Quick hit on Virgin America status

For those of you with a ton of Amex Membership Rewards points and no ideas where to put them, here’s an idea: Between now and October 8, American Express is offering a 25% bonus on transfers to Virgin America and, if you transfer 80,000 points by December 31, you’ll earn Gold elite status on Virgin America. It’s unusual to be able to earn status by transferring in outside points, but it’s even more unusual to be able to earn an airline’s top tier status.

MR points transfer at a 2:1 rate to VA, i.e., 80,000 MR points would normally get you 40,000 VA Elevate points (or 50,000 with the 25% bonus). Gold status offers a fair number of benefits, including bonus points, fast-tracks at the airport and access to the LAX “Loft,” Virgin’s club. Points on Virgin are worth about 2c each if you use them on Virgin, but they also have partnerships with a few of the world’s nicest carriers, including Singapore, Emirates and Virgin Atlantic.


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