Two Virgin America Promotions – Are They Worth It?

Virgin America has a couple of promotions going on today, one of which I think is a solid deal if you can make it work for you and another I would pass on. Let’s break them down.

Offer #1 – Take $15, $35 or $50 Off Virgin America Flights via Living Social – I saw on Living Social this morning that you can purchase a voucher that will allow you to save either $15, $35 or $50 on a flight with Virgin America. There are a bunch of restrictions involved around dates that you can fly but it is valid for most of the places Virgin America flies to.

Virgin America Living Social

Here are some of the key restrictions:

  • Travel is valid between now and February 28, 2015 except for any Sunday travel and blackout dates around all the major holidays.
  • You must purchase a voucher in advance before booking your flight and the discount is related to the distance of your flight. You save $15 on short haul flights, $35 on medium haul flights and $50 on long haul flights. Thankfully the Living Social Website lists what is considered a short, medium or long haul flight on the voucher page.
  • You must book your flights by November 18th.
  • In the event you purchase a voucher but do not redeem it by November 18th, the voucher amount is automatically converted to Living Social Deal Bucks. So if you plan on shopping again at Living Social, there is no risk with this deal as you are not stuck with a voucher you cannot use.

My Thoughts: Before purchasing a voucher, start pricing out flights for your intended destinations and dates. Make sure they do not violate any terms of the deal above. If you know the chances are likely you will fly in this timeframe and Virgin America’s prices are competitive (but maybe not necessarily the cheapest), I would go ahead and purchase the voucher, especially if you ever shopped at Living Social before or plan too again (since the money paid will convert to Living Social Bucks if not used). Remember to shop through a cash back or other portal (such as Shop Through Chase) for up to 9% cash back (Big Crumbs) or 3x points (Shop Through Chase) for even more savings.

I don’t see the risk in locking in the voucher and monitoring the flights in question until the hard deadline of November 18th in which all flights must be booked. One interesting route I found was New York to Fort Lauderdale, a new route for Virgin America that is launching 1/8. The price I found was $252 roundtrip which was $4 more than the next cheapest option, which was JetBlue. This would be considered a medium haul flight so you can save $35 on the flight, bringing it down to $220 roundtrip, which is quite reasonable to escape the NY winter.

Take $35 off with this promotion

Take $35 off with this promotion

Offer #2 – 80% Bonus on Purchases of Virgin America Elevate Points – Tomorrow from 9am to 5PM EST ONLY, Virgin America is offering an 80% bonus on the purchase of Virgin America Elevate points. To purchase points, they normally cost 5.2 cents per point (which is quite high) but with this promotion, the price per point comes down to 2.9 cents a point.

Virgin America Promo

To elevate whether this is a good deal or not, you need to know at what rate can Virgin America points be redeemed for. Unlike legacy airlines, Virgin America points can be redeemed for ~2.1 to ~2.3 cents per point on Virgin America flights. You can also redeem points on some of their partners including Hawaiian Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Singapore Airlines.

My Thoughts: Nothing stands out as an exceptional deal so I recommend passing on this promotion. They have been “good” buy miles promotions in the past (hello 100% US Air Buy or Share Bonus) but this does not compare to that promotion. Please also remember if you are looking to top off your account to make a reward redemption with points, Virgin America is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards. I would look to that first before considering buying these points to top off your account for a free flight.

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