Transfer 80K AMEX Membership Rewards for 50K Virgin America Miles + Virgin American GOLD + Alaska MVP GOLD Elite Status

virginmrpromo

Introduction

Thanks to Daniel at at Demflyers.com for letting me know about the potential of this deal (and while you’re on his site, read about the SPG contest if you want a cold shower.)   Now I don’t know if he found this out himself first or saw it on another blog, but whatever.  I can tell you that he was the first to say, “Status match this to Alaska to get MVP or MVP Gold” to me at least.

So while most of the other blogs are telling you about the virtues of VX Gold, I don’t care about VX Gold since the last time I flew them was 3+ years ago.  I do know that VX miles are a very good redemption option however.  I was able to book SEA-HNL on Hawaiian metal for 20K points roundtrip.

Status Match to Alaska

What this means is that while only a handful of you will care about VX Gold status (myself included), the play here is that once you get VX Gold, you can status match it to Alaska Gold status.  Here’s the Flyertalk thread on it.  What you have to do is email them at elite.flyer@alaskaair.com:

Thank you for your interest in our award winning Mileage Plan. To submit your
request for a Tier Match, send a copy of both sides of your current elite card,
an e-Statement showing current status and your drivers license. If your
original email did not include all of these documents, please resubmit with all
three attached. Allow 2-4 weeks for processing once we have received your
documents. When your Tier Match is complete, you’ll receive a welcome email and
can check your status at alaskaair.com/myaccount.
Please note that Tier Matches can only be extended once during the life of your
account and the status is valid through 12/31/2015.

We look forward to welcoming you into our program and flying with you for many
years to come!
Also note, we only offer a Tier Match for: AeroMexico, Air Canada, American,
Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, Jet Blue, Southwest, United, US Airways, and Virgin
America

Now you’re asking if this will actaully work or not.  I got you covered there as well:

vxgoldmatch

Alaska Gold benefits

Now you may be asking, why do I want AS Gold.  Well, here are the benefits:

alaskaelite

You’ll notice that from my Twitter conversation, you will get the 4 free one-way upgrades.  What are these worth?  I can tell you that they are worth at least $75 each since that’s how much they usually go for on Ebay.  So let’s recap what you are getting here:

  • You give up 80K MR + $48 transfer fee
  • You get 50K VX miles and VX Gold
  • You status match VX Gold to AS MVP Gold
  • You get 4 AS upgrade certs worth $300

Valuation of MR and VX

Now the question is – how much is an MR and a VX worth?  I can tell you that I value an MR about 1.5c.  Now how did I come up with that valuation?  Well, the only partners I would transfer MR to would be BA or ANA.  When I transfer to BA, I only redeem for domestic coach on AS, which usually gets me about 1.5c of valuation (for example, SEA-LAX OW is $99 cash but it’s 7500 points).  The only time I transferred MR to ANA was when I booked it on United metal from IAH to Mexico which got me over 2c of value but that’s now gone.

Sure, you may bring up transferring to Singapore for Suites, which is also a great option, but this post isn’t about the best transfer partners for MR.  Regardless, there is a reason why MR transfers to VX at 2:1 instead of 1:1 like most other carriers (AMEX basically saying VX points are worth more.)

I value VX points at least 2c per point.  Why?  Becuase that’s the redemption rate you’ll get if you use it on VX metal, and it’s usually the rate you’ll get if you fly on HA metal too.  I think 2c is on the low end of the valuation though, but I digress.

Thus, if you value 80K MR * 1.5c = $1200 + $48 = $1248 of value you are giving up.  In return, you get 50K VX * 2c = $1000.  However, you’ll get the $300 in upgrade certs = $1300.  So value wise, you are slightly ahead.  This doesn’t factor in the AS MVP Gold benefits or even the VX Gold benefits.  Plus, who knows?  You might be able to status match AS MVP Gold to Delta Gold or United or AA status and be able to get 3-4 years of status with this one move.  BOOM!

Conclusion

I think I talked myself into doing this deal.  If you do do this deal, make sure to wait until after October 1 to status match to AS so that you’ll get it for the entire next year.  As note the status match is a one-time deal, so make sure you have flying plans next year else it might not be worth it.