Many readers have booked the super-cheap Sydney to US tickets this morning, and now the question that I’m being asked left and right is: Where do I credit my miles from this trip?
Crediting to Virgin Australia
The table below shows the points you earn for each mile traveled in each Virgin Australia class of service.
SYD-LAX is just shy of 7,500 miles. Though I am unable to see the fare class of my $148.56 ticket, I am going to assume it falls into the saver economy fare bucket, which earns .5 Velocity Points per mile. At that earnings-rate, the SYD-LAX will earn 3,744 Velocity Points.
Domestic awards within Australia start at 6,900 points (example Sydney to Melbourne).
Credit to Virgin America
If you chose to credit to Virgin America, you can assume you will be earning ~1568 Elevate points at the 20% accrual level.
Virgin America’s Elevate program is currently a Membership Rewards transfer partner, and there’s currently a 50% transfer bonus until 3/10/16. 200 Membership Rewards points = 150 Elevate points, so 33,400 Membership Rewards points will get you 25,050 Elevate points with the transfer bonus.
A one way flight in economy between Los Angeles and Sydney will cost 25,000 miles + $40 in taxes and fees (positioning flight idea). Meanwhile, a one way flight in economy between Sydney and Melbourne is 3,500 miles + $16 in taxes and fees (in case you wanted to explore Australia).
Another option is to credit your Virgin Australia flights to Delta.
Discount economy on Virgin Australia earns miles at a rate of 50%, but 100% Medellion Qualification Miles (if you’re looking to earn or maintain status with Delta). This might be a sensible option for most U.S.-based travelers.
There’s also the option to Credit to Singapore KrisFlyer:
I find the most valuable option to be crediting Virgin Australia flights to the Singapore KrisFlyer program. Although 50% might (3,744 KrisFlyer miles from SYD-LAX) not seem like much, keep in mind that KrisFlyer is a transfer partner of many credit card points programs such as Citi Thank You points, Membership Rewards, and Chase Ultimate Rewards. You can book Singapore Airlines Suites for 57,250 miles.
Of course there are many other Virgin Australia airline partners that I have yet to explore…
What program do you credit your Virgin Australia flights to?