JetBlue announced a points match promo for Virgin America Elevate members that sent miles and points addicts hearts a flutter yesterday. The official full details and terms of entry are here. Dan’s Deals the most thorough analysis.
Long story short, a balance of 50,001 Elevate points and a paid roundtrip on JetBlue by 8/31/16 will earn 75,000 JetBlue TrueBlue points. Those with no Elevate points can transfer from a number of partners at unfavorable ration, or transfer 40,001 SPG points to Elevate to net the 50,001 (SPG transfers 1:1 and adds 5,000 per 20,000 transferred). If you are in a JetBlue market you may find roundtrips for under $100 plus your time.
Sounds great. Will you make use of the resulting haul?
Amol put it well:
I’m in a city with 0 Virgin America & 2 JetBlue destinations w/ poor connection opportunities. So of course I transferred 40K Starpoints.
— Amol (@PointsToPointB) June 24, 2016
As the Joe Flies opined on the value of not chasing deals.
The direct way to value this deal is if travel on the respective airlines is useful to you. If not, here are a few more considerations:
- How much do you value the points (such as SPG) that you will need to transfer? And do you plan to transfer SPG points to airlines before changes by Marriott?
- Will you be willing to transfer more in the future, credit partner flights or get either airlines’ credit cards to generate the points you may need for desired travel?
- Do their partner redemptions make sense for you? (TrueBlue can redeem only on Hawaiian, see their partner list for earn and redeem; Virgin America has several partners for earn and redeem)
- Are you optimistic on using Virgin America to play their acquisition by Alaska?
I decided to go for this and here’s why:
- I have 180,000 SPG points that I don’t value as much as many people. Reason 1 is that as a SPG Gold the benefits are weak and don’t include breakfast, Reason 2 is hotel awards rarely seem reasonably priced to me except some cash & points, Reason 3 is of the 65 airline transfer partners the two I would value most have terrible transfer ratios (United and Air New Zealand)
- I have 24,330 Elevate points from when I held their credit card back when it was with Barclaycard, so to max out the match I only need to transfer 20k and change
- I was considering moving chunks of SPG to Elevate anyway in anticipation of coversion to Alaska, which has many useful award partners
- We have a planned July Boston weekend that I have yet to buy tickets and can use that as my JetBlue roundtrip
- I don’t have to take cash out of my wallet to purchase miles
I almost decided to overrule this and not participate, here’s why:
- I have flown JetBlue twice, both short Caribbean flights, which were fine, though I dread going to JFK and for my travels their route network and pricing have little to offer me over Delta (Diamond) and United (1K)
- I have never flown Virgin America for similar reasons
- I still have those 24,330 Elevate points because I acquired them specifically for redemption on Hawaiian Airlines Honolulu – Pago Pago; when I had a chance to fly it, partner awards were not available and I had to burn off Hawaiian Airlines miles instead, 3 years later I still have not found an attractive use for Elevate miles
On net, I sent the SPG point on over, they posted to Virgin America today and I have emailed JetBlue. I travel enough that both chunks of points will eventually come in handy.
Readers, are you in or out? Your consideration?