Up to 50% Bonus on Purchase of Virgin America Miles

Virgin America is offering a bonus on purchase of miles that gets progressively larger the more miles you buy, up to a 50% bonus.

This applies to purchases through January 31. The maximum points you can purchase in a year is 20,000.

Buying 20,000 miles nets a 10,000 mile bonus. That means you get 30,000 miles for $1040, or about 3.5 cents a mile.

The thing to remember is that Virgin America’s award chart is a bit different from legacy carriers, so in some ways that equates to buying miles from such other carriers for a bit over two pennies. I’m not a buyer at that price, but for topping off towards an award it’s a non-crazy price.

For instance, buying 30,000 miles is enough for a one-way San Francisco – London award in Upper Class on Virgin Atlantic, but that $1040 mileage purchase will need to be paired with $600 in taxes and fees.

It’s also two-thirds of the miles needed for a one-way business class award from Los Angeles to Australia on Virgin Australia.

Point purchases are processed by points.com, so to answer a common question about such transactions they do not post as travel or airfare to the credit card used for the purchase (and thus won’t earn applicable category bonuses).

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Thanks for this analysis Gary! Even with the ridiculous surcharges $1600 and change from the west coast to London in Upper Class is still a good deal-(ish).

    Even better is the Virgin Australia option of course – would you book these through Virgin America over the phone and where would you check for award availability? (on the Virgin Australia site?)


  2. @stacey – book over the phone, check availability either on virgin australia’s site (you need to use a regional address to create an account, and look only for low availability) or the delta site

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