Elevate® - Virgin America

Virgin America is known for innovation and motivation in the passenger airlines industry. It is a reputation gained within a short 7-years term. Although regarded by some as unconventional, their unique Frequent Flyers program is called appropriately, “Elevate.” It’s in line with their policy of putting back some of the excitement and even romance into passenger airline travel and which continues to Elevate your flying experience and rewards!
  • Pros
  • Low taxes and fees
  • Points transfers between members ❷
  • Cons
  • Points expire in 18 months
  • Small number of partner airlines
  • Fees & Charges
  • Change award fee ❶
  • Expiration: Points expire 18 months since last activity.
  • For some programs, an activity is any accrual of miles, crediting a flight, transfering or purchasing miles. For others, spending activities such as redeeming or donating points counts as an activity.
  • ❶ Additional $100 point redeposit fee
  • ❷ It is an ability to transfer points from one member account to another

Transfer Partners

Hilton points
10 : 1
4 days
The ratio is the number of flexible reward points it would take to transfer to Elevate®.
Transfer time is what is reported by the transfer programs, supplemented by our own research. However, actual time to transfer is often highly variable.

Airlines and Fuel Surcharge

This table will show you the partner airlines can be booked online and those which impose fuel surcharge.

Alaska Airlines Alaska Airlines
No alliance
Hawaiian Airlines Hawaiian Airlines
No alliance
Singapore Airlines Singapore Airlines
Star Alliance™
Virgin America Virgin America
No alliance
Emirates Emirates
No alliance
Virgin Australia Virgin Australia
No alliance

Program Review

Program Review

If you consider yourself to be trendy, sophisticated, worldly and at the same time, posse’s shrewd business acumen, then boarding a distinctive Virgin America flight is for you. With its unique ambiance, you enter an environment that is consistent and compliments the original Frequent Flyers Rewards Program, called Elevate!


Elevate Your Flying Experience and Be Rewarded

When you join the Elevate Rewards program you are firstly surprised by its logic and simplicity. The residents of practically any country are invited to become members, free of charge.

In easy terms, upon becoming a member, you also become eligible to earn points for any recognized flights you've already taken, up to 30 days prior to your joining date. Quoting from Phil Seward, Director of Guest Loyalty at Virgin America; the Elevate Rewards Program was designed to easily understand and customer-friendly and this is seen with a healthy 5 points for every dollar you spend on your basic fare with Virgin America flights. Another consideration is that there are no complex sums, charts, and provisos to work through; what you read is what you get! 

Earn Points with Airline Partnerships

Aside from easily accumulating points when flying Virgin America domestically, you are also interested in the benefits for Frequent Flying between destinations around the globe! Again, we keep it simple, because when you fly with any of the four major airline partners, you earn Elevate reward points on every trip. 

  • Virgin Atlantic + Status Points
  • Virgin Australia + Status Points
  • Emirates
  • Singapore Airlines

As an Elite status member, you will also receive an additional bonus.

Co-Branded Card Banking Rewards

To extend and make their service even more flexible, Virgin America formed a partnership with the Comenity Capital Bank. Resulting in a complete upgrading of their credit cards and which has made them extremely customer-friendly regarding points and travel benefits. You are given the choice, between:

  • Virgin America 
  • Visa Signature Card 

Or you can upgrade and take your benefits to the next level with:

  • Virgin America Premium 
  • Visa Signature Card Virgin America Visa 

Should you be a member participating in the American Express Membership Rewards Program then there is an alternative transfer option available to you. It is required that transfers into Elevate must be in increments of 200 Membership Rewards points and at a ratio of 2 to 1, or 200 Membership Rewards points to 100 Elevate points, with a nominal Airline Excise Tax Offset Fee charged for all transfers.

Although Virgin America Elevate points will expire should there be no account activity within an 18 month period, you can retain an active account by earning or redeeming points at least once every 18 months!


