmembers!) and can redeem them for rewards travel beginning at 2,500 points.

Enroll in Elevate here.

What are the Elevate status tiers?

The status tiers are Red (automatic), Silver (starts at 20,000 points), and Gold (starts at 50,000 points). Higher tiers provide benefits such as additional earned points, free checked bags, upgrades, reserved seats, and more.

Does the Elevate program have travel partners?

Airline partners include Virgin Australia, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, and Hawaiian Airlines.

There are also car rental and hotel partners in the Elevate loyalty program.

Where can I locate my Virgin America Elevate number?

Find your number by logging into your account or checking for an email that includes it.
If you still can’t locate your number, customer service can help.

Where can I sign in to my Elevate account?

Log into your Elevate account here.

Which credit cards can I use to earn Elevate points?

The Virgin America Visa Signature Card and Virgin America Premium Visa Signature Card both help you earn Elevate points more quickly and provide benefits and discounts.

You can also transfer points into your Elevate account using Citi ThankYou Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards.

This means you could utilize cards like the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card or The Platinum Card® from American Express to earn additional points.

How do I contact Virgin America by phone?

+1 (877) 359-8474

How many Elevate points are needed for a free flight?

Free flights start at 2,500 points, but the exact number varies depending on the flight and time. Check out the Elevate points calculator here to find flights that range from 15,000 to 60,000+ miles.

How do I upgrade on Virgin America using Elevate points?

Select express seats are available for upgrade at no charge on the day of the flight. Depending on your elite status, you can also use cash to purchase upgrades up to 24 hours before the flight.

Jennifer Koebele

About Jennifer Koebele

Jennifer ("Jen") is a self-proclaimed travel geek. Her favorite spot to relax is the beautiful resort town of Interlaken, Switzerland, which she first visited as a toddler. The Alpine city of Annecy, France is a close second. There's nothing Jen loves more than discovering (and writing about) how to find a good bargain.

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