Virgin America’s Refer-a-Friend Promo. Worth Your Time?


Virgin America thinks its new “Flights with Bennies” campaign is cheeky. In name, perhaps. But really, it’s just another refer-a-friend bonus promotion. Which isn’t a bad thing.

(Warning: The landing page for this promotion, perhaps in an effort to achieve cheekiness, has an annoying auto-enabled soundtrack. You may wish to mute your speakers.)

Offer Details

Through March 31, current members of Virgin America’s Elevate program can earn 500 bonus points for every new member they refer, up to a maximum of 2,500 points for five referrals. The newly referred members will also earn 500 bonus points, upon enrolling.

Non-members who enroll in the program during the promotion period can earn a 500-point sign-up bonus as well.

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Deal or No Deal

Elevate points are worth around 2 cents apiece when redeemed for Virgin America flights at market prices. So, 2,500 points are worth $50.

Even assuming it took five minutes for each referral, that would amount to earning more than $100 per hour, tax-free. Nice!

Of course, the bonus points are only worth $50 if they’re actually used. If there’s little chance of your flying Virgin America, ignore that hypothetical return-on-investment and put your time to more productive use.

Reader Reality Check

Will you be referring new Elevate members?

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and almost that long writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

This article first appeared on, where Tim Winship is Editor-at-Large.


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