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Virgin America Elevate Program Review

Elevate is Virgin America’s frequent flyer program that aims at rewarding those who accumulate the most miles flying on the airline, using Elevate-branded credit card and spending money on purchases from member companies that include car rental, hotels, restaurants and other retail outlet. This program benefits those who fly between destinations in the West Coast especially Los Angeles and San Francisco. Let’s have a closer look at what the program really is and what it has to offer.

Earning points

Since Elevate is a revenue based frequent flyer program, it members earn points rather than miles. As an Elevate program member, there are a number of ways that you can earn Elevate points, the main one being spending money on Virgin America to buy tickets. You will earn points based on amount spent at the rate of five points per dollar spent on the Virgin America flight booking. Note that you will earn points on the base fare only, taxes and other fees do not earn points.
To accumulate points faster, Elevate members have the option of getting the Virgin America Visa card which earns them additional 3 points per dollar spent. Other ways to earn Elevate points are shopping, dining and renting cars from partners.

Redeeming points

The most popular way to redeem your Elevate points is either by getting flight tickets for points, upgrading your fare class or redeeming the points for part of the fare such as one-way ticket for a round trip flight.. The number of points required to redeem an air ticket price largely depends on the cost of the flight. The value of Elevate points in relation to the dollar also varies depending on the availability of seats which depends on the season, flight route and cost. The airline publishes the sales fares and points required for flight tickets. Since there are no blackout dates on Elevate frequent flyer, members are fallowed to redeem their Elevate points for flights at any time, subject to the availability of seats.
It is also possible for members to book a flight by paying partly with cash and partly with points – like paying for one way in cash and redeeming the return value for Elevate points. Better still, members can redeem their Elevate points for international flight tickets on Virgin America as well as Virgin Australia and Virgin Atlantic flights.

Elite membership

The elite level Elevate membership is available in two levels: there is the Elevate Silver and Elevate Gold. Status points are earned just like flight points – a higher fare class and longer flight earns more points.
Elevate Silver: This elite level membership requires 20,000 status points. When you are a Silver member you will earn 25% more Elevate points on Virgin America ticket purchases, complementary upgrades to MCS (Main Cabin Select) seating, priority boarding and airport services, one free checked bag and option to upgrade seat to first class with cash.
Elevate Gold: Elite Gold Elevate level requires 50,000 Elevate points and members get to enjoy all the benefits of Elite Silver membership in addition to 100% bonus reward points on Virgin America flights, 3 free checked bags and 2 annual 25% discount codes.

Pros

• The points earning and calculation system is simple and straightforward.
• There are no restrictions on awards
• No blackout dates
• Points earned on Virgin America, Virgin Australia and Virgin Atlantic airlines as well as car rentals, hotel stays, retail purchases and cruises.

Cons

• Elevate points expire after 18 months of account inactivity.
• Limited seats available on partner airlines and for rewards tickets.

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