Virgin America has teamed up with Citi Thankyou to become the credit cards newest transfer partner, allowing US based card holders the opportunity to transfer Citi Thankyou points to the Virgin America Elevate program at a rate of 2 Thankyou points for every one Elevate point redeemed. This redemption is the same ratio that American Express Membership rewards offers to Virgin America.
The Virgin America Elevate program is a revenue based program, therefore points are worth a fix price of 1.5-2.3 cents towards airfare depending on sales and flight loads. As airfare prices fluctuate so does Virgin America’s redemption rates for flights on their own flights. The program is similar to other low cost carriers such as Southwest or Jetblue. The upside is that Virgin America partner redemptions are fixed values and can offer fantastic redemptions on partners such as Singapore Airlines, Hawaiian, Emirates, or Virgin Atlantic or Australia.
Virgin America is Citi Thankyou first US based airline after the airline has expanded over the last two years to include 11 airlines including Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Etihad, EVA Air, Flying Blue KLM/Air France, Garuda Indonesia, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, and Virgin Atlantic. In order to celebrate Virgin America as the first US Airline in the program, Citi is offering a 25% bonus on all transfers to Virgin America through October 21, 2015.
Should You Transfer Citi Thankyou Points to Virgin America
I am a firm believer that a flexible currency such as Citi Thankyou is more valuable than a fixed currency that is only valid for one airline. Unless you have a redemption in mind or plan on using the points on Virgin America or one of their partners immediately, transferring your points to Virgin America is a bad idea. Although you’ll get a bonus by transferring now, you are actually tying up your points as once you transfer your points to Virgin America, you cannot transfer them back to the Citi Program or to another airline.