Rocketmiles is a new startup that offers miles for hotel bookings. Milevalue has a pretty good analysis of Rocketmiles. There is a current promotion through Rocketmiles which allows you to earn up to 7,000 Virgin America Elevate miles for your first booking (must book by July 15th and complete stay bey December 31, 2013):
- 1000 bonus miles after first booking if you get referred by an existing member
- 1000 bonus only if you signup through Gary Leff’s link (details in his post)
- 3000 bonus Virgin America miles if you are not an elite member of Virgin America
- 5000 bonus Virgin America miles if you are an elite member (Terms and conditions)
In the past, I haven’t really collected Virgin America Elevate points. I don’t really see many opportunities to acquire Virgin America Elevate points other than butt in seat miles, and I also don’t think that their redemption opportunities are all that great since partner redemptions on Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia charge high fuel surcharges.
However, this bonus is actually a great opportunity because you can convert Virgin America points to US Airways miles through Points.com at a pretty good ratio. US Airways miles are a currency that I am certainly more fond of due to the ease of redemption on Star Alliance partners.
Virgin America Elevate miles convert to US Airways Dividend miles at a ratio of 1 to 0.79. You need a minimum of 2000 Virgin America miles to initiate the transfer. In fact, they also convert to Hawaiian Airlines at the same ratio, and an even better ratio of 1 to 0.85 to Asia miles. I’ve never used Asia miles, but their redemption award chart looks intimidating.
This is very similar to converting Aeroplan miles to US Airways miles. There is no fee to do this.
This makes the Rocketmiles Virgin America bonus of up to 7000 miles a little more appealing to me:
- 1000 Virgin miles (790 US Airways or Hawaiian miles) after 1st booking if you get referred by an existing member
- 1000 Virgin miles (790 US Airways or Hawaiian miles) only if you signup through Gary Leff’s link
- 3000 bonus Virgin miles (2370 US Airways or Hawaiian Miles) if you are not a Virgin America elite member (Terms and conditions here)
- 5000 bonus Virgin miles (3950 US Airways or Hawaiian miles) if you are an elite member
So, you can get up to a total of 5530 US Airways or Hawaiian miles if you are a Virgin America Elite and get in on this promotion. US Airways will eventually become American Airlines miles, so you could think of it as converting to American Airlines as well. You are getting a lot more redemption options at the opportunity cost of losing a few Virgin America miles.