Thursday, June 2, 2011

Easy 250 Virgin America Points

This doesn't look like a targeted promotion, so anyone can get the free points. Sign up for a new Gilt City and Jetsetter account and receive 250 Virgin America points.

Granted, Virgin America's Elevate is one of the least rewarding frequent flyer programs out there, but with one-way award flights starting at 2,500 points, 250 points will get you started or top off your account nonetheless. If you make a purchase at Gilt City, you can receive another 250 points... and an additional purchase at Jetsetter nets you another 500 points for a total of 1000 points. Quickly browsing through their websites, it doesn't look like there are any "cheap buys" per se, so the additional 750 points may not be worth the effort (EDIT: On Gilt City, if you change the location to New York near the top of the page, you can find 2 ice cream sandwiches on sale for $5, and that will net you the extra 250 points :)).

VA's product is arguably the best in the domestic skies, but Elevate is truly a pathetic program. And it was only last year that they finally joined virtually every other FFP out there and eliminated the hard expiration date on points earned even with activity! All VA points have a fixed rate for redemption tied to the cost of the actual flight, so it's really impossible to redeem for more high-value awards like you can with legacy programs. Hence, even though I love the in-flight experience at VA, I still tend to stick with AA or UA, unless VA is quite a bit cheaper (and that doesn't happen too much anymore).

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