Your Extra Earnings Opportunities

Versatility is an integral part of the Virgin America Elevate Rewards Program, which is helped by the advantage of extra earning potential with Earning Partners. You are catered for by being able to earn and accumulate Virgin America reward points for actions you perform on a regular basis, and for those that you rarely experience! For instance; the next vacation can enable you to accumulate an extraordinary number of points from:

  • Hotel Stays
  • Rental cars
  • Activity partners

There are many and varied means of gaining extra points but keep in mind that you must always provide your Elevate membership number to ensure that points will be credited to your account. Other Virgin America potential earning partners include:

  • The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas
  • Hilton Hotels
  • Joie de Vivre Hotels
  • Mandarin Oriental Hotels
  • Marriott Hotels

A further earnings option has been created by Virgin America Elevate accounts merge with Alaska Airlines, and can be converted to the Alaska Airline Mileage Plan. 


Earning Points with Comfort and Service

Of particular value to Elevate Members is the Hilton Honors portfolio, which offers you accommodation quality, comfort, service and the recognition you expect from any of the 12 distinctive hotel brands. In addition, as a Member of Hilton Honors, you have the benefit of earning Hilton Honors Points and Flying Club miles during every stay!

Members can only earn Hilton Honor Points on all Hilton hotel stays, with the added benefit that you are able to convert your Hilton Honors Points into Flying Club Miles. On reaching 10,000 Hilton Honors Points you may exchange them for Flying Club miles in 10,000 points segments. They will be at an exchanged ratio of 1,500 Flying Club miles to 10,000 Hilton Honors Points.

A further points earning advantage is that you can earn 2 Flying Club miles and 10 Honors Points for each recognized $1.00 USD spent on all qualifying charges charged to your room at:

  • Hilton Hotels/Resorts - Waldorf Astoria Hotels/Resorts
  • Conrad® Hotels/Resorts - Doubletree by Hilton
  • Embassy Suites Hotels/Hilton Garden Inn
  • Hampton Inn - Homewood Suites by Hilton
  • Home2 Suites by Hilton  
  • Hilton Grand Vacations Club


Earning Status Points & Tier Benefits

You earn your Elevate status points in exactly the same way as your reward points and at the rate of 5 status points for each USD spent on your basic fare for Virgin America flights. However, the flights you take using Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia also give you the added benefit of earning Elevate status points. It is based on the distance you fly and the booking class. To save you time and inconvenience, you can earn status points by applying for the Virgin America Premium Visa Signature Card. This enables you to bank up to 15,000 status points per calendar year, founded on eligible spending.

There are two Elevate Elite status tiers for those seeking added prestige benefits and who have earned the required number of status points. Elevate Silver: This status level requires you to earn just 20,000 status points. Elevate Gold: For this level, you require 50,000 status points. As an Elite Member, you are recognized accordingly; with significant benefits awarded you from the time of your tickets booking to the moment you disembark from your flight. You enjoy benefits that provide you with an added prestigious Virgin America flying experience!

Your Elite Recognition includes Bonus reward points on Virgin America flights, as well as Complimentary express seating arrangements and upgrades to Main Cabin Select. In addition, you will receive the following Priorities:

  • Airport check-in
  • Baggage handling
  • Security
  • Boarding

Access to the Virgin America Loft at LAX

  • Silver: 2 free passes & $25 per person 
  • Gold: 3 free passes & $20 per person
  • Silver: 25% off a non-refundable Main Cabin ticket + 1 ticket per year
  • Gold: + 2 tickets per year

Buying and Redeeming Your Reward Points

Convenience and benefits are among the foremost considerations for Elevate Members, as shown by your being able to buy Virgin America reward points in 500 batches. You are eligible for a maximum of 20,000 points per calendar year and only for an individual account. However, you must also consider that at 5.2 cents per point, it will be worthwhile being selective in your purchasing. One instance could be subsidizing an account related to a reward flight that is within immediate reach! 

You can also gift points to a particular person, or for a special occasion at the same purchase rate. Keep in mind that the 20,000 points limit also applies to the beneficiary's account and allow 72 hours for the process!

Virgin America does not assign a determined rate to each point but you can expect that on average you will redeem them for about 2.2 cents per point. Of particular interest for Members in this redemption procedure, is the fact of reward seats not being capacity controlled, In addition, blackout dates are not applicable and accordingly, an available revenue seat can be redeemed utilizing Elevate points. 



Starting in 2018, Alaska's award-winning Mileage Plan™ will become the sole loyalty program as our brands combine into one airline. As an Elevate member, get ready for great stuff to come, like more rewards, on an even bigger network with more global destinations. Here's a timeline so you have the big picture.