American Express, Virgin America

Transfer 80,000 Amex MR points to Virgin America, Get 50,000 miles + Gold Elevate Status

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Just got this in my email:

Your ticket to special treatment on Virgin America. Transfer 80,000 or more Membership Rewards® points1 to your Elevate account through October 31, 2016, and experience all the added perks of Elevate Gold status2 for an entire year. And to sweeten this already sweet deal you’ll score 25% more Elevate points when you transfer2 through October 10, 2016.

It’s an interesting offer. You’ll wind up with 50,000 Virgin America Elevate miles worth about 2.2 cents each – or over $1,000 for your 80k MR. But that’s still only a 1.2c value of your miles. The kicker of the Virgin America Gold status is nice, but what do you get for that?

Here’s a chart of exactly what you get.  What do you NOT get? Ever? Upgrades to first class. Ladies and gents, that’s the deal breaker for me. And besides that, their transcontinental first class is the ONLY US airline without lie-flat seats. But that doesn’t mean it’s a deal breaker for YOU.

The thing that some people might find appealing about this is that the Virgin America / Alaska Airlines merger means these 50,000 Elevate miles likely (educated guess, not fact) will become 100,000 Alaska miles when the merger completes.  Those are valuable miles for redemption on their transfer partners.

Remember that Alaska is NOT an Amex MR partner – so this could be a back door way to transfer your MR to Alaska.

As an aside, I just signed myself up for an offer for the American Express Business Gold Rewards credit card that gives me 75,000 bonus MR points after $5k in spend (total of 80,000 MR) which is exactly enough for this offer. If it were on JetBlue, where I want to try the MINT product, I’d take advantage.

What do you think? Good deal? Bad deal